Ever wonder what it would be like to be Miss New York? Well, now you can know for sure. Get ready to meet the incredible Jamie Lynn Macchia, the 2015 Miss New York.
What inspired you to compete to be Miss New York?
I was a senior in high school, and I got my scholarship paperwork that listed the scholarships I was eligible for. Miss Staten Island was on there, because Miss America is a scholarship. I was not eligible for many scholarships because my family is middle class, and, therefore, I decided to give Miss Staten Island a shot. The talent portion is the biggest portion of the total score and I am dancer, so I knew that I could learn how to do everything else for Miss Staten Island and that I already had the talent section down. Basically, I gave it shot and fell in love with it.
What was it like to be Miss New York?
I mean, it was a goal of mine that I worked on for seven years, and it was truly an amazing experience. Being Miss New York is based around community service and giving back. I played a very important role in the pediatric community since my platform was, “Inspiring Action Against Pediatric Cancer,” and that is what made being Miss New York so special.
What were the key parts of your year as Miss New York?
My platform, “Inspiring Action Against Pediatric Cancer,” took me through seven states and helped me reach far across the country with social media campaigns including “#MoreThan4” & “World Go Gold.” I served as a national advocate for pediatric cancer patients in Washington, D.C., as I participated in the Childhood Cancer Action Days, attended the annual CureFest rally, and was invited to the White House for a Childhood Cancer Month briefing. In addition, over my time as an MAO titleholder, I have donated over $70,000 to charity.
At what age did you get involved with beauty pageants?
I was 17 years old when I competed in Miss Staten Island, and I was the youngest person to compete, because you have to be both 17 years old and a senior in high school. I just made the cut off.
What was the best part about being Miss New York?
I attender over 230 events, and traveled over 17,000 miles. I was able to see different parts of the country and New York. I have lived in New York my entire life and there were so many parts I had never been to. It was amazing to go to places in the country and New York I have never been to, because I was able to learn about the people and organizations there.
What was the worst part about being Miss New York?
It was an incredible year, but there were difficult things. There was so much I wanted to do and I was always so busy, which was wonderful. But, at the same time, I lost the ability to do all of the little things, like getting my nails done, but it was all worth it.
What was the biggest surprise about being Miss New York?
I think I was pretty prepared. Although, I think I surprised myself with how independent I was. Being Miss New York is a huge job, and I really had to learn how to manage my time, and I became much stronger.
What advice would you give to a young woman wanting to compete in a beauty pageant?
I’ve only competed in the Miss America competitions. When I started competing, I could not imagine just speaking without anything prepared, but now that is second nature to me. I encourage everyone to just give it a shot because you are going to learn a lot about yourself and become a better person.
What exactly do you do on a day-to-day basis?
Everyday is different. No day is ever the same as the one before it, and I can be anywhere at anytime. However, my days are typically based around my platform. I have visited all nine children’s hospitals in New York and many others. Also, I frequently talk at schools on behalf organizations such as Drug Free World and New York Cares and attend galas. My days are really busy.
What charities are you involved with?
The Pediatric Cancer Foundation is a nonprofit organization that raises money for research and state of the art equipment/instruments for doctors at world renowned hospitals including: Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NYU Langone Medical Center, Cohen Children’s Medical Center, and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. I had worked with this group prior to becoming Miss New York and continue to today. In fact, I was just a fundraiser for them the other morning!
The Foundation for a Drug-Free World is a nonprofit public benefit corporation that empowers youth and adults with “The Truth About Drugs” so they can make informed decisions and live drug-free. This is a group that I was introduced to as Miss New York. I made multiple school appearances with them to talk to kids about my experiences and how to “just say no.”
New York Cares is the city’s largest volunteer management organization, running volunteer programs for 1,350 nonprofits, city agencies, and public schools. As Miss New York, I joined with them to make appearances and host assemblies at schools that may not have necessarily had access to informational programs otherwise.
How has being involved with charities changed your life?
I’ve been volunteering since a very young age. My mom has always encouraged me to volunteer and volunteering is second nature to me. I used to work as a Director of Marketing and Sales, but I want to wake up, make a difference, and know the work I am doing is not going unnoticed.
What is your favorite part about being involved with charities?
My favorite part is meeting so many incredible people because they are like-minded and want to do good in their communities. I have meet my best friends from being involved with charities, and it is great when charities are making a real difference, and all of work I am doing is put into action. It is amazing seeing the change.
Now that you are done with being Miss New York, what are you up to?
Starting in one month, I will be working in the development program at Staten Island University Hospital. Community service is in my blood and I know this is a perfect job for me.
If you were stranded a deserted island, what three things would you have?
My cat and a stash of food because I cannot go without food and I am not self-sufficient.
Describe yourself in one word.
How would your best friends describe you?
Bubbly, “Mom,” and responsible.
What is your favorite quote and why?
‘It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.’ – Walt Disney
I love Disney and I am a Disney fanatic. Walt Disney has proved you can do anything and make the impossible possible.