Friday, August 26, 2016

Get to Know National American Miss Pre-Teen Shayla Montgomery!





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


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Get to Know National American Miss Jr. Teen Brianna Smith!


NAM: Tell us about yourself: 
Brianna: I am a 15 yr. old sophomore in highschool who is involved in the Sports Medicine Academy and a part of my highschool soccer team. My brother Robert and I are very close. I have three dogs named Lady, Pepper and Simba.  Spending time with family and friends is one of my favorite things to do. I enjoy going to the beach, shopping and making people laugh.
NAM: What activities are you involved in? 
Brianna: I am an aggressive mid- feilder and forward on my High school's soccer team. I'm always working hard to do my personal best and growing to improve my teams overall performance.
NAM: What are your plans for the future? 
Brianna: I plan to graduate High School with top grades. Pursue a degree in Broadcast Journalism from Florida State University  with high hopes of becoming a News Anchor. I also would like to travel to Uganda to meet the little boy that I sponsor, named Isaac, whom I like to call my little brother. 
NAM: How would your friends describe you? 
Brianna: My friends would say that I am  outgoing, funny, creative and caring. They would be eager to say that I have a bubbly personality and love to entertain.


NAM: What motto or quote best describes you? 
Brianna: One quote that best describes me is " she believed she could, so she did" I have lived everday with this in mind because it has reminded me that no matter how tall, short, big, or small, behind every girl there is a desire to try.
NAM: What is the best advice you have ever received? 
Brianna: The best advice I have ever recieved is probably the most clear and even cliche advice anyone can recieve. "Try things outside of your comfort zone and take risks", before NAM I was a very shy girl and public speaking was no where in my ball park, since then I have become successful in public speaking.
NAM: How did you prepare for the NAM National pageant? 
Brianna: I prepared mentally by staying focused on my goal and having my family and friends ask me questions every chance I had between soccer, dance and school work.  Spiritually, asking God for guidance and persevarence. Physically by incorporating exercise to keep me feeling my best.  I also practiced my introduction everyday, in the car, in my room and just about anywhere I went. 
NAM: Where is your favorite place to shop? 
Brianna:  Hollister is my "it" store to shop. They have super cute, stlyish, and beachy clothes which works out well being that I live in Florida. Their clothes really showcases my personality, chic, modern and classy.


NAM: How have pageants shaped your life? 
Brianna: Six years ago I started pageants to overcome my shyness. My parents had always encouraged me to step out of my comfort zone, try new things and take risks. Little did I know I was on a life changing journey.  When that happened, I blossomed beyond my imagination.  No longer plagued by shyness, Pageantry help me tranform in to the driven, confident and determine public speaker that I am today.  
NAM: What is your most prized possession? 
Brianna: My most prized possession is the ring my parents gifted me when I was diagnosed with scoliosis. It is my army of strength, faith, and courage. It gives me reassurance that anyting is possible everytime I look at it.
NAM: What is your favorite movie? 
Brianna: Big Daddy starring Adam Sandler, Dylan and Cole Sprouse, is by far my favorite movie. This movie reminds me to be appreciative of everything that you have and never take for granted what's most important.
NAM: What is your favorite TV show? 
Brianna:  The Fosters, an American drama series that follows the lives of  a foster family. I like this show because it has so much diversity and their message is that no matter where you come from there are people in the world that are willing to accept you for who YOU are. With my mom being a social worker there is living proof that acceptance is not just in fairytales.


NAM: What is your favorite book? 
Brianna: Betta Gamma Pi, is a book that I most favor.  Is a story about a young sophomore student in college becoming a part of a sorority. I can relate to this book because I plan to be a part of my University's sorority and a sisterhood!
NAM: What advice do you have for future NAM girls? 
Brianna: "EVERYTHING YOU NEED IS ALREADY INSIDE"  Step out of what's holding you back and just do it! Do something today that your future self will thank you for. I would tell them to try things that they normally wouldn't do. Facing my fears of public speaking and overcoming my shyness has allowed me to not only achieve things as big as becoming the National American Miss Jr. Teen, but also use my experiences to help other young girls by empowering and isnpiring them to follow their dreams. To also have confidence and believe in themselves. So, ladies face your fears and take risks because only then will you know what you are capable of.
NAM: If you could be famous for anything what would it be? 
Brianna: To be the first 15 yr. old to win a Grammy award for my outstanding acting skills.
NAM: What is your dream job? 
Brianna: Fashion designing is one of my hidden talents. Therefore, having  my very own clothing line and becoming a famous iconic fashion designer would be a dream come true.

NAM: How do you plan to use your title? 
Brianna.  I plan to serve as a role model to girl all over the country. Empowering girls and young women to become agents of change, impacting their lives, their communities and the world.  I plan to be a beacon of hope to those girl who are shy and sit by themsleves in the back of the ballrooms terriffied of meeting new people. I also want to carry out the message of self- love, self- respect, and self- confidence. 
NAM: How do you volunteer in your community? 
Brianna: I am involved with the Florida Youth Advisory Committe as a patient, member and volunteer. I serve at the Ronald McDonald House providing meals to families of ill children and I sponsor a 4yr. old boy from Uganda by the name of Isaac.
NAM: What is your most embarrassing moment? 
Brianna: Last year on my very first day of highschool,  I had one goal in mind and that was to make it to class on time... To say the worst, I ended up getting to class late. All I can remember is the embarrasment plastered across my face when I walked in to class and all of my new classmates were starring at me with their peircing eyes. I know I turned every different color, It was definitely a moment I could never forget.
NAM: What is your favorite subject in school? 
Brianna: English has always been my favorite subject. When I'm writing It's like I'm playing a role in a story that I've already experienced. This class has definitily helped me improve my skills in poetry and in writing.  

NAM: If you had three wishes what would you wish for? 
Brianna: If I had three wishes my very first wish would be to have a supply of soccer materials to last me an entire season. Somehow, by the end of the season, I end up missing one cleat or one shin gaurd. My second wish would be to meet Isaac. A lovely 4yr. old boy that I sponsor and whom we share the same birthday.  My third wish would be to live a hppy and healthy life with family and friends.
NAM: What is your biggest fear? 
Brianna:  My biggest fear is not trying.  I am a firm believer that If we don't try or experience new things we will not be able to grow.
NAM: What is the biggest misconception about your generation? 
Brianna: That our generation lacks communication, completely dependend on technology and is spoiled.  I think that my generation is actually goal oriented who use resources, such as technology, to help us in any way possible.  We are a blessed generation that is certainly going places with so many opportunities ahead of us.
NAM: Who is your rolemodel? 
Brianna: The first person that comes to mind is Stacy Lewis.  A Pro golfer with a remarkable story of strength and perseverance as she was faced with Scoliosis during the peek of her golfing career. Like Stacy,  I was also diagnosed with Scoliosis. One thing for sure and  beyond our adversities, we have both  accomplished great things and would not allow the sum of our spinal degrees define who we are.

NAM: If you could go back in time to any historical event what would it be? 
Brianna: A historical event I would  like to go back to is when Ford created the first car. This was such a pivotal time and to be able to experience it would be incredible. 
NAM: Who is to most influential person in the world? 
Brianna: For me, Malala is one of the most influential young woman of today generation. After being shot down by the Taliband, Malala cotinued to spread her message of education for every child  in her country and around the world. She has earned herself a Nobel Peace Prize for being stronger than fear.  
NAM: If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be? 
Brianna: I would love to have dinner with my "little brother" Isaac a 4yr. old boy whom I sponspor through Compassion International. Being that I have yet to meet him, I would love to catch up with him on all of his great ideas and favorite things he likes to do!
NAM: What is your favorite part about National American Miss? 
Brianna: Ohhh how I love NAM! Although I love dressing up for all of the required and optional competitions, the rehearsals are always so fun and have grown to be my favorite. It's a time where you know your dance moves are on point and get to meet so many new girls. Beyond this, I love what NAM does for girls and the power and strength we feel when being onstage, it's a reminder of how beatiful we all truly are


NAM: How did you get started with NAM? How long have you been involved? 
Brianna: My journey with NAM began when I received a postcard in the mail inviting me to an open call. However my parents were reluctant at first because I was a very shy girl who would not speak in class, had no friends and feared being around people. When my parents asked me if I would be interested in participating in a pageant and I said "yes" they were taken by surprised. I vividly remember, standing on that big stage starring at fear in the face.  I made top 10 on my very first try. Since participating in NAM I have been able to overcome my shyness and fears.   I have been blessed to be a part of this system for 6 amazing years.

What is your definition of a NAM girl? 
Brianna: A NAM girl is someone who knows who she is.  What she is capable of doing. She is focused on her short and long-term goals. She inspires others, she is kind and humble. A NAM girl has strength, has respect, has confidence, has love for herself and most importantly has a giving heart.
NAM: What do you like to do for fun? 
Brianna: I'm an all around kind of girl who enjoys the outdoors.  So definitily getting with a few of my friends and heading to the beach on a sunny day is a most.  The mall is another place I frequently visit, shopping with my mom is so entertaining and fun! Lastly, I enjoy going to my friends house to ride dirt bikes on these huge sand piles that we build ourselves. I love to have a blast.
NAM: What makes your state unique? 
Brianna: My state sure knows how to attract people with our oh-so-famous amusement parks. A few places that make my state unique is the Kennedy Space Center. This is the only place in our Country that shuttles launch from.  The interactive shuttle they have for visitors allows you to experience what's like to be on a shuttle to space. Another unique place is St. Augustine.  A place of historical bacground.  I've always wanted to go back in time, so everytime I visit St Agustine it's like I'm visiting a piece of the past.


NAM: What is your favorite food? 
Brianna:  Chicken Noodle Soup is by far my favorite food.  I was introduced to chicken noodle soup by my grandpa at the tender age of two years old. Sadly shorty after my grandpa passed away, but I have taken on the tradition of making the famous chicken noodle soup. My personal tradition is to try a different flavored soup anywhere I go
NAM: What was your first thought you had when you captured your national title?
Brianna: My very first  thought as I heard my name called as the new National Jr. Teen was " OMG, I DID IT! DREAMS DO COME TRUE WHEN YOU BELIEVE!" I imagined my parents reactions. I knew my mother was extatic somewhere in the ballroom and my dad who was watching from  a far must of been jumping up and down calling everyone he knew.  It has been a whirlwind of a week to say the least!  I came to nationals with an injured ankle from soccer. So being announced as the National Casual Wear Model and National American Miss Jr. Teen was an incredible accomplishment and proved that no matter what may stand in the way of you reaching your goal(s), with determination and perseverance anything is possible.  Truly growing as a person and creating memories with everyone I met has been a blessing!
NAM: People would be surprised to know what about you? 
Brianna: Many people would be surprised to kow that I was once a shy girl. I would always run behind my mom, afraid to speak to people. I wouldn't raise my hand in school and I was always bottled up and kept to myself. At the age of 10 yrs. I began with NAM and my very first time I said my personal introduction I fell in love with speaking. Today, one of my greatest passions is public speaking and have had great opportunities doing so.  I am no longer that shy girl thanks to National American Miss for what they instill in todays' young women.