Miss Illinois Princess
I am SO excited to be the 2020 NAM Illinois Princess! I’m a very energetic 7 year old! My mom calls me “Madzilla!” She says I’m a wild one!
I have wanted to be a NAM princess ever since I can remember! I watched my big sister win the National All-American Miss Princess title a few years ago at nationals and I fell in love with the stage and all that NAM represents.
Now it’s my turn to join the NAM-ily!
I LOVE dancing! I’m a competition dancer. I love jazz, lyrical and hip hop. I also tumble and cheer. Go Indians!!
I’m in the second grade and I have the best teacher! I love art, music and of course recess!
When I grow up I want to be a veterinarian. I am an “animal whisperer!” It’s true!! Animals love me! I talk to all kinds of animals! Even bugs! I love bugs! I can’t wait to cuddle all kinds of animals when I’m a veterinarian. Until then I live to cuddle with my HUGE dog, Georgia and my fluffy kitty Gruffy. I want a chinchilla for Christmas but my mom isn’t going for that. I’m still working on her!
I also have my own charity! It’s called “Made by Maddex!” My mom and I make jewelry and hair bows. (I’m known to rock some big hair bows!) We give some of them to children in the hospital. Others, we sell at craft fairs or online and we donate the money to our favorite charity, The Ronald McDonald House.
I may be small but I’m mighty and I can make a difference in the world!
I am so proud and honored to be your 2020 NAM Illinois Princess!
Follow her journey on Instagram: @thenamilprincess
Miss Illinois Jr. Preteen
I am your 2020 NAM Junior Preteen! I truly dreamed of being able to say that! I am nine years old and entering into the 3rd grade at Stone Creek Elementary—virtually this year!
I am a daughter, sister, friend, niece, cousin, granddaughter, great-grand daughter, great-great granddaughter, but— one of my favorite roles is pageant queen! I also enjoy dancing jazz and hip-hop, golf in the summers, and hitting the stage with my children’s theatre company, The Studio.
The National pageant in Florida was so fun with the beautiful dresses, modeling and acting opportunities, and getting to tell so many amazing judges all about STELLA! Some of the judges were Miss USA and Miss Teen USA state contestants and national winners—I was star struck!
Nationals was also a time that I will always remember because I got to meet so many girls from all over the United States and build true friendships! I have enjoyed special times with my Illinois queens at sisterhood sleepovers and volunteer opportunities. I love that I can keep up with all my NAM sisters via FaceTime no matter where they live!
This year wasn’t hindered by the pandemic because I still found opportunities to help others with my random acts of kindness initiative, Spread the Love. I have written over 200 special, handwritten notes to our local first responders!
I have had an amazing year so far and it was truly made better by the thoughtful Team Williams state directors that sent special packages and encouragement all year long! This year with NAM has been a way for me to grow in confidence and build my speaking skills, learn how to set goals and work towards them, and share my unique differences with others!
I was honored to have been given this opportunity as it was a dream and a goal to be awarded the National American Miss Junior Preteen title. Giving up my title this summer will be bittersweet, but I know someone amazing will have the opportunity to experience all that I have this year! Any girl would enjoy and grow from the NAM pageant experience! Once a NAM girl always a NAM girl—this won’t be the end of Stella Valentina Foley❤️
Follow her journey on Instagram: @thenamiljrpreteen
Miss Illinois Preteen
I am proud and honored to represent the great state of Illinois as your Miss Illinois Preteen.
My National American Miss journey began in 2015 and I have returned every year! NAM weekend has always been filled with fun and excitement, making new friends and having that special moment with my dad on stage in evening wear.
NAM has taught me a great deal about myself. Perseverance is key. It takes a lot to capture the crown, but in the moments you don’t, you learn and grow. I have been very determined to get to the National NAM stage and can’t wait for that moment.
Additionally, I am a 7th grade, straight A student at James G. Blaine School in Chicago, Illinois. In my spare time, you can find me at All About Dance for 15 hours a week and volunteering in my community. I am an advocate for girls literacy and love to read! My future ambition is to become a professional ballerina and I would love the chance to share the stage with American Ballerina Misty Copeland.
My tip for girls who are competing as a novice or for years, Be Yourself. There’s only one you and you will shine bright when you are you! Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars!
Follow her journey on Instagram: @thenamilpreteen
Miss Illinois Jr Teen
NAM has been a part of my life since I can remember. I was attending state and NAM Nationals before I was even old enough to compete in the Princess division. I remember watching my older sister Lindsey on the stage and I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to do the same thing.
In 2009 I competed at my first Illinois state pageant. I was 5 years old, in the princess division, and didn’t want the weekend to end. The rest is history!
This year will mark my 11 year journey with this amazing organization. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for the confidence NAM has given me through the years. I’ve also met some of my closest friends (even from other states) that I keep in touch with and visit on a regular basis. There are so many wonderful NAM memories that I have experienced through the years, and I continue to look forward to many more.
I’m extremely honored and proud to be your 2020 Miss Illinois Jr Teen.
Follow her journey on Instagram: @thenamiljrteen
Miss Illinois Teen
Ever since I stepped on the NAM stage nine years ago, I knew it was my dream to be Miss Illinois. NAM has given me the confidence and drive to achieve any goal I set my mind to! I’ve made tons of friends from across the country and gained interview and public speaking skills along the way! I’ve even been scouted by a modeling agency and have started modeling professionally thanks to NAM!
For now I’m a senior at Schaumburg High School. Between being an executive officer of my school’s Students Helping Others club, a member of National Honor Society, and captain of my competitive hip hop team, I’m promoting my platform, Organ Donation, with Life Goes On.
After the crown, I’ll be a freshman at Iowa State University double majoring in Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising and minoring in Communications.
Pageantry will always be one of my greatest passions and I plan on continuing my journey with the I Am Pageant Powerhouse for as long as I possibly can!
Forever grateful, your 2020-2021 National American Miss Illinois Teen, Courtney Larsen
Follow her journey on Instagram: @thenamilteen
My journey with National American Miss began only a few months prior to winning the title of NAM Miss Illinois. I was drawn to the organization because NAM values education, volunteerism, communication, and building confidence in every one of their girls. As the Miss Illinois titleholder, I look forward to bringing my ideas to life and representing National American Miss over the next year!
At 21 years old, I graduated a semester early from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on the Dean’s List with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Speech and Hearing Science and a minor in Spanish. During my time at UIUC, I worked as an undergraduate research assistant for the Language Acquisition Lab, volunteered at Carle Hospital’s Auditory-Oral School, and worked at the Child Development Lab in the daycare. My passion for working with children was an essential part of my undergraduate experience, as I observed their development and increased my ability to connect with each individual child. I served as Secretary of CHAARG, a women’s health and empowerment organization, and danced for 3Spot Dance Troupe, a University club dance team, serving as Treasurer, Vice President, and President. During my final summer before graduation, I participated in a study abroad trip to Italy where we studied the Italian Health Care System.
Following graduation, I continued to work at Street of Dreams Dance Studio as an administrative assistant and instructor, teaching all levels of dance including our “Rhythm is a Dancer” class for students with special needs. I also spent my time working as a paraprofessional at an elementary school under the special education team. My love for children and healthcare inspired my personal program “Touching Hearts” which strives to bring love and happiness, not only to children in medical need, but to their families as well. Additionally, as a Wish Granter for Make-A-Wish Illinois, I am able to work with families to help bring their child’s wish to life!
Currently, I am pursuing a Master of Science Degree in Speech, Language, and Learning at Northwestern University. Expected to graduate in June 2021, I will go on to complete my certification under the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association to become a Speech-Language Pathologist. My goal is to provide services to the pediatric population in the medical setting, specifically working with newborns that have difficulty feeding and swallowing.
My advice for any girl thinking about competing at NAM is to go for it! I started in pageantry at 22 years old and I am so thankful that I made the decision to try something new. At 22 years old, you think you know most everything about yourself, but pageantry challenges you to really understand who you are as a unique individual! National American Miss wants to see who YOU are, so LET’S DO IT!
Follow her journey on Instagram: @thenamilmiss_
Miss Indiana Princess
This was very first pageant and it’s been the best experience. I was looking for a pageant line who would accept me for who I am. One who teaches so much more than just outer beauty. I am so glad that I started my pageant journey with NAM because that’s exactly what they do. ❤️
I enjoy arts, cooking with my mom & fishing with my dad. After school, I love to hang out with my big brother and play video games. I have been involved in several activities including cheerleading, basketball, swimming and gymnastics. It makes me so happy to volunteer at our local animal shelter and promoting an amazing non profit organization, Children With Hair Loss. I was recently named an official ambassador for CWHL.
For anyone who is thinking about participating.... DO IT!! You will learn and grow so much in your time with NAM. Don’t let anything ever stop you from chasing your dreams.
Follow her journey on Instagram: @thenaminprincess
Miss Indiana Jr Pre-Teen
Howdy… I am Bhavya Thakkar, a fourth grader at Promise Road Elementary School in Noblesville, IN and I am stoked to represent our great state as Miss Indiana Jr Pre-Teen.
This is my second year with NAM and I must say I will be coming back for as long as I can. NAM has helped me grow my confidence and see the real me. It has made me explore myself and I have made so many friends from across the country. I can still remember the day I got an open call (thanks to my friend who recommended me) and from that day I have grown my confidence.
I enjoy spending a lot of time volunteering at St. Vincent house helping either cook meals for families there and collect non-perishable goods donation. As a Youth Ambassador for the Earth Charter Indiana organization, I want to spread awareness among youth and encourage them to “ReThink to BeGreen”. When I am not spending my time giving back to the community, I enjoy riding my bike, reading books and playing with my little sister Navya.
One day, I want to become an Elementary school teacher so I can make learning fun and encourage kids to think different. I don’t know if my goal is going to change as I grow but one thing I am sure will not change, is that I want to keep giving back to the community and inspiring other girls.
I would say NAM has changed my life for good and I am sure it will change yours too, all you need is to have faith in yourself and work hard to pursue your dreams.
Follow her journey on Instagram: @thenaminjrpreteen_
Miss Indiana Pre-Teen
It is an honor to represent the state of Indiana this year as your 2020-2021 National American Miss Indiana Preteen.
My journey with NAM is a memorable one. It started back in 2016, I was new as can be to the pageant world. That very year I was crowned the 2016-2017 National American Miss Indiana Jr.Pre-Teen. I loved meeting the wonderful girls and the amazing themed rehearsals. That is why I came back home this year with NAM.
Presently, I am a seventh grader at Castle North Middle School in Newburgh, Indiana. My favorite subject in school is mathematics. In my spare time, I love to dance, play volleyball, go biking, or watch a bollywood movie. You will also find me volunteering at The Boys and Girls Club or Keep Evansville Beautiful, where I love to pick up trash around the community to keep my community beautiful. One of my biggest ambition is to graduate from Indiana University and become a neurologist.
Nationals 2020 was a time I'll never forget. I was able to meet girls from all over the country, go to my first ever Masquerade Ball, and meet Kaliegh Garris. I was lucky enough to win the National Runway Model, National Fashion Model, People's Choice award, fourth runner up in Top Model, and top 10 in talent.
This year I was blessed to have Mrs. Rebecca and Mr.Scotty had my state directors. I loved all the fun surprises they have sent, and seeing them at nationals. I am forever thankful for Team Williams for making this year as memorable as can be.
I am so honored to be your National American Miss Indiana Preteen. It is going to be bittersweet giving up my title this summer, but I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for me. NAM is a place where I call home, and I cannot wait for another lucky girl to experience the same opportunities that I have throughout my reign. Once a NAM girl always a NAM girl!
Follow her journey on Instagram: @thenaminpreteen
Miss Indiana Jr Teen
My journey with National American Miss began 3 years ago when I received a letter in the mail and decided to try it out since it had always been a dream of mine to be in pageants but I didn’t know how to get involved in one. Since then I have grown not only in my confidence but also in my ability carry a conversation and advocate for my platforms.
I love to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald house and with the Fishers Parks and Recreation volunteer team. I am involved with my school’s Riley Dance Marathon club where we fundraise, in many different ways, to raise money for the patients at the Riley Children’s hospital. I am also involved in my school’s orchestra program where I play the Violin. Fun fact , I absolutely LOVE music. I currently play the Violin, Piano, Ukulele, Guitar, and I also sing!
Currently, I am a Freshman at Fishers High School where I am taking three honors classes and a medical course. After high school, I plan to attend college at IUPUI. I then plan to attend med school and begin my career as a Pediatric Surgeon. Although becoming a doctor might take awhile, I am excited to see where my journey takes me through internships, residency, and fellowships!
A few words of advice if you are considering participating at NAM, step out of your comfort zone and give it a go!! I promise you, you will NOT regret it. Although the queens may seem a little intimidating, I promise you we are not! We love to help out, are very kind, and are easy to talk to! If I had not stepped out of my comfort zone for the first time in my life three years ago I would never have met some of my absolute best friends across the country!! So trust me when I say, go for it, because you are not only participating in a pageant, you are joining an enormous family!!
Follow her journey on Instagram: @thenaminjrteen
Miss Indiana Teen
My journey with pageants became a passion when I first stepped foot on the stage at the age of 12. I enjoyed the idea of representing positive pageantry and being a role model to other girls. I then fell in love with the National American Miss organization in 2019. It was unlike any other pageant industry I had ever been a part of.
National American Miss goes far beyond pageantry. It teaches girls poise, confidence, and above all respect. NAM pushes each individual to strive to be the best version of themselves. They encourage girls to give back to their community and to leave a positive legacy. This organization provides so many girls with opportunities to achieve their dreams. It also prepares them for whatever their future endeavors may be.
What National American Miss has done for me though is given me a voice, and with my voice I plan to make a difference. This organization allows girls to compete in optionals that do not play a role in their overall scoring towards the title. My favorite is prepared speech. I have been given the platform to talk about topics that interest me most. This past November, I got the opportunity to talk about my dreams towards a greater society to the whole nation!
The confidence that I have gained and life skills I have learned from this organization have helped me to kill it on and off the stage. This upcoming school year I will be going to college in a different state with people I have never met. This does not worry me one bit though because NAM has taught me that I am able to do anything I set my mind to.
If you are considering becoming a part of NAM, I say take that leap of faith. If you think you’re too old or you have waited too long to start pageants, you could not be more wrong. It is never too late to chase your dream. I can guarantee you that the memories you make and friends you meet through NAM are forever. This organization has left a forever impact on my life and I am so grateful to be a NAM girl. Getting to represent the great state of Indiana over this past year as the National American Miss Indiana Teen has been the greatest blessing of all. So I leave you with one last piece of advice: Dreams are only a figure of imagination until you take action to achieve them and believe me when I say, the destination is always worth the ride.
Follow her journey on Instagram: @thenaminteen
"Where to begin? National American Miss has been the organization I call home since 2006 when I competed in my first state pageant as a princess contestant.
Now, I am 21 years old and am working to leave a positive impact in as many lives as possible. As a mental health/illness activist, I strive to end the stigma behind mental health battles as I myself struggle with anxiety. Sharing resources, tips/advice and statistics, I hope to show others that they’re not alone and that it is okay to not be okay.
This insight doesn’t end when the crown is off but I take it with me to school at Ball State University where I will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Telecommunications with a concentration in news, along with a minor in criminal justice and communications. At Ball State, I have served as an orientation leader, tour guide, university ambassador, an anchor for our on-campus news organization, Vice President of Standards for my sorority, Kappa Delta, along with many more leadership positions. None of this, however, would have been possible without the skills NAM instilled in me over the last several years.
With confidence in me and NAMily by my side, I plan to pursue a Master of Arts in Communications and continue paving the path towards a career as an investigative journalist. Until then, I’ll continue serving as your 2020 National American Miss Indiana.
If you’ve made it this far and you’re considering competing in NAM, I advise you to seek discomfort and go for it! This organization has changed my life for the better. While having the title is an amazing experience, gaining friendships and skills that will last a lifetime is the most rewarding feeling. National American Miss will help you to keep growing as a person, professional and as a leader - regardless of your age. I competed as a Princess, Junior Pre-Teen, Pre-Teen, Junior Teen, Teen and now, Miss. I learned something new every year and I know you will too."
Follow her journey on Instagram: @thenaminmiss