As the 2016 Miss South Carolina Jr. Pre-Teen, my year of service has been nothing short of amazing! I have volunteering weekly at my local pet adoption center and have participated in many events with my local Humane Society this year. I was honored to take my title all the way to India where I was able to witness my fundraising efforts that helped build a clean water well for villagers and a drinking water facility for animals in my Grandfather’s birth village. Baking cookies at the Ronald McDonald House, participating in the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society Walk and volunteering at the Officers Down 5K with my SC sisters queen was so much fun! I promoted Gorilla awareness by doing an educational presentation and making a care package for The Gorilla Foundation. National American Miss has not only boosted my confidence but also encouraged me to speak out and to be determined and kind.
I want to wish all of the contestants the best of luck! Through National American Miss, I have made everlasting friendships and have had so many opportunities to make a difference and I hope that each of you will too! I hope each and every one of you has a fabulous journey with NAM…and remember: once a NAM girl, always a NAM girl!
Jia Patel – 2016 Miss South Carolina Jr. Pre-Teen