Thursday, July 28, 2016

Get to Know Miss Texas Pre-Teen Cover Girl Caroline Wells!

Wow, I can't believe it has been a whole year already. I feel as if just yesterday I was crowned the National American Miss Texas Cover Girl. This has been the most incredible experience of my entire life. I have had so many opportunities to learn and to serve . I have conquered my fears. I have gained courage. I have learned more than I could have ever imagined, and I have made many new friends.

National American Miss has helped me so much with the Salvation Army . Right after I was crowned I immediately raised a lot of money and awareness for the Salvation Army.  I was featured on Good Morning America.  My story was picked up in over 10 different local news stations across the country.  I have raised over $26,000 for my local Tyler Salvation  Army.  I was able to walk the  Red carpet  with Rhianna and Jim Parsons at the  movie premiere of HOME.  I was even  able to host a hometown premiere for the kids of the Salvation Army with concessions stand treats . The author of HOME Adam Rex provided autographed books for the kids .  DreamWorks hosted me on  a tour of their studios.  I even got to watch the taping of Mr. Peabody and Sherman and meet all the actors including Chris Parnell and  Max Charles.  Radio Disney invited me to visit  their studios.   I was luckily  able to  furnish two new rooms at the Salvation Army with our matching donor program.  I rode in the State Fair of Texas Parade and the Tyler Christmas parade. Woman's Day magazine featured me in the Kindness Project program.   I got to meet Senators, Congressmen and even a few Presidential hopefuls.  I had a great opportunity to visit many National Parks during the 100  year  celebration of the park system and speak to visitors about my service.  I had the opportunity to speak at my school’s chapel service and across the state with the Salvation Army.  A year ago I could not imagine speaking in front  of a crowd of 300 but I can and I did. I have continued  to do  lemonade stands, food drives, fan drives, toothbrush and toothpaste drives, diaper drives, and  videos on Instagram and Twitter.  I even got  to ring the Salvation Army bell, and so much more.
The “Golden ticket” was an  amazing chance to see sunny California and be with my NAMily . One of my favorite parts was preparing for Nationals . I must have tried on over a million dresses before determined  I found my perfect dress, which turned out to be the very first dress I tried on. I was so excited to go to Nationals I practically counted the seconds  till the flight took off . 
When our plane landed we had three huge carts to carry just my luggage. We had to be very creative with getting all of it in the rental car. I could hardly wait to get to the hotel, and when we got there you could actually see most of Disneyland out the window. Which if you love Disney like I do it's pretty amazing! 
I made so many new friends at Nationals.  I met Liliana  Torpey-Bahr just standing in line .  We  have grown to be great friends. In fact, early this year I went to Philadelphia to visit her .  
For my successor don’t miss a minute of it.  It will pass all too quickly.  Use every opportunity that  this honor gives you for the good of others.  
Now for those who have helped me along the way.  Lakishia Edwards you have been a great friend and we have shared so many great times. Thank you for coming to Tyler. To the Mayes family thank you for the fun, the friends and an amazing program to be part of.  To the Salvation Army of Tyler and Lindsey Galabeas thank you for helping me help the Army. You are a daily example of what hard work and commitment  looks like. Thank you to Sergio Armas and Terry Costa for always helping me look my best.  Finally to my parents thank  you for teaching me  about the love of God and how to serve. My Grandmother  what can I say but thank you for everything you do to help my Mom and I everyday.   My favorite scripture is Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me. So now with appreciation and love and looking to the future  I am, Caroline Wells, your 2015 Texas Pre-Teen Cover Girl.

In Loving Memory of Miss Texas Princess Cover Girl Harper Howard

Harper likes toys with lights, instrumental music, shinny beads and the wind in her hair.  Harper has taught us about patience, communication and love.  Patience we thought we had but realized we didn’t .  Communication we thought we knew but now know it’s about more than just words.  Love we thought we felt and understood but now know it is an unexplainable experience you hope everyone has.  All of which are encompassed in Time...something more valuable than anyting you could purchase or find.  For without TIME you cannot learn to be PATIENT, understand COMMUNICATION or feel LOVE. 

As a National American Miss Texas Cover Girl Princess Harper embodied HOPE, spread through, and Run4Hope benefiting seizure research and awareness.  Harper's final gift to this world was the donation of her organs to further scientific research for CDKL5, Seizures, and other rare diseases.

Get to know Miss Texas Angelica Alcala-Herrera!

Dear NAMily,

Being given the opportunity to represent my community, my city, and my state twice as your Miss Texas 2015 and Miss Texas Teen 2012 has been my greatest honor, and I will never forget the amazing memories I have made along the way.

Throughout this year I was able to experience and achieve so many exciting things – I attended 8 state pageants where I met so many new friends and sisters from around the country and left a little bit of Texas everywhere I went!

I had the pleasure of donating to the children of MD Anderson Cancer Center the books, learning tools, and coloring supplies collected from the contestants that competed in the National American Miss Texas 2015 pageant.  Through my non-profit organization, Angels Daydreams, I was able to make special visits to the pediatrics department of MD Anderson to share precious times, laughter, joy, and smiles with all of the children!

The highlight of my reign was hosting my very first charity gala event through my non-profit organization, Angels Daydreams, called The Heroes of Freedom Ball.  The Heroes of Freedom Ball was a large charity event to raise funds for our men and women in the military who are now part of the Wounded Warrior Project.  There is truly no greater feeling than to serve those who have served our country, and I was humbled by the generous donations from all who attended, that went directly to the Wounded Warrior Project.

After kicking off the start to my reign with all of my charity work, before I knew it, I was off to Nationals where I had the time of my life!  Seeing old friends, creating new friendships, and making memories that will last a lifetime will always be the highlight of nationals for me! I was honored to have placed top 5 in the nation in every optional competition I entered, including first runner up in 4 of them.

This year would not have been such a success if it were not for some very special people in my life. To the National American Miss staff, thank you for always welcoming me with open arms (literally!) at every NAM event I have ever attended.  To Mr. Steve and Ms. Kathleen Mayes, thank you for creating an organization that feels like home and helps young women find their place in the world.  I was given the opportunity to grow into the person I was meant to be because of you.  To Ms. Lakishia, Ms. Janie, and Tiffany, thank you for always making every pageant weekend a blast (and Tiffany thank you for always saying my complicated last name correctly all these years!  J) You all hold such a dear place in my heart.

To my Mom and Dad, thank you for giving me the most important tools to succeed in life - your love and support.  Without both of you I would not be where I am today or where I am going in life.  I love you so much. To Xavier, thank you for being my biggest cheerleader and supporter in everything I do!  You make my life so much fun and I wouldn’t want anyone else to be my pageant brother.  I love you endlessly and consider you my greatest blessing in life. To my best friend and soon to be sister-in-law Courtney and my dearest Nicholas, life would not be the same without all of our adventures together, and I am so happy that God has brought both of you into my life.  You have made this year so wonderful for me.

Finally, to the lucky girl who gets to wear this crown and banner next, best wishes and blessings as you take on this prestigious job. Enjoy every moment! Texas is a big state for big ideas and big accomplishments waiting to happen.  You have one year to make a difference, so don’t waste a second, as it goes by fast.

Throughout my time at NAM, I set out to leave a positive mark on the world, and I hope I did just that. As I now move forward to achieve all that God has planned for me, I am forever and always, with gratitude, your Miss Texas 2015, Angelica Alcala-Herrera.

Get to Know Miss Texas Jr. Teen Justice Thompson!

After starting my journey with National American Miss in 2009, I never would have guessed I would be your 2015 Miss Texas Jr Teen.  My year has been full of excitement, adventure and lots of travel. After placing top 10 at Nationals I came back home only to head to Florida to achieve my Cheerleading dream and covered most of Texas with my FFA Show Team.
And while the travel was fun, helping out close to home was what meant the most. Volunteering with our local food pantry and even making Sundaes for the residents at an assisted living facility.  Serving my community was so fulfilling and crown or not I will continue to strive towards making a difference.
So many people played such an important role in helping me to capture the title of Miss Texas Jr Teen.
Steve, Kathleen, Tiffany and all the NAM Staff, thank you for permanently changing my life. I will never forget everything National American Miss did for me. 
My sister queens, it has been a crazy but fabulous ride together & I wouldn't want to reign with anyone else. And while our year may be over we are sisters for life.
My huge incredible Family, without whom none of this would have ever been possible. My cheering section is always there to calm my nerves and get me through just about anything.

Of course my greatest Thanks is to God, my savior, whose love never failed and never gave up. Signing off for the last time, I am your 2015 Miss Texas Jr Teen, Justice Marie Thompson.

Featuring Miss Maryland Danielle Hardy!

My incredible journey with National American Miss started in 2009 when I was just 15 years old. When my mom took me to the open call, I knew that this was a great organization. That year, I was called back as a state finalist and have been a part of this organization ever since! NAM has seen me in some of the most important years of my life: 15 (Jr. Teen), 17 (Teen), and 21 (Miss). National American Miss has taught me so much and has increased not only my love for public speaking, but also my self-confidence. I have made so many friends over the years through National American Miss state and national pageants and I am eternally grateful.

    This year, my life changed forever as I was crowned your National American Miss Maryland 2015! It was a dream come true as the crown was placed on my curls and the letters of my beloved state of Maryland placed across my heart. Throughout my year as your Maryland miss queen, I was blessed to be featured on the front page of a newspaper, participate in Breast Cancer and Alzheimer’s Walks, and was VIP at NBC News in Washington, DC. At our national pageant, I was blessed to walk away as a national titleholder and becoming a two-time National Miss Academic Achievement titleholder! This award was by far my favorite award because it showed that hard work in school, truly pays off.

     With National American Miss, I have been to the White House and on television featured as a guest co-host on the national daytime talk show, The Real, sharing a stage with Adrienne Bailon, Tamera Mowry, Loni Love, Jeannie Mai, and Tamar Braxton. I would have never dreamed that my experience would have been as great as this and to God I am truly grateful. Also, I realized that our NAMily exists anywhere I find myself, whether on the campus of my university or in the airport. I will truly miss this organization, as this was my final year with National American Miss.

    Finally, my year as your reigning National American Miss Maryland 2015 has come to an end, but I will not stop here. What’s next for me? I’m glad you asked! In a few short weeks, I will embark on law school! As a first year law student, I will forever hold all that I have learned and experienced as I start this new chapter in my life. NAM will always be a part of me and I will strive to always be a part of NAM. I would like to thank God for this amazing life that He has blessed me with. To my Mom, thank you so much for every sacrifice that you made and for supporting my dreams. I love you! To my brother Gregory and forever escort, thank you for supporting me! I love you! To my sister queens Gabrielle, Sanjana, Brooke, Carissa, and Isabella, I love each of you so much and just know that I will always be your big sister. With tears in my eyes, I emphatically say farewell to National American Miss. For the last time, I am Danielle Hardy, your reigning Miss Maryland 2015. Je T’aime!

Featuring Miss Texas Pre-Teen Madisyn Schafer!

Four years ago my journey began with National American Miss in order to overcome shyness. Through hard work, determination, faith, and perseverance I was honored to capture the title of the 2015 Miss Texas Pre-Teen. I never could have imagined what this year would bring to me and my family! 

A few of the numerous highlights of my year include volunteering at the Lighthouse for the Blind of Fort Worth, rockin the runway at the DFW teen fashion show and participating in the Grapevine and Plano parade of lights! My favorite memories were always captured when I was with my sister queens, I had such a fun year full of many laughs. Of course another highlight this year included Nationals in California, I loved getting to know all of the other contestants from across the country. It was truly an unforgettable experience to represent the beautiful state of Texas! 

There are so many people who have supported me in this endeavor, for each of you I am truly grateful! Thank you Mr. and Mrs. Mayes for such an amazing opportunity and blessing I will never forget! A huge thanks to the amazing NAM staff for allowing me to work with you this year, there are so many skills I have learned that will help me grow to my maximum potential. To my biggest fans, my family, I love y'all so much! Thank you for your financial, emotional, physical and spiritual support and for putting up with me through all of the fun and sometimes craziness . Mom and Mr. Craig, words cannot describe how appreciative I am for all that y'all do for me. I love you!

To all the contestants, I’ve loved meeting and getting to know you, being a state finalist is a HUGE accomplishment, congratulations! To my successor, you are about to have the time of your life! Count your blessings each day and have a blast! I am honored and blessed to forever be your 2015 Miss Texas Pre-Teen Madisyn Schafer! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Featuring Miss Texas Pre-Teen Jianna Garcia

6 years ago I set foot on a National American Miss Stage for the very first time. Just moments before, I cried that I wanted to go home and my Mom told me “Let’s finish what we started and if you don’t ever want to do another pageant again we won’t”.  Well, needless to say I dried my tears, put a smile on my face and have now spent half my life as a NAM Girl and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Winning the title of Miss Texas Pre-Teen for Division 1 was a dream I did not expect to come true. I am honored to have had the opportunity to represent the great state of Texas.  My parents and family have been a constant source of support and I know none of this would have been possible without them. I am so very grateful to them for all the hours of travel, prep, worry and cheering at the top of their lungs at every event….We tend to be a loud bunch!
It’s important to me to be a Queen with a purpose and my partnership with the Denton Hunger Coalition this past year has made me stronger in my conviction to end Childhood hunger and long after the crown comes off I will continue to work with Miss. Marty and all the incredible volunteers to make sure that one day our mission becomes reality.
I wish love, luck and happiness to all the girls competing this year. I have made friends all across the state and country over the years and participating in National American Miss has changed my life in so many ways and all for the better! Breathe and enjoy the weekend, I look forward to meeting you and sharing the stage with such an incredible group of girls.
“NAM is what I am”
Farewell for now, but never forever.
Your 2015 Miss Texas Pre-Teen

Jianna Garcia