Name: Heather Wolf
Currently Miss Staten Island 2016
Why did you begin competing in pageants?: When I was in high school, I encountered my first Miss America contestant. As a model for Sherri Hill, I crossed paths with Kayla Martell, a bald woman with alopecia who, at the time, was Miss Delaware 2010. Immediately, any pageant stereotype I may have had was broken. Kayla kindly explained to me what the Miss America Organization stands for — Scholarship, Service, Style, & Success. Kayla and Sherri encouraged me to compete in the Miss America Organization and although I was intrigued, I was a busy three-sport athlete, actress, and full time student, so I brushed off the idea.
When I joined Alpha Omicron Pi sorority at Wagner College in 2012, I met my second Miss America contestant—this one was Jamie Lynn Macchia, the current Miss New York 2015. After Jamie competed at Miss America this past fall, I reached out to congratulate her on all she had accomplished. I began to think again about competing, but this time it was because I had a message to share. My experiences in high school and college led me to a platform that motivates everything I do through this organization. I compete in the Miss America Organization to speak with adolescents and young adults in order to let them know, “You Can NOT Be Replaced”.
What do you hope to gain, other than a title?: It may sound vague, but I simply hope to gain experiences. Every experience I’ve had, both good and bad, has shaped me into the person I am today. So if nothing else, this organization will give me a whole world of experiences I never would have encountered otherwise.
Why is your platform unique? : In an interview with Comcast Newsmakers I talked about why “You Can NOT Be Replaced is so unique. YCNBR has a preventative mission that aims to empower and educate adolescents to understand their self worth in order to prevent suicide from ever being considered an option. You can check out the full interview here.
With Miss America in Atlantic City, have you attended or do you plan on attending the pageant? If not, how do you watch the pageant?: I have not attended the Miss America pageant, but I hope to get the chance to. For Miss America 2015, my sorority sisters and I got together to watch the pageant and cheer on Jamie. We screamed so loud every time she came on camera. The neighbors were probably wondering what was going on…
What has been your favorite appearance or service event as a titleholder?: It’s difficult to choose just one! Visiting Cohen Children’s Medical Center, the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, was an eye opening experience. It reinforced the importance of the partnership between Miss America Org and Children’s Miracle Network. In terms of my platform, my favorite thing is interacting with students and sharing the “You Can NOT Be Replaced” wristband project. But to actually answer your question and try to pick one appearance… I recently ran the NYC Half Marathon to raise funds for “You Can NOT Be Replaced”. Some might wonder how running 13.1 miles was my favorite experience as a titleholder so far, but it was absolutely incredible. There were so many incredible stories of participants overcoming obstacles or running for a cause. I was so grateful when NYRR caught wind of my work with “You Can NOT Be Replaced” and spotlighted it as one of their inspiring stories for the 2016 Half. You can check it out here.
What appearance or service event would you like to do most before the end of your reign? : I’ve actually been working hard the past few months planning a benefit concert to raise funds for “You Can NOT Be Replaced”. Lucky for everyone in the audience, I will not be singing at the event, just hosting. I’m so excited because talented performers from various Broadway shows have donated their time to sing and support the cause. The concert is in Manhattan at the Cutting Room on April 25th. You can see the full list of performers and purchase tickets, here.
Which is your favorite phase of competition?: It’s a tie between interview and talent. I love interview because it’s when I can show my personality and talk to the judges about my reasons for competing. However, I also love talent. Acting has been a constant passion throughout my life, and I’m very proud of the monologue I co-wrote with my close friend Megan. The theme of my monologue has special meaning as it’s inspired by a line my older sister has said about bipolar disorder being her “super power”. I love that I’m able to share a message with the audience and the judges through my talent.
How do you prepare for pageant? : I joke around that although I’ve never formally prepared for pageantry, I’ve actually been preparing for the past 22 years of my life. Every experience I’ve had has shaped my mind and my beliefs. I think it’s important to have a strong sense of self in order to respond to questions thrown at you with genuine authenticity. You need to really know who you are in order to do well in this organization. Although everyone, including myself, struggles with that at times, it’s something I’ve been working hard at for 22 years.
What do you plan to do with your experiences after you finish competing or age out of MAO?: It’s hard to say what the future holds. At this point I’m just trying to make it to Miss New York finals on May 29th! My mom always tells me, “life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans”. I have hopes, and dreams, and aspirations that I could fill a novel with, but for now I’m just taking life one step at a time.
What is your favorite mantra or quote?: “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you ice cream which is kind of the same thing.”
Just kidding, although that is one of my favorites. I’m a big inspirational quote person, which my older sisters are well aware of so they often buy me items with quotes on them. At Christmas one year, they gave me a bracelet with the quote “Life is too short to wake up with regrets so love the people who treat you right, forget about those who don’t, believe everything happens for a reason, and if you get a chance, take it.”
I wear the bracelet almost every day as a reminder of what is important in life. The quote has special meaning to me not only because of what it says, but also because of whom it’s from.