Sunday, July 3, 2016

Featuring Miss Florida Jessica Torricelli

Wow – I can’t believe it’s finally time for me to say goodbye to not only the Miss Florida title but also to National American Miss. My pageant journey started 8 years ago when I got a letter in the mail saying that someone recommended me for this pageant I had never heard of. In fact, I really had never heard of pageants before in my life, but I am so glad I gave it a try! I competed for the National American Miss Florida Junior Teen title that first year….and I didn’t win. It took me three state pageants to place in the top 5, but it felt amazing. Seven years went by, I continued competing and never quit, and I finally won! This past year has been amazing, from visiting Disneyland and making some amazing friends to the dance rehearsals where I learned that I absolutely couldn’t dance, I’ve loved every minute. Nationals is the best experience you could have and saying goodbye to the sister queens I had gotten so close to that week was one of the hardest parts.

I’ve volunteered countless hours with Dress For Success with my crown by my side, which has truly allowed me to show women how important it is to feel beautiful in your own skin and that you can conquer anything.

To the girls competing tonight, it’s important to remember that anything you want in life takes dedication. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t win or place in the top 5, I’ve been there, and it’s important to remember that you are beautiful, strong, caring and the crown is just the icing on the cake. You’ve put in so much work to be here, and you deserve to feel so incredibly proud.

I’ve grown monumentally throughout my journey with National American Miss. I’ve learned that I LOVE to talk for hours, how to present myself with poise and dignity and most importantly never to quit. Any of this wouldn’t have been possible without my friends and family. Alison and Leslie, thanks for making Nationals so amazing. To my best friends Emma and Julia, you always seem to have the right answer to anything, thank you for being the best wing women I could ask for. Courtlyn, I’m so glad I’ve met you; I couldn’t imagine experiencing pageants without you. You are an amazing person and I can’t wait to see what you’ll do with the National All American title.  Miss Chamanda, thank you for seeing something in me and polishing that diamond in the rough. You’ve helped me grow on and off the stage, and you’re right there to tell me when I need to take a chill pill.  Thank you for becoming part of my family. Thank you Mom and Dad for driving hours to find that perfect dress, get that extra mac n cheese before pageant finales and listening to me practice for interview and intro to no end. You’ve let me grow and experience something wonderful, and I couldn’t thank you enough for letting me compete 8 years ago, I love you.

It's Been an Awesome Year for Miss Florida Pre-Teen Georgia Head!

When I received the letter from NAM in the mail a year ago, I thought it was going to be a fun and new activity to try with my friend.  After open calls, I realized that this was going to be a learning experience too!   On the night of the finale, I was surprised yet thrilled when they called me for the semi-finalists, let alone for Miss Florida Preteen!  I remember just laughing as the queen crowned me and the banner was placed on my shoulders because I just could not believe it!

 My year has been absolutely fabulous.  I had the opportunity to meet Governor Anoatubby of the Chickasaw Nation, ride in parades, and go to Nationals in California!  Nationals was a fun filled and just plain awesome experience!  I met many new friends and learned so much.

  I enjoyed baking at the Ronald McDonald House, serving at Hands of Hope, participating in Valentine’s Day Can for a Gram, book drives, and making care packages for the homeless. I was also on student council as a class representative and joined the new Student Environmentalist Action Team. I am very happy I had the chance to be so involved in the community during my reign!

I would like to thank my family for supporting me and my NAMily, not just in Florida, but all over the country.  I couldn’t have asked for better sister queens!  Miss Lakishia and Steve and Kathleen Mayes, thank you for this amazing opportunity and experience.  To my successor, have the time of your life because it goes by fast!  Once again, I am Georgia Head, your Miss Florida Preteen 2015!

Miss New Jersey Princess had an Amazing Year Representing NAM!

Hi my name is Jessy Passantino and I am your 2015 National American Miss New Jersey Princess.  It was such an honor to represent my state this past year, I cannot believe that my time is over.
I had an amazing experience this year.  In my town I helped to collect book donations for the Jersey City Free Book Association.  Since I love pets I donated my time to the Lucky Cat Rescue in an event called Paw Fest.  During the event I helped speak to people about pet adoptions and even helped sell some of the amazing art donated by the local grammar school.  I had the honor to meet a   Senator from my home state.
My family and I along with some of my sister queens participated in the Susan Komen walk for Breast Cancer at Great Adventure.
Before nationals I met an amazing person named Michael Yun, he became a big fan and supporter of me.  He and some of the Jersey City Council Members presented me with a Resolution for my accomplishments in the pageant.  Getting ready for nationals was a fun and crazy time for both me and my mom.  I was so nervous traveling to California. Nationals was like nothing I had ever experienced.  We had a great 70’s party and danced the night away.  I was so proud of myself in my first national pageant, I placed in the top ten for the pageant and 4th for talent.   
When I came back it was time to work.  I helped give out toys at Christmas time to children in my city.  It was such a great time to meet kids and see the excitement on their faces when they picked out a toy.
My family and I participated in a 5 mile Walk to Cure Lupus.  There were so many people who came to show support. My sister Destiny and I took pictures with the New York Jets Cheerleaders and Jets Quarterback, Geno Smith.  It was a great time and we helped to raise awareness of this disease.  My sister and I were proud to dedicate our walk to our Tio Carlos who suffers from the disease. 
I really love reading so my sister and I were able to read books to the residents of Bayshore Nursing Home.  The staff there was so great they gave us both the chance to see what we would look like dressed up as a doctors.

The best part of being in NAM is meeting my sister queens. 
To my sister queens never stop smiling.  To my mom, thank you for everything that you do for me.  You are the best and I could not do it without you.  To my dad, thank you for being there and for your support.  To my big sister Destiny I love you and thank you for keeping me motivated, you are best sister ever.
To NAM I want to thank you for letting us follow our dreams and teaching us that anything is possible.
To my successor, congratulations, remember to have fun and never forget to be the best person that you can be. 
For me, this was the best experience ever.  Until later on when I am in the spotlight as a famous scientist, I am and always will be Jessy Passantino, your 2015 New Jersey Princess.