Confidence, Curiosity and Courage Earn Gabby Frierson A Chance to Compete 6

Fifth Grader Qualifies for National American Miss Pre-Teen Pageant

“Be yourself; tell the truth; be proud of yourself, and know you’re capable of doing anything you want to do.”

While this is great advice for anyone and from any one of any age, it’s being offered by Gabrielle Frierson, age 10, a fifth grader at Lewis and Clark Elementary School in Liberty.

“Gabby” not only shares these words of wisdom, she lives by them. The young lady’s confidence, curiosity and courage earned her a spot as a contestant in the National American Miss (NAM) Pre-Teen Competition.

“This is a different kind of pageant,” Gabby explains. “This is not a beauty pageant.”  In fact, the girls are not allowed to wear make-up and there is no swimsuit competition. The NAM Pageant is dedicated to shaping future leaders and equipping them with life-long skills, such as self-confidence, good sportsmanship and achieving personal goals. The girls are judged on communication, interviewing skills, talent and academic achievement.

“When I found out I’d been selected, I was so happy,” shares Gabby.  “I can’t believe I get this opportunity.  I’m excited about sharing my gifts with many more people and also setting an example for others, showing them anything is possible.”

Gabby’s desire to share her gift of singing is not a new one. She is a singer who has performed in contests and sings gospel music at her church. She’s performed in her school’s talent show for the past two years, twice offering a memorable delivery of the National Anthem. While she’s a fan of all kinds of music, Gabby enjoys singing “slow, pretty songs” and likes to listen to rock and roll.  She further shares her singing talents by entertaining elderly residents local nursing facilities.

Although she’s only 10, Gabby already knows she wants to pursue a career as a marine biologist someday.  Her passion for underwater creatures and all things related to water and wildlife inspired her to join the Young Environmentalists Club sponsored by the SEA LIFE Kansas City Aquarium. Members of the club learn about sea creatures, what they eat, and which ones are endangered.  They help “spread the message of conservation.”

“As Young Environmentalists, we learn so much about sea creatures,” Gabby offers.  “We dissected a small squid and learned how it spit outs ink. We also study the ecosystem. We do so many exciting things!”

“I enjoy studying sea life and helping to find ways to prevent water pollution,” Gabby continues. “We study all kinds of wildlife and sea life. We travel to local rivers and see the pollution people have made. We want to find ways to prevent that.”

A favorite activity of Gabby’s is visiting the Manta Ray room at the SEA LIFE Aquarium.  “I love manta rays, turtles, and especially, cuttlefish,” she says. “I think cuttlefish are the absolute cutest, but my Mom has other opinions about them. She thinks they’re slimy.”

Gabby will compete in the NAM State Pageant June 28-29, 2015 in Columbia.  The winner receives a $1000 cash award, the official crown and banner, and air transportation to compete in the NAM Pageant in California, along with a tour of Hollywood and two VIP tickets to Disneyland.

Should she win the $,1000 cash award, Gabby already knows what she’ll do with it.

“I’ve always wanted a pet turtle called a Red-eared Slider. I would get one of those and a nice tank for it to live in.  Then, I’ll buy a few gifts for my neighbors for helping me. I’ll also want to get some gifts for my cousins, my mom, dad, and my sisters.  They’ve all helped me so much.  I want to give something back to them.”

Gabby is the daughter of Christopher Frierson and Heather Staggers Frierson.