The Miss America 2016 pageant is just around the corner and, at this point, which of the 52 ladies competing will bring home the crown is anyone's guess. There is, however, a clear front-runner. For the last six years the title of Miss America has gone to Miss New York. Naturally, that means the pressure is on for the reigning competitor, Jamie Lynn Macchia, who began representing her home state earlier this year.
Macchia, 23, took her first major title at the age of 17 when she began competing for the Miss Staten Island crown. She won the title for the first time in November 2008 and took second runner-up the following year. Macchia, who is a graduate of Staten Island Technical High School, then went on to compete in the Miss New York pageant for the first time in June 2012. While she placed among the finalists for the title, she was beat out by Mallory Hagan -- who went on to be crowned Miss America in 2013. Fortunately, Macchia did not give up her dreams of being crowned Miss New York. She competed in, and won, the Miss Greater New York competition in July 2013. She took home the same title once more in June 2015, which allowed her to compete for the Miss America title.
The current Miss New York grew up in Eltingville, Staten Island, New York. She graduated from Wagner, where she was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, with a degree in arts administration and marketing. According to her personal website, she was once the Director of Sales and Marketing at Physicians First Messages. She has since moved on and hopes to achieve her goal of working in development and event planning for non-profit organizations. When she's not working toward that goal or doing appearances for Miss America, she enjoys yoga, shopping and going out to eat. She spends a lot of time with family and friends and loves her cats.
As a potential Miss America 2016 winner, Macchia and her fellow beauty-queen hopefuls were asked to create a video to be shared on Twitter in which they share details about their lives, as well as the platform on which they'll be competing. In hers, Macchia revealed that she will be bringing awareness to Inspiring Action Against Pediatric Cancer. In the upcoming competition she'll be performing a lyrical dance to Beyoncé's "I Was Here." She also shared that she "has [a] perfect horror movie scream."
— Miss New York (@MissAmerica_NY) August 14, 2015
Macchia, and 51 other competitors, will take the stage in the Miss America 2016 pageant on Sunday, Sept. 14, at 9 p.m. EDT on ABC.