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Featuring Miss Ohio Teen!

Dear State Finalists, 

NAM is a journey that will stay with you for a lifetime. At 10 years old I attended my first open call and i was hooked. I felt I had never been so individually invested in an activity. After tons of focus and preparation, third times the charm! I was crowned the 2012 Miss Ohio Pre-Teen. Fast forward four years, I couldn’t help but compete again because of the blessing that NAM is, and I was lucky enough to be crowned the 2016 Miss Ohio Teen. 
I realized how much I loved NAM after I competed for the first time. I remember leaving that weekend wishing it would never end and begging to come back next year. That following school year, I had a much greater sense of confidence. I found myself feeling much more relaxed giving presentations at school, and the sole fact that I had given an introduction on stage in front of hundreds of people made me feel like I could do anything in front of the classroom. Even since then, my friends always volunteer me to speak in front of groups or present because they know I am able to handle it well. This act is such a compliment to the skills I have learned through NAM. Not only did I gain confidence, but I was able to establish who I was and who I wanted to be. While preparing for interviews, I realized that I would be able to excel if I was able to articulate the person I was to the judges. Knowing these things about myself helped me outside of the interview room later, when applying for jobs and in my every day life. I was immediately hired for two jobs after being interviewed. I know that without NAM, I would not be the person I am today. For this, I am so thankful. 
This year, I represented NAM through fundraisers with Caroline’s kids, a no kill cat shelter, the Veteran’s Hospital, raising over a thousand dollars for a friend with diabetes, and coaching a special needs cheerleading team. I also had such a blast visiting the 2016 North Texas and 2016 Tennessee Kentucky pageants that I traveled to the 2017 South Texas and 2017 North and South Carolina pageants. Service is a heartwarming experience like no other, and I’m so glad NAM instilled this desire to help others in me at a young age. My service has even allowed me to be nominated for an award at school! Attending nationals was a blast. I cannot believe my year is coming to a close. After seven years with this system, it’s hard to imagine this state pageant being my last. 
With pageant weekend right around the corner, focus on being the best you! A title lasts a year, but the skills last a lifetime. NAM equips you with abilities that cannot be found anywhere else. This weekend will be full of lifelong friendships and fun. I still keep in touch with girls I met at my first NAM pageant. Cherish every moment you get this weekend. It will be one to remember. I cannot wait to meet all of you and I’m so excited to see who will be my successor! 

For the last time, I am your 2016 Miss Ohio Teen, Giovanna AKA Gigi Vitale. 


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