Briana Maurer, a fourth-grader at Hilltop Elementary School, will soon take to the stage for the upcoming National American Miss Pageant.
With a resume of favorite fun activities that includes wakeboarding, dancing, soccer, playing the piano and doing arts and crafts, the pageant provides a peek into Briana's active life.
Involved in jazz, hip-hop, and ballet dance since the age of two and a half, when asked what most excites her about the impending competition, "I was kind of excited about everything," said Briana.
Photo by Kathleen Palumbo, Town Crier correspondent
The daughter of Brian and Stephanie Maurer of Canfield, Briana Maurer will soon travel to Columbus, where she will compete for the title of Miss Ohio Jr. Pre-Teen in the National American Miss Pageant, to be held July 27 and 28.
Her parents, Brian and Stephanie Maurer of Canfield, said it all began with an invitation by mail for a session call in Akron. According to Briana's mother, Briana completed an interview and model shoot and shortly thereafter was notified that she was a finalist to compete for Miss Ohio Jr. Pre-Teen at the competition.
With the generous support of numerous area sponsors to whom the Maurer's offer their thanks, Briana will travel to the event, to be held July 27 and 28 in Columbus, where her mom said she will be competing against approximately 700 girls from across Ohio. Briana will be required to introduce herself using a microphone and participate in a formalwear competition.
According to a National American Miss Pageant press release, girls ages four through 18 are eligible for NAM pageants, which are comprised of five age groups in which all activities are age-appropriate and family oriented. With a focus on inner beauty, poise and presentation, emphasis is placed on the importance of gaining self-confidence, learning new skills, learning good attitudes about competition, and setting and achieving personal goals.
Dedicated to celebrating American's greatness and encouraging its future leaders, each year, thousands of dollars in scholarships and prizes are awarded through the pageant to recognize and assist in the development of young women nationwide.
In addition to a cash award in the amount of $1,000, National American Miss Pageant winners receive the official crown and banner, a bouquet of roses, and air transportation to compete in the national pageant at Disneyland in California.
Additional information regarding the National American Miss youth program can be found at www.namiss.com.
Sharing in her mom's philosophy that simply participating in the event is all in good fun, Briana admitted her excitement at the thought of Disneyland.
With her dance background serving as somewhat of a preparation for being on stage, even the competition of hundreds of other participants like herself leaves Briana seemingly undaunted.
"I just have fun," she said, adding that if she were to offer advice to someone else, she would tell them, "Just do your best," and pretend there's nobody there.
Regardless of the outcome, whether performing to a huge audience or imagining an empty venue, it's no doubt this fun-loving self-confident young lady will return home ready for her next adventure.