NAM: Tell us about yourself:
Shayla: I’m Shayla Montgomery your 2015-2016 National American Miss Pre-Teen. I turn 14 next month. I LOVE pancakes and NAM. If you brought me a pancake in the shape of NAM I’d be your best friend forever :D
NAM: What activities are you involved in?
Shayla: Volunteering in my community, volleyball, a representative of an amazing organization called Continue to Find Kindness and my church group
NAM: What are your plans for the future?
Shayla: I’d like to major in psychology and have my own business in NYC. One of my dreams is also to be Miss America.
NAM: How would your friends describe you?
Shayla: My friend, Alvina recently said that I am super nice, funny and huggable.
NAM: What moto or quote best describes you?
Shayla: Kind words are short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless
NAM: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Shayla: Keep God 1st, love myself and to stand up for what is right even if I stand alone
NAM: How did you prepare for the NAM National pageant?
Shayla: I worked HARD to achieve my goals. I spent countless hours practicing with my daddy over the past few months, 5 sessions with Andrea Walters, and about 12 sessions with Greg Solomon. The key is to have passion and never stop being yourself!
NAM: Where is your favorite place to shop?
Shayla: I love shopping at Forever 21 because they have preppy clothes and I feel glamourous wearing them.
NAM: How have pageants shaped your life?
Shayla: My confidence has really changed. I use to be shy and now I am outgoing. My mom always has said you can do anything you put your mind to and I believe it now.
NAM: What is your most prized possession?
Shayla: My dog Ginger! She always makes me smile and loves to cuddle with me
NAM: What is your favorite movie?
Shayla: I don’t have a favorite. However, if I had to choose one it would be the Little Mermaid. I have loved it since I was a little girl. I use to think that I was a mermaid. My Papa would always say I was a fish out of water.
NAM: What is your favorite TV show?
Shayla: Glee - I love the story and the voices are beautiful
NAM: What is your favorite book?
Shayla: Wander – It’s about a boy who was bullied due to his “differences” he had a “face deformation” that he overcame and people accepted him for who he was
NAM: What advice do you have for future NAM girls?
Shayla: Always be yourself. If you don’t win the 1st time try again. Work hard throughout the year so you can go into your state competition being the best you can be while having fun and making friends
NAM: If you could be famous for anything what would it be?
Shayla: Inventing a tool to make humans fly
NAM: What is your dream job?
Shayla: My goal is to be a psychologist so I can help children and teens. I believe we can change our world one young person at a time.
NAM: How do you plan to use your title?
Shayla: I plan to spread my platform of anti-bullying with Continue to Find Kindness by traveling to schools and teaching kids how to recognize and resolve conflicts and to revolutionize kindness
NAM: How do you volunteer in your community?
Shayla: My mom instilled in me since I was 4 to give back to our community. I volunteer with Continue to Find Kindness, feed the homeless, visit elderly, and basically anywhere we find an opportunity. I believe that helping others not only benefits them it benefits yourself.
NAM: What is your most embarrassing moment?
Shayla: When I was about 10 me and my friend Olivia raced and I tried to one up her and we were running down the street without shoes on and I fell and scarped my whole face. I cried at first and then we laughed because I was being silly.
NAM: If you had three wishes what would you wish for?
1. Shayla: To keep my National title forever w/ my sister queens, End bullying across the world, and Live forever with my family with an endless supply of pancakes
NAM: What is your favorite subject in school?
Shayla: Acting because it gives me a chance to be silly and do a variety of characters
NAM: What is your biggest fear?
Shayla: Spiders & Tsunamis
NAM: What is the biggest misconception about your generation?
Shayla: We are amazing people yet many cover it up with a mask
NAM: Who is your role model?
Shayla: My daddy. He pushes me to do amazing things in life and we have lots of fun together. I am the biggest daddy’s girl ever!
NAM: If you could go back in time to any historical event what would it be?
I would go back to Martin Luther King Jr’s I have a dream speech.
NAM: Who is the most influential person in the world?
Shayla: I feel Camila Cabello because she dreamed of singing since she was little and decided to pursue her dream when she was 16 and now she has a gold, platinum and silver album with Fifth Harmony
NAM: If you could have dinner with anyone who would it be?
Shayla: Fifth Harmony. It’s my dream to meet them. I’ve been a fan since X Factor and one of Camila since she was on YouTube.
NAM: What is your favorite part about National American Miss?
Shayla: The amazing staff and the contestants.
NAM: How did you get started with NAM? How long have you been involved in pageants?
Shayla: I received a postcard in the mail in 2014 and decided to try NAM. May 2014 was my first pageant ever and I am so glad it was with National American Miss!
NAM: What is your definition of a NAM girl?
Shayla: A person whose kind to everybody, a person who believes beauty isn’t just on the outside, someone who is confident in herself and who believes in service to others
NAM: What do you like to do to have fun?
Shayla: Volleyball, modeling, art, photography, music and of course what girl doesn’t love to shop
NAM: What makes your state unique?
Shayla: My state is green. We care about the environment and are big on recycling and bicycling.
NAM: What is your favorite food?
IShayla: love pancakes and Caesar salad
NAM: What makes you laugh?
Shayla: One of my really good friends, Shyrel. Even hearing her name makes me smile.
NAM: What was your first thought you had when you captured your national title?
Shayla: I did it! All my hard work paid off!
NAM: People would be surprised to know what about you?
IShayla: can type with my toes