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A Crowning Achievement


Samantha Shay


September 16, 2015

A Crowning Achievement

 “This whole year is going to be the best year of my life. I have something behind me and now I can make a difference.” —Samantha Shay

by Amanda Hayman ’17 (anticipated)

Samantha Shay may be from rural Pennsylvania, but she has won the admiration of many in New York, not to mention across the United States. This past April, Shay, an Adelphi University junior and Honors College student, beat some stiff competition to win the America’s National Teenager Scholarship Organization (ANTSO) National Miss 2016 title.

Pageants are nothing new to Shay, who started entering them at age 10. She said, though, that her childhood was hardly overrun with tiaras. “It just unfolded; I’ve never been the crazy one to do 50 a year.” For her, pageants have been a way to earn funds, particularly scholarships. The emphasis on scholarly achievement is what drew her to vie for the National Miss crown.

Now pursuing a dual major in criminal justice through Adelphi’s College of Arts and Sciences and in psychology through the Gordon F. Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies, Shay is balancing her busy life and loving every minute of it. She works as an Adelphi University admissions ambassador, is part of the Adelphi Dance Team, works as a server at Applebee’s and gives her time to multiple charities close to her heart, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund, Inc.

Giving back is a huge motivation for Shay, who said, “No one should have their happiness taken away.” With the title of National Miss New York, Shay said, “This whole year is going to be the best year of my life,” adding, “I have something behind me and now I can make a difference.”

Even though Shay is determined to win, she said she wasn’t going to go overboard with preparations. When asked how she prepared for the ANTSO pageant, she said, “My diet was to stop eating cookies for the week.” And when asked about hiring a coach, she said, “I don’t think you can be coached to have a personality.”

In August, Shay attended ANTSO’s National Competition in Nashville, TN, representing as the pageant’s current Miss New York. Going into the competition, Shay didn’t even think she would make the Top 10. Ultimately, she won the whole thing and will officially reign as ANTSO’s National Miss for the next year. 

“Now I get to travel all over the country and potentially the world with my six sister queens as we represent ANTSO,” Shay said. “The next step is to continue in my community service and appearances. I will also be attending the Today show, the NYC Veterans Day Parade, Fashion Week, Miss America and more this fall! I can’t wait for my year as a national title holder.”

Shay said her interest in forensic psychology stemmed from her fascination with the television show Criminal Minds and her love for “digging into people’s minds” and wanting to help the world while doing so.

When asked about her future, Shay said she plans to “live a normal FBI life one day.”

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