2019 Miss North Dakota USA is also a teacher, sister, girlfriend – but most importantly – a friend to all.
Sam Redding of Burlington holds many titles, but at the end of the day, it all comes back to one thing.
“Everything that Sam touches, she improves,” Redding’s boyfriend Nico Youngren said.”
We’re all more alike than different, that’s what the 23-year-old wants more and more people to see.
“Her compassion is overwhelming,” Youngren said. “She’s always inclusive, she goes out of her way to reach out to people and bring people together.”
“I’ve grown up in an inclusive world and I think that’s the best world we could hope for the future,” said Redding.
She’s a special education teacher at South Prairie School, a big sister, and a respite care provider.
“That’s what it all comes back to,” Redding added. “That’s why I have the career that I have, the values that I have, everything that I do is for my family.”
One of Sam’s sisters was born with Down syndrome. She spent a lot of her life learning how her sister learns best, and although challenging at times, it became a passion that she now gets to do every day.
“Putting love into everything I do and just being inspired by those individuals that I get to work with every day, it’s not really work,” Redding said. “It’s a lot more fun than a job.”
Her life experiences, including wearing the crown as Miss North Dakota USA, also led her to become the Founding Director of North Dakota Miss Amazing – a pageant-like event giving girls and women with disabilities the chance to show their stuff.
The event’s purpose is similar to the message Sam has always tried to spread — we’re more alike than different.
“A lot of times, people get caught up and worry about themselves and Sam’s not that way,” Youngren said. “She reaches out to make everyone feel special.”
Even during these unknown, uneasy times, Sam Redding is nothing short of remarkable.
She’s helping both of her sisters navigate high school from home, working in respite care and at a local restaurant, and finding a way to bring Miss Amazing to the Peace Garden State for the first time
Although the classroom is empty, she’s still at school every day putting together lessons for her students, too.
“I talk to them as much as I can and they always have those questions and I would like to think that Miss Redding has all the answers, but sometimes she just doesn’t and they know that I care and that’s my most important thing.”
North Dakota Miss Amazing was slated for next month, but Sam and her team just announced a new date for this Summer.