Hakuna matata what a wonderful phrase, and the adventure that followed what began as a brief photo shoot and interview for nine-year-old Kennedy Furano was equally wonderful as she walked away Miss Ohio Photogenic National American Miss 2012.
For the daughter of Carl and Sandy Furano of Boardman, the pageant became an experience her mom referred to as the first thing that has captured her daughter's attention besides soccer.
"It's like she's done this for years," she said.
Photo special to the Town Crier
Kennedy Furano, the daughter of Carl and Sandy Furano of Boardman, will travel to Disneyland in California in November where competition for national titles will take place in the National American Miss Pageant. Kennedy was recently crowned Miss Ohio Photogenic National American Miss 2012, as well as being named runner-up in the categories of casual-wear modeling and most promising model.
In addition to her title, Kennedy, a fourth-grader at Robinwood Lane Elementary School and player with Boardman Soccer Association, also placed as a runner-up in the categories of casual-wear modeling and most promising model.
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 that Disney is her favorite place to vacation, Kennedy said following the competition, "I heard them keep on calling my name, but I didn't know what for," adding that once she understood that she had earned the trip to Disneyland, she both laughed and cried.
Citing the dance practice done as a group during the competition and, of course, her crown as her favorite parts of the experience, Kennedy will travel with her parents to Disneyland in California in November, where competition for national titles will take place.
Already graced with her successes at the state level and her self-assurance as she addressed the judges telling them, "You are looking at your future orthodontist," perhaps that catchy little phrase that means "no worries" she incorporated into her introduction will be most important. It is after all Kennedy Furano's problem-free philosophyHakuna matata.