5th Time Is The Charm For Miss Massachusetts


The fifth time was the charm for the new Miss Massachusetts. Jillian Zucco, a graduate of UMass Dartmouth and a registered nurse, had competed for the crown four other times and took it home on the fifth, as she beat a talented field of 20 other young women at the pageant held at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester on July 1.

“Perseverance,” she said, when asked what helped her this time. “Everyone says, ‘be yourself’ in this pageant world, buy you actually have to be completely, honestly, and unapologetically yourself, because that’s the only way you’re going to be comfortable and confident enough to win.”

Zucco, who sang a haunting vocal of “Via Dolorosa” during the talent portion of the competition, said she was excited about the possibility she might grab the crown this year, but tempered that excitement.

“You never know what happens in the interview, and you never know how anyone else did,” she said. “I just tried to remain calm and focused, and just be confident in the process, but the outcome is the icing on the cake.”

In the moments leading up to the final announcement, Zucco, and presumably other contestants, could not stand still.

“I was shaking,” she said. “I was just shaking and thinking, ‘Taylor [emcee and former Miss Massachusetts], hurry up.’”

When she was finally announced as the winner, Zucco said her mind went blank.

“Nothing,” she said. “Just crying, so excited, and thankfully for all of the people who supported me along the way.”

With her new crown, Zucco hopes to inspire people across the commonwealth to be more active in helping others.

“My platform is called ‘Choose A Cause: Make A Difference,’” she said. “It’s about spreading the spirit of volunteerism. My goal is to encourage as many people as possible to volunteer. I’d love to partner with state-wide organizations that have the same goals, about community service and helping those in need. I hope to do some motivational speaking to create a call to action for people to get involved and do their civic duty to volunteer.”

For more information, visit www.missmass.org.

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  1. JoAnne Breault
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