The road to the Miss America Scholarship Pageant starts long before the competing girls walk onto a nationally televised stage to represent their respective states.
In reality, it starts in small towns and cities—much like Hockessin—with girls leaving everything they have on stage before one uniquely qualified and outstanding young woman is chosen to move forward to the state competition.
This weekend, four such young ladies will bring whatever poise, beauty, intelligence and talent they have accumulated throughout their lives thus far in hopes of representing Hockessin at the state level. Sunday night's winner will also go home with scholarship money from Wilmington University as well as prizes from sponsors like All About Smiles, Silk: The Salon, Queen Nails Spa, Hockessin Day Spa, Designer Consigner Boutique, Route 40 Nutrition and Royal Jewelry Design.
Despite a hectic schedule this week preparing for the pageant, the girls took time to explain why they want to be Miss Hockessin, the charity they'll be representing and even a secret or two.
Meet Margherita Russo:
Hockessin connection teaches at American Dance Academy and works at the Hockessin Athletic Center
Currently attends University of Delaware
Major Organizational and Community Leadership
Platform Success Won't Wait!
Talent "I'll Be Seeing You"
Platform connection "My sister cofounded Success Won't Wait back in 2002 and being an avid reader myself, there was no second about what I wanted to advocate. Thnking of kids not being able to hold books in their hands breaks my heart."
Why she wants to be Miss Hockessin "I want to use Miss Hockessin as a microphone to get the word out about literacy in the state. A lot of people don't know that the main reason most children can't read is because they don't have material to do so with. With the title and the Success Won't Wait charity, I can get the materials to the children while getting the message out."
A secret? "The song I have chosen is for my grandmother who passed away this October. Being named after her, we've always had a special connection. I have learned values, morals as traditions that I will one day pass on. She was the only living grandparent I ever knew and she was my biggest fan. This song was from our favorite movie "The Notebook", and to honor her as I sing I will wear a yellow ribbon with a daisy on it for her since our name translated in English is daisy and the meaning which depicts her so well is love and kindness."