Not at all like your typical “beauty” pageant, National American Miss is a competition where the majority of the scoring is based on a girl’s communication and confidence. At the pageant held on Aug. 13 at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick, 6-year-old Eva Weltch of Mt. Laurel placed in the top 15 contestants for the state Princess division.
“When I learned that I placed in the top 15, I was very happy when I heard the continuous applause. I received the Top Overall Finalist certificate along with my other awards,” Eva said.
This competition is available to girls ages 4 to 20 but is comprised of six age divisions ranging from princess, ages 4, 5 and 6; junior pre-teen, ages 7, 8 and 9; pre-teen, ages 10, 11 and 12; junior teen, ages 13, 14 and 15; teen, ages 16, 17 and 18; and miss, ages 19 and 20. Making this pageant increasingly unique, contestants age 12 or younger are not allowed to wear makeup during the competition.
Eva was recommended for this pageant by a person unknown to her and her family and received an open call letter in the mail in May. She became one of approximately 70 contestants and entered the competition ready to win the crown.
“I think that if anything, she has grown a lot more confident. She went up on the stage, introduced herself in front of hundreds of people and applauded herself for doing so,” her mother Yvette said. “NAM has been a great experience where we have met the nicest people and made new friends.”
Dedicated to celebrating America’s greatness and encouraging future leaders since its founding in 2003, NAM has been named the №1 program for growing confidence in girls ages 4 through 18. The organization sets the bar high in quality, integrity, production value and professionalism and provides customers with both quality and value.
Working to demonstrate her own quality and value, each contestant must participate in four areas of competition, including formal wear, personal introduction, an interview and a community service project. The contestants are then scored 30 percent on their personal introduction, 30 percent on formal wear poise and appearance, 30 percent on communications skills in an interview, and 10 percent on participating in a community involvement project on pageant weekend.
For Eva’s project, she collected gently used and new books and donated them to the pageant’s charity fund.
“I love donating books to people that have no money to buy them or access to them, because it helps them to be able to read more,” Eva said.
Those participating in the pageant may also choose to participate in the optional contests that include talent, spokesmodel, casual wear model, actress, top model, most promising model, miss personality, academic achievement and more. Eva additionally entered the art and photogenic competition as well as the most recommendations competition.
“I was shaking before going out on stage, but then I calmed down, because Daddy was making me laugh and it made me feel more confident,” Eva said.
Highlights from her participation include pajama parties, workshops and a dance production. Eva also loved dressing up as a princess in the formal wear competition and subsequently plans to participate in the same pageant next year with her eyes still set on winning the crown.