Friday, July 15, 2016

Featuring Miss Ohio Pre-Teen Cover Girl and National Cover Girl Lily Middendorf!

For the last time, I am your National American Miss Ohio pre-teen Cover Girl 2015 Lily Middendorf.
I can not believe that it has been a year sense being crowned Ohio's cover girl in Columbus, Ohio.
This past year has been filled with so many wonderful experiences,Inspiring people and quality Namily time with my sister queens. After I was crowned. i got to go to the Florida NAM pageant as visiting royalty and made a lot of friends who I later got to see and spend time with at Nationals in California. There I was crowned Your 2015-16 National Pre-teen Cover Girl. I had the time of my life. Hollywood, Disneyland and more Namily! National American Miss has opened doors for me and helped make me a better person. I have tried to make a difference and a lasting impression on others through community service working over 300 hours with Matthew 25 Ministries disaster relief. Working at Ronald McDonald House, and others.I have worked with my sister queens across the country on projects to help others got to be i Cincinnati Reds opening day parade and others, received proclamations from the city of Cincinnati, St.Bernard and the United States Senate. But I am Most proud of my Namily!

To my successor: This year will change your life!There will be many opportunities come your way and you should make the most of them.Enjoy every second because this year will go fast make the most of it, have lots of fun and make as many friends as you can. Be the best you, you can be!
Welcome to the Namily!

To my family: Thank you for all your hard work and support, without you I would not be the girl you see here today. Your encouragement and love are priceless. Thank you all so much. With all my love and affection. Lily Middendorf.

Featuring Miss Ohio Marissa Lott!

10 years ago, I stepped onto the National American Miss stage as a shy Pre-Teen contestant unaware of the amazing journey I was about to embark on. I never thought the day would come when all my hard work and dedication would result in a crown and banner of my own. Year after year, I came back with a dream determined to represent my state and on my last year of competing before aging out, my dream finally became a reality.

My year as your National American Miss Ohio has been nothing short of extraordinary. The opportunity to serve my community has been such a humbling experience. Throughout my reign, I rode in many parades, made appearances at numerous festivals, took park in pet food drives, and volunteered with organizations near and dear to my heart such as the National African American Male Wellness Walk, the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K and the American Cancer Society.

Traveling cross-country to compete at the National pageant in Anaheim, California was a dream come true. Not only was I able to make new friends and be reunited with old pageant sisters, I even got to spend a day at Disneyland and walk the famous streets of Hollywood. What a blast!

To Steve & Kathleen Mayes, Mrs. Tiffany, Mrs. LaKishia and the rest of the NAM staff; thank you so much for all that you do. You all have such a passion for what National American Miss is and I, along with so many young women across the country have benefited from the dedication of this organization immensely. To my sister queens; I love you all so much and am so honored to have been able to share this year with you. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for each and every one of you. To Kim; you have always believed in me and I couldn’t thank you enough for your constant support. I love you. To my family, especially my mother; thank you for everything this past decade and never giving up on my dreams, even when things got difficult. You are the strongest pageant mom I know. Love you lots!

Over the past 10 years, National American Miss has become such an important part of my life and means so much to me. I have grown in my interview and leadership skills, gained self-esteem and perseverance, and I have learned what it means to be a confident young woman.

I can only hope that my successor has the most amazing experience being a titleholder and representing the great state of Ohio. She is going to have such an incredible year serving her community and making memories to last a lifetime. I could not be more excited for this lucky young lady. Treasure each moment because it goes by so fast. I wish you all the best.

For the last time, I am your National American Miss Ohio 2015, Marissa Lott.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Take a look at Miss Ohio Teen Taylor Thomas!

Hearing people talk about NAMily you experience the true meaning of the word when there are more tears shed by the pageant audience than that of the young lady being crowned.  That is exactly what happened to me, one year ago.

Starting at seven years old, I began competing with many of the young ladies I’m still friends with today.  Many of these remarkable young women had already won their National American Miss titles, including my little sister Haley Thomas (2010 Ohio Princess) but mine had eluded me for 9 years.   Each and every one of my pageant friends and families understands just what a NAM title means.  Last year, when I was announced as the new Ohio Teen I felt the joy and admiration not only from the girls I had been competing with year after year, but their families as well.

Taking the elation of my Ohio NAMily with me, I began to represent Ohio with good ole fashion Buckeye Pride.  Together with my sister queens we were honored at a Columbus Clippers Baseball game and spent an exciting day riding in the Cincinnati Red’s annual opening day parade together.

There have been so many photo shoots, charity events, appearances and of course there was - 
NAM Nationals.  But, the most amazing aspect of pageant life, which I adore, is the tremendous friendships that you build.  I can’t express the gratitude that I have for two amazing friends that are now  part of my life because of National American Miss – Michaela Jacobs (National American Miss Teen ) and Patricia Hyndman (Miss Indiana Teen).  

National American Miss guides and teaches us how to be contributing, dedicated and striving young women; women who will truly run the world someday.  Because of the values NAM has taught me and as an entrusted keeper of the crown, I’m proud to have begun two organizations during my reign: Pageantry Supporting Patriots and Teen Votes Matter.  Both programs teach teens how important it is to not only support our military men and women, but to make certain their voting voices are heard and counted in the next presidential election.   I’m so very happy to be a member of such a strong organization that is so promoting and uplifting of young girls across our great country.  

But, for me NAM is over, I have competed on my last National American Miss stage.  I now encourage every teen competing this weekend to set your sights beyond the crown.  Compete this weekend not to win a title, but to learn something about yourself and to build your own treasured friendships.

Good friends are like stars.  You don’t always see them, but you know they’re always there.  

To the NAM staff, my NAMily, my FAMily, my friends – thank you for allowing me to grow up under your watchful eye and to share the last ten years with you – I will forever be your 2015-2016 Ohio Teen Taylor Thomas - 
Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful
Alzheimer’s – Make it a Distant Memory

Featuring Miss Ohio Jr. Teen Natalie Kellon!

Wow, is it that time already? One year ago I was blessed to be named the new National American Miss Ohio Jr. Teen. After eight amazing summers of spending my time with National American Miss my wildest dream became true. My journey began meeting the mayor of Shaker Heights, Earl Leiken and Staff Sergeant Akins. I promised to take every step to represent the great state of Ohio and National American Miss with the utmost respect. I was given the opportunity to be a guest judge for the National Basketball Association Cleveland Cavaliers Dance Team, where I judged the contestants on interview and dance technique. Worked with Replay to reconstruct toys for children that have motor skill disabilities. And participated in the Into The Light Walk held at Cleveland Metro Park Zoo for families that lost loved ones from suicide. I am also Girl Scout troop co-leader for troop 70204. And I visited Superior Elementary School in East Cleveland, Ohio to discuss with the girls about what it means to be successful. Traveling to the Illinois and Pennsylvania pageants gave me a chance to touch the lives and hearts of girls in neighboring states and make new friends before heading off to Nationals. Nationals was a week I will never forget. From all the themed rehearsals, the disco party, Hollywood Tour, car drawing, Thanksgiving dinner, and of course Disneyland; to meeting some of the most successful girls and their families from all across our great nation, I will cherish those memories forever. I was honored to receive third runner up in runway modeling. But after nationals my reign did not stop. I assisted awesome regional coordinators at three Open calls: Independence, North Canton, and Westlake and three Training sessions held in Columbus, North Canton, and Westlake. Along with my sister queens we shared an end of the year photoshoot to show our unity in diversity. All while surviving my junior year of high school as a member of the National Honor Society, a Link Crew Leader, and athlete. To the contestants, pageant weekend will be one of the best memories of your life, so have fun and take a lot of pictures! “If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello”, with that being said, Thank you and goodbye, for the last time, I am your National American Miss Ohio Jr. Teen 2015 Natalie Kellon.

Take a look at Miss Ohio Pre-Teen Katylin Sweeney!

Dear State Finalists,

You are so lucky to be reading this letter because it means, at long last, pageant weekend is here! After weeks of preparation and hoping and dreaming, you are finally here, ready to do your best and shine at the state level. Congratulations!  

As excited as I am about this weekend, I am more excited about becoming your forever NAM sister. National American Miss teaches us many wonderful things such as having poise onstage, in front of a room full of strangers, and being able to go into a job interview and totally rock it. But the most important lesson shared by our sisterhood is the conviction that we are capable of achieving our dreams, whatever they might encompass.  We are girls who go for our goals, no dream is too big. As they say, "Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."

I am very honored and humbled to have represented this truly invincible group of young ladies this past year.  I’ve tired to use the title to connect, to learn and to represent you and NAM well.  Highlights include meeting the President of the Ohio State Senate, participating in two fashion shows, representing NAM at multiple parades, training over 400 little models to walk the runway with confidence and making some forever friends at the National Pageant in Anaheim, California! (go tri-state area!)

Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Mayes and the rest of the NAM staff for creating this pageant system which gives girls like me the self confidence to achieve our dreams. Thank you to my Mom and Dad, my biggest support system, for always being there for me when I need them and giving me the wings to fly and do the same. And finally infinite thanks to Almighty God, because without Him, none of us would be where we are today.

Much love and good luck!

Katylin Sweeney
2015 National American Miss Ohio Preteen