We are so proud of Miss Florida Jr. Teen!

Dear State Finalists and Families,
Congratulations on becoming a North Florida State Finalist! This is an honor you will carry with you, your entire life. This weekend will be one of the most fun and exciting weekends of your life. 
Through my year as Miss Florida Junior Teen, I have met many lifelong friends and made many unforgettable memories. As my journey began, I met many of my fellow sister queens and immediately felt welcomed by the entire NAM staff. Spending time as visiting royalty at other pageants and at nationals with my sisters made a bond that will never be broken. 
Nationals was definitely one of the most fun experiences during my reign. This is when all of your sister queens are in one place and you have time to bond. I got to experience Disneyland with all of my new friends and also had a fun photoshoot at the castle. Then I spent time with my family on the Hollywood tour. A very important aspect of your nationals experience is to become closer with your family members. They are there to support you and be 
there for you when you get stressed. My mom was definitely my biggest cheerleader during that week, and I could not have made it through the week without her. It is so exciting to spend Thanksgiving at Nationals. I was surrounded with new friends and family who were there for me. During the Thanksgiving dinner my grandparents were honored as being the couple who had been married the longest. That was such an amazing moment to spend with my family there. At the end of nationals I was blessed to have made top 10 in the nation. When I was called for top 10, Rayvon Owen escorted and sang to each of us as we walked back onto the stage. A couple months later Rayvon came in 4th place on the popular television show American Idol. I will carry these amazing experiences with me for the rest of my life.
The most rewarding part of my reign was definitely my service works. I was blessed with the opportunity to read to The Trinity Rescue Mission children every other week. They named this time with the kids “Reading with the Queen.” However through this, I had the time to get to know some of the children, and spend time listening to them about their lives. When I first began volunteering there, I thought I was going to be giving them happiness, and that I would brighten their days a little. Although the children were always excited to see me, I definitely got more out of it than what I gave. The kid’s smiling faces always made my days better than what they were before. If I was having a rough day before I went to go see them, my day became more worth-while. Another one of my favorite events was when I participated in the Take Steps for 
Crohn’s and Colitis walk. My next door neighbor was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, and I had the opportunity to walk with her in this walk. She was able to raise her goal amount, which will 
go toward paying for some of her hospital bills.
Through my experiences with NAM, I gained newfound confidence. It gave me better speaking skills, interview skills, and taught me how to keep my poise in scary situations (like 
speaking in front of people). This confidence definitely helped me when I went to a new school last year. I am so thankful for the opportunity NAM gave to my family and me. 
I am so excited for you and your family’s weekend to begin. Through this I hope you make as many new friends as possible, become closer with your family, and gain confidence in the 
beautiful girl you are! Be sure to compete this weekend with honor and grace. You deserve the best weekend possible and I hope you strive to accomplish all of your goals for this year. 

Best of wishes to you and your family!
2014 NAM Miss Florida Junior Teen
Erika Stallings


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