Amanda Moreno, daughter of Al and Phyllis Moreno of Conyers, recently won the National Title for National American Miss for the All-American Miss age division. She was chosen among hundreds of candidates from all across the United States on the basis of their academic status, poise and personality on stage, poise and personality in an interview, communication skills and community service.
"I was in complete shock," she said in an email about hearing her name called. "I went into this year's pageant wanting to do my personal best without having any expectations. Hearing my name called was by far one of the most amazing feelings in the world... It got even better when I looked into the audience and saw my entire team cheering me on and crying in excitement."
Moreno, a Rockdale County High School and Rockdale Career Academy graduate, will be traveling across the country this summer representing the National American Miss Pageant Program. She will also receive an all expense paid trip to the National Pageant to be held in Anaheim California during Thanksgiving week 2012 to crown her successor. While in California, she will receive a special day in Disneyland for two and a famous tour of Hollywood.
Moreno, 19, first began entering pageants at the age of 12. "Growing up, I was a self-conscious... but National American Miss helped me see that I was beautiful just the way I was. Through this program I’ve been able to really define both myself and my goals. I’ve learned to never, ever, give up."
Moreno is a first year business student at Georgia State University and hopes to eventually become a corporate executive for the Walt Disney Company. She continues to mentor for the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Atlanta and is the founder of the True Beauty Movement, a program to inspire girls to create their own definition of beauty and develop a positive self image. This program has touched over 1,300 girls nationwide through the school integration program, photo collage, and the essay contest. She said for the following year, her goal is to reach 5,000 girls.
If she were to give advice to other young girls entering pageants, she would say, "Believe in yourself and do it for the right reasons! When you focus on doing your personal best, creating lifelong friendships, becoming more active in your community, and developing into the young lady you foresee yourself to be.... winning becomes secondary. Pageants are about celebrating ladies and their accomplishments, not putting each other down and “competing against each other.” You compete for your personal best score, and I think that fact gets lost sometimes. Being yourself is by far the best thing you can do."