Photos courtesy of Rose Scalia
Rose Scalia, left, meets Heidi Klum at a recent event.

A woman from Jamaica Estates will go for the crown in the Ms. New York Senior America 2017 pageant next month.

Rose Scalia, who has lived in Queens for most of her life, will be among the 11 women from the New York area vying for the title at the Sunday, April 2, affair in Long Island.

The pageant celebrates inspiring and outstanding women over the age of 60. The winner will go on to compete in the Ms. Senior America Pageant later this year.

Seeking a change, Scalia decided to retire from her job as a director of human resources at a real estate firm a few years ago.

“That’s when I said, ‘I’m going to reinvent myself,'” Scalia said. “And reinventing yourself over 60 is so important.”

Scalia, who is also a professor at New York University, competed in the competition for the first time in 2014. Though she did not take the title, she was awarded “2014 Ms. Congeniality.” This year, Scalia will compete again.

“Your idea going in is to win, of course,” Scalia said. “But you also want to share your ideas, your thoughts on how to help the seniors of America.”

Scalia explained that the contest consists of three main components: talent, gown and philosophy of life — where a contestant presents a brief statement about her approach to life.

“We really dispel the myth of aging,” Scalia said. “What we are is a group of women that reaffirm life and self-worth. [Seniors] are America’s most valuable treasure.”

The most important aspect of the pageant, for Scalia, is the advocacy. The winner of the pageant will become a face and voice for seniors across the state, speaking on their behalf at various public and political gatherings.

“It’s all about giving back to your community; making sure we can be a positive influence on all generations,” Scalia said.

Scalia said she works to educate seniors about the best and most effective ways to stay well. She visits senior centers and wellness fairs and spreads information through public speaking.

“[Seniors]: get involved; think positive,” Scalia said. “Because when you think positive it’s so, so important. It gives you a deeper sense of self. When you look at life in the most positive way, it comes back to you. With seniors, that they take care of themselves, remain active, and enjoy life in general and not let life pass [them] by, is so important.”

In the days leading up to the competition, Scalia said what she is feeling most profoundly is “excitement.”

“To be with the ladies, the camaraderie; it is a little nerve-wracking, but it tests you,” Scalia said. “It shows what you can really do. Everyone’s a winner in the pageant … At the end of all this you do become friends. It goes beyond just winning.”

The event will take place at SUNY Old Westbury on Sunday, April 2, at 2:30 p.m. For more information or to learn how to purchase tickets, visit the website.

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