Miss New Jersey Outstanding Teen's Blog
Sammy’s March Blog
I can’t believe March is already over! It was another fun filled month with exciting opportunities and strides for my platform. I am so blessed to have won several awards for my program, STEM-CAM. I was also able to support the Children’s Miracle Network, and other causes this month.
The month opened with the announcement that I am the PruKids Spirit of Volunteerism Award Winner. A camera crew from Prudential attended one of my STEM-CAM lessons. They filmed the lesson and conducted an interview with me about STEM-CAM. I was so excited to learn that the video was featured on the homepage of the Prudential website, which is visible to all Prudential employees.
After this exciting news, it was time to attend my first Science Fair. I helped in the Mirror and Optics exhibit at the Chester Science Fair. It was a lot of fun to learn about all of the students’ science fair projects and to see the genuine enthusiasm for STEM. I was able to learn from my experience at the Chester Science Fair and use it when I ran my own booth at the Long Valley Science Fair two weeks later. At the STEM-CAM booth, students could build and test their own catapults and bridges, and try to skewer balloons!
STEM-CAM was also introduced in two new libraries this past month. This month STEM-CAM hosted lessons on chemical reactions at the Mendham Library, robotics in Lake Hiawatha, and Pi Day in both Wharton and Washington Township.
Later in the month, STEM-CAM was awarded the regional prize for Northern New Jersey in the New Jersey Idea Award competition hosted by the Rothman Institute at Fairleigh Dickinson University. This emerging entrepreneur’s competition was an amazing opportunity for STEM-CAM to gain exposure and for me to meet successful businessmen and women from around the country.
Aside from platform related opportunities, I was able to support the Children’s Miracle Network during Pancake Day! I was met by Terry, Willadine, and Kerry at the Kenvil Ihop! I had such a great time serving pancakes and collecting donations for the Children’s Miracle Network with Ellen Chu and Samantha Rossi.
I also had the opportunity to thank our war veterans by singing the National Anthem at the Veteran’s Hospital. There were several talented young ladies who also attended and shared their talents with the veterans. Thank you Tami Charles for inviting me to this event. It was both fascinating and inspiring to learn about the wars they had fought in and to hear some of their stories.
Perhaps one of the most interesting appearances I made this month was judging the Senior Care Pageant. This was a coed pageant for individuals who attend the Senior Care centers around New Jersey. Each Senior Care center hosted a local pageant to decide who would represent that center in this pageant. Each contestant prepared a talent and answered an on-stage question for the judges. It was a challenging task to choose the winner of the Senior Care pageant, but the experience was one I will never forget.
I was excited to attend two local pageants this month. It was great to meet some new contestants and to see the returning girls. Congratulations to Amy Kao and Nina Mojares on winning their titles at Stars and Stripes. Also, welcome to the Bergen County and Ramapo Valley directors. I had a great time participating in the pageant with Cara McCollum. Congratulations to Kristina De Mora for winning the teen title and to Alicia Blanks and Alyssa Clements for winning the miss titles.
March was a month filled with recognition for STEM-CAM and community service work. I feel so blessed and honored to have won the New Jersey Idea Award and the Prudential Spirit Award for my platform. I had a great time supporting the Children’s Miracle Network at Pancake Day, singing the National Anthem at the Veteran’s Hospital, judging the Senior Care Pageant, and welcoming in new titleholders to the Miss New Jersey family. This month has been amazing and I cannot wait to see what next month has in store!
Lots of Love
Sammy’s January Blog
The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. I am still in a total state of shock. I am truly blessed and honored to have the opportunity to represent our great state. I must take a minute to thank God for not only the opportunity to fulfill my dream of being Miss New Jersey’s Outstanding Teen, but also for filling my journey will such amazing and inspiring individuals. Without Him and all of the people he placed in my path, I would not have this incredible opportunity.
To Terry, Kerry, and Sharon, I could not have done it without your love and support. You all adopted me like I was one of your own titleholders. You have opened opportunities up to me and exposed me to new and exciting experiences. Thank you for helping me to spread the word about the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) by inviting me to host an assembly at Mount Olive Middle School. Also, thank you for helping to set up and bake for our Children’s Miracle Network Bake Sale. I will be forever grateful for the mock interviews, appearances, meals, and laughs that you blessed me with.
And of course how could my dream come into fruition without the full support of my family. Mom and Dad, thank you for your time and financial investment. Thank you driving me across the state for mocks, locals, voice lessons, and appearances. You were both always willing and HAPPY to drive me anywhere to help me reach my goals. Also, a BIG thank you to my sister Angelina for enduring the late nights out, pageant talk, and constant singing. You have always been my number one fan and your support means a lot to me.
To everyone else who guided me in my preparation for states, thank you. Each of you contributed your expertise to make me shine on stage during competition. I have never met so many amazing, intelligent, and talented people as I have the year leading up to Miss New Jersey’s Outstanding Teen. Thank you all so much for being a part of my journey. I truly felt loved when I heard your voices in the audience that night.
While I am honored and excited to have been crowned Miss New Jersey’s Outstanding Teen, I know I have a lot of work ahead and big shoes to fill. Alyssa Sullivan truly embodies all of the virtues this organization promotes, and wore her crown with such elegance and grace. During her reign she worked hard to gain new sponsors for the program and establish a new tradition for all of the Outstanding Teen titleholders who visit Atlantic City for Miss America. I could not have been any prouder of Alyssa at Nationals where she placed in the top 8 for the overall title and had one of the top 5 interviews. I am blessed to be able to call her my friend.
Already, I can tell my year as Miss New Jersey’s Outstanding Teen is going to be a busy one. The weekend following my crowning, I had the opportunity to see what it was like to be on the other side of that judge’s table when I judged the Mr. Millville Pageant. It was more fun than I ever could have imagined and there were so many talented and accomplished contestants. Being on the other side of the judges’ table gave me a new appreciation for the Herculean task assigned to these judges to select a titleholder who will represent the organization for the year.
Aside from judging Mr. Millville, I have been busy promoting my platform; STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Since being crowned, I have hosted programs at two different libraries. I am excited to announce that STEM-CAM (science, technology, engineering, and math through building confidence, changing attitudes, and mentoring programs) will host programs in six different libraries starting in March!
Check in again to hear about what promises to be an exciting February!
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