Thursday, March 15, 2012

Meet The 2011-2012 National All-American Miss Teen Kasey Knowles




Tiffany: How did you get involved in National American Miss?
Kasey:I started with NAM about 7 years ago when a friend of mine had received a recommendation letter in the mail and told me I should try it out. I’ve been hooked ever since.

 
Tiffany:How did you prepare for the National Pageant?
Kasey: I started preparing right after my state pageant. I went and looked tirelessly for my perfect dress. I then prepared my personal introduction, by memorizing and perfecting it every day. I didn’t have much free time, due to the fact that I was either at school or practice, but I miraculously pulled it off, all while stressing my mother out.


 
Tiffany:   What is the best advice you have ever received?
Kasey: Go big or go home!!! If you’re not going to do it 110% then don’t do it at all!


Tiffany:What quote, motto or scripture best describes you?
Kasey:“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but the number of moments that take your breath away.”

 
Tiffany:What are your plans for the future?
Kasey: My plans for the future are to graduate from Kansas State University with a degree in Animal Science and then go on to attend the College of Veterinary Medicine and become a large animal veterinarian. I will then go on to own my own practice and horse rescue. I hope to one day have a beautiful, successful family.

 
Tiffany:What activities are you involved in?
Kasey:I am majorly involved in being a Kansas State University cheerleader. I also am involved in theatre and the pre-vet club on campus.

 
Tiffany:What do you like to do for fun?
Kasey:For fun I like to hang out with my friends and you can usually find us all in my dorm room playing Xbox or singing to a Scotty McCreery song.

 
Tiffany:What is one item you can’t live without?
I could never live without my dog! He is my pride and joy!

Tiffany:Who is your rolemodel?
Kasey:My role model is my grandmother. She recently passed away, but I will never forget the things she taught me! She was an amazing woman and she was not ever afraid to tell you how it was. She taught us that sometimes the truth hurts, but it was always for our own good.

 
Tiffany:What is the biggest misconception about your generation?
Kasey:My generation has been called the “why” generation! As in “why can’t you pay for this?” “why won’t you do this for me?” and “why do I have to do it”! However I think this is a big misconception, I believe that my generation is actually a generation of doers. Thanks to social media and blogging there are more people my age are beginning to contribute to communities and start campaigns to benefit to society. For example, my organization Kennels by Kasey has helped the United States Humane Society!

 
Tiffany:What is your most embarrassing moment?(preteen, jr teen and teen)
Kasey:One of my most embarrassing moments was very recent. I was cheering at the NCAA Volleyball tournament in Lincoln, Nebraska (a long time rival for Kansas State). While the teams were warming up, the cheerleaders were standing on the sidelines, when all of a sudden a ball flying through the air met the side of my head! Every one of the 4,000 fans gasped and then laughed. One person even made the comment “that was awesome”. Needless to say, I was really embarrassed.


Tiffany:If you had three wishes what would you wish for?
Kasey:If I had three wishes I would wish for my mom to live happy and live forever, because I could never live without her! My second wish would be to have super powers! And my third wish would of course be to have unlimited wishes!!

 
Tiffany:If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
Kasey:Australia for sure! I would want to see the kangaroos!

 
Tiffany:What is your definition of a NAM girl?
Kasey:My definition of a NAM girl would be the “All-American Girl”! She is someone who is just a normal girl, but by being a part of NAM she has the confidence and beauty to conquer anything. Being the “All-American Girl” she can be from anywhere in the country, but she is someone that people want to be like.

 
Tiffany:  If you could be on the cover of any Magazine what would it be?
Kasey:If I could be on the cover of any magazine I would be on the cover of Horse Fancy and Dog Fancy!



Tiffany:If you were stranded on a deserted island what three things could you not live with out?
Kasey:Well I need an unlimited amount of food, because I love to eat! The second thing I could not live without would be make up because I always like to look my best even if it is a deserted island. The third thing I could not live without would be my cell phone (with service), and then I could call someone to come help me get off the island.
 
Tiffany:What is your most prized possession?
Kasey: My dog, he is everything to me!


 
Tiffany:  How would your friends describe you?
Kasey: My friends would describe me as fun and having a great personality! I am always taking care of my friends and helping them out with whatever they need!


Tiffany:    How are you making a difference in your community?
Kasey: I am making a difference in my community by helping out the local charities and donating to the local humane societies. I make fleece tie blankets for the dogs at the shelter so that they are happy and warm while they wait for their new homes.

 
Tiffany:  What is your favorite childhood memory? ( preteen, jr teen, teen)
Kasey: My favorite childhood memory was getting to spend every summer in a small town with my grandparents and helping them farm and take care of livestock. I learned so much about myself, and the people I loved. 
 
Tiffany: If you could go back in time and be at any historical event what would it be?
Kasey:
If I could go back in time to any historical event I would go back to witness Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I have a dream’ speech.

Tiffany: If you could go back in time and meet one person, who would it be and why?
       Kasey: I would go back in time and meet Elvis, the King! I would meet him and tell him that my mom loves him and he needs to meet her!

     Tiffany:If you could be famous for something, what would you want to be famous for?
         Kasey:   I would want to be famous for being Miss USA!

      Tiffany: What is your favorite book? And why?
            Kasey: My favorite book is “The Notebook”, I’m really soft hearted and I’m a sucker for a great love story.

Tiffany:Where is your favorite place to shop?
           Kasey: My favorite place to shop is Juicy Couture, Nordstrom, Bebe, or Cabelas!

Tiffany:
Who is the most influential person in the world now?
    Kasey:  I think one of the most influential people in the world today is Tim Tebow. He has shown the world that you have to fight for what you want, and no matter how much society tears you down saying he was not good enough to be a great NFL quarter back, he has proved many, who never believed in him, wrong.
           
Tiffany:Who or what inspires you most?
        Kasey:    My mother inspires me. She is always looking out for me and teaching me new things everyday. Now that I don’t live with her it’s hard because we are so close and she’s not with me everyday. She has been the biggest teacher in my life and I am blessed to have such an amazing woman for a mother!

Tiffany: What have you learned about yourself since competing in pageants?
          Kasey:  I have learned so many things about myself. I have obtained confidence and motivation to achieving my goals! I can apply what I have learned in pageants to the real world!
Tiffany:What is your definition of success ?            
Kasey:My definition of success is anything that turns out positively, it doesn’t matter how big or small it is, as long as its positive!

Tiffany:What advice do you have for future NAM girls?
           Kasey: Advice that I have for future NAM girls is be yourself, because that is the most important part to the NAM system! You can’t be a fake girl at NAM because it is all about who you are and what you stand for!

Tiffany:What do you plan to do with your title this year?
            Kasey:Well the day I came home from nationals I started working with my title! I plan to keep helping and volunteering for the local animal shelter! I have been interviewed by the paper about my views on pageants, I will also be working with our special needs cheer team! I also plan to visit as many state pageants as I can!

     Tiffany:Tell me about yourself.
            Kasey:My name is Kasey Clara Knowles, my family calls me Kasey Belle, my friends call me Kase. I am a freshman at Kansas State University where I am also a cheerleader. I have one big sister, Kassidy! I have two dogs, Drake and Toby. I grew up in the middle of Kansas, and have lived in Salina my whole life. I am the most energetic, outgoing girl! You will never meet anyone who loves food more than me, my mom always jokes that I eat every two hours! My favorite food is pasta and chips and salsa. I love a chai tea latte from Starbucks on the daily and chocolate covered donuts! I am 5’ 10” and a half, and in heels I am 6’3”. I am 18 years old and I am terrified of grasshoppers!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Meet The 2011-2012 National American Miss Teen Jena Diller

Tiffany: How did you get involved in National American Miss?
             Jena:   I got involved with National American Miss when I was 9 years old.  My sister actually got involved two years before I did because she received a letter in the mail.  At first, my parents were skeptical to let her compete; however, they decided to let her try it out just for one year.  Much to our surprise, however, we all fell in love with NAM from the moment we arrived at the hotel and have been hooked ever since.
Tiffany:How did you prepare for the National Pageant?
                Jena:While preparing for Nationals, obviously there was A LOT of practice involved.   This was my third time out at Nationals as a state queen so I sort of knew what to expect, however, that didn’t stop me from practicing my heart out.  I practiced my introduction to and from school while also making sure I did not “over-rehearse” so I still sounded as natural and sincere as possible.  Lastly, and most importantly, I made sure I could vision myself standing and walking on the National stage with poise and confidence. 

Tiffany: What is the best advice you have ever received?
               Jena: The best advice I ever received was simply to never give up.  I competed in National American Miss for 5 years before I ever won my first state title.  The determination and perseverance I learned those first five years was what kept pushing me to not only win my first state NAM title in 2005, but become the NAM Ohio Jr. Teen in 2007, NAM Ohio Teen in 2011 and now the National American Miss Teen!

Tiffany: What quote , motto or scripture best describes you?
             Jena:   “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford.  This quote describes my attitude towards life and almost every situation that I’m faced with.  You can do anything you put your mind to, as long as you have the right attitude and motivation. 

Tiffany:  What are your plans for the future?
               Jena: Well, the first step in fulfilling my future goals is to graduate from Bluffton University with a degree in Marketing with a focus in Public Relations while also obtaining a double minor in Communications and Business Administration.  After graduation, however, I plan to become a Marketing and Public Relations director of a major corporation.  I hope to inspire others and make a positive impact on everyone I meet while I’m on my journey to accomplishing my many goals.

Tiffany:What activities are you involved in?
              Jena:  I am currently the Marketing and Public Relations assistant at Bluffton University and stay busy working, volunteering in my community, coaching gymnastics, going to my brothers sporting events and spending time with my family and friends.

Tiffany:  What is one item you can’t live without?
             Jena:  As most teenagers would probably say, I also could not live without my cell phone.  I can access the Internet to stay updated on my social media sites, receive emails, all while staying in contact with my friends and family.

Tiffany:  Who is your rolemodel?
               Jena: I have many people who have positively impacted my life, but the one person that I consider my role model is my older sister, Courtney.  She is not only my big sister, but my inspiration, biggest supporter, and best friend.  She has always taught me right from wrong and has given me a great example to follow.  I am fortunate to be able to share this year with her because she is also the NAM Miss Ohio and placed 3rd runner up at Nationals.  She has always been the biggest supporter of my dreams and I couldn’t have done this without her.  If I become half the person she is I’ll be truly grateful. 

Tiffany:What is your favorite TV show?
               Jena: My favorite TV show is definitely Pretty Little Liars.  It’s a show that I can watch with my family and friends, keeps my full attention, and never gets boring to watch.

Tiffany:What is the biggest misconception about your generation?
                Jena:I think our generation has a lot of misconceptions but I think the biggest one is that we get too many things handed to us without truly working for them.  I personally believe our generation works just as hard as any because of the tough competition we are faced with.  Getting into college, making the Dean’s List or Honor Roll, the many sporting events and extracurricular activities we do and so much more.  We are constantly facing competition so we can accomplish our goals and stay ahead of the game.
                               
Tiffany: If you had three wishes what would you wish for?
               Jena: My first wish would be to find a Cure for Diabetes because my family has been greatly affected by this disease.  My sister, brother, uncle, grandmother and grandfather are all diabetic.  Second, I would absolutely LOVE to travel to Africa to work with kids in third-world countries.  My last wish is to win the lottery, not for a new car or house, but so I can pay off my student loans from college .

Tiffany:  If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
               Jena: One of my lifetime goals is to go to Africa to work with the kids living in poverty.  I have wanted to travel to Africa since I was a little girl, so to finally fulfill that dream would be amazing!  I have had the great privilege of meeting a beautiful little girl by the name of Alima Thiobiono that lives in Burkina Faso, Africa.  She has been in the United States undergoing major surgeries that could not be performed in Africa.  Being around this amazing girl has made my desire to travel to Africa even stronger so I can make an impact on other kid’s lives like she has made on mine.

Tiffany:What is your definition of a NAM girl?
                Jena:My definition of a NAM girl would be a girl that has BIG dreams, a positive attitude towards life, and someone who is relatable and helpful.  A NAM girl is confident with who she is, willing to work hard to accomplish her goals and wants to make a difference in the world.

Tiffany:If you could be on the cover of any Magazine what would it be?
              Jena:  Since I was 9 years old, the only Magazine cover I ever wanted to be on was National American Miss.  And now at the age of 19, I can proudly say I will accomplish that goal this year and couldn’t be more excited to represent the pageant system that has changed my life forever.

Tiffany: If you were stranded on a deserted island what three things could you not live with out?
              Jena:  Of course, the first thing I would have to have with me is my cell phone.  It would allow me to stay in contact with my family and friends. I also could not live without my pillow! It may sound crazy but I absolutely love my pillow and if I’m going to be on the island by myself, I have a feeling I’d be taking a lot of naps.  Lastly, of course, I would bring a lot of food and bottled water.

Tiffany: What is your most prized possession?
               Jena: My most prized possession is probably my phone.  I am more of a talker than a texter, however, it has my email directly connected to it which is great for school and allows me to access the internet and stay in touch with my friends.

Tiffany:How would your friends describe you?
              Jena:  My close friends and they said they would describe me a loyal, honest, fun to be around and caring.  I am definitely adventurous and outgoing and love to put a smile on people’s faces.  I strive to be someone people can count on and go to if they ever need anything. 

Tiffany:How are you making a difference in your community?
                Jena: I am the founder of The Color of Christmas which is a project that included donating over 700 coloring books, crayons, markers, etc. to Children’s Hospitals over the Holidays.  I am also an active volunteer for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in honor of my sister and brother who are Type 1 Diabetics.  I am also a volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Relay for Life and the American Diabetes Association. 

Tiffany: What is your favorite childhood memory?
           Jena: All of my favorite childhood memories consist of my family and I traveling and just spending time together.  I am blessed to have an older sister and two younger brothers who made almost every trip we went on extremely entertaining. 

Tiffany:If you could go back in time and meet one person, who would it be and why?                   
                        Jena:There is one person that I’ve always wanted to meet and that is my Aunt Dalene.  She was killed by a drunk driver when she was only 18 years old and even though I may not have had the chance to meet her, she has had a huge impact on my life.  I am the only grandchild that is named after her and I am honored to carry on her name.  I can only hope that I have made her proud.
     Tiffany:If you could be famous for something, what would you want to be famous for?                                                                                       
            Jena:  If I was to be famous for anything, it would be simply to have made a difference in the lives of many people.  Whether it would be finding a cure for Diabetes, helping children in third-world countries, or even just being the best National Representative possible, I believe fame is only valuable if you use it to inspire and help others.   
    
Tiffany: Where is your favorite place to shop?
            Jena:  I shop at a wide variety of stores including Forever 21, Buckle, Wet Seal, Kohl’s, American Eagle, H&M, and New York and Company. However, I actually am not a huge shopper, but when I do shop, I love finding the best deals. So wherever the best deals are, that’s probably where you’ll find me
             
      Tiffany: Who or what inspires you most?
Jena:   My cousin Cole is someone who really inspires me.  He is 17 years old and has been through so much already in his short lifetime.  He has a brain tumor and has gone through multiple treatments of chemotherapy.  However, his recovery is not what inspires me but his attitude towards life.  He always has a smile on his face and sees the best in everything and everyone.  He never complains about the treatments, his illness, or being different from the other kids at school.  But instead, he serves as a daily reminder of how much we have to be thankful for and how we should view our own lives.  Cole has taught me that life is a very special gift that we should always treasure, no matter what challenges we may face along the way.
Tiffany: What have you learned about yourself since competing in pageants?
Jena: Through competing in National American Miss, I have learned that staying true to who you are and what you believe in is the most important thing.  I have learned to set my dreams and goals high and to never stop working towards them.  I have also learned that one of the best things you can gain from pageants is friends.  I have met some of my best friends through this system that have made my experiences even that much more special. 
  Tiffany: What is your definition of success?
           Jena: Success is not only accomplishing your dreams, but having the courage and perseverance to make it there.  Success cannot be accomplished without failure, and failure cannot be used unless it is learned from.  In order to truly succeed, you must triumph over your failures and stay determined, have faith, and believe that your dreams, and success, are just around the next obstacle. 
    Tiffany:What advice do you have for future NAM girls?
           Jena: The best advice I could give a future NAM girl would be to be yourself.  As cliché as it may sound, NAM truly is looking for someone who is confident with who she is and what she stands for.  NAM isn’t looking for perfection, but instead their looking for the perfect version of YOU. 
      Tiffany:What do you plan to do with your title this year?
            Jena:Over the next year, I hope to touch as many people’s lives as possible.  I have been working towards this goal since I was 9 years old and will do everything in my power to represent NAM and teens all across the country with poise and grace.  I will use my title to volunteer, inspire, and promote National American Miss and everything it stands for. 
     Tiffany: Tell me about yourself.
                        Jena:My name is Jena Dalene Diller, I’m 19 years old and I’m currently a Sophomore at Bluffton University.  I am majoring in Marketing with a focus in Public Relations.  I work at my family’s restaurant, Grillers Tavern, that we just opened in September of 2011 and I’m also the Marketing and Public Relations Assistant at Bluffton University. I have an older sister Courtney, and two younger brothers Clay and Logan who are my three best friends.  I have been with National American Miss since its beginning and I’m a huge supporter in everything NAM stands for.  I am extremely determined, ambitious, compassionate, and faithful.  I have been blessed with the opportunity of a lifetime and NAM has truly made me into the person I am today.