I remember before we went to the pageant saying the “Pageant Prayer” with my grandmother. We wished the best of luck to all the contestants and she reminded me “Bella if you don’t win, remember, you are a winner anyway”. As I stood on the top 15, I remember being tired and excited at the same time. The Emcee took her time announcing all the winners, but when she said “and your new National American Miss New York is (long pause) Izabella Paredes! I remember seeing my mother jump up and down in excitement, my grandparents screaming, my brother, my aunt everyone in the crowd clapping … Yes! I did it! I won my first pageant! I was just standing tall, and smiling, I started to cry when I saw my mother on stage with me, and of course, with tears in my eyes I took pictures.
As my year started as your new NAM NY Princess, I started to connect with my sister queens, and their families. My most pleasing experience was collecting clothes and foods for those in need. I loved taking all the items to church, and the best one was when I got to meet the families that received the items. I continued to do volunteer work throughout my community. One of my best memory was volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House where my sister queens and I made breakfast for the families.
We arrived in California to compete in Nationals, on November 21st, it was on the day of my birthday! It was the best gift a girl of my age could ever receive. I met with so many beautiful State Queens! I connected especially with NAM NJ & NAM FL, we laughed together, played together it was seven days of true fun! Spending Thanksgiving with my NAMily was when I then understood that I was very lucky to be part of NAM.
Thank you, Mr. & Mrs. Mayes for allowing me to represent your organization. To the fabulous staff “thank you” for your guidance and patience. To my family “thank you” for not complaining when we had to be volunteering at the break of dawn.
To my sister queens, I cannot thank you enough for the fun memories we shared, and to the new NAM princess remember to always smile and do everything with a loving heart You are the best because you are worth it.
Miss New York Princess