Friends, Family and More at National American Miss

Friends, Family and More at National American Miss

NAM Girls with Jason Earles from Hannah Montana.  Photo Credit: Brett Davis
NAM Girls with Jason Earles from Hannah Montana. Photo Credit: Brett Davis

When I speak with people who are unfamiliar with our program, I tell them how National American Miss is about so much more than crowns, banner and trophies.  Its about letting these kids know that no matter what, they have our unconditional love and support.  We should take every opportunity to raise these kids up, to celebrate them and truly show them how special and wonderful we think they are.  When I speak at orientation, I talk about the three goals that we have for each of the kids:  1)  To gain self-confidence and self-esteem; 2)  To have a family fun weekend;  and 3) To make new friends.

As I have written in the past the best part of my job is seeing the contestants faces light up with pride and joy.  When they come off stage they are standing taller feeling more confident, knowing that they tried their best!   The letters the I receive from parents and contestants alike speak of amazing pageant stories.  Parents tell me how their daughters are more out going now and are ready to try new things.


In a time when none of us have enough free time its easy to let the things that we take for granted fall by the wayside.  Whenever we get crunched on times, what’s the first thing that most of us cut out: family time.  We live a hectic, fast paced society where kids are busier now than they ever have been in the past.   Its school, then practice, then dinner at the drive thru, then dance class, just for her to end the day falling sleep while doing  homework.  Our goal at the pageant is to create moments for the family to have fun together:  go to the pool, have dinner together, take a family picture.

Photo Credit: Kathy Whittaker
Photo Credit: Kathy Whittaker

This past January I was invited to a wedding of a former contestant.  While at the wedding I quickly realized that her maid of honor was a former contestant as well.  Years ago while at the Washington State pageant these two women met.  They fostered that relationship and over time it grew into an enduring friendship.  This is just one of the many stories that I have and have heard of the years.  Many of the kids that have participated in our program have made life-long friends at National American Miss.  I like to say that you have the chance to meet your college roommate or even your maid-of-honor!


National Amerian Miss-Facebook, YouTube and MySpace

National Amerian Miss-Facebook, YouTube and MySpace

Here are some great places to meet other families that have participated in National American Miss from all over the country.  Feel free to leave a comment, post a question or show us your pictures from NAM.


Click here to see our Facebook Page



Click hereto see our MySpace Page


Click here to see our YouTube Page

Is National American Miss A Scam?

One of the hardest things about my job is dealing with the stereotypes that exist about pageants.  Like every other stereotype that exists, its unfortunate that you have to deal with people passing judgement before they have all the information.  People who are unfamiliar with our program immediately thing of thinks like Little Miss Sunshine. 

National American Miss is different from any other pageant system.  That’s why we have a no make-up rule contestants 12 years old and younger.  That’s why we never have and never will have a swimsuit competition.  At National American Miss, we pride ourselves on setting the bar higher in every aspect: quality, integrity, production value, professionalism, and providing our customers with quality and value. At National American Miss we emphasis self-esteem, confidence, communication and interviewing skills, and community service.

Here are a few of the things people have to say about our program:

Caroline Graham(Waubonsie Valley High School) wrote
at 8:36pm on January 24th, 2009
I had the best time at National American Miss Illinois!!!
Sara Beth Clapp wrote
at 4:28pm on January 24th, 2009
National American Miss is definitely one of the best experiences I have EVER Had! I love it!
Lindsey Sauerer (St. Cloud) wrote
at 2:59am on January 22nd, 2009
Cindy Washington Hammers (Nashville, TN) wrote
at 12:07am on January 21st, 2009
NAMISS pageant is the best! Matt Leverton is the best pageant director. The pageant staff is very helpful and extremely kind. My daughter will be in the pageant for the 4th year this year and she’s climbing her way to the top! This is the most enjoyable pageant Brittany has ever competed in. If your hesitant give it a try, you’re won’t be disappointed!
Marie Wood (Gray Stone Day School) wrote
at 11:49pm on January 20th, 2009
I had an awesome time in this past NC state pageant. It was my first, and sadly my last chance to enter as I will be busy with college and wedding planning this next time. I had an amazing time participating and only wish that I could have known about it sooner and participated more. I will never forget the girls I met and the experiences I had. Thank you NAM!!!
Tammy Watson (Nashville, TN) wrote
at 10:23pm on January 20th, 2009
NAM is truly a great experience for any girl of any age. My daughter participated last year in the Jr. Teen division. She had a great time, and made some great friends along the way. She is ready to do it again this year. I recommend this experience to any young girl and her family. It is truly amazing to watch.
Karly Kindoll (Louisville, KY) wrote
at 12:44am on January 20th, 2009
I LOVE NAM. Matt Leverton is a GREAT state director. I had such a great experience last year that i will hopefully return this year. thanks NAM!!!!
Christy McCall (Louisville, KY) wrote
at 10:56pm on January 19th, 2009
We just love the NAM organization. We’ve participated in the KY State pageants for the last 2 years and look forward to many more great years of meeting new friends and having great times.
Alla Jawarish (Atlanta, GA) wrote
at 2:15pm on January 17th, 2009
NAM is AWESOME!!! My daughter can’t wait for the next year pageant, loves the experience and making friends. Can’t wait to see what happens in Pre-Teen division!
McCartney Paige Alessi-Jensen (West Springfield High School) wrote
at 4:56am on January 10th, 2009
NAM rocks! Patti and Lew are awesome state directors and the Mayes are also awesome national directors! I hope to go back to Miss. Mass. again this yr…and win again! I made it to nationals and that was deff. 10 of the best days of my life! -McCartney
Ellen Jester (Houston, TX) wrote
at 4:42pm on January 5th, 2009
NAM is the best! =) We love the Mayes and what they stand for in pageantry, and with respect to today’s girls. Our daughter, Kimberly, has gained so many valuable life skills through her participation and affiliation with National American Miss over the years. They are awesome from the top of the organization to the bottom, and all layers in between!
Keke Jan 22 2009 5:03 PM NAMiss we are extremely excited about the pageant this year. Can’t wait to get started!! Miss ya!!Yours truly,

Mela☮ Jan 8 2009 12:18 AM hey! thanks for the add i was one of the new york jr teen state finalist for 2007-2008 i won the volunteer service award and namiss is a great pageant that boosts your confidence and its just a great experience where you can have fun and meet new friends!

Kim Sep 6 2008 9:30 PM I had a great time this year at the WA state NAM Pageant. I placed 4th runner up in the over-all competition and 4th runner up in the photogenic. What a great experience. Can’t wait until next year.       

*Rach* Sep 6 2008 10:41 PM I had so much fun in the southern California pageant this year I made so many MORE friends and I am still talking to a few of them along with friends I made 2 years ago! This pageant has opened up so many opportunities for me.
And now I am one of the first ones to raise my hand in class to volunteer and demonstrate things! Can’t wait till next year!       

leslie;ily <3 Sep 5 2008 9:10 PM I had such a wonderful experience this year in the NAM pageant…cannot wait till next year to make more awesome friends & meet new ones.

*~*Miss Determined*~* Aug 31 2008 5:41 AM I love National American Miss! This pageant has really inspired me to go beyond my dreams. I have participated in GA Teen for the past two years and this year I will try out for the MISS division.
Thank you NAMISS and good luck to all the girls going to nationals!       

Aug 21 2008 2:04 AM Thanks for being such a great influence on girls across the United States. We have a blast every time we go to your pageant and we cant wait until nationals in CA.
Thanks again, Mikayla       

Is National American Miss A Beauty Pageant?

I get a lot of phones each, some from people who are familiar with our program, others who are not. Over the next few days I am going to post some thoughts about the questions that I get asked the most.

Is National American Miss a Beauty Pageant?

Definitely not! You are scored 30% on your Personal Introduction, 30% on Formal Wear Poise and Appearance, 30% on Communications Skills in an Interview, and 10% on Participating in a Community Involvement Project on Pageant Weekend. 

The community service project is the easiest. Simply bring a stuffed animal or children’s book to pageant weekend and you will receive full credit for the community involvement competition. We will then take all of the books and bears and donate the items to charity. Through this competition we are introducing and reinforcing the concepts of community involvement and volunteer service which we hope will be taken from the pageant and into your community.

The personal introduction competition is where each contestant will stand on stage with a microphone and say their name, age, hometown and ambition. Our goal here is for each contestant to feel comfortable on stage delivering a speech. As well all know, public speaking, for most people, is their biggest fear and is one that gets easier the more you practice.

The interview is where each contestant will sit down with each judge and they will ask questions to get to know the contestant’s personality. They will not be asking questions that have a right or wrong answer, rather questions that allow each contestant to let her personality shine through. This is a great competition because it allows you to learn the valuable interviewing skills that will be invaluable in the future.

The formal wear portion is where each contestant is presented on stage in her formal dress. Here our desire is for each contestant to gain poise, self-confidence and shine on stage.  Then take that confidence into their homes, schools and communities.

All of these competitions will teach each contestant skills that you will use later in life!! Public speaking and job interviews will be much easier for you after competing in the National American Miss Pageant.

To see more and answers to other questions, see our FAQ page.  Click here to go there.

National American Miss Dylan Collins Sheduled To Appear For President Elect Obama’s Inagural Ball


Joining on the celebration surrounding the historic inauguration is Dylan Collins, the 2005 National American Miss New York Junior Pre-Teen queen. Dylan performed at the Democratic National Convention as she campaigned for her presidential pick, Barack Obama. And is now scheduled to perform at the Inaugural Ball.

It is exciting to see National American Miss girls of all ages involved in their community. Whether it is getting involved in the political process, recycling, or a host of other opportunities, these girls are making a difference! 

Check out Dylan’s MySpace page to see all of her accomplishments.


Lacey Fitzgerald Countdown To The Crown for Miss America!

Miss Missouri Lacey Fitzgerald

The Miss America Pageant is just around the corner!  This year is a very special year for one of my National American Miss staff members and dear friend Lacey Fitzgerald, Miss Missouri.  Many of you have met Lacey over the years at the open calls, the workshops and the pageants.  Lacey’s platform is Big Brothers-Big Sisters, Mentoring Advocacy. She has spent the last year traveling to every corner of the Show Me State speaking to a variety of organizations and schools.  As Miss Missouri, she is also the official ambassador for the state’s Anti-smoking campaign for kids. 

Currently you can see Lacey on TLC’s “Miss America: Countdown To The Crown”.  The pageant will air live on TLC on January 24th at 8/7c.

Go Lacey, we are all so proud of you!


National American Miss Competes For American Idol

This past summer American Idol made its whirlwind coast to coast tour, and as expected many National American Miss contestants were there to take their turn in front of the judges!

The 2007 National American Miss Kentucky Teen Olivia Henken form Kentucky made it one step shy making it to Hollywood.  Even thought she didn’t make it, we are all still so proud of her. 

Arianna Afsar, a State Finalist for California NAMiss in 2008 and our Teen talent winner will have a chance to be the next American Idol!  Here is a link to the article on the American Idol website:

Way to go Arianna, we will be watching!


National American Miss South Carolina Hits The Big Screen!

Our 2007 National American Miss South Carolina Jr. Pre-Teen, Amelia DePass, makes it to the big screen.

Amelia is a very busy young lady.  She is has been involved in modeling and acting since age 5.  She has filmed three feature films, three commercials, and is featured in RAGGS on PBS.  She also does community theater.  She has taken horseback riding lessons for 4 years, took dance for two years, acting classes for 2 years, gymnastics for 3 years, was a cheerleader this year, has played church league basketball, completed Girls On The Run last semester and finished a 5K run in under 30 minutes.  Amelia is a great student, being on the Principal’s Honor Roll having all As.  She received the SC Governor’s Achievement Award last year for her community involvement.  She has been involved in school fundraisers like JUMP for a healthy heart and The Boosterthon Fun Run.  She aids the Junior Welfare League of Rock Hill by working in their thrift store as a cashier.  She helps out the Rock Hill Family Resource Center by babysitting small children while their parents attend educational classes.  She has helped with homework at the Children’s Attention Center and plays with those kids after school.  She has collected and donated household items and clothing to help families in natural disasters.  Amelia is an amazing young girl with a big, kind heart and an adventurous spirit. 

Way to go Amelia, we are all so proud of you