Macchia told students how, as Miss New York, it is important for her to travel to schools like Sacred Heart and speak to kids. Her platform is pediatric cancer, but she speaks to students about a wide array of topics.
She told the students how she lost a friend to cancer at 15.
“He inspires me every day to keep going and do everything I can to make him proud,” Macchia said.
She also asked the students to define bullying and asked them to raise their hands if they've ever been bullied.
“Bullying is when someone hurts you,” one of the students said.
Macchia explained that there are three types of bullying: social, verbal and physical.
The 24-year-old Staten Island native shared how middle school was tough for her. Eventually, she fell in love with the performing arts, which gave her confidence. She went to Wagner College and is still pursuing her dream of dancing professionally.
“You have to be confident in who you are, what you do and what you can offer the world,” Macchia said.
She also talked about persistence. She told the students it took her seven years to eventually become Miss New York, competing in pageants on a local level. After finally capturing the state crown this past year, she was even able to compete in the Miss USA pageant.
She also asked the students what they wanted to pursue, and received answers like acting, singing, dancing, fashion, basketball, gymnastics, arts and even archery.
“These are all the cool things you guys can do,” Macchia told them.
This was the second straight year Sacred Heart students got to meet Miss New York. The program was organized by Helen Palmeri who runs the twirling program at the school with a group of about a dozen girls.