Friday, April 4, 2014

NAM Girl Walks The Runway in AmericanGirl Fashion Show!



Lauren Sturgill, this year’s National PreTeen Top Model winner, was able to put her modeling skills she’s learned through the NAM program to great use last week.  She was cast as the AmericanGirl  “Julie” character in an AmericanGirl benefit fashion show! Not only did she take the runway by storm, but Lauren put her modeling skills to good use! She helped raise over $100,000 for Seattle Children’s Hospital!
The event was a family affair, Lauren's big sister Hailey was also there to greet all of the guest. Hailey was Miss Washington PreTeen 2008 and Miss Washtion Jr. Teen 2012. Hailey currently holds the title of Miss Seattle's Outstanding Teen. 

Lauren walking the catwalk!
Lauren and her big sister Hailey!
Lauren Sturgill The 2013-2014 National American Miss PreTeen Top Model Winner!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Meet The 2013-2014 National American Miss Teen Rachel Major!


My name is Rachel Major, I am 17 years old and currently a senior at Portage High School in Indiana. I love to play softball, spend as much time as I can with my friends and family as they are very important to me, and in my spare time curl up on the couch and watch some TLC. I am excited to graduate from high school this spring and in the fall attend Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis and earn a business degree to eventually have my own business as an event planner. 
NAM: How did you get involved in National American Miss?
Rachel: I have competed in National American Miss since its beginning in 2003.  My mom wanted me to be an outgoing child rather than shy, so when she received a flyer in the mail from a similar pageant in 2001 that was run by Steve and Kathleen Mayes and she signed me up. I had the time of my life and was honored to have placed 1st runner up so I went back the next year.  In 2003 the Steve and Kathleen Mayes contacted us with the news that they were  starting National American Miss started so I decided I was going to stay with my state directors and switch over to NAM.
NAM: How did you prepare for the National Pageant?
Rachel: An enormous amount of practice and preparation went into getting ready for the national pageant. I started out by lengthening and memorizing my personal introduction.  I also spent a lot if time choosing the perfect dress that made me feel amazing.  I practiced interview questions every week and even caught myself answering questions and running my introduction in my head during the school day.  You can never be too prepared.
NAM: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Rachel: A lot of people hear the words "never give up" through their lives and that was something that stuck with me. No matter what your dream is, never give up!  Participating in pageants from 2001 to 2013 and placing in the top 5 year after year is such an accomplishment, yet it can be disappointing to work so hard and be in the same position as all of the previous years. Between 2012 and 2013 something in me clicked and winning my state pageant was the only thing on my mind, I worked that entire year to improve from the year before, and it paid off!  Never had I worked so hard for something and never had I appreciated something I had accomplished so much! I cannot imagine where I would be today if I would have given up and not worked for what I wanted.

NAMWhat are your plans for the future?
Rachel: In the future I plan to attend (IUPUI) Indiana University/Purdue University in Indianapolis.  My goal is to earn my business degree and eventually open up my own event planning business hopefully in New York City or Los Angeles.



NAM: What activities are you involved in?
Rachel: I enjoy and have enjoyed playing softball for 12 years now.  I am also involved in National Honor Society at my high school. I absolutely love giving back and volunteering in my community.  One of my favorite organizations is the Hoosier Burn Camp and I am honored to to help them raise much needed funds and supplies for their annual summer camp for child burn victims.
NAM: What do you like to do for fun?
Rachel: For fun, I love to just spend time with my family and friends, whether it be watching movies, or having a family game night. I also love to go shopping and spend time pinning ideas on Pinterest for my future event planning business.
NAM: What is one item you can’t live without?
Rachel: Not so much an item, but something that I cannot live without are my brother and sister. They are four year old twins and my only siblings. I love them so much and I do not know what I am going to do when I leave for college in the fall! That will be one of the hardest things I will do!
NAM: Who is your rolemodel?
Rachel: My role model is my mom, she is the strongest, most caring person I know. She has shaped me into the person I am today and I would be completely lost without her! We are so close and she is my very best friend. I know that I can trust her with anything and no matter what she will be on my side. I hope to someday be at least half the person she is!
NAM: What is your favorite TV show?
Rachel: When I have the chance to watch some TV my favorite show to watch is Say Yes to the Dress! It is something my best friend and I watch every Friday night on bride day Friday.
Walking the national stage!

NAM: What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you?
Rachel: The funniest thing that has ever happened to me was probably when I was in 7th grade during lunch, I was taking my lunch upstairs to get some extra help from my math teacher and on my way up the stairs with my tray of food, I tripped and fell. But that wasn't the embarrassing part, everyone was eating in the cafeteria so no one saw me fall, what was embarrassing was after lunch as I was walking up the stairs with my friends they were laughing because there was corn all over the stairs that hadn't gotten cleaned up and my face got so red and they asked what happened so I had to tell them the truth!

NAM: If you had three wishes what would you wish for?
Rachel: If I were to have three wishes, my first wish would be to have an unlimited supply of food, not just for me although I do love food, but throughout the entire world.  I cannot even imagine what people go through that don't have food. My second wish would be for everyone to have a supportive group of friends/family surrounding them, family is so important to me and to see that some people in this world have no one to count on, or talk to, or trust is so upsetting. My last wish would be for my closet to be endless, I would love to just see an outfit and have it appear in my closet, it would save me a lot of money and I'd always be dressed my best!
NAM: If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
Rachel: If I were able to go anywhere in the world, I would love to go to Europe! There is so much to see there and so many beautiful things! I would love to go to Paris and see the Eiffel Tower, or go to Rome and make a wish in the Trevi Fountain. It would be amazing I think to go and see other cultures.
NAM: What is your definition of a NAM girl?
Rachel: A NAM girl is a girl with dreams. She is someone who aspires to be outstanding.  She WILL be someone someday. She works for what she believes in, she helps others and she is herself! A NAM girl is a girl who does not try to be someone they are not,they are who they are and they are proud of that!
NAM: If you could be on the cover of any Magazine what would it be?
Rachel: If I could be on the cover of any magazine, I think I would want to be on the cover of Seventeen, not only for the fact that I am seventeen myself, but I believe that Seventeen portrays a very good image of seventeen year olds having fun. It shows the latest fashions and trends, what the new hair and makeup styles are and just about being a girl. I also am a very girly girl and I think that Seventeen Magazine is a very girly magazine.
Disney Land with Indiana Sister Queens! 

NAM: If you were stranded on a deserted island what three things could you not live without?
Rachel: Being stranded on so deserted island, I would have to have my mom with me, we're like one, she goes down I go down, I go down she goes down, that would definitely be one of those times! I would also have to have a blanket, it would be a piece of home that I had with me and then I could wrap myself up in it if I ever got chilly! The last thing I would have to have would be my phone, now I know I wouldn't have any service, I would need it simply for the purpose of music! I absolutely love music and would probably go crazy without it.

 NAM: What is your most prized possession?
Rachel: My most prized possession would have to be my Indiana state banner, most people would think my national banner, and yes it's an amazing opportunity that I've been blessed with, but my Indiana banner has a special place in my heart because of how long it took me to finally have the chance to represent Indiana
NAM: How would your friends describe you?
Rachel: My friends would describe me as always trustworthy, honest and someone who always looks at the positive rather than the negative in things.
  NAM: How are you making a difference in your community?
Rachel: Volunteering in my community is such an important part in my life.  Whenever there is something to volunteer for I am all over it! I am also a self esteem advocate for the United Way, teaching children and teens that people will love you the way you are, be confident in yourself and never change for anyone.
 NAM: What is your favorite childhood memory? 
Rachel: A childhood memory of mine is spending time with my grandma. She was someone who would play anything I asked her and would do anything to make me happy. She was such a kindhearted woman who put everyone else before her. I loved just spending time with her at her house.
 Volunteering! 
NAM: If you could go back in time and be at any historical event what would it be?
Rachel: If I were able to back back and meet someone I would want to meet my great grandpa Bobby.  My great grandma lived to be 95 years old and she told me stories about him all the time. I also heard stories from my mom about how he could just brighten up a room by walking in and what a great guy he was.
 NAM: If you could be famous for something, what would you want to be famous for?
Rachel: I am not sure what I would want to be famous for.  I do know that I would want to be famous for something positive, and I would want my fame to have a positive impact on others.
 NAM: What is your favorite book? and why?
Rachel: My favorite book is Heartbeat, it is about a boy in high school who is a runner, but his mother gets sick and he stops running.  His friend talks him into running a race after he has taken over a year off. As he runs in that race he remembered why he loved to run so much and it's was because it was just his way of a stress reliever and his time to himself. I think that book is a good message that no matter what is happening in your life, you need to take time to yourself and it is not a selfish thing, it is just a way of life and sometimes people need to be alone and relieve some stress and just relax.
 NAM: Where is your favorite place to shop?
Rachel: My absolute favorite place to shop is forever 21! You never know what you are going to find there and most of the time you can find things that aren't too expensive. It's also a clothes store, shoe store, jewelry store, and accessories store!
NAM: Who or what inspires you most?
Rachel: Other than my mom inspiring me everyday, a great family friend of mine, Ashley Swathwood inspires me to be who I am and do what I love! She inspires me to be the best person I can be and to reach for the stars. Ashley inspires me with pageantry, college, my career, and most importantly what it is like to be a terrific daughter, wife, mother, and friend!
Sister Queens! 
NAM: What have you learned about yourself since competing in pageants?
Rachel: I have learned to be confident in myself, and to never let anyone bring me down. I've also learned to never be anyone but myself, when meeting for the first time, people are wanting to meet me, not someone who I think they want to meet. I believe that I am a lot more capable of being out in the real world because of the skills National American Miss has taught me.
 NAM: What is your definition of success?
Rachel: My definition of success is spending your life the way you want to, never letting anyone put you down for the things that you love, and being able to look at yourself in the mirror and be proud of who you are.
 NAM: What advice do you have for future NAM girls?
Rachel: To any future NAM girls, be you, everyone else is taken!  Always remember, no matter what it is, pageants, sports, a career, never ever give up a dream you have. You may have to work hard for it, but the harder you work the more you will appreciate it I the end when you achieve that goal of yours.
NAM: What things do you hope to accomplish during your year of service?
Rachel: To any future NAM girls, be you, everyone else is taken!  Always remember, no matter what it is, pageants, sports, a career, never ever give up a dream you have. You may have to work hard for it, but the harder you work the more you will appreciate it I the end when you achieve that goal of yours.
NAM: What would you like to be doing 10 years from now?
Rachel: Ten years from now, at the age of 27 I hope to either have my own business opened or be opening my own event planning business and be starting my life on my own with my family.
After Personal Introduction at the national pageant!  

NAM: If someone could live your life for a week, what would they find most interesting?
Rachel: I think if someone were to live my life they would find it interesting how little time I really do have. Between school and volunteering and family I rarely have time to just sit around and watch tv, if they had my life that is something they might miss, I know at times I do! They would find out how exciting and rewarding my life is though, which is pretty great!
NAM: What is the best compliment you have ever received?
Rachel: The best compliment I have ever received is probably the one I get from everyone at my school, which is "You're always smiling! Why?" I love being my happy self and always try to look at the good in things rather than the bad.  You will go much farther in life with a positive attitude.
Rachel Major The 2013-2014 National American Miss Teen! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Two former NAM winners are headed to NYU!

Two former NAM titleholders are headed to NYU! These two talented young ladies met at the NAM National Pageant back in 2008 and now they will start their freshman year together in the big apple this fall! We are so proud of Tierra and Savannah! 

Tierra Gonzalez-Hammonds is a former Miss California PreTeen and she captured the 2008-2009 National American Miss PreTeen title. She plans to study journalism at NYU!
Savannah Rae Buttram captured the title of Miss Alabama PreTeen in 2008! 

Throwback to the NAM National Pageant in 2008! This is what NAM is all about...Making friendships and going after your dreams! 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Meet The 2013-2014 National American Miss Princess Shae Smolik!



Shae Smolik is 7 years old and is from Des Moines, Iowa.  She attends a Christian school and is in second grade.  Shae comes from a family of 5 children and two yorkshire terriers!

    We got involved in NAM when a post card came to her grandma's address but addressed to Shae.  Grandma called us up and said "I don't know what this is but would Shae like to do this?"  I asked Shae what she thought about doing a pageant and she was excited to give it a try!  So we attended a open call meeting in Des Moines and she made it through as a contestant!  This was our first time either of us had done a pageant.  We went to the Iowa state pageant and much to our disbelief we won!!
    We prepared for the National pageant buy obtaining a Coach named, Michele Strom, who helped us so much!  Shae also practiced her walk, interview and monologue consistently.
    The best advice Shae has been given is to "BE YOURSELF!!"  Let your own personality shine!
    Shae plans on becoming a physician who delivers babies and an actress when she grows up but for now she enjoys: dancing, horseback riding, gymnastics, baseball and playing with her BFF's.  She also dreams of going to Hawaii so that she can learn how to surf.
    Shae's favorite TV shoes are: Shake it up, Full House and of course, SpongeBob.
    Our definition of a NAM girl is a girl who is positive, fun, outgoing, friendly, smart and a little sassy!  The best part of being a NAM Queen is when I am able to hand out trophies to all the other contestants at their state pageants!

Shae is featured in her local newspaper! 


Volunteering with her sister queens!

Having fun at the NAM 70's party!

Loving on her "big" sisters!

Working it for the camera as a model!

Volunteering at a local children's hospital. 

After winning the national title!

Shae's Headshot!

The 2013-2014 National American Miss Princess!