April 26, 2012

Flurey-Smith to participate in National American Miss Iowa

By Jeff Gargano


Jaydn Flurey-Smith, 11, a sixth grader at Humboldt Middle School, will be competing at the National American Miss Iowa Pageant April 27-29 in Waterloo.

Jaydn was selected to participate for the state of Iowa after an audition in Fort Dodge on Feb. 9.

Winners at the National American Miss Iowa Pageant advance to a national pageant in California.

The National American Miss is a program designed to help girls develop an empowering poise and self-confidence. Jaydn will learn how to conduct herself in a job interview, how to speak with confidence, will take part in a community mission project to benefit a shelter for women, and will be escorted onto the stage by a male family member for the formal wear competition.

"This pageant is based on personality. There's no swim suit competition," her mother Emily Christensen said.

She'll be competing with 100 other girls in her age group (Pre-teen ages 10-12). Other age categories include Princess (4-7), Junior Pre-Teen (7-9) and Junior Teen and Teen (13-18).

"The biggest thing is the girls are learning skills that they don't necessarily learn in school. It shows it doesn't always have to be based just on beauty, but how you present yourself," Christensen said.

"She had such an amazing time at the first one. She's a little more outgoing now. It's definitely given her some self-confidence," Christensen said.

In the summer of 2010, Jayden was invited to her first pageant, the Miss Poise and Personality Pageant held in Britt and conducted by Kristen Laubenthal, an Iowa native who now is a model in New York. She is also a former nanny who wrote a book, "A Nanny's Day, the Professional Way."

Emily does day care in her home and that is how she heard about the pageant.

"That was a very positive experience for Jaydn," Emily said. "The girls did a workshop with Kristin. Jaydn was a bubbly girl after this. She became very comfortable being herself."

Jaydn placed in the top five in the Personality category at Britt.

Jaydn was invited to come audition at Fort Dodge. Invitations are sent out based on students being on the honor roll, or active in community organizations (Jaydn is active in Girl Scouts and the American Cheerleader Association).

Held on Feb. 9 at the Starlite in Fort Dodge, the girls all got to wear Miss Iowa's crown and sash. After interviewing with the judges, contestants had to wait for either a phone call or a postcard. A phone call meant they advanced. A postcard meant try next year.

Just three girls from the Fort Dodge audition were selected.

"I was pretty excited when we got the call," Jaydn said.

Since then, she's been practicing her introduction and set out to ask for sponsors. There is a $450 sponsorship fee to enter. If she is selected to go the National Pageant, the fees are paid. In addition to her family, her local sponsors include Bank Iowa, Hadar Athletic, Thompson Real Estate and Roller Country.

Jaydn plans to play volleyball and run track next year in seventh grade. She's played rec league soccer since kindergarten. She'll be a Cadet in Girl Scouts and will be attending her third Girl Scout camp this summer. She's also active in the Methodist Church.

Jaydn is the daughter of Emily Christensen and William Smith. She has three younger siblings: Tristin, nine; Nico, three; and Nova, one.

Each family can obtain eight tickets to the pageant, which is held at the Ramada in Waterloo. Jaydn said lots of her family plans to attend.

"It's a real family event. I'm looking forward to it," Jaydn said.


http://www.humboldtnews.com/main.asp?SectionID=12&SubSectionID=12&ArticleID=8319&TM=10577.49

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