A recent Emerson graduate is competing in this year’s Miss America pageant and is hoping to be the first-ever winner for her home state.
Samantha Russo ’12 was crowned Miss New Hampshire earlier this year.
“I’m not the typical girl you’d think of when it comes to beauty pageants,” Russo said. “I really enjoy sports and not wearing makeup all the time.”
Russo hopes to gain the most votes for an online video she posted on the Miss America website. The top vote-getter will be propelled into the top 15 contestants on the night of competition, which will be televised live Sunday, September 15, on ABC.
Russo’s video is a play on 42, the movie about baseball legend Jackie Robinson.
Russo, a former member of the Emerson a cappella group Noteworthy and WEBN News, is at the gym six days a week to get ready for the lifestyle and swimsuit competition and takes voice lessons to improve her singing ability.
“The Miss America organization provides more scholarship money to young women than any other organization in the entire world,” she said. “It really values the everyday woman, the girl next door, and intelligence.”
Russo would like to continue a career in sports marketing or management and might apply for master’s programs. She hopes Miss America will give her a leg up.
“I’m so excited,” Russo said. “I have to pinch myself every day thinking I’m going to Miss America.”