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THE PAGEANTRY INTERVIEW alyssacampanella Recipe for Success Ready to take on the world, Alyssa Campanella has paved a career path that could allow her to become an entertainment superstar y the time she took the stage on September 12, 2011 in São Paulo, Brazil to compete for the Miss Universe title, Alyssa Campanella was already a sea- soned veteran of the pageant circuit. In 2007, she competed as Miss New Jersey Teen USA to earn first runner-up at the national level, and only months prior to her Universe conquest, she had punched her ticket to Brazil by winning the covet- ed crown of Miss USA 2011 in Las Vegas. To say she was born to be a star would be an understatement. Alyssa’s DNA prepared her for a life in the entertainment and glamour industries from an early age, as she had taken up act- ing at just 6-years old. Just 16 years later, she’s now one of the most recognizable names and faces in the world, not only for her Miss USA title, but also because she’s been turning heads on the runways for a few years now. So what’s next for this am- bitious 22-year old Dutch-Italian star? Anything she wants is possible. B Pageantry magazine: It’s been a whirlwind year and you have been very busy. Now that your year as Miss USA is coming to an end, has it exceeded your expectations? Alyssa Campanella: You know what is interesting about it? The very first USA 72 PAGEANTRY pageant that I ever watched was the pag- eant Tara Conner won in 2006. Ever since then I have always followed the winner year-after-year because I always idolized them. I always thought, Wow, they get to reign for the entire year and be a goodwill ambassador. Once I finally had the title myself, there is a lot more to it than I could have expected. PM: Tell us about some of the high- lights of your reign? AC: That is difficult because that is what everybody has been asking me lately and I am having a hard time narrowing it down. Let’s see, I got to work with many great charities. I mean, here in New York there are two really great charities that I got to work really closely with, and those were Gilda’s Club and God’s Love We Deliver. Even on my days off I would want to just go and volunteer there, be- cause those two charities just care so much about their community and they care about people. I would have to say traveling to France was another highlight, because I had been dying to go to France for a long time. Also, getting to travel across the country, because I got to see some cities that I have never visited before, that I thought were absolutely incredible, and it was all for a good cause. PM: You brought up the great philan- thropic organization for the entire Miss Universe Organization in Gilda’s Club. Tell us a little bit about that. AC: Gilda’s Club is an organization that is based off of Gilda Radner, and it really helps people who are dealing with a fami- ly member who has cancer or have cancer themselves. It is a great way for people to get together so everyone can talk about it. They have sessions where they can come in and talk together so everybody can just get out what they want to get out. As a volunteer, I do a little more office work. I have my own little desk there and I go around and I do paperwork and help organize luncheons. I make phone calls for a couple of hours. I try to get sponsors. I try to get donations. I really like working there. To me it is a bit of office work, but I like being able to know that I am helping that organization. They are a great charity and they care so much. As for God’s Love We Deliver, I am sure that everyone knows at this point that Alyssa Campanella is a food fanatic. With God’s Love We Deliver, you get to cook for three hours, either in the morning or in the afternoon. You are basically cooking and packaging food for 4,100 people for the whole day. That is 4,100 people a day here in NYC for people who are either too sick and cannot go food shopping or too