There She Is! Senior Jenna Martorana to Compete in Miss Pennsylvania Competition

While most students here at Millersville were worrying about their midterms, senior Jenna Martorana had bigger plans on her mind.

Martorana, who plans to graduate from Millersville University in May with a degree in Applied Disability Studies and a minor in Psychology, competed in the Miss Lancaster County Scholarship Pageant on Sunday March, 25 at the Sharadin Bigler Theater in Ephrata. There were 9 contestants competing, and Martorana was honored with the title of Miss Red Rose City. Following this win, she will be competing at the Miss Pennsylvania pageant, which is the preliminary to Miss America.

It is a fun and enriching experience to be a part of for anyone, but this event meant so much more then pretty dresses and sparkling crowns for Martorana. Each contestant chooses a platform to represent, and the one that was most important for her was mental illness. “Breaking down the stigma of mental illness and putting a face to the illness makes it more than just a diagnosis,” Martorana says.

When she says this she means it. Her studies at Millersville surround helping people with disabilities, and she hopes to attend graduate school for her masters in school counseling and then be an elementary school counselor.

The empowering sensation is another reason these competitions mean so much to Martorana. “I’ve struggled with feeling that I didn’t stand a chance at winning,” she reflects on her experience. “But with hard work and support, I was able to prove myself wrong.” It was easy to feel so strong with the company at the competition. “I have made so many friendships through the Miss America Organization,” Martorana says. “The girls I have had the pleasure to meet are determined and caring individuals who are making a difference in their communities.”

One of the biggest controversies surrounding the Miss America Organization (MAO) is the idea that the competition and the vast media coverage are harmful to young girls. Some suggest it does not support healthy body images or that it even sexualizes and glorifies women to be “perfect.” Martorana has a lot to say to combat that opinion. “I would say that it’s the opposite of harmful for teens and young women,” she explains. “We learn valuable lessons that we will carry with us the rest of our lives. We learn how to handle interviews and we keep up to date on all current events, plus we form our own opinions and stances on those current events. We learn how to market ourselves and promote the platforms that we care deeply for. The community service aspect of the Miss America Organization is part of what makes this organization one that I love being a part of. As a title holder, we have to talk to sponsors, head fundraisers and host events learning valuable time management, organizational and people skills. The MAO is all about being healthy and strong, not skinny. You don’t have to be a size 0 to win, you just have to show you’re leading a healthy lifestyle. Our current Miss Pennsylvania has said that she doesn’t follow any specific restrictive diet; she just eats healthier and goes to gym like most title holders do. This organization teaches us life skills that we will put to use through the rest of our lives.”

The Miss Pennsylvania competition will take place June 17-23, 2018 in Pittsburg, PA. Tickets can be purchased at MissPa.org, but are not on sale yet. Martorana hopes to continue on to the Miss America competition, and has the support of family, friends, and an entire fleet of Marauders at Millersville cheering her on!

Good luck Jenna!

HCXO!

Fun Facts about Jenna:

What is your favorite TV Show or movie?

Bring It

What is your favorite spot on campus?

My favorite spot on campus is the quiet room in the library that overlooks George St and Frederick St. I love to sit there with a coffee and read when I have time.

What is your favorite quote/saying that you live by?

“Don’t let anybody dull your sparkle.”

Do you have any tattoos?

I don’t have any tattoos but if I did get one it would be of a semicolon because it represents how an author could have ended the sentence but chose to continue it and reminds us that our stories aren’t over yet.

What is your favorite vacations spot?

Disneyworld! I love everything about Disney and can’t wait till the next time I can go!

Any other cool facts? Talents?

I run my own business called Sparkling Designs and Gifts. I create custom items which include things like vinyl decals for cars and water bottles, shirt and jackets with a vinyl design, wedding and engagement gifts, holiday items such as custom Christmas ornaments or Easter baskets. Pretty much something for any occasion!

I am a commuter student.

I have been a baton twirler since I was 4 but I spin color guard for my pageant talent.

I am the current Mid-Atlantic Collegiate All Around Twirl Champion.

I am only 4’10”.

I love to read. As of now, I have read 107 books since 2018 started.

I work at the Reading Fightin Phils as a diamond girl.