BEING MISS AMERICAN SAMOA — A "ONCE IN A LIFETIME" OPPORTUNITY
Miss American Samoa 2011- 12 will give up her crown tonight with honor and humility.
Skyline Ese’ese Ah-Soon Nua, 24 years old of Nu’uuli and Manu’a, said her reign was a busy, yet fulfilling one, and it was an honor to be an Ambassador for American Samoa.
Skyline is the daughter of Nua Sao and Usuimalo Nua and the fourth of six siblings. She’s a Tafuna High School graduate who holds an AA degree in Liberal Arts from ASCC and a BA in accounting from Southern Arizona University.
Skyline said the title comes with a lot of lessons learned and patience, not taking things for granted, appreciation, being accountable, taking responsibility, leading by example, making wise decisions, sacrifice, and smiling — even when you don’t feel like it. The outgoing Miss noted that attitude is far more important than beauty.
She said that one of the highlights of her reign was performing the traditional ava ceremony at the US Coral Reef Task Force 28th Annual Meeting hosted by our territory. “It was my first time executing the role of a taupou, because we don’t often get the opportunity to showcase that."
“I was honored to perform that welcoming ceremony because it is my duty as Miss American Samoa to serve and represent our people with elegance and grace,” she said.
Miss American Samoa said another highlight was representing American Samoa at the 25th Annual Miss South Pacific Pageant held in Apia, Samoa where she was overwhelmed with the tremendous support of the team she was working with, and the families and friends who made her journey to the Miss South Pacific contest a success.
Miss American Samoa noted that resigning from her job when she was crowned was one of the best decisions she made. “For me, being Miss American Samoa is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it has encouraged me more than ever to live, learn and endure my culture…,” she said.
Skyline added that she enjoyed the responsibility, all the stress, pressure, the fun photo shoots, puletasi fitting, fashion shows, picture taking with a bunch of strangers and friends, and especially the "time spent serving my people."
Samoa News asked about her future plans, and Miss America Samoa said she is seeking to join the military to continue her education.
During her reign, Skyline held a food & clothing drive during Thanksgiving in partnership with the local, private and public schools, to put smiles on the faces of some needy families and to benefit charity groups and organizations such as Hope House, Charity & Hope ministries, and the Catholic Social Services.
“We went out to the less fortunate families and presented them some of the food and clothes that were donated from the public. It was a fun, yet an emotional project, because the students who participated got to see firsthand that hunger does exist on our island, and they learned not to take little things for granted,” she said.
Skyline also volunteered at functions, concerts and sometimes at the LBJ Women’s Auxiliary. To the five contestants vying for the crown tonight, she said, “May the best girl win… soak up the fun... for tonight is your night to shine."
“All the contestants are great candidates, who all became friends, got to know each other, and it’s such an amazing feeling to be looked up to as a role model. They are contestants with diverse backgrounds and interests, and I’m so happy that these young ladies built the courage to represent their families, sponsors, and church to make a mark in their community — to make a difference.
To the upcoming Miss American Samoa, Skyline said whoever is crowned in tonight’s pageant, “prepare yourself for the many life lessons that arise as you embark on a journey filled with both excitement and pressure.
“Never let anything bring you down, or let anyone tell you otherwise. Be prayerful and seek God during tough times, for He is your only source of strength.”
Her journey as Miss American Samoa was a rough one after her sponsor the late Dr. Saumaniafaese Iris Foster Leota, co-owner of Laris Sewing Shop passed away. “She was the main person behind the scene, despite my athletic physique, she saw me.”
Skyline added that Iris believed in her and she couldn’t have done it without her. “She opened my eyes to realize the many capabilities that are hidden underneath my skin and I’m forever grateful for her loyalty and selfless service… she was a determined, strong-minded, outspoken woman who promised to stay by my side until God called her to heaven and I had to continue the race to the finish line.”
In tears, Skyline said it was very difficult for her when Iris passed on, because she always put her in the spot, beyond her comfort zone, and “…she left me to finish alone."
“So at tonight’s pageant, I owe it all to you, wish you were here to witness my last walk as Miss American Samoa.”
Skyline thanked everyone who has helped her in her journey for the past 12 months. “You know who you are …thank you very much.”
To her parents, Skyline said, “I am at loss for words, because you are my inspiration, motivation, and role models. Mom, thank you for your love, care, and patience. E leai se alofa e sili atu I le alofa o le Tina. Dad, thank you for believing in me and for making sure everything goes right with my reign. I love you both and thank you for everything."