When most people think about pageants for girls ages 10 or younger, they tend to think of Toddlers and Tiaras. For 10-year-old Braylin Woodard, a native of Patterson, La., she goes against this stereotype. This humble fourth-grader at Hattie A. Watts Elementary School went into Nationals week for National American Miss just to have fun, and walked away with the National All-American Miss Jr. Pre-Teen title.
The four-year veteran of the NAM system came to the 2012 National pageant as Miss Patterson for the state of Louisiana. Before 2012, Woodard had been 1st Runner-Up to the Louisiana title two years in a row. Along with her many awards, at both the state and national levels, Woodard has also come in the top five for several optional competitions during her years as a competitor.
In an interview with her, Woodard tells us what National American Miss is all about, how far she’s gone before capturing the title and her advice for others. Let’s get to know the 2012-2013 National All-American Miss Jr. Pre-Teen Braylin Woodard.
Megan: What has NAM done for you throughout your year(s)?
Braylin: It has changed my life, because I always thought that I wasn’t strong. I just thought I was very shy, but now I’m not.
Megan: What are the past titles/awards you have won with NAM?
For 2008: Miss Louisiana Princess, Louisiana Princess Miss Personality and National Princess Miss Personality.
For 2011: Miss Louisiana Jr. Pre-Teen Best Resume Winner
For 2012:Louisiana Jr. Pre-Teen Miss Personality, Louisiana Jr. Pre-Teen Most Promising Model and Louisiana Jr. Pre-Teen Casual Wear Winner.
Megan: Have you competed in any other systems before?
Braylin: I’ve competed for Miss Morgan City and at the Cypress Sawmill Festival in Patterson, LA. I was Miss Cypress Sawmill 2010, Miss Morgan City 2012 and 1st Runner-Up to Miss Cypress Sawmill in 2012.
Megan: What advice would you give to first time competitors?
Braylin: Just have fun and make new friends.
Megan: What do you plan to do during your reign?
Braylin: I plan to visit many states as visiting royalty, community service and to let people know that they are not alone.
Megan: Do you have any hobbies?
Braylin: Yes, a lot! In sports, softball, swimming and archery. I got a play bow and arrow and my dad’s kind of teaching me and I’m taking lessons. I’m also acting and I was in the “Go Ahead. Start Fresh” Post-It Commercial that’s airing right now.
Braylin: My sash and crown, hotel key room, a jacket and a snack.
Megan: What are your best tips for winning each phase of competition with NAM?
Braylin: My tips are to smile, have fun and show all your real personality.
Megan: What do you tell those who think pageants are just based on the stereotypes?
Braylin: I would tell them that they’re wrong because I’m really short! It’s not about how tall you are and how good and smart you are, it’s just about you having fun.
For those of you who are competing in National American Miss this year, be sure to keep your eye out for this sweet girl! Woodard was a prime example at Nationals that you could just have fun during competition week and still win the crown as long as you were being yourself for the judges.