Our new 2012 National American Miss Louisiana Junior Pre- TeenSM is LEEEAAANNNA LANNFORD. I couldn’t believe it when Miss Joy called my name!! What a year it has been!
I delivered all of the books and stuffed animals that our girls had brought. When school started in August, I organized an Emily’s Smile box drive at my elementary school. We collected enough supplies to make 50 of them. They were delivered locally and in Memphis Tennesee. Throughout the summer, I visited local festivals, rode in parades and got to meet the mayor of both Pineville and Alexandria, LA. I got my very own keys to the cities!! I met Miss Louisiana, Lauren Vizza, too. Some of the most fun times were at other NAM state pageants where I made lots of new friends. I’ll never forget the fun I had at north and south Texas pageants.
Nationals was AMAZING! Rehearsals were so much fun. I even practiced interviewing with Belle at Disneyland! Each time I got on that stage, I gave 110%. I won Top 5 in the Actress competition Then, it was time for finale, which was a little sad ; but what a night it turned out to be. My name was called as Top 10 and I was thrilled. Then Miss Joy called out Top 5 and double OMG, it was me. I wound up as 4th runner up in the country!! I hope I made my directors, Miss Patti and Mr. Lou proud.
Remember girls: only one girl can get the crown; but, all of you are winners—do not give up on your dreams. Well, it’s time for me to split!!
For the last time, I am your 2012 Miss Louisiana Junior Pre- TeenSM Leanna Brooke Lanford. But in those famous last words of Arnold Schwarzenegger: “I’ll be back!”
This past year, as Miss Ohio Pre-TeenSM 2012, has allowed me to share my excitement and love for NAM! NAM has helped me grow to become a responsible citizen. It has helped me build self-confidence, poise, character and my public speaking skills. These are qualities that I apply in my every day life. NAM has given me the foundation and opportunities to go out and make a difference in the world. I have participated in many parades, promoted various fund raisers such as the Sam Szabo Foundation, taught cheerleading to special needs children, and did activities with the patients staying at the Ronald McDonald House.
Giving back to NAM was also a priority for me. I met many of the next generation of NAM participants by appearing as visiting royalty at other state pageants, as well as by helping out at open call and training sessions. Representing NAM has allowed me to meet so many new people! I will always remember what a wonderful experience this year has been!
For those that are competing this weekend, I want to wish you the best of luck during your state pageant. You have worked very hard to get here and now is your time to shine! Being a part of NAM will change your life for the better! The weekend goes by very fast, so remember to enjoy it and take home with you the magnificent life lessons and memories you will cherish forever!
I cannot believe that is has been one year since I was crowned Miss Ohio Junior. Pre-Teen SM! It has been an amazing year full of unforgettable experiences that will last a life time. In the past year I have been lucky enough to be in numerous parades including the Cincinnati Reds Opening Day Parade, help at my local food pantry, help the Matt Light Foundation, judge at some local festivals, and present some video clips at the Dayton Dragons baseball games.
In November, I had the honor of representing the great state of Ohio at the NAM Nationals in California! It was an experience that I will never forget. From my first airplane ride to our trip to Disneyland. It was Amazing! Most importantly I will never forget the wonderful most amazing friends I have made on this journey.
All of my most amazing times this year have been because of NAM. I now know what Walt Disney meant by “All of your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.” I have learned more than anything this year that if you have the determination and willingness to make things happen you can.
Of course I realize that more than anything I could not have done any of this without the love and support of my family. To my mom and dad thank you so much for allowing me to have this most wonderful and irreplaceable year. To my Mimi and Pappy I love you with all of my heart and thank you Mimi for being the world’s best seamstress! Last but not least to my wonderful Grandma and Grandpa thank you so much for being there every step of the way. You all mean the world to me.
To my successor: Remember make the most of it. It is your year. Have fun. It goes by way to quick! Use this opportunity to leave your mark upon the world.
To all of the contestants: Remember you are a girl with Dreams! Make those dreams happen. Even if you don’t bring home the crown you are beautiful person inside and out. Continue to make your mark and make it last.