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Posted Aug 24, 2017 at 3:34 PM
MATTAPOISETT - Jillian Marie Zucco, a 24-year-old Mattapoisett resident, will travel to Atlantic City, N.J. to represent Massachusetts at the 97th annual Miss America Pageant, according to a press release.
From Aug. 29 through Sept. 10, 51 national contestants will be welcomed to Atlantic City for two weeks of press events, rehearsals, and community appearances leading up to the selection of Miss America 2018.
Savvy Shields of Arkansas, the reigning Miss America, will be crowning her successor live on the ABC television network at 9 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10.
Zucco stated that “the pageant is very relevant for young women in more ways than just scholarship, as it gives us the means to develop and use our skills, talents and voices to make an impact and advocate for causes that we believe in.” Her scholastic and career ambition is to obtain a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and become a Nurse Educator.
The Miss America Organization, a 501(c) 4 non-profit corporation, awards millions of dollars in annual college scholarship assistance making it the largest scholarship program for women in the United States. MAO is comprised of 51 licensed organizations which include all 50 states and Washington, D.C. MAO contestants contribute over 500,000 hours of community service annually and have raised more than $14 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals since 2007.
Zucco, competing as Miss Bristol County, was chosen from among 23 contestants at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester and won the title of Miss Massachusetts in July at the state competition and was awarded a $12,000 scholarship.
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She is a 2016 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth honors nursing program where she was a “Commonwealth Scholar” and earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing. She was named to the dean’s list every semester in college. She is currently employed as a telemetry nurse. She was a member of the UMASS Dartmouth Global Health Collaborative and was a Class of 2016 Cabinet member. She was recently honored by the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce at the 49th Annual John S. Brayton Jr. Memorial Community Service Awards Banquet.
The Outstanding Community Service Award recognizes volunteer participation of extraordinary nature by an individual or a company. Zucco was recognized for averaging more than 750 hours of community service per year. Her service work includes organizing annual blood drives, food drives, and the annual “Miss Inspirational” program she created to provide a platform for girls and young women with special needs and disabilities to showcase their talents and abilities so that the public can be educated and inspired by them.
She also works with the United Way of Greater New Bedford, serving on its planning committee for the Hunger Heroes project and as a volunteer at its various functions throughout the year. She serves as co-director of the Showstoppers community-service singing troupe and as a volunteer at the Share the Harvest Community Farm in Dartmouth and Gifts to Give in Acushnet. She serves as a cantor at her church and as a volunteer and performer at many community fundraisers and civic events throughout the area. An accomplished vocalist, Zucco will be performing a vocal presentation at the national competition. She has sung the national anthem for the Red Sox, Boston Celtics, New England Revolution, New York Mets and at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
She is also an award-winning dancer receiving elite gold and platinum awards at regional and national dance competitions. She was a member of a four-girl pop band that performed for President Obama and with the Boston Pops.
Zucco graduated in 2011 from Old Rochester Regional High School and is the daughter of John and Kelly Zucco of Mattapoisett. She will perform a vocal selection in the talent competition at Miss America. During her year of service, she is highlighting her personal platform, “Choose a Cause, Make a Difference,” as well as promoting The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the national platform of the Miss America Organization.
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