Interview with Royal International Miss Arizona Preteen 2020 – Ashley Nevison
Copyright Photographer is PG Photography @pgphotographyaz
Firstly thank you so so much for taking the time to answer my questions about your pageant journey for my pageant lockdown blog. It’s lovely getting to know fellow pageant queens and more about the systems that they represent.
Can you introduce yourself ?
Royal International Miss Arizona Preteen 2020 my name is Ashley Nevison and I’m 13 years old
What made you enter pageants ?
I was bullied very severely by an entire family when I was 8 years old. As a result, I lost all of my confidence and didn’t feel like I belonged. I went to counseling for years and it helped some. But I still was lacking confidence in myself when my mom received an invitation to compete in a pageant in the mail. The letter stated that the pageant system is all about gaining confidence so she thought we might as well try it. I absolutely loved it and gained so much confidence with my first pageant. 2 years later I now have gained all my confidence in myself back and I credit the pageant systems for it.
Can you tell us about your journey so far ?
My first pageant was National American Miss in Arizona. I had no clue what I was doing but was very happy that I won the art award and 1st runner up for the Heart of Service. I enjoyed all the new friends I made and had so much fun that I decided I would get a coach so that I would know what I was doing. I then competed in USA National Miss Arizona. I was happy that I won academic achievement and made tons more friends. I actually got a new best friend from that pageant. I kept working on my confidence and my walk and 6 months later I competed in Ms. Arizona Junior High and actually placed 1st runner up. I was so thrilled. Then 2 weeks later I competed at Royal International Miss Arizona and won. I actually didn’t believe that it was my name when they called it. I feel like I have been living in a dream ever since.
What made you decide to compete in Royal International Miss System ?
Copyright Photographer is PG Photography @pgphotographyaz
I decided to compete in Royal International Miss because I love how service oriented they are. I love that they have the Role Model Program that recognizes and awards women for their community service. I believe that giving back to your community is so important. And I have been so blessed that I have been able to get even more involved in my community since I won.
I also decided to compete in RIM Arizona because the Arizona director is amazing. I met her at a volunteer event with several Arizona Queens. She is so supportive and involved with volunteering. She has been the best director so I am so glad that the first time that I won it was at RIM Arizona.
What the best thing that pageants have taught you ?
Pageants have taught me to believe in myself. That I am worthy. And that everyone is special and unique and has something to give. I credit building my confidence back up to pageants. Never stop believing in yourself and even if you don’t win a queen title it just means it’s a no for today, not a no for forever. Just keep working on improving and your time to shine will come.
What’s your pageant platform and why ?
My pageant platform is Friends Stand Up. When I was being bullied no one stood up for me and told the bully to stop. No one knew what to do. I knew about bullying because of my experiences with it but it wasn’t until 6thgrade that we learned about it in school. I decided to start Friends Stand Up to empower younger kids with the tools they need to stand up to bullies. I go to K – 4th grade classrooms and read anti bullying and kindness books to help them learn what bullying is and what to do if they see it happening. I think it is really important that we start the conversation about bullying, why it is bad and what to do if you see it happening, younger than it currently is.
What’s your dream title ?
My dream title would be to win the divisional or role model title at Royal International Miss.
If you were to win your age division or Role Model Title at Royal International Miss what would it mean to you ?
If I was to win my dream title it would mean the world to me. It would give me a larger platform to spread my anti bullying and spreading kindness message. I think that with the title comes great responsibility to not only represent Royal International Miss to the best of my ability but to also use the title to help change the world one voice at a time.
What’s the best advice you have for fellow pageant queens ?
Believe in yourself and never stop being you. Don’t let anyone take away your sparkle. Because you are beautiful and perfect just the way you are.
What have you been doing since you won the title of Royal International Miss Arizona Preteen ?
Since I won Royal International Miss Arizona Preteen I have been volunteering as much as I can. I have been sewing cat toys and blankets for my charity Sargeant’sArmy and volunteering a lot with my fellow sister queens at places like Feed My Starving Children and Youth for Troops and also volunteering with the National Charity League San Tan Chapter. I have also been reading lots of anti bullying books through my platform Friends Stand Up. After my first few readings with Friends Stand up I decided that I wanted to write a children’s book on bullying inspired by my story. So I wrote and illustrated Gino and the Monster Bully which was published in May. I enjoyed the writing process so much that I am currently writing my second children’s book. I haven’t finalized a name yet but it is a book about how everyone is beautiful and we should all be friends and it is geared towards 3-8 year olds.
Favourite ever appearance ?
I volunteered helping Santa pass out cookies to everyone who visited Santa at Winterfest in Heber-Overgaard over Thanksgiving weekend. It is a 3 hour drive from where I live. And it had snowed earlier that week. We don’t get snow in Phoenix so it was a big treat to go visit and play in the snow. And I got to help Santa!
How has the lockdown due to Covid19 affected your pageant journey ?
I haven’t been able to volunteer outside of my home as much, which has been disappointing. But at least I have been able to sew masks to donate to health care providers and essential workers.
I also had several classrooms scheduled to read to through Friends Stand Up that were canceled. But I started reading to classes through Zoom and I was actually able to read to 4 different classrooms in Colorado that way. So that is positive. It’s a little more difficult to read over zoom but I am happy that I was able to keep spreading my message. I am hopeful that we will get to attend school in person this fall but at least I know that I can continue to read books over zoom.
What makes a good pageant role model ?
A good pageant role model is approachable, kind, generous and supportive. She is someone who is always willing to lend a hand to anyone who needs it. She leads by example and always strives to make everyone around her feel comfortable and welcome.
What’s your favourite pageant round ?
My favorite is interview
How do you deal with pageant nerves ?
Since I am a dancer and my dream is to be a professional ballerina I have learned a lot of ballet variations. I love performing on the stage and I get really happy when I know I will be performing. So I go through the steps of variations in my head. It takes my mind to my happy place and keeps me thinking about something else. I also tell myself for interview nerves that it is just a conversation with the judges about me. And I know everything that I can about myself J
Social Media Links
Copyright Lissa Ann Photography @lissaannphotography
Pageant account @rimarizonapreteen on Instagram. On Facebook: Royal International Miss Arizona Preteen
Dance account @dance.sparkle.ashley on Instagram
Platform accounts @sargeantsarmy and @friendsstandupon Instagram
If you would like me to read in person or virtually to your school or youth group, please send me a DM to @friendsstandup on Instagram
Sargeant’s Army is a 501(c)3 charitable foundation. DM @sargeantsarmy on Instagram if you would like to make a tax deductible donation or if you have fabric that you would like to donate to cat toys and blankets.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions about your pageant journey it’s been lovely getting to know and more about your platform. I wish you all the best at the finals next week. Much Love Charlotte, Ms Diamond South Yorkshire 2020.