Health Check: Nurse, pageant winner wants to inspire others
A crowning victory for a nurse from southeastern Massachusetts.
Jillian Zucco, 24, of Mattapoisett, was crowned Miss Massachusetts America on July 1, representing Bristol County.
Her platform: choose a cause, make a difference.
"I average about 750 hours of community service per year and my goal is to inspire everyone to get involved," said Zucco.
Beyond volunteerism, Zucco is also passionate about what she does.
"I work at Good Samaritan Hospital in Brockton. I'm a registered nurse," said Zucco.
"When I was younger, I wouldn't watch cartoons and the typical kids shows. I watched a lot of 'Untold Stories of the ER,' 'Mystery Diagnosis.' I was just always so interested," Zucco said. "I just liked the nursing. You care for the whole person and not just the disease or a broken leg."
But there's something else she's passionate about.
"My mom says I been singing since before I could talk," Zucco said.
She said an old pageant song in the competition: "Via Dolorosa."
This isn't her first rodeo. Zucco was part of the South Coast girl group, The Varsity Girls.
"And so we sang for the Red Sox. We sang at Gillette Stadium, American Airlines Arena. We opened for James Taylor. We sang for President Obama," Zucco said.
She recalls those days with fondness. But, her passion these days is making a difference in the community.
"Children's Miracle Network Hospitals is the national platform of the Miss America organization, and our local CMN hospital is Boston Children's, so I've raised over $25,000 for Boston Children's," Zucco said.
In addition to her $12,000 award, she also received a $350 scholarship as a preliminary talent winner. She is hoping to further her education and become a nurse practitioner. She competes in the national competition in September.