On August 13th of 2016, I walked into the Hyatt Regency Hotel in New Brunswick, NJ not knowing what was about to unfold. I was nervous but I took the stage with as much confidence as I could. I didn’t know that on August 14th, I would be crowned Miss New Jersey Pre-Teen; definitely the best day ever... and the whirlwind ride began.
During my year I had the opportunity to use my title as a platform for my volunteer work. I was blessed to be able to draw more attention to the needs of the hungry through my charity Tattoos for Food and my work with the Our Lady of Sorrows’ food pantry. I worked with homeless children through the Interfaith Hospitality Network; I was the official starter for the National Cervical Cancer Coalition’s annual charity race; I partnered with One Warm Coat and my local Ford dealership to collect and distribute coats to the needy; and I was the keynote speaker for a fundraiser to benefit the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit of St. Barnabas Medical Center.
Then it was off to Anaheim California for Nationals where I had the chance to meet many amazing and inspiring young ladies from across the country. Some of whom I still keep in touch with and that I’m honored to call my friends.
This is a bitter sweet time for me, but it’s made so much easier by the support of my New Jersey Sister Queens: Caitlin, Phoebe, Faith, Emily, Kayla, Lauren, Maddie, and Melissa, we did so many great things together. Thank you for supporting me during my First OLS Princess pageant. I couldn’t have done it without you. You ladies are destined for great things and I wish the best for all of you. None of this would have been possible without Mr. & Mrs. Mayes who founded NAM or without the help of my family and friends who have been there for me emotionally, spiritually and financially. Mom, Dad, Tia, GM, Grandma, Auntie Marj, thank you for helping me in so many ways to be the best that I could be in representing New Jersey. I love you all. And now with a heavy heart, I leave you for now but I am, and always will be, your 2016 Miss New Jersey Pre-Teen, Nyla Edwards, signing off.