Friday, November 7, 2014

NAM Tips from Former Two Time National Winner Olivia Henken!

Tips From Olivia:

Hey ladies!! Welcome to Nationals! Seems like just yesterday I was in your shoes preparing for the most exciting week of my life! I was so blessed to be able to compete at the National level of National American Miss twice and those are cherished moments I won’t soon forget. If I could give you any advice, most importantly, BE YOURSELF. The judges on the state level already fell in love with the girl you are, show the National judges what lies within that beautiful shell. Second, always remember to have a smile on your face. You never know who’s watching; It could be a judge or a Princess contestant longing to be you one day. Wearing a National American Miss crown and sash is a honor and you are now a role model for so many girls you may not even know are looking. Lastly, HAVE FUN! The staff at National American Miss provide you with so many fun activities and a platform to meet so many wonderful new friends from across the country. I still keep in touch with many of those girls today, some are my best friends. You will have an incredible experience if you open up, be yourself and have fun! Good luck!

Olivia is a two time former NAM National winner! 

Olivia during her days as The 2007-2008 National American Miss Teen! 

Where Is She Now?

National American Miss has been an incredible stepping stone to so many wonderful things in my life. Since passing my last title over in 2008, I have been very busy expanding my scholastic and music careers. In 2010, I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Management with minors in Marketing and Communications from the University of Louisville. Most significantly, I was on Season 5 of NBC’s hit TV show, “The Voice” where I placed in the Top 20 as a member of Christina Aguilera’s team. I know my placement wasn’t without the help of many of my National American Miss family, both old and new. If you voted in any way, downloaded my songs on iTunes, called, sent texts, emails, from the bottom of my heart...THANK YOU! You have helped make one of my biggest dreams come true. It was an incredible experience and I wouldn’t have made it there without your support. As of now, I have moved to Nashville, TN to continue making strides towards my ultimate goal, “Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year” (which was included in every personal introduction for my competition days!) You can now download my new EP, “Set It On Fire” on iTunes, which I recorded in Nashville in May 2014.

Olivia on THE VOICE! 

Keep your eyes and ears opened for this amazing artist!
You can keep up with Olivia on her official website:

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Top Tips to ROCK NAM Nationals!

Former NAM National Winner, Hoang-Kim Cung shares her tops tips to prepare for The NAM National Pageant! Hoang-Kim is a former Miss Texas Jr. Teen, National American Miss Texas and The 2012-2013 National American Miss!

1. Visualization 
Your mind is the most powerful thing you own, use it to your advantage and be positive! Visualize yourself going through each and every phase of competition, including your formal wear, personal introduction and interview. You can even envision the moments backstage before and after too! This way when you are in the moment you'll feel extra prepared. Your body can go on "auto-pilot" and you can truly enjoy the moment without worrying about competing. I learned the true power of visualization from my figure skating days and it has served me so well in life. 

2. Be Zen
It sounds crazy because your heart will most likely feel like it's going to explode out of your chest, but before you step onstage, try and be as calm as possible. I like to close my eyes and take 10 slow, deep breaths. Really focus on your breathing and being present. This will not only allow you to have a more poised persona, but be in control and not let your nerves get the best of you. You want your hard work to show through, not your jitters!

3. Take Care of Yourself
You can't compete at your best if you don't feel your best. Make sure to drink plenty of water and get as much sleep as possible (don't keep scrolling through instagram at night before bed!) so you're ready to take on the next day! Eating breakfast is key to making sure you start your day off right! If you can't eat lunch or dinner when you're super hungry, have healthy snacks including fresh fruit, granola or almonds to munch on and keep you going until you can get a proper meal. 

Last, but not least, enjoy the moment! It'll only come once!

Hoang-Kim Cung  2012-2013 National American Miss 

Where She Is Now
Hoang-Kim is loving her job as a reporter and fill-in anchor at NBC Nebraska. She has covered big topics in the area including the midterm election and Grand Island school-bond issue along with breaking news including the twin tornadoes touching down in Pilger. You can catch Hoang-Kim anchoring the morning, midday and 5 pm shows occasionally as a fill-in anchor. 
Outside the newsroom, Hoang-Kim expresses her creativity through her fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog, 
Hoang-Kim continues to extensively work with her own 501(c)(3), which gives South Vietnamese Veterans living in extreme poverty in Communist Vietnam micro investments to start a new and improved life. This year, she is working to expand her nonprofit and donate money to Vietnam Vets in the U.S. 

Hoang-Kim inside the news room! 

Walking that national stage! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Get Ready for NAM Nationals 2014 with Tips from NAM Alumni!

Former National American Miss Rachel Landes gives her Top 3 Tips to get ready for NAM Nationals! 

Focus on what you can can control in the moment.--The only person and performance you can control is yourself. Focus your energy on preparing yourself so you can be your best self, not worrying about how other girls are performing.

Shake it out.--Before I would step on stage, whether it was for Personal Introduction, Formal Wear or the Opening Number, I would always shake my hands out while counting an eight-beat or two. It's a great way to focus your mind and literally shake out any last-minute nerves!

Positive affirmation.--Think of a quick, positive, upbeat positive affirmation to say in your head as you take a deep breath before stepping on stage. This always helped me be in the moment and crack an extra big smile.

Where is she now:

Rachel graduated from Drake University in 2013 with my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with majors in Magazine Journalism and Marketing. She is currently living in Des Moines, Iowa working as a Project Manager for Wells Fargo, and  stays busy attending grad school by night pursuing her Masters of Strategic Communication. Rachel spent last summer traveling with NAM Team Maples as an Emcee/Choreographer and loved every Nam-tastic minute! In her free time, she enjoys cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals, cooking dinner with her boyfriend, and hanging out with her friends,some of whom live in the apartment just down the hall, so we joke we're the modern day version of "Friends." 

Rachel during her year of service as The 2011-2012 National American Miss!