On March 26, Nicole Cirillo, an elementary education major, competed in the Miss Philadelphia pageant, and, while she didn’t walk away with the crown, she thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience.
“I was never in a pageant before, but I loved it. I’m definitely going back next year,” Cirillo said.
The 20-year-old junior from South Philadelphia was looking for something different to do that provided a scholarship opportunity. She auditioned for the contest in December and was notified in February that she would be a contestant.
“It made me really excited that they wanted me,” she explained.
The pageant, which is part of the Miss America pageant series, requires contestants to perform, model in an evening gown and swim suit, and partake in an interview with the judges. For her talent, Cirillo sang Beyonce’s version of “Ave Maria.”
Performing, and in particular singing, comes very easily to Cirillo. She attended the Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP), a high school in Philadelphia. While a student at GAMP, Cirillo performed in many programs. She also has done modeling work since she was 14 years old.
Much of the pageant focused on each contestant’s platform or cause. Cirillo chose two organizations: Greater Philly Cares and Communities in Schools of Philadelphia. This summer she plans to work with the Communities program to speak to young women about the importance of completing their education.
Currently, Cirillo is student teaching fourth grade at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Morton, Pennsylvania. This is in addition to juggling her three jobs and other school work.
“I love it. I want to teach fourth grade so when I got fourth grade for my student teaching assignment, I was so excited,” she said.
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