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Minden girl crowned National Princess Preteen

After winning the Louisiana Princess Preteen pageant earlier this year, local ten-year-old Ava Martin went on to the national competition in Orlando in July and took home the title of National Princess Preteen.

A fifth-grade student at E.S. Richardson Elementary in Minden, Ava competed against young ladies from across the country in interview, personal expression, and evening wear categories to be named National Princess Preteen in her first year competing in the pageant.

Approaching its 25th year of competition, the Princess America Association supports Give Kids the World, an organization that partners with Make a Wish and other nonprofits to provide dream vacations to terminally ill children.

Martin, daughter of Geaux Fresh owner Jodie Waller-Martin, said she has competed seriously in pageants for about two years and greatly enjoys them.

“My older cousin started a pageant, so I did it and it was really fun, and that kind of got me started,” she said. “It’s a fun way to express yourself.”

Martin said she had a great experience throughout the Princess Preteen pageant process at the state and national level, and she plans to continue competing in pageants through high school.

“To win the Louisiana one, I was really shocked because there was some good competition in it,” she said. “I never thought that would ever happen. Then when I won the national one, I was even more shocked.”

Her mother Jodie said she was a little overwhelmed as Ava kept on winning, but she is very proud of her.

“I think it’s great preparation for her just to be comfortable talking with different people, being able to do the interviews and things like that,” she said. “It’s preparing her for later in life. As long as she keeps a good attitude about it and stays friendly with everybody else, she can keep doing them.”

Perhaps even more than pageant competitions, Ava’s favorite activity is dance, which she has been doing virtually her whole life.

“I really love to dance, and I love to make crafts out of any materials I can find,” she said. “Hang out with my friends, be outdoors, do anything active.”

Though only ten years old, Ava has a concrete career aspiration.

“I want to be a principal dancer in the American Ballet Theater in New York City,” she said. “It’s something I’ve been doing for so long, I’ve grown to love it, created a passion for it, and now I want to do it with my career.”

As National Princess Preteen, Ava will continue to represent the Princess America Association and advocate for Give Kids the World and their charitable mission throughout the year.

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