Peoria Teen Gives Powerhouse Performance at National Pageant in Florida By Sherry Gordon-Harris

Peoria teen, Miss Faye Cleaves, earned the opportunity to perform in the Teen Category at the National American Miss (N.A.M.) Pageant Thanksgiving weekend in Orlando, Florida. Since winning the runner-up award for her spoken word at the Illinois State N.A.M. Pageant Labor Day weekend of this year, Miss Faye has been working diligently perfecting her creative craft.

Miss Faye Cleaves and her mother, Ms. Renee Cook

This year N.A.M. celebrates its 20th year anniversary. Their goal is to equip young women with life skills, tools, and confidence they need to be successful in life.

Miss Faye Cleaves and her mother, Ms. Renee Cook, took to the air and flew to Florida for this competition. This was the first time flying for Miss Faye. It was worth it. Miss Faye had so much fun and met girls from all over the world! She met Miss UK, Miss South Africa, and Miss Korea. She also learned about the states that are in her own country.

Miss Faye was so excited to perform her spoken word titled “Skin Care”. This fittingly titled poem talks about the love and care she takes of her self-beloved melanin skin and textured hair. Miss Faye Cleaves proclaims that she “loves being unapologetically Black”. She also got to witness so many other talents who were even competing in other categories. She got to observe them as they happened to be practicing their talent or just walking past.

Miss Faye also met the kindest of parents. No doubt, the parents were major motivating forces to the contestants behind the scenes. One parent gave her the marvelous idea for her final performance to combine two of her newest poems together with her previous one from the Illinois state pageant competition. Taking that advice, Miss Faye did just that. And she did it all in a minimum of just 2 days! Her dynamic spoken word performance led her to place in the Top 6 in the world in the N.A.M. Pageant Teen Talent age group and category. This accomplishment is something that Miss Faye is honestly proud to have achieved successfully. She primarily thanks her mom, Ms. Renee Cook, for helping make it possible.

Many others supported Miss Fae Cleaves in multiple ways in her journey to help make this pageant experience possible. Miss Faye Cleaves and her family thank sponsors: Ms. Renee Cook, “The Squad,” Mrs. Sherry Gordon-Harris, and a host of other family members and friends.

Miss Faye Cleaves was coached by Mrs. Sherry Gordon-Harris, Certified Etiquette Consultant, Pageant Coach, Owner, and Instructress of Royal Purpose School of Etiquette LLC. Their Pageant Coaching services included Etiquette topics Walking and Sitting Gracefully, One-On-One Interviews, Talent Development and General Pageant Preparation.

Congratulations to Miss Faye Cleaves, a Powerhouse Teen Talent.