2013 National American Miss Georgia Jr. Teen Queen, Olivia Landrum, looks back on her year.
Abraham Lincoln once said, “It’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years.” Believe me when I say that no amount of pageant or interview preparation could have prepared me for the amazing journey this title has taken me on. From the outpouring of love and support from strangers, friends and loved ones, to the countless community volunteer hours I logged, my journey was a fulfilling and rewarding one.
First I collected all of the books and school supplies donated at the pageant last year and distributed them throughout my community. A couple of months later, I was able to collect household supplies from the students at my school and donate them to the troops and their families at the Fisher House in my hometown. Next, I made a trip to the capital to meet out governor. Throughout my reign I also participated in parades with my sister queens, helped out with the NAM staff and traveled 2,052.48 miles across country to compete at Nationals held in Anaheim, California. I cannot help but believe that my overall experience this year was God’s way of truly preparing me for the rest of my life’s journey.
It’s not the crown that defines you, but what you have inside that counts. Remember girls, ‘the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams,’ so dream on.
With Georgia on my mind,
2013 Miss Georgia Jr. Teen
Jeanae Ganthier, National American Miss 2013 Florida Pre-Teen Queen, is featured in her local paper.
A look at National American Miss Kentucky Princess Queen Aaniyah Burnett’s year with NAM.
Meet Kaitlyn Connell your 2013 National American Miss North Carolina Pre-Teen Cover Girl.
Meet Kaitlyn Connell your 2013 Miss North Carolina Pre-Teen Cover Girl.
“I am thrilled to have this opportunity and excited to represent the sunshine state as Miss Florida Junior Teen!”
– Rebecca Markert, Miss Florida Junior Teen
Rebecca Markert is the 2013 Miss Florida Junior Teen Queen. Rebecca is 16 years old and lives with her family in Delray Beach, Florida. She is a junior at Pope John Paul II High School in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is an honors student; National Honors Society member; member of the school’s cheerleading squad; an actor in the fall and spring theater production; and a member of the school’s Thespians and Cappies “Critics and Awards Program” clubs. Rebecca is a New England Academy of Dance and Boca Ballet Theatre trained dancer with more than 12 years of experience. She also spent two years at the prestigious Stagedoor Manor summer camp in the Catskills.
Rebecca was named Queen of the 2013 State of Florida (South) Miss Florida Junior Teen during the July 20-21 event held in Miami. With her win, Rebecca receives a complimentary trip to the National American Miss competition in Hollywood, California this November. There she will compete against hundreds of girls from around the country for the title of National American Miss Junior Teen Queen.
Despite being new to the pageant arena, Rebecca impressed the judges with her personality, casual wear, spirit, and acting skills – winning awards in all of the aforementioned categories. Rebecca’s talent during the competition included playing the ukulele and singing. While singing came natural for the high school junior, who has performed in numerous plays and theater productions, playing the Hawaii-born ukulele was a different story. Always up for a challenge, Rebecca taught herself to play the small string instrument only months before the Miss Florida Junior Teen pageant and performed it with gusto!
Rebecca will focus on the Little Smiles charity as her Miss Florida Junior Teen campaign platform. Little Smiles is a non-profit volunteer organizations based in Florida that provides toys, movies, computers, celebrity meet-and-greets, concert and sporting event tickets, theme park trips, junk food runs, and much more to children in local hospitals, hospices and shelters throughout Florida. Through the charity, Rebecca has already had the opportunity to spend time at the Miami Children’s Hospital with some of the young patients, deliver pizza to the nurses and shoot Nerf® guns with the kids! Learn more about the organization at www.LittleSmiles.org.
New to pageants, Rebecca is thrilled to have been part of the entire Miss Florida Junior Teen experience and ecstatic that she won! She is hoping her title will allow her to bring awareness to the Little Smiles organization and help open new doors within the entertainment industry. Her aspiration is to one day be an actor in TV and film. Learn more about Rebecca Markert at RebeccaMarkert.com.
Former National American Miss Jr. Pre-Teen Queen, Kiana Brown, who won the Kidz Bop talent search, has a new video. Check it out here!
Former Miss Jr. Pre-Teen Queen, Kiana Brown, who won the Kidz Bop talent search, has a new video. Check it out here!
When I meet new people, they often ask, “What do you do?” With a grin, I reply “I’m a pageant director!” That always prompts them ask follow up questions and gives me the opportunity to tell them about our organization.
One of my favorite parts of being a director are the letters that I get after the pageant from parents and contestants. I literally have a file drawer full of them! I get the sweetest letters telling me how the pageant experience has impacted their lives. They talk to me about the confidence they have gained, the friends they made, how they were shy before and now have come out of their shell. I am often told that now they aren’t scared to try new things like running for student government, trying out for a team, that through the pageant they have gained that self-esteem to be able to step out and be a leader among their peers. The letters are truly inspirational.
One letter I got about a year ago was from the sweetest little girl. As a project for school they had to write a thank you letter to someone other than a family member, and she picked me! OK, first of all, how cool is it a an educator is teaching kids not only math, science and reading, but also to be thankful and grateful, that is so cool in my opinion. But most of how, how touched do you think I was that this little girl chose me to single out and say thank you to! I don’t care how bad of a day you are having, something like that puts a smile on your face. In this letter, she simply stated that she was so thankful for all the pageant had done for her, the confidence, the self-esteem, the friends, it truly was a beautiful letter.
My joy of this job comes from knowing that I am making a difference! I think as human beings we are all searching for purpose, and I have found mine. Through this program I have the opportunity to meet the most amazing kids and their families and play a role in their future.
To all of you, thank you for giving me a chance to be part of you lives, I have truly been blessed.
So one of the questions I get the most is, “how did you get involved in pageants?” Well here’s the answer. I grew up in Hagerstown, Indiana. When I was 13 years old I started working for a DJ company call Heart Breaker Video Disc Jockeys. When I first started I was just a DJ helper at school dances, wedding receptions, stuff like that. As I got older I started working as an actual DJ for the company and worked for them all through high school and college. Well, in 1997 the DJ company gets a call from Steve Mayes, the Indiana pageant director at the time. He was at the Indiana pageant and wanted someone to come and do some lighting at the pageant. He literally found us in the yellow pages!
By this time I was one of the most experienced DJ’s in the company, so the owner, his son (Jason Black) and I went to the Indiana pageant to put up some fun lights. We had no idea what to expect. But as soon as I met Steve and Kathleen I immediately knew that this was a lot different than what I expected. I was figuring it would be like what I hear about on TV about youth pageants, boy was I wrong. I saw a staff that genuinely cared for the contestants, that had a goal far beyond giving out crowns, banners and trophies, they had a true purpose to see kids lives enriched for the better. I immediately knew that this was a program that I wanted to be a part of. After the Indiana pageant, I sat down with Steve and talked to him about working at some other events for him as a sound and light tech. That summer, I traveled to the Missouri and Washington pageants. The following year, I traveled to all the Mayes’ pageants doing the sound and lights. It worked out great since I was in college, it was the perfect summer job, traveling the country, working with an amazing group of people and mostly importantly, impact lives.
After about 5 years traveling with the pageants I started to express interest that I wanted to get more involved and in 2003, while I was working as an algebra teacher, Steve contacted me and asked me if I would like to be a state director. To say the least, I was more than honored that he would consider me. I said yes and that year I directed my first pageant, Tennessee. Then in 2005 they offered me Kentucky and South Carolina and then in 2008 I was offered Oregon and the rest is history.