Some ‘Pretty Amazing’ Girls Look Back On Their Seventeen Experience

Tonight’s “Pretty Amazing” special trailed five inspiring young women as they ventured to New York and competed for the cover of Seventeen magazine’s October 2011 issue. We had an opportunity to check in with the ladies to find out how their lives have changed since the cameras stopped rolling and where they’re headed in the future. Take a look at the follow-up Q&As below:

ANN
What was your favorite part about your experience in NYC?
Definitely the photo shoot. It was so much fun getting to try on all those looks with makeup, clothes and hair. Also, I loved the surprise assignment that Jess revealed to us, in which we essentially became the creative directors of a shoot.

Was it more competitive than you expected?
I didn’t expect that we would be doing so many interviews and speeches and that we would be put “on the spot” so to say, but I think being around all the other girls and sharing the moment definitely made the trip seem like less of a competition and more like a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

What have you learned from the competition?
I guess I have a better understanding of how to approach interviews now.

Ann snaps pictures while getting her hair done.

ZOE
Did you bond with any of the girls?
I bonded with all of the girls, but my best friend was Shannon. We talk all the time and we both have so much passion and determination to succeed. Even though we are in completely different fields, we share the same goals.

What was your favorite part about your experience in NYC?
Being a designer, I usually work behind the camera to get my models dressed and looking great, so it was a really fun experience to be in front during the photo shoot! I had so much fun and everyone was so nice and encouraging.

What are your plans for the future?
I’m still going to school at Northwestern University, and I’m working on my next collection as well as some upcoming fashion shows. I plan on launching my RTW line in more stores around the U.S. and then around the world.

Zoe meets Miranda Cosgrove, a former Seventeen cover model.

SHANNON
If you were one of the judges, who would you have chosen to win (besides yourself!)?
Zoe. She has an amazing story that is the epitome of what Seventeen embodies. From fashion to empowerment, she will resonate well with girls everywhere.

How has this experience changed you?
It opened my eyes to the fact that there are girls out there who I can relate to, and that I need to find time to be a girl and relax every once in a while! I am always pushing others to go after their dreams and make them a reality, so it was refreshing to get to know people who are out there doing the same.

Shannon checks out some of the styles she’ll play with during her shoot.

What are your plans for the future?
I’m working with my management team at BRANDed to find investors and sponsors for my 2012 racing campaign. We are working to raise around $500,000 for my racing for next year, and I need all the help and support I can find to keep pursuing my career.

NINA
Which girl did you bond with the most while you were in NYC?
I still keep in touch with all of them because we have a running Facebook thread between the five of us, but I mostly talk to Ann and Lauren (and her mom, Mrs. Lindberg, who is awesome).

How has this experience changed you?
I think it is interesting that these girls have all created their success against such adversity: Ann is a talented photographer whose work has been recognized by fashion magazines despite her young age of 16. Lauren explores teen social issues through films that have been internationally acclaimed despite having struggled with ADD and depression herself. Zoe is an entrepreneur with her own successful (and gorgeous!) fashion line despite her homelessness as a child. Shannon has broken a glass ceiling in a male-dominated sport despite the great odds. It was very humbling to see so many young girls who are so accomplished.

What are your plans for the future?
As for the rest of this summer, I am traveling to China with the Ivy Council to do research sponsored by MetLife.

Nina lets loose and works it for the camera during her photo shoot.

LAUREN
Who did you bond with the most while you were in NYC?
Nina was sweet and welcoming from the beginning to the end and did not let the competitiveness get in the way of how she acted toward others. I instantly clicked with her because we both have similar goals and passions. Nina was in it for all the right reasons and remained kind and considerate the entire week.

Was the experience more competitive than you expected?
I came into this competition with no plan but to just have fun and be myself, so it was a little surprising when I noticed strategic things some of the girls did throughout the week to put them ahead in the game.

How has this experience changed you?
It’s opened so many doors for me! I have had more publicity than I ever would have imagined, and it has helped me transform into a spokesperson. I’ve received messages and emails from girls all over who relate to me and the issues I have gone through.

A makeup artist touches up Lauren before she goes on set.

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