Mahwah Beauty Queen Places Miss New Jersey Top 10
The Miss Bergen County winner says pageants help her fight bullying
In a few weeks, Mahwah native Krysten Moore will be passing off her Miss Bergen County crown to a new winner. Moore, who won the title last year, represented Bergen County in this year's Miss New Jersey pageant.
“It’s basically like a mini-version of Miss America,” Moore, a 22-year-old University of Massachusetts – Amherst student, said. The winner of the pageant goes on to compete for the Miss America 2013 crown.
Moore came awfully close. She was announced one of the top 10 finalists at the Miss New Jersey pageant, which was held in June at Ocean City. She said 27 girls who had qualified for the pageant by winning other local or regional titles from around the state competed.
The pageant is broken into several different rounds – evening gown, talent, 10-minute interview, and swimsuit.
Moore has had a lot of practice competing in all of the categories. She’s been in pageants since 2004, and was crowned Miss Teen New Jersey in both 2006 and 2008. This year marks her third time vying for the Miss New Jersey crown, and her highest place finish thus far.
Competing for Miss New Jersey is “the most exhausting, exhilarating, exciting week of your life,” Moore said. “I really cannot say enough good things about the experience.”
Besides the chance to show off her tap-dancing talent, and the shot at scholarship money, Moore said one of the main reasons she loves competing in pageants is because they allow her to promote her anti-bullying platform.
“I feel that bullying is a real public health problem, and an epidemic,” Moore said. “Competing gives me the chance to talk about why I think it’s so important that we get back to teaching kids home-grown family values. Pageants have allowed me to start doing so much anti-bullying work already.”
Moore is the National Youth Ambassador for Stomp Out Bullying, a non-profit that has been working against bullying since 1999.
In 2006, she founded SHINE, an anti-bullying program in which she travels to schools to talk to kids about bullying and respect. At this year’s Miss New Jersey Pageant, Moore was awarded the National Community Service Award, a $1,000 scholarship, for all of her anti-bullying work. She called the win an “extreme honor.”
Moore, who attended Mahwah public schools through eighth grade and then graduated from Immaculate Heart Academy, is currently studying Computer Engineering and Math and Computer Science. This summer, she is interning for Verizon Wireless.
With one more year of school to go, Moore can compete for the Miss New Jersey crown one more time.
She plans on going for it, not only because she loves competing, but because of the message she says her story provides to the young kids she is trying to stop from bullying.
“I was bullied as a kid,” she said. “I was the fat girl in elementary school, and even though I dreamed of being in pageants, I never thought I’d be capable of doing something like this.”
Two teen crowns, scholarships and a top-ten finish later, Moore said she is proving her bullies wrong. “This competition has taught me that other people don’t define you. I still have people telling me there are things I can’t do, but I have learned to never let anyone else put limits on the things I can accomplish. I hope that’s a message I can get across to our youth.”