OK, so we didn’t exactly predict that Mallory Hagan, Miss New York 2012 would be crowned Miss America this weekend, but in our defense neither did she! We loved how genuinely surprised she looked as she was announced the winner, beating first runner up, Miss South Carolina Ali Rogers.
Here are 5 lessons we learned from the new titleholder…
Go big or go home: Most people only dream about moving to a major city and making it big but never actually take the risk. Mallory moved to New York with $1,000 four years ago and never looked back. Talk about guts!
Keep it simple: She won the title dressed in a one-shoulder, white jersey evening gown and pony tail, the same hairstyle featured in hew contestant video. If overly sequined formal wear and sky high pageant hair make you cringe, a classic color and ‘do will work just fine.
Never give up: After 10 years of competing in the same pageant system, many women hang up their stilettos in order to pursue other dreams, but not Mallory. She began her journey to the Miss America stage at the age of 13.
Education is the answer: Mallory’s personal platform, Stop it Now, stems from her family members’ struggles with child sexual abuse. She recommends mandatory child sexual awareness education in schools. And when asked about hiring armed guards in schools in the wake of the Newtown shooting, she answered, “I don’t think the proper way to fight violence is with violence. I think the proper way is to educate people on guns and the ways we can use them properly.”
Don’t forget to say thank you: One way to show gratitude to those who have supported you throughout your life is to feature than in your Miss America contestant video! Mallory’s featured a montage of friends and family members proclaiming why she’s a winner. As they say, it takes a village to raise a child.