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Ridgway native Melissa Quattrone, 24, competed for the crown in the annual Miss Pennsylvania USA pageant this past November.
The pageant was held at the Hyatt Regency at the Pittsburgh Aiport.
â€śAlthough I didn't place in the competition, I walked away with more confidence, 61 new friends and an experience that will last a lifetime.
â€śI was very happy to see Amber-Joi Watkins get crowned, she deserved it.â€ť
Watkins was a previous runner-up in the competition.
The reigning Miss Pa. Goes on to compete in the televised Miss USA on NBC in April.
The contestants compete in a series of events; personal interview, and evening gown and bathing suit competitions
â€śMiss Pennsylvania is a weekend-long event with three separate shows for each division for public viewing,â€ť Quattrone said. â€śAny young female who is a Pennsylvania resident can enter. After entering there is an interview process which is based on the individual, her accomplishments, life goals, and volunteerism. Each contestant is required to be sponsored and I was fortunate enough to have a boss who believes in my interests.â€ť
Quattrone put a lot of time and dedication into preparing for this pageant.
â€śMy plan was to go into this pageant like I was going into Miss USA,â€ť Quattrone said. â€śSome of the things I did to prepare myself were keeping up with current events, working with a personal trainer, finding outfits, and I had my evening gown and bathing suit made. It is really important in this pageant to reflect yourself through choices of attire.
â€śI really am thankful for having my family and friends there to help me out during the months of preparation.â€ť
The Miss Pennsylvania USA marked the fifth beauty pageant Quattrone has competed in. She has been interested in beauty pageants since she was a little girl.
â€śMost of my pageants have been recent since I was focusing on my education,â€ť Quattrone said. â€śDuring college, I competed in Miss Cameo USA twice and won the title of Miss Cameo USA 2010. Last year I competed in Miss Butler County USA where I was second runner-up.â€ť
It all started for her when she was nominated as the Homecoming Queen at Ridgway Area High School.
"Because of this, I was further nominated as a PA State finalist for Americaâ€™s Homecoming Queen," Quattrone said. â€śThis was my first pageant and after that I knew it was something I wanted to keep doing.â€ť
Quattrone entered the competition in November ready to win it.
â€śI was not nervous at all,â€ť Quattrone said. â€śI wanted this for so many years and I was not letting anything, especially nerves, get in my way.â€ť
At this time she is uncertain whether she will reenter the competition.
â€śMy friends and family think I should, but for right now, I am focusing on the present,â€ť Quattrone said.
Quattrone lives in Butler but was born and raised in Ridgway.
â€śI love it there,â€ť Quattrone said. â€śWhen my friends ask me where I grew up and what Ridgway is like I always explain it as Candyland compared to anywhere else. Everyone is nice, everything is homemade, and the area is beautiful.
Quattrone graduated from RAHS in 2005 and later graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2005 with a B.A. In Communications and a minor in Spanish.
She presently works as a technical recruiter for Pyramid Consulting Group.
â€śIt is an IT Consulting/Placement firm,â€ť Quattrone said. â€śMy focus is to place Information Technology professionals with major corporations in the Pittsburgh area. I started this position in August of 2009. My average day consists of sourcing qualified candidates that may be open to the job market and matching up their skills with the needs of our clients. Some of the clients we deal with are banks, investment firms, logistic and retail companies.â€ť
She is the daughter of Frank and Sandy Quattrone and granddaughter of Joe and Loretta Quattrone and the late Santo Dragone and Joann Dragone of Johnsonburg..
Quattrone returns to Ridgway as often as she can.
â€śI come back to Ridgway all of the time,â€ť Quattrone said. â€śI love to spend time with my family and friends.â€ť