Have you ever wondered how it would feel to win a beauty pageant? The 2013 - 2014 National American Miss Courtney Jamison said, “It was pretty amazing because of all the work that I put into it and the growth that I’ve experienced.” For this title winner, “It all started with Barbizon.”
As a little girl growing up in Richmond, Virginia, Courtney loved putting on talent shows for her mom, dad, and older brother Jai in their living room at any opportunity. At 11 years old, Courtney entered her first pageant, National American Miss (NAM). NAM is a pageant for "today's girl" and "tomorrow's leaders."
Around the same time she began competing in pageants, Courtney attended Barbizon in Richmond, VA. She recalls, “Before Barbizon, I think there was definitely a lack of confidence. I was about 12 or 13 years old, and it’s kind of that stage where you’re not really sure of yourself.” Courtney continues, “I definitely felt like Barbizon helped me grow as a person, not only with finding the beauty within myself but with knowing how to take care of myself; how to do my hair, how to do my make-up, things like that.”
NAM is based on inner beauty, poise, and presentation with four areas of competition: Formal Wear, Personal Introduction, Interview, and Community Service. Throughout her pageant career, Courtney was able to utilize skills stage confidence and modeling techniques she learned at Barbizon. Courtney won the Casual Wear competition at Nationals which, in combination with her photo, earned her the additional win for Most Promising Model. “It definitely comes from years of experience but it all started with Barbizon,” Courtney emphasizes.
A volunteer for the Children’s Miracle Network and mentor of her own platform, Desire to Inspire, Courtney wants to continue working with younger students and teens in the arts. “I am who I am because of my experiences on stage performing and singing. I definitely feel like the arts have kept me from going astray and getting involved in things that I shouldn’t be involved in and I want to give that back to others,” explains Courtney. Her advice to students being, “Have abundances of creativity yourself, it’s so important.”
Currently a junior in the Honors Program at James Madison University pursuing her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Musical Theatre, Courtney hopes to someday be on Broadway but also plans on competing for Miss Virginia and hopefully Miss America next year. Courtney believes, “As a performer it’s just about going after every single opportunity and every audition,” and we couldn’t agree more.
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