Seeing Miss America crowned

January 16, 2013 Editorial Staff
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Well, Brooklyn, we have ourselves a queen! On January 12, the beautiful Mallory Hytes Hagan was crowned Miss America 2013 at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. Moments before, family, friends, members of the Miss New York Organization and I sat at the edge of our seats and waited for what seemed like an eternity to hear the results.

The emcee stood on that great big stage with two women — one was the first runner-up, the other our new Miss America.  When Chris Harrison said, “And your new Miss America 2012 is…Miss New York, Mallory Hagan,” the theater erupted in applause, and feelings of unbelievable happiness rushed over all of us.

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Seeing it live is a moment I will remember for the rest of my life.  In the words of Miss Western New York, Jesse LaDoue, “This is the greatest moment of my life and it isn’t even mine.”

To know Mallory is to know a woman who exemplifies the true beauty of the Miss America Organization, the world’s largest scholarship provider for young women.  She has charm, grace, talent, compassion and a remarkable presence about her, and she is sassy.  I have no doubt that America will fall in love with her, if they haven’t already.

She walks away from the Miss America stage with a year of travel and excitement waiting for her, not to mention a $50,000 scholarship, which will enable her to attain her Master’s Degree in Cosmetic and Fragrance Marketing.

I was privileged to meet Mallory three years ago when she was crowned Miss Brooklyn 2010! She walked into the room and I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, she’s something special!” A year later, she passed the title of Miss Brooklyn onto yours truly. Little did I know that the crown was being placed on my head by the future Miss America.

What many people don’t realize is, before the televised finals, the Miss America contestants compete throughout the week in preliminary competitions and take part in a 10-minute personal interview with the judges.

Those scores determine the top 15 which are announced during the Live Show! During the week, Mallory strutted her stuff in swimwear, walked with grace in evening wear, stole the show with her entertaining tap dance to “get up off of that thing,” and answered her on stage question with precision and poise.

Being able to see the entire competition unfold throughout the week was not only exciting, but a learning experience and a terrific way to bond with other contestants.  As Miss Manhattan, Katie Berry, stated one night, we have gone from “pageant friends to real friends.”

A lot of people have preconceived notions about “pageant girls,” but the stereotypes are far from the truth, and Mallory is proof. The young women of this system are driven and passionate about their communities. They are women with integrity, ones who wish to further their education and leave their mark on this world.

Mallory Hytes Hagan is a friend, a role model, a risk-taker, and an outspoken woman who marches to the beat of her own drum, and she will be a phenomenal Miss America. Sit back and enjoy the journey, because this woman is one to be remembered!

Christina Moore is Miss Verrazano and the former Miss Brooklyn.

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