Vani Sharma, 11, was recently crowned Miss Indiana Pre-Teen with the National American Miss Pageant. The competition was held July 26-28 at the Westin in Indianapolis. NAM helps foster positive self-image while encouraging girls to be involved in their local communities.
“I entered NAM because it’s all about building confidence,” Sharma said. “We really get to make new friends. It’s just an organization where we can learn new skills about achieving our personal goals.”
Contestants compete in four different categories: personal introduction, formal wear, interview and community involvement.
“Personal introduction is about public speaking and speaking confidently,” Sharma said. “The interview portion helps to prepare you for a real-life job interview. For formal wear, they judge you on how you present yourself on stage. The community service portion is about your involvement in your community.”
Sharma’s community involvement is extensive.
“We donate books and school supplies to different organizations,” Sharma said. “I also started serving meals at Riley Hospital. I do shoe drives and also entertain the senior living community.”
Sharma also won in three optional competitions, including heart of service, best actress and casual wear. She advances to the November nationals in California. Her goal is to create a motivational camp for girls.
“I’m working on a motivational camp called Shine Bright to empower young women to be confident and be themselves,” Sharma said. “I’m trying to work on it this summer to get started doing a one-day camp and then maybe extend it in the future.”
A seventh-grader at Fishers Junior High School, Varma was humbled when she was crowned.
“The whole time I was crying. I still can’t believe it. It’s still sinking in. I made a lot of friends doing it, too,” she said.