By Michelle Colesanti

The National American Miss pageants are dedicated to celebrating America’s greatness and encouraging its future leaders. Each year, the pageant awards thousands in scholarships and prizes to recognize and assist in the development of young women nationwide.

National American Miss is not Toddlers and Tiara’s; it is a positive influence for our young woman of today. It helps to create self-esteem, learn to value self- worth, and confidence.

Skylynn Renee Rhodes, a first-grade student at Riverview Elementary School, has been chosen as a State Finalist for the 2013 National American Miss in the Miss Florida Junior Pre-Teen Division.

Skylynn’s mother, Alison Kozsuch who has lived locally for 28 years said, “Skylynn Renee Rhodes is truly a special gift. She wakes up every morning happy and goes to bed the same way. She is a grade level ahead in reading and in math. I’m so proud of her for being so brave, wanting to compete and be a part of this.”

Denirelys Nieves, age 11, has also been chosen as a State Finalist in the Miss Florida Pre-Teen Division. She is a sixth-grade student who attends Barrington Middle School.

Nieves’ sponsors include: Law Offices of George Hunter PA, Waypoint Property Inspection, Priority Title of Florida, Century 21 Shaw Realty, Railroad & Industrial Federal CU, and Global Home Warranty.

The pageant will be held Saturday and Sunday, July 14 -15, at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando.

The winner of the pageant will receive a $1000 cash award, official crown and banner, a bouquet of roses, and air transportation to compete in the national pageant at Disneyland in California.

The pageant program is based on inner beauty, as well as poise and presentation, and offers an “All-American spirit of fun for family and friends.” Emphasis is placed on the importance of gaining self-confidence, learning new skills, learning good attitudes about competition, and setting and achieving personal goals. Visit

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Michelle Colesanti
Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.