Featuring Miss Indiana Pre-Teen Cover Girl!

It is so hard for me to believe that one year has passed by already since I was crowned Miss Indiana Pre-Teen Cover Girl! It has truly been a life changing experience for me in so many ways. Prior to last year I had never competed in a pageant before. One day last march I came home from school and my mom handed me an invitation to attend an open call for National American Miss in my hometown of Merrillville. I was very hesitant because I had never been on a stage in front of people before and I was very shy and quiet and not at all confident in my ability to compete in a pageant but my mom believed in me so much that she gave me the push I needed to get out of my comfort zone and give it a shot and to my surprise I was one of the lucky girls that was chosen that day to be a State Finalist!
The title of Cover Girl is not an easy title to win. There is so much hard work that goes into talking to local businesses and to friends and family. I learned so much about myself going through this process and what it took to stay determined in the face of adversity. I got a lot of No’s before I started hearing Yes. It is not always about the destination but about the journey. The journey to win the crown taught me so much about life, hard work and the belief in oneself.  Winning Miss Indiana Pre-Teen Cover Girl 2016 was a dream comes true for me! I am truly blessed and honored to hold this title and I am so grateful for the friends, family and businesses that helped me along the way. My parents, my little brother and grandparents have always been there to support me and cheer for me. My mom worked so hard getting my outfits together and helping me go over my speeches and routines and driving me to Georgia and Nashville to work with the most incredible photographers for my pageant headshots. My Dad also worked very hard to get me sponsorships and make sure my mom and I had the means to get what I needed for my pageant and especially getting our whole family to Nationals in California.
The Highlight of my year was Nationals! Nationals was an incredible experience that almost felt like a dream. Walking along the Hollywood walk of fame, seeing the Hollywood sign in person and going to Disneyland for the first time in my life was so magical! The best part was meeting incredibly talented girls from all across the United States and making new friends and sharpening my skills by competing against girls who’s talent’s would blow your mind! I won the title National Cover Girl 2016-2017 at Nationals this past Thanksgiving. Holding two titles in one year has been incredible and I could not have done it without my family.
I have had the greatest opportunity to give back to my community by volunteering at the Food Bank of North West Indiana by packaging food to be given to the elderly in my community who have been hit with poverty. Helping others has truly been the best part of being Cover Girl. I have also been able to ride in parades, meet my local and state representatives and become friends with countless National American Miss girls from all across the United States.
To all the girls competing in NAM this coming year, you are incredible for making it this far. You took the first step to enter your state pageant and make it there, that is such an accomplishment! Know that you are amazing just the way you are and that you can make a difference. It is not always about the destination but about the journey, the experiences and people you meet along the way that make you a better stronger person. Pageant weekend passes by so quickly so don’t forget to enjoy every moment and make new friends. I can’t wait to meet everyone this July and crown the next Amazing Cover Girl!
Forever yours, Miss Indiana Pre-Teen Cover Girl 2016
Carmello Arredondo


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