August 29, 2014 at 6:55 AM
LIVINGSTON, NJ - Livingston resident, Soleil Thomas earned the prestigious title of the 2014 National American Miss New Jersey at the state pageant held on Aug. 23.
From here, Thomas will represent New Jersey by competing in the National Pageant to be held in Anaheim, California at Disneyland during Thanksgiving week.
“I’m really excited about all the things I can do and the privilege I have in being able to do them. I’m really excited to go to other pageants – and just very excited to do everything.”
For first place, Thomas received $1,000 and an additional $350 for airfare to California where the National competition will take place.
Thomas is nine years old and will be starting fourth grade at Harrison Elementary School this fall. She is an avid dancer and gymnast; is involved with Livingston Leaders; and is an alter server at St. Theresa’s church.
Thomas, along with the other contestants, was judged in four categories with each contributing a certain percentage to the final score: 30 percent in formal wear; 30 percent on their personal introduction; 30 percent on their private interview with the judges; and, 10 percent in community service.
“I was a little nervous. The first thing I had to do was a commercial that I memorized. After that, my nervousness pretty much went away,” said Thomas.
Contestants were also able to compete in additional categories that did not contribute to their final score. Of these, Soleil competed in “actress,” “talent,” “top model search,” “photogenic,” and “casual-wear” which she placed 2nd in.
“The optional competitions were more for the girls who wanted to show that they had talents in acting, or modeling, or dancing – but, they (NAM) didn’t want to hinder the girls that just wanted to enter the competition for the Miss American Miss,” said Soleil’s mother, Simone Thomas.
The National American Miss (NAM) Pageants are “dedicated to celebrating America’s greatness and encouraging its future leaders.” Every year, 1.5 million dollars in cash, scholarships and prizes are awarded to winners of the pageants.
This year, the pageant added a new prize at the national level. Every girl that qualifies will have the chance to win a new 2014 Ford Mustang Convertible.
Pageants are held in each state for girls ages four to 18 in five different age divisions and the program is based on “inner beauty,” “poise,” “presentation,” and “an all American spirit of fun for family and friends.” Soleil competed with 112 in her division.
Livingston has one of the best school systems in New Jersey; it raises up Governors, Playwrights, Actors, Artists, Doctors, Lawyers…or to put it plainly… Superstars! But before they became successful grownups, they did extraordinary things as kids.
Read on to learn about the exceptional things our Livingston children are doing these days.
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