December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year NAMily!!

~Brian & Megan Cournoyer
State Directors

December 28, 2012

Get ready for 2013

It's the last Friday before the New Year!  Are you ready for 2013?  We sure are here at NAM; all of next years pageant dates are finalized and posted online at  I will add a link to each of the states here on the blog later today for reference.

Our final state to finalize this year was the Southern California show.  If you are a CA girl, make sure and take a look because we changed the date as well as the location.  We are now at the end of June at the Hilton in Costa Mesa.  There were just too many other groups at the Anaheim Marriott on the same weekend as the pageant, it would have been too crazy and families would have had trouble getting a hotel room at the discounted rates.

For our returning girls, you should have all received your special offers for 2013 by now.  We will be starting open calls in January so if you would like to attend one, please e-mail your director.

This is always one of my favorite times in the pageant season because we don't have a lot of new girls signing up yet and it gives me a chance to catch up with our returning contestants.  It's always exciting to see where life has taken the amazing girls in our NAMily.

Fun pics for the day;  Steve Drury is a photographer out in CA that takes some really great pageant pics.  He posted a few new ones of last years Miss California Olivia Jensen.  Here's a sample but you can see them all on his site or on our Flickr feed: (my favorite is the one in the purple!)

NAMiss California Olivia Jensen recentNAMiss California Olivia Jensen rock starNAMiss California Olivia Jensen competing in TalentNAMiss California Olivia Jensen casual outfitNAMiss California Olivia Jensen 2011

December 27, 2012

NAM Girls Volunteer for the Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of our NAM Families across the country.  I hope that everyone is having a wonderful Holiday Season.

Many of our NAM Queens have been out volunteering over the Holidays.  That's such a great part of NAM to see these girls out giving back to their communities.  These events are not required for the girls and are not set up by their NAM offices; the girls put these together themselves because they love getting involved.

Here are a few pictures I rounded up this morning:

NAMiss Washington Brooklyn Hodge Veteran's Hospital NAMiss Washington Brooklyn Hodge volunteering her time on Christmas Eve at the Spokane Veteran's Hospital.
  NAMiss California singing Chirstmas Carols to the Elderly NAMiss California Athenna Michaels singing Christmas Carols to the elderly at The Carlton Plaza
  NAMiss California Girls volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club in Anaheim NAMiss California Queens Danielle Walker and Amanda Starrantino volunteered their time at the Anaheim Boys and Girls Club and helped serve spaghetti dinner.

November 21, 2012

NAM State Directors - GangNAM Style!

We decided to spice things up a bit for our last orientation of the 2012 National Pageant.  For the State Directors introduction we rolled out...... GangNAM Style!

November 19, 2012

NAM Nationals Check-Ins

NAM Nationals is moving right along!  It's always so much fun to be here at Nationals and meet the families from all across the country.  Here are some pics from check-in - check out the NAM Flickr account to stay up to day by the minute!

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" ~Phil 4:13. Good luck to all of the competitors @NtlAmericanMiss NationalsThe official NAM Queens National competition banners!NAM Directors Brian Cournoyer and Lew Schneider by the Christmas tree in the pageant foyer!

November 17, 2012

NAM National Pageant Begins!

Welcome to Anaheim, California and the 10th Annual NAM National Pageant!  We are so excited to be here with our families from all across the country.  This year marks our 10th birthday as National American Miss.  Stay tuned all week for pictures of all the fun!

Also, make sure and follow us on twitter @namissblog and @ntlamericanmiss.  We just finished our staff meeting and are starting the first check-in!

@NtlAmericanMiss Staff meeting, check-in starts in 70 minutes! 10 year anniversary of NAM!!@NtlAmericanMiss National Directors Steve and Kathleen MayesGetting ready to start NAM Nationals check-in!!

October 29, 2012

Happy Halloween Week!

Our NAM California girls kicked off Halloween week by representing in the Boulevard BOO parade out in Cali.  I haven't figured out exactly what they dressed up like but I think it's something to do with being the Queen!  :-)

Can't wait to see what everyones costume is later this week - happy Halloween week!

NAM CA represents!NAMiss California in the Boulevard BOO Parade!NAMiss California in the Boulevard BOO Parade

October 24, 2012

As Miss Indiana i am a proud supporter of theTrue Beauty Movement !!! On a daily basis i embrace who i am and what defines me beautiful. Never afraid to attend class without makeup or wearing sweatpants

Proud of who i am and what i look like ♥
NAMiss Indiana McKenzie Shevlot True Beauty

October 23, 2012

NAM True Beauty Movement

National American Miss Washington Brooklyn HodgeTwo years ago Amanda Moreno started the True Beauty Movement. TBM focuses on empowering girls to feel comfortable in their own skin. True beauty can not be bought at a make up store or gained by hair products, it's what comes from inside. Take a picture of your self with natural hair and no make, and join the movement.  Here is a picture posted by National American Miss Washington, Brooklyn Hodge.

October 18, 2012

NAM Girl, Miranda Soong singing National Anthem at the Orioles Game

Check out former National American Miss California, Miranda Soong, singing the National Anthem at the Orioles baseball game.  GO GIRL!!

NAM Miranda Soong post gameNAM Miranda Soong singing National Anthem

October 15, 2012

National American Miss Ohio, Emma Moore, with VP candidate Paul Ryan

National American Miss Ohio Jr. Pre-Teen, Emma Moore, had a chance to attend a local GOP rally near her home town.  This is a great picture of her with Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan.  Maybe the white house needs a Queen to stop by now and then??  Great job Emma!

@NtlAmericanMiss Ohio Emma Moore at a GOP rally with VP candidate @PaulRyanVPNational American Miss Ohio Emma Moore

October 8, 2012


A great story ran on Inside Edition last week about a former Miss Iowa.  Megan Alexander had a chance to sit down and talk with Jamie Hilton, who after falling and hitting her head on a rock, had to have one-quarter of her skull removed to relive pressure on her brain.  

She has a great story of over overcoming a major challenge and showing the world what she is really made of!  

Here's the story as seen on Inside Edition:

Jamie Hilton of Boise, Idaho, is a former beauty queen who held the title of Mrs. Idaho, but if there is a woman in America who knows that beauty is only skin deep, it is this 36-year-old mother of three.
"I am full of gratitude that I am even alive," Jamie told INSIDE EDITION.

Her current hairdo isn't something you ever see at beauty pageants. Half her head had been shaved for reasons you won't believe.

home video captured the drama of her lying unconscious after a 12-foot fall and hitting her head on a boulder last June.

"When I got down there she was not breathing. She did not have a pulse," said her husband.

It took three hours to get her to a hospital, where one-quarter of her skull was removed to relieve pressure on the brain. Now, brace yourself for what happened next.

Jamie said, "I had a severe brain injury. They told me, 'You hit your head. We had to remove a piece of your skull.' Then, they gave me the news, 'They put it in your stomach.' So I looked down and then saw the bump."

That's right, a piece of her skull was implanted in Jamie’s belly to keep it sterile and nurished.

For 42 days, that piece of skull remained in her abdomen, protected and nourished while the swelling in her brain slowly went down, then at last, the skull bone was re-attached to her head.

"It was righ under my rib," she showed INSIDE EDITION.

Now, the mother of three is grateful the amazing procedure saved her life—a life she came so close to losing.

October 5, 2012

NAM State Directors Meeting

It's that time of year - NAM National Pageant is coming up next month!  The National American Miss State Director team is gathered to prepare and getting things ready for the 2013 season as well.

If you have any ideas on what NAM could be doing different, now is the time to share.  Thank you to a few of my California families that have written me with some great suggestions.

National American Miss is the largest pageant in the United States, we didn't get here by ignoring what you have to say, we love to hear it! - @namissblog

#namiss Directors Meeting - getting ready for @ntlamericanmiss National Pageant!

October 3, 2012

2012 NAM Queen and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

National American Miss Jena Diller
The 2012 National American Miss Teen State Queens and I are so excited to share our new mission with all of you. With the help of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, we have officially started our own nationwide campaign in honor of all those diagnosed with Diabetes! At the website below, you can visit our page and donate money directly to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and support your State Queen. With your help, we will promote Diabetes Awareness while striving to be positive leaders in our communities. In honor of Diabetes Awareness Month, we will also be holding a Walk to Cure Diabetes from November 1 - November 14. Please go to link below for more information. On behalf of all of the NAM Teen State Queens, thank you so much for supporting us in our efforts to "Walk to Cure Diabetes."

September 27, 2012

At the NAM National Pageant girls have the opportunity to turn in submission for the "Golden Achievement in Service" award.  This is basically the ultimate award for community service.  Every single contestant is required to perform a minimum of 4 hours community service in order to compete at Nationals, however, some girls go WAY above and beyond!!

Here is a video from Victoria Johnson out in California.  Here is a quick note about the event in her words - great work Victoria!!

The Santa Fe Springs, California Relay for Life, Sponsored by the American Cancer Society, takes place every September. This is an overnight team event to raise awareness of cancer while simultaneously raising funds to help in the search for a cure. Each team member is asked to commit to raising at least $100.00 in donations and taking their turn walking around the track throughout the 24 hour event. This event is full of fun and is a great opportunity for me and my family to serve our community

As a relay for life team we have been able to raise between $8000.00 and $14,000.00 yearly in donations during our Santa Fe Springs Relay. This September 28, 2012 will be the eighth year I have participated in the American Cancer Society California Relay for Life and have been asked to be their feature speaker at the opening of the relay. My commitment to community service is something my father has instilled in me through his community service and volunteer work with many organizations. He also has given the gift of life as a bone marrow donor this year, and shown me the true meaning of service to others.

September 24, 2012

This years National American Miss Indiana team of royalty is a powerhouse, watch out!  They are going to make a difference all over Indiana this year.  Here are some pics from last weekend of your Indiana Teen, McKenzie Shevlot, volunteering at the Awareness for Autism Walk.  Great job representing NAM.

NAMiss Indiana Queen at the Special OlympicsNAMiss Indiana Makenzie Shevlot volunteeringNAMiss Indiana Makenzie ShevlotNAMiss Indiana at the Answers for Autism Walk

September 12, 2012

Raising Money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Sophia Katosh Eshe and Sarah Kuba, two time NAM State Finalist, and their friend (Hannah Conte) are fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  They will be doing a walk “Light the Night” in Santa Rosa, CA under the team name “Team NAM”.  So far they have posted flyers in shops, done presentations at their schools, and talked with friends and neighbors.  They have raised almost $600.00 so far!  They are so excited and proud to help!  Feel free to join their page on Facebook, repost their link, spread the word, or even donate yourself.  Thank you in advance for any donation, and remember it is tax deductible!!!
Name of Organization or Cause *
Welcome to Wingate!

SarahHelms* - National American Miss North Carolina Teen

Total Hours Served* 7 - Hours

As a current pharmacy school student of Wingate University, I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to volunteer as a P2 buddy for our upcoming new P1 pharmacy school students. As a P2 buddy, I had the privilege of helping to familiarize Wingate’s new pharmacy school students with the school and surrounding local businesses. For out-of-state students, it can be intimidating to travel to a new state and not be familiar with what is readily available! I also had the opportunity to help quell any concerns the students had about beginning their new journey as a pharmacy school student. I love to share what I know, so I was excited to be able to answer many questions that the new students had about our curriculum. I participated in the buddy breakfast, the picnic, and the school fashion show. The fashion show helped to showcase what was appropriate and what was not appropriate to wear to school following our business casual dress code. I had a fantastic time and loved the opportunity to meet many new peers. It was a great experience that I will never forget and hope to be a part of again in the future!

September 11, 2012

NAM Indiana Finalist signs with Daisy Rock Girl Guitars

Daisy Rock Girl Guitars Welcomes Abigail Walker to its Artist Roster
LOS ANGELES, CA – September 10, 2012
Daisy Rock Girl Guitars, the original girl guitar company, welcomes to its artist roster Abigail Walker, a small-town girl with a passion for singing and playing guitar.
At just 14 years old, Abigail Marie Walker (Abby) has been playing guitar and singing for a little over four years. While growing up in a small central Indiana town with her parents, older brother, and pet dog and guinea pig, Abby took guitar/music theory lessons with instructor Michael Stevens, who she continues her studies with. “As for the person who influences my music, that is easy,” said Abby. “Taylor Swift. I have learned so many of her songs since I started playing. I love music and enjoy singing, along with playing guitar.” 
In addition to her outstanding development as a musician, Abby attended her middle school’s talent show as well as participating in the National American Miss, Indiana Jr. Teen Pageant in Indianapolis where she sang and played guitar for the talent competition. She also plays percussion in her school band.
“We love Abby! Developing your soul to come out and be heard through a Daisy Rock Girl Guitar is an amazing process and I absolutely adore watching Abby discover this harmony in her talent,” says Tish Ciravolo, President and Founder of Daisy Rock Girl Guitars.  “Grow, Abby, Grow!  We are here for your journey.”

Check out Abby on her website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter!

August 31, 2012

Iredell Christian Ministries Community Involvement!!

Name of Organization or Cause *
Iredell Christian Ministries

Jenbnifer McLain* - National American Miss North Carolina  Pre Teen

Total Time Served* - 10 hours

I met with Mrs. Natalie Rickabaugh, Executive Director of Iredell Christian Ministries, on October 26, 2011, from 4:00 until 6:00 p.m. to explore the possibility of planning a charity concert to benefit her organization. Mrs. Rickabaugh was very pleased with my idea to give a charity concert in order to raise money to help the poor in our community. I spent time touring the facility in order to learn all I could about her organization and how it operates. I wanted to know how the money I raised would be used to help others.

I called First Baptist Church to reserve the sanctuary for the concert to be held on Sunday, November 13, 2011.

I originally planned to give the benefit concert with my grandmother, Ms. Susan McLain, but later decided to include some vocalists to add variety to the program. I contacted some of my peers from the Junior Music Club, of which I am a member, and also Mrs. Melody Beaty who is the Junior Music Club Advisor to participate in the charity concert. I wanted to provide a venue for some of our most talented Junior Music Club Members to perform and also give them an opportunity to provide a service to our local community. I also contacted Mrs. Michelle McMurray, soprano, and Ms. Doris Swaim, accompanist.

I printed flyers to advertise the event. I also collected all information to be listed and printed in the program.

The Charity Concert was held on November 13, 2011, at First Baptist Church in Statesville, North Carolina. The concert was a huge success! The amount of money raised was $864.00 and was presented to Mrs. Rickabaugh at the conclusion of the program.

August 30, 2012

Sheriff's Office Volunteer Community Involvement!!

Name of Organization or Cause *
Sheriff's Office Volunteer

Elizabeth Kolden* - National American Miss Michigan Teen

Total Hours Served* 10 -  Hours

I have volunteered at the Sheriff's Office for many years. My duties included, but were not limited to, data entry, filing and answering phones. I have also volunteered at the Sheriff's Office Animal Shelter during events to assist with visitors and show the animals that are up for adoption. My favorite volunteer activity with the department has been to assist with the "Shop With a Cop" program where underpriveledged children are taken for a day of shopping for Christmas. The children purchase gifts for themselves and their family members and we help them wrap the presents before taking them home.

August 29, 2012

Pajama Program Community Involvement!!

Name of Organization or Cause *
Pajama Program

MariahMathis* - National American Miss Alabama Jr Pre Teen

Total Time Served* - 6 hours

    The Pajama Program provides new pajamas and new books to children in need, many who are waiting to be adopted. It is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and is celebrating 10 years in 2011. The North Alabama Chapter donates to organizations such as Harris Home for Children, a foster care institution and child placement agency. This is Mariah's second year hosting the program at the ice rink and it has been a success each year. Each guest received free admission for a pair of pajamas and a free pass for each book to return at another time to the ice rink. The younger girls really enjoy meeting a "real princess". Mariah reads to the kids and also ice skates with them. This helps children in need and also exposes others to figure skating, which is one of Mariah's favorite things to do.

August 28, 2012

The United Way Community Involvement!!

Name of Organization or Cause *
The United Way

JennaGerner* - National American Miss Georgia Jr Pre Teen

Total Time Served* - 12 hours

My family and I decided to help people in our community that are not as fortunate as we are. We placed a flyer along with a trash bag, and a sticker into the mailboxes of our neighbors. The fyler asked for them to please fill the trash bags with gently used clothes and place the bag by their mailbox. They would then put the sticker on their box to show they wanted to help. We then went by and collected the donations and brought them to the United Way in Bryan County, GA. All together the community donated over 20 bags of clothes! The people of United Way were so happy! It felt so great to help others! We plan on having another drive in January to see if we can top the last amount!

August 27, 2012

Voorhees Center Assisted Living Community Involvement!!

Name of Organization or Cause *
Voorhees Center Assisted Living Center

IsabelAcevedo* - National American Miss New Jersey Miss

Total Time Served* 4 hours

  I volunteered at Voorhees Center Assisted Living Center. I visit the residents on a regular basis and even made new friends. I go every Wednesday to assist with bingo night. I would hand out cards and chips. My main purpose there, which was so rewarding, was to help the physically or mentally disabled play bingo. Some of the residents cannot move their hands or mentally can't keep up with the letter/numbers. I would sit with a few of them and help them with their bingo cards. Sunday mornings, I helped with the coffee socials. We would set the tables, take their order and served them. There were also some people who needed help eating. It makes me feel good knowing I am helping the residents join in regular activites, socializing with them, and putting a smile on their faces.

August 24, 2012

2nd Harvest Inland Northwest Food Bank Community Involvement!!

Name of Organization or Cause *
Second Harvest Inland Northwest Food Bank

Tia Moua* - National American Miss Washingon  Jr Pre Teen

Total Time Served* - 5 hours

With about 200 other volunteers, my mom and I picked apples for five hours on November 5th during Second Harvest Inland Northwest’s annual fall harvest event. Our group, consisting of 25 volunteers, went to three different farms which are part of the Green Bluff Grower’s Association located about 18 miles northeast of Spokane, Washington. I picked apples into a 5-gallon bucket, then emptied the bucket into boxes which were dispersed everywhere in the orchard to make it easy for the volunteers. Many Golden Delicious apples were so large I had to use both hands just to grab hold to pick them! I also picked Red Delicious, Gala and MacIntosh apples. The event organizers estimated that 30,000 pounds of produce, mostly apples, were harvested which makes this year the best one yet!

August 23, 2012

Visiting nursing home Community Involvement!!

Name of Organization or Cause *
"Visited nursing home"

Bailie JadeBishop* - National American Miss Mississippi  Princess

Total Time Served* - 20 hours

Bailie Jade decided to perform her community service at the Jones County Rest Home. Bailie Jade would go after school for 2 to 3 hours on Monday, Wednesday and Friday's. During this time she would talk to the residents, help them play bingo, cards and board games. She would also put on shows. Bailie Jade would sing and dance and the residents loved every minute of it. She never acted like she was scared and loved interacting with the residents. She also would make art work for them to hang in their rooms. This was truly a great learning experience for Bailie Jade. Most the residents did not have family so they were thrilled to have someone take the time Bailie Jade did with them. Even though Bailie Jade was only required to perform 4 hours she preformed 20 and still goes 1 to 2 hours twice a week.

August 22, 2012

Emily's Smile Boxes Community Involvement!!!

Name of Organization or Cause *
Emily's Smile Boxes for Children's Medical Center

MaeganTodd* - National American Miss Texas Teen

Total Time Served* - 6 hours

Teaming up with my sister queens at Children's Medical Center to deliver 150 hand-decorated "Emily's Smile Boxes", full of crayons, coloring books, card games, and note pads was heartwarming. The Smile Boxes provide patients and their siblings hours of fun while they are in the hospital. Allowing myself to take it one step further, by actually playing in the play room, was not only courageous, it was inspirational and responsive.

As young adults, we often get lost in the vision of our future and fail to remember the memories of our past. The memories of being a child; full of wonder, and having an overwhelming amount of energy centered around play. Embracing play and being able to understand what it feels like to spend numerous hours in a hospital were not within my grasp. After visiting, it became clear this is a normal, every day life and feeling for many children and their families.

I met a 6-year old who instantly captured my attention. She is diagnosed with terminal cancer and spends weeks at a time in the hospital having radiation treatment. While language was a barrier, there was no denying our enjoyment of playing "princess" was rewarding for both of us. After our one-on-one princess dress up fun was over we created picture frames with all of the children in the play room. As I looked around the room, I saw constant smiles that reminded me how very fortunate I am. Their laughter continues to encourage me to be the light in a child's eyes. I left that day knowing I had made a difference. And, little did they know, they left a mark on my heart that I will cherish forever.

August 21, 2012

Ronald McDonald Community Involvement!!

Name of Organization or Cause *
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Pennsylvania

A'yasiaCherry* - National American Miss Pennsylvania Jr Teen

Total Time Served* - 4 hours

    Recently I volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House of Hershey, Pennsylvania. This facility is a haven where family members of sick children at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center Children’s Hospital live allowing them to be close to their child. This wonderful organization gives the families the ability to focus on the children, not having to worry about the extra expense of hotels. During my time at the house I had the opportunity to volunteer my services by helping with kitchen clean up and making sure that the living areas where tidy. Though this may seem like a small task to most, it means a lot to the people that stay in the house. I’m sure it’s a good feeling to be able to stay in a clean environment and to be able to relax in a positive home like atmosphere. I have learned that life is short and that you should be thankful for your family and good health. The families who utilize the Ronald McDonald house face challenges every day, not knowing if there child will make it to see tomorrow. Even with all that life has dealt to some of the families, the time I spent in the house I still saw smiling faces and heard laughter. This gave me a deeper appreciation of life and really makes one prioritize what’s important. I realize just how good life is and how blessed I am every day. Volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House was an eye opening and a life changing experience. I will never forget my time spent there or the people I got the chance to meet. I plan to go back in the near future to continuing serving the families and my community.

August 20, 2012

Petsmart People Saving Pets Community Involvement!!

Name of Organization or Cause *
PetSmart Charities People Saving Pets

Saarah Robetje* - National American Miss New Jersey Jr Teen

Total Time Served* - 6 hours

 Pet Smart Charities is the fuel for the People Saving Pets movement. Pet Smart charity is the largest foundation of animal welfare in the United States! Every year four million animals that are put in shelters are euthanized. Euthanized means to put an animal down in a humane way. Although an animal dies in a “humane� way the procedure does not excuse the fact that an animal has just passed. Out of eight million animals in shelters that makes up one HALF of the overall result! This percentage needs to be decreased immediately. People Saving Pets movement is dedicated to finding pets a home where they can live a healthy life and be saved from being euthanized. Now how was I inspired to participate in this movement? My friend had worked for Pet Smart Charities through an organization called Lifeline Rescue. The organization is located in Pet Smart and holds adoptions every Saturday and Sunday, also every other Friday. She said that the org anization needed help that certain weekend because they were low on volunteers. I could not have been more excited to help out! There I learned how to sanitize the cages of the animals, how to take care of them, and how to help a family adopt one of these precious creatures! I loved working with these incredible animals and I will continue to spread the word throughout my community about this organization! I am determined to create fliers and hold fundraisers, because money for the sheltered animals for shots and being properly spayed or neutered unfortunately does not grow on trees! I will continue to spread the awareness throughout my community because these rates cannot remain at fifty percent; my dream is to make them decrease to zero.