Anna Treppiedi, a.k.a. Ms. New York, is no shrinking violet. As students at the School’s Out New York City (SONYC) after-school program at the Waterside School for Leadership know well, she doesn’t shrink from a challenge, or from any opportunity to speak her mind—especially when the subject is education. That’s why it’s no surprise that she’s a contestant in this year’s Ms. America pageant.
Though she’ll be clad in a pageant gown and competing for a glistening crown, Treppiedi and other hopefuls will be part of a pageant system that is markedly different from the stereotypical pageant of yesteryear. In this contest, there is no swimsuit portion, and no baton twirling-type talent to be assessed. Rather, the Ms. America competition encourages women 26 and up to speak—and speak eloquently—on personally meaningful issues that support its overall goal “to promote, honor, and advance the status of women.” Treppiedi’s cause, of course, is the importance of education.
As Coordinator of the SONYC Waterside program in Rockaway Park, she works to keep the community’s middle-schoolers off the streets and engaged academically. Via book clubs, talent shows, and other recreational activities, Treppiedi epitomizes The Child Center’s commitment to helping kids realize their full potential.
Known as Ms. Anna to her students, Treppiedi is also a competitive wrestler who has been training at FTW Wrestling Academy and spends some of her ring time voicing the cause of education in the unexpected venue. If she wins the pageant later this month, she intends to use the platform to broadcast educational concerns on a national level and would donate some of her winnings to SONYC Waterside and to starting a scholarship program for youth in the Rockaways.
Currently, Treppiedi is listed as seventh in the Top 12 “People’s Choice” Contestants on the Ms. America website. Unlimited online voting is open until August 27, and each vote costs $1.00. The People’s Choice winner receives half of the funds raised and becomes an automatic semi-finalist in the 2015 pageant, to be held on August 29 in Brea, California. To vote for Treppiedi, visit msamericapageant.com.
See the Rockaway Times’ media coverage of Treppiedi and the Ms. America pageant.