Sunday, June 21, 2015

2014 Miss Minnesota, Courtney Igbo-Ogbonna's Farewell

National American Miss has given me 11 years of unforgettable memories. Since my first time competing in 2004 as a Pre-Teen, I knew that reigning as a NAM queen would be an opportunity of a lifetime. Finally 10 years later, I had my crowning moments and it will always be a memory I will cherish forever.
My year as Miss Minnesota has been better than perfect. I've had the opportunity to walk the field prior to a Twins Games only feet away from the players warming up, deliver presents to those in need in the Farmington community, and wave to the people of Minnesota in multiple parades.
My sister queens and I have became so close over the year and I couldn't be more proud of who they are as women and future leaders. I know that Caleigh, Chloe, Grace, Liz, and Ashley are well on their way to achieving their goals and aspirations all while inspiring others along the way as they have inspired me to be the best role model I can be. Nationals was a blast! We had 3 top 5 finishes, optional awards, and the funnest of times to bring back to Minnesota. We finally put Minnesota back on the map! A HUGE congratulations to Liz Saby, your 2015 National American Miss Junior Teen! I have never been so proud to be a part of this organization and see such a sweet, caring person accomplish somethings so great!
I also want to give a huge thank you to my mom Gladys Igbo. Without her support, patience, and care, there's no way any of my time with NAM would have been possible. To my sister Krystle Igbo, thank you for being my coach, my level-headed voice when I start to stress out, and being my biggest supporter on my side. Without you both, I never would have gotten this far and I thank you both more than words can say.
To the contestants competing, remember to HAVE FUN! Enjoy your time on that stage, own it, believe in yourself, and know that you will do your absolute best. It took me 10 years to be crowned as a Minnesota Queen. So if you don't win the first time, know that you still have plenty of time to keep trying! Remember to make friends, make memories, and thank your families for making the weekend possible. To my successor, you are in for a fantabulous year! Cherish every moment because it honestly goes by so fast. Enjoy nationals and know that you could very well be the next National American Miss! Anything is possible if you work hard enough and believe in yourself. It has been an honor to give back to the pageant system that has taught me how to be the best version of myself. Thank you National American Miss for giving me this wonderful opportunity. I may have to take off my crown, and I may be too old to compete, but I will ALWAYS be a NAM girl. 

All the best,
Your 2014 National American Miss Minnesota
Courtney Igbo-Ogbonna

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