Platform: Getting Teens Involved in the Fight Against Cancer
State: New York
At the age of 17, Maria DeSantis was crowned the second Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, representing the state of New York. As Miss America’s Outstanding Teen 2007, Maria spent her reign traveling the country promoting her personal platform, Getting Teens Involved in the Fight Against Cancer, and the National Platform which was then the US Dream Academy. While finishing her senior year of high school and graduating in the top of her class, Maria travelled around the county championing community involvement and spreading the word about this new amazing opportunity for young women. Although Maria’s personal platform targeted teens, she served as a motivational speaker for people of all ages. Maria spent her year addressing high school students, elementary school students, local communities, professional business organizations, hospitals, and Rotary International Clubs. She was able to blend her work with the American Cancer Society, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and the US Dream Academy with her love of music and performance effectively throughout her year. She carried her involvement with these organizations on after her year, helping with local Relay for Life Fundraisers as well as Co-Chairing New York University’s Relay for Life.
After passing the MAOTeen crown Maria obtained a Bachelor’s of Arts in accounting as well as a Master’s Degree in accounting, graduating summa cum laude from Wagner College. Since graduation in 2012, Maria worked in tax at PwC for 2 years before making the move to the family business. Maria currently works with her father as an accountant at the CPA firm DeSantis and Pellecchia, LLP. This past July, Maria became engaged to Daniel C. Hurley and is currently enthralled in planning a fall 2015 wedding. Maria and Dan live happily in Staten Island, New York with an exceedingly handsome Maltese named Jack.
Maria served as a judge on the 2010 Miss America’s Outstanding Teen panel and helped in selecting Lacey Russ. She competed in the 2011 and 2012 Miss New York Scholarship Pageant and was 3rd Runner-up to Miss New York 2012, Miss America 2013, Mallory Hagan. In 2013 Maria became the provider of the annual Top Vocalist Scholarship at the MAOTeen pageant and looks forward to giving back to the organization for many years to come. Maria is thrilled to be a part of the ten year Miss America’s Outstanding Teen legacy and can’t wait to watch this organization continue to grow.