My name is Sophia Takla and I am a 7th grader at West Sylvan Middle School in Portland, Oregon. I live with my mother, father, two big brothers, two dogs and my Betta fish. I love school, especially Math and English and hope to continue my 4.0 GPA all the way through high school. I have been a competitive dancer since age 5, but have switched my focus to include acting and voice. I am passionate about musical theater and plan on attending Julliard someday. When my cousin Tristan passed away from cancer at age 8 I started my own foundation, Tristan’s Treats, to raise money and toys for sick children through The Children’s Cancer Association and Sparrow Clubs USA.
NAM: How did you get involved with National American Miss?
Sophia: When I was 8 I was in dance and I had made up my own tap solo. The dance competition my company was going to perform at was canceled, so, eager for a place to perform it, my mom looked up natural pageants on the computer and it came up with NAM! I’ve done it ever since.
NAM: How did you prepare for the National Pageant?
Sophia: To prepare for the National pageant I started practicing really early so could feel really confident in all of my competitions. My mom and I also started looking for the perfect wardrobe early too, so I could look and feel my best.
NAM: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Sophia: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again! I am a good example of that. This was my third time trying to win a NAM National title. The third time was the charm for me!
NAM: What quote, motto, or scripture best describes you?
Sophia: “The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win.” Just wanting to win isn’t enough. There is a reason people are successful. Just because you want to be successful doesn’t mean you will be. Successful people work hard preparing, learning and training before the success comes. You also have to be determined to keep trying even when things don’t go your way the first time.
NAM: What are your plans for the future?
Sophia: In the future I dream of attending Julliard and to have a successful career on Broadway. My ultimate goal is to perform as Galinda in my favorite musical, Wicked.
The Crowning Moment!
NAM: What activities are you involved in?
Sophia: I’m in my school’s drama club and I am member of a local children’s theater company as well as taking advanced acting classes. I take voice lessons and have danced just about every form of dance for the past eight years. I’m focusing on tap currently. I’ve been a Jr. Blazer Dancer for two years for the NBA basketball team, the Portland Trail Blazers, danced in the Disneyland Christmas Day Parade and on TLC’s Little People Big World. My time has recently been taken up by playing Ariel in my school’s production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”.
NAM: What do you like to do for fun?
Sophia: I love to watch old classic movies and musicals with my grandma, especially because I love singing and dancing myself. My favorites are old movies with Fred Astaire, my role model in tap.
NAM: What is one item you can’t live without?
Sophia: In this case it’s actually two items I can’t live without. My two Bichon Frise puppies, Coconut and Einstein. I love them so much!
NAM: Who is your role model?
Sophia: My role model is mom because she has so many wonderful qualities and is such a caring, loving and giving mother who would do anything for me. She is also so kind to everyone, I want to be just like her.
NAM: What is your favorite TV show?
Sophia: I really like The Voice because it’s amazing to see how incredibly talented the contestants are and to listen to them sing.
Making a difference!
NAM: What is the biggest misconception about your generation?
Sophia: That kids my age can’t live without social media.
NAM: If you had three wishes what would you wish for?
Sophia:I would wish for no crime, for it to snow and more wishes!
NAM: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
Sophia: Paris! My father’s side of the family is French and I could meet all my Aunts, Uncles and Cousins! Plus,I could see all the wonderful things I have heard about! I’d love to see the Eiffel Tower, try some delicious food and loose myself in all the art museums.
NAM: What is your definition of a NAM girl?
Sophia: A NAM girl is kind and gracious to others, devoted and giving to people in need, growing confidence, working hard and striving to achieve her goals. A NAM girl is one who is learning everyday and blossoms through National American Miss.
NAM:If you could be on the cover of any Magazine what would it be?
Sophia: I would be on the cover of NAM’s magazine, because all of the years that I’ve done NAM, I have always looked up to those girls, thinking, “They are National Royalty! “ It inspired me and now that I am a National Queen I want to inspire other girls too.
Winning the National Actress title at the national pageant!
NAM: If you were stranded on a deserted island what three things could you not live without?
Sophia: A good book, a hairbrush and food.
NAM: What is your most prized possession?
Sophia: My most prized possessions are my stuffed turtles Snappy and Snappy Jr. that I’ve had since I was 5. I got them when I was in Hawaii with my family. We went into a gift shop one day that had a huge mound of stuffed turtles; they all looked the same, but were all different sizes! Naturally, being my age, I wanted the biggest one, but my dad let me buy one of the smaller ones. I named him Snappy. Little did I know, that night, my dad walked all the way back to the gift shop, bought the big turtle, stuffed it into our suitcase, and gave it to me for Christmas! Then he was Snappy, and the other little turtle was Snappy Jr.
NAM: How would your friends describe you?
Sophia: Helpful, kind to everyone and hardworking.
NAM: How are you making a difference in your community?
Sophia: Over the past eight years I’ve volunteered a lot for organizations benefitting kids with cancer and/or terminal illnesses. I’ve sold goodies and candies, spoken at many auctions, been a spokesperson for a kids charity called Sparrow Clubs USA and I’ve organized toy drives and fund raisers for The Children’s Cancer Association. I’ve even just been asked to be on their teen advisory committee!
NAM: What is your favorite childhood memory?
Sophia: When I was five, my brothers and I were going to spend the weekend with our grandparents. They picked us up from our house and were driving away when my grandfather said that he needed to return something to my dad so he drove us back home. When we went back into our house my parents were waiting dressed all in Disney gear, suitcases packed, and holding tickets to Disneyland!!!!! Our grandparents actually drove us to the airport!
Starring as Ariel in "The Little Mermaid"!
NAM: If you could go back in time and meet one person, who would it be and why?
Sophia: I would like to go back in time to meet Fred Astaire, because he is such an incredible tap dancer, my tap role model and it would be amazing to see him film one of his movies.
NAM: If you could be famous for something, what would you want to be famous for?
Sophia: I would be famous for playing the role of Galinda in Wicked on Broadway!
NAM: What is your favorite book and why?
Sophia: The Harry Potter Book Series is my favore. It is fun to read because it is all about magic . I also like how J.K. Rowling isn’t limited to ideas she wrote in earlier books because she can get away with changing anything in later books since everything is magic. In Harry’s world anything is possible.
NAM: Where is your favorite place to shop?
Sophia: I don’t have much time to go shopping, but when I do, I spend it all at the bookstore! So many books! So little time!
NAM: Who is the most influential person in the world right now?
Sophia: I think the most influential people in the world are our parents, because they teach us all about life, and as a child many of our opinions are influenced by what they say or teach us is right or wrong.
NAM:Who or what inspires you most?
Sophia: Kristen Chenowith. Her musical ability, acting talent and career on Broadway is very inspiring to me.
NAM: What have you learned about yourself since competing in pageants?
Sophia: I’ve learned so much about myself since competing in pageants, but the most important thing is is that I can do anything I put my mind to!
NAM: What is your definition of success?
Sophia: Success is when you’ve done your very best.
NAM: What advice do you have for future NAM girls?
Sophia: When practicing and looking for your wardrobe, chose and make decisions that will make you feel good and confident about yourself, not what you think the judges will want to hear or see. Also, relax and have fun on pageant weekend! One of the best parts about NAM is meeting new lifelong friends, having fun and becoming more confident in the amazing girl you are! I find I usually do my best when I’m having fun! Always remember too, that you a winner for participating! There isn’t one “winner”, there is one representative from a group of winners.
NAM: What things do you hope to accomplish during your year of service?
Sophia: I hope to really make an impact in my community by doing lot’s of volunteer service, and encourage lot’s of girls to try out NAM! I also hope that I can change the view of pageantry for every person I encounter with my title this year. Hopefully , you’ll see me at lots of the state pageants too! It’s a goal of mine to visit as many as I can, and encourage lots of girls to come to nationals!
Interview Competition at nationals!
NAM: What would you like to be doing 10 years from now?
Sophia: In ten years I dream I’ll have just graduated from Julliard, and be auditioning for my first Broadway role In New York.
NAM: If someone could live your life for a week, what would they find most interesting?
Sophia: How much I love to read! And the amount of time I read every day once homework is done.
NAM: What is the best compliment you have ever received?
Sophia: Winning Miss Personality this year at the national pageant was the best compliment to me because it was voted on by all the girls in the pageant. I loved meeting each and every girl and hope that by being kind to others inspires other to be kind too.
Sophia Takla The 2013-2014 National All-American Miss Pre-Teen!