One year ago, I was thrilled to be crowned your 2015 Miss Arizona Junior Teen. Since then, it has been incredible representing NAM, the system I love so much, and the entire sunny state of Arizona. I kicked my year off as visiting royalty at the Miss Washington and Miss Tennessee pageants, where I watched 2 girls get the opportunity of a lifetime and met queens who would grow to become my very best friends. A few weeks later, I headed to Nationals in Anaheim for a week of fun and making memories. From Starbucks dates with my sister queens in between rehearsals to cheering each other on at competitions, and even earning a spot in the Top 10, it was truly one of the greatest weeks of my life.
This year I traveled the state speaking to hundreds of people about the power of positivity and goal-setting, volunteering with some of my favorite organizations like Feed My Starving Children and UMOM Homeless Shelter and making appearances in parades and special events across Arizona. To Ms. Breanne and all the pageant staff, thank you for the constant love and support you have shown me throughout my years with NAM. I am so grateful for what I have learned from you. You’re the best!
Thanks to my sister queens and your families for an awesome year filled with smiles and laughter. It has been a blast with you all and I will forever hold you close to my heart. I am thankful for the 40 new sisters I’ve gained in the NAM Junior Teen Class of 2015. Long after storming Disneyland together and having pizza dance parties at Nationals, our daily group chat keeps us connected, and I am confident our friendship will last a lifetime.
For my successor, congratulations and get ready for this amazing journey full of incredible opportunity. Reach out to everyone you meet, and do not forget that you can inspire change. And to my mom and dad, thank you for making all this possible. You are my coaches, my biggest cheerleaders, my stress relievers, and my best friends. I love you endlessly, thank you for always supporting and believing in my crazy dreams! It has been an honor to represent National American Miss. This year has given me many wonderful opportunities to grow, learn, and serve the great state of Arizona. Take every chance you have in life to do the same, and always bring with you a ray of sunshine.
Signing off as your 2015 Miss Arizona Jr. Teen,
I am Vanessa Strait