Emily Black, 7, of Blacksburg recently returned from the National American Miss Pageant in California, where she placed in the Top 5 in the United States for the Spokesmodel category in the Princess Division.
She delivered her memorized speech entitled “How We Can Make this World a Better Place: Stand Up to Bullying” at the Anaheim Marriott before a ballroom filled with several hundred audience members as well as a panel of judges.
To qualify for nationals, Emily placed in the Queen’s Court at the National American Miss Virginia Pageant, securing her slot to compete at the national level in Anaheim. Also at the state level, Emily earned the title of Most Promising Model and placed in the Top 5 in the Commonwealth of Virginia for the categories of Talent, Top Model, and Photogenic in the Princess Division.
“We really didn’t know what to expect,” said Sarah Black, Emily’s mother, regarding the pageant. “Emily has always been a vivacious and articulate child. When she expressed an interest in competing in National American Miss, we thought we would allow her the opportunity and see if it would be a positive experience. We are pleased this particular pageant disallows makeup for participants younger than teenagers and emphasizes community service and life skills that will be useful in the long term.”
Many girls hired coaches and speechwriters who flew out to California to advise their pageant participants throughout the eight-day event. However, Emily and her family decided to see how well Emily could do all on her own. Sarah Black added, “We are proud of Emily not simply for her awards but more so for her willingness to try something new and bold, make new friends, and truly be the best version of herself.”
Emily completed her community service component at her home parish of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Blacksburg where she helped prepare materials for faith formation.
She is a second-grader at Kipps Elementary School and the daughter of Jonathan and Sarah Black.
National American Miss is dedicated to developing the success of young women across the country with a program that is designed to be age-appropriate and family-oriented.
Pageants are held in each state for girls ages four to eighteen in five different age divisions. Emphasis is placed on the importance of gaining self-confidence, learning new skills, cultivating healthy attitudes about competition, and setting and achieving personal goals.