I can’t believe it's been a year already. The saying is true “time flies when you're having fun!” One year ago I was crowned the National American Miss Ohio Jr. Teen Cover Girl. I started my journey as Cover Girl by meeting with my city council and Mayor. I got to take my title out to an area where pageants are not commonly heard of. I handed out finisher ribbons and medals to the kids and adults that finished the Sylvania Triathlon and Duathlon. This was so exciting because I have competed and placed in this triathlon several times.
What a great year this has been. I became the first ever sophomore section leader in my high school marching band. I was then crowned Jr. Teen Cover Girl and off to California for Nationals. I realized NAM has taught me to have confidence and faith in myself no matter what. This helped when I was diagnosed with Dysautonomia in January. I am now using my crown in my community to help others understand this condition and help others who have it also. It is more than a crown and banner, it gives me a bigger voice.
Having my crown gave me the confidence to be a part of a much bigger entity. I am one of the leaders of our newly formed Core Committed Group for my school district. We were trained by retired Navy Seals to be able to grow a culture of champions in my school. Not just athletes, but for every student in our community, musicians, artists, etc . Making good choices, and being a role model. Team first, Teammates second and yourself last.
I was also the top point scorer for my varsity swim team for the 2nd year in a row and be elected as captain for my varsity water polo team. Yes, I did show up in crown and banner with a black eye and another time with a fat lip. It proves that there is no such thing as a typical pageant girl...
To the contestants, remember it's not about winning but about how much fun you have. It’s making new lifelong friends and having fun with everyone in the process. Remember to take a lot of pictures, you will cherish them forever, Keep in contact with the friends you make, you never know when your paths will cross again. Lastly, remember you are a part of the NAMily so don’t be afraid to be yourself, embrace it and show it off.
Finally, Many thank you’s. To Jeanne and Tiffany at Blue by Atlas Bridal you always make me look fabulous and have the best gowns. Big hugs and many thanks. To all my wonderful sponsors who supported me all the way to Nationals, obviously, I couldn’t have done it without you. To Steve and Kathleen Mayes our fabulous directors, Dawn Lee and the rest of the NAM staff. Thank you for all you do for NAM, Thank you to my sister queens for all the fun throughout this year and at Nationals, I wish the best of luck to you. And to my amazing parents that never give up on me. You have taught me to be the young woman I am today, and have taught me God first, Career second, and Family third.
For the last time, this is your Ohio Jr. Teen Cover Girl, Sammie Young saying farewell.