New York City is famous for it’s big city dreams and bustling downtown streets. It’s also the location (Staten Island, to be specific) of the Miss New York Organization competition each year. But beyond the city lights lies a state full of optimistic contestants who enter local pageants, hoping for a piece of the action and a chance to become part of the Miss America Organization’s sisterhood. The Miss New York Organization’s board of directors is working to ensure every corner of the state is covered and represented, especially in times of great need.
Mentorship is another important function of the New York organization. Miss New York’s Outstanding Teen Executive Director Linda Monte is leading this effort to help strengthen the bond between Teen and Miss “sisters.”
“I would like to see the teens have a chance to learn from the people who have most recently competed and are closer to their age,” Linda said. Past contestants have a unique vantage point from which teens could take full advantage in coming competitions. “There is so much we can do to help them learn about their own strengths and to maximize the experience for everyone who gets involved.”
Maximizing potential is something at which New York excels. Linda notes that no two titleholders are the same, and through the organization, young women have the opportunity to develop skills and discover individual potential for competition and beyond. “The most important aspect of the program is to allow young women to test their wings, meet, and work with others in their community, and earn and explore aspects of their own development which they might not otherwise exercise.”
What’s more, the Miss New York Organization gives contestants—even those who never wear the crown—a sense of something greater than themselves. Linda quotes Miss New York 2011, Kaitlin Monte, in saying, “Only one girl each year is crowned Miss America, but everyone can become Miss America.” That, Linda says, proves that it doesn’t require a title to gain the experiences distinct to MAO.
Find out more about former Miss New York 2012 and Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan in the April issue of fourpoints!
Written by: Erika Fifelski, fourpoints staff writer