The sisters take to the stage with hopes of winning two titles as Miss New Jersey pageants begin

The dozens of young women in Atlantic City this week all have one thing in common: they’re vying for a crown and a title. But two of them share another kind of bond: they are sisters.

This year, Amanda and Alyssa Peacock will compete in the same city, on the same stage, the same week in hopes of winning their respective titles – Amanda as Miss New Jersey and Alyssa as Miss New Jersey Outstanding Teenager.

The Peacock sisters have taken this trip together before. In the past, the two held titles in the Miss New Jersey organization and competed on separate stages months apart to achieve their goal.

But this year, the competition takes place in the same week on the stage of the Superstar Theater inside the Resorts Casino Hotel.

Amanda, who holds the Miss South Jersey title, will face 27 other women in the two preliminary rounds on Wednesday and Thursday night with the final night for Miss New Jersey two days later on Saturday. The only night to decide who will be Miss New Jersey’s Outstanding Teenager is Friday when Alyssa – who is Miss Eastern Shore’s Outstanding Teenager – will have her time to shine as she competes against 22 other young women.

“It’s different. I’m thrilled,” Amanda, 22, said as she sat at a table with her 17-year-old sister in the backyard of her parents’ Williamstown home. Each wore her white sash and crown respected as they spoke about what it means to be sisters in an organization that has taught them to be strong, confident role models.

Miss South Jersey Amanda Peacock, 22, left, and her sister, Miss Eastern Shore’s Teen Alyssa, 17, watch 9-year-old Milo run in the front yard of their Williamstown home, Tuesday, June 14, 2022.Tim Falcon | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Amanda arrived in Atlantic City on Monday to begin her quest for Miss New Jersey. This will be her third competition for that elusive title and will face 27 other women looking for the same.

She started with the Miss New Jersey organization when she was 14 and first competed for the title of Miss when she was 18. At that time, the contest was held at the Music Pier in Ocean City.

The 2021 Montclair State University graduate, who works at Renault Winery on the programming team, is aiming for the moon but will be happy if her name is called among the 10 finalists. This comes with a scholarship to help her with her student loans.

“If I’m meant to be Miss New Jersey then it’s meant to be, it’s all in God’s timing.”

Her social impact statement is Distracted Driving Awareness where she educates people that being distracted while driving is more than just texting, and includes eating, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and take too long to change radios.

“A lot of people think they’re invincible. It won’t happen to them. »

She has met families who have lost loved ones to distracted driving and works specifically with the Toni Donato Bolis & Baby RJ Foundation in Washington Township.

The foundation was created after Toni, who was nine months pregnant, and her unborn child RJ were killed in 2011 in a car accident caused by a distracted driver.

“My goal as Miss New Jersey is to strengthen the laws and make them a little tougher so that we hold people accountable.”

For her talent, she will sing “My Man” from the movie Funny Girl.

But when explaining how she chose her song, Amanda wasted no time pointing out that her younger sister is more talented and “cooler” than her.

“I would consider myself a pretty decent singer. But she’s more talented everywhere,” Amanda said, while jokingly adding, “She could sing and dance and play ukulele and guitar all at the same time.

Alyssa didn’t disagree with her sister.

Amanda and Alyssa Peacock

Miss South Jersey Amanda Peacock, 22, left, and her sister, Miss Eastern Shore’s Teen Alyssa, 17, will be together in Atlantic City competing for two separate titles on Tuesday, June 14, 2022. Amanda will compete for Miss New Jersey while Alyssa will be competing for Miss New Jersey Outstanding Teen.Tim Falcon | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

She credits Amanda for introducing her to pageants when she was on the Teen Program and eventually followed in her footsteps.

“To me, they seemed like a lot of fun and it brought such a brotherhood and a lot of experience in interviews and on-stage questions and gave me a sense of confidence,” said Alyssa, who started competing at the 13 years old.

After repeatedly failing to win a local title, she changed her mind and realized that “it’s not about the crown, it’s not about winning, it’s not about winning. It’s just a matter of experience”.

She won her first title she held during the pandemic and departs for Atlantic City on Wednesday as Miss Eastern Shore’s Outstanding Teenager for her second try at the highest honor.

Her social impact initiative is PAWS for a Cause: Adopt Don’t Shop, which is fitting since two of the three dogs her family adopted chased each other around the table she was sitting at.

“I just saw how many dogs, cats and other animals are in shelters and need loving homes,” said Alyssa, who visited a shelter earlier today.

This fall, she will be a senior at Gloucester County Institute of Technology where she is studying performing arts. For the talent portion of the competition, she will sing “Corner of the Sky” from the musical Pippin.

“We’re ready,” the two said at the same time of their trip to Atlantic City.

Amanda and Alyssa Peacock

Sisters Amanda Peacock, 22, and Alyssa, 17, will compete for two separate Miss titles.Richard Krauss

Although they won’t have many opportunities to see each other during the week, they will be out in the audience cheering each other on and looking for that supportive connection, be it a wink , a nod or a smile – something they’ve done many times before. .

“Every time Amanda sings, I get chills. Just the way her voice resonates with me,” Alyssa said.

For Amanda, seeing this “beautiful young woman” in front of her on stage showing off the confidence she gained from being part of the Miss New Jersey organization is something that resonates with her.

“I am very, very proud. I mean, I have chills too. She’s a beautiful singer. But for me, it’s more watching my younger sister grow up.

Also in the audience will be their biggest fans, their parents.

“I would love to see them both at least in the top 10,” said their mother, Jen.

Both agree that the reason they continue to compete year after year is to make an impact in the community and leave a legacy. It’s not about them but rather what they can do for others.

And rubbing shoulders with like-minded women with the same goals doesn’t hurt either.

“We were raised to always give back to others, at all levels. So that’s the perfect way to do it,” Amanda said.

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Tim Hawk can be reached at thawk@njadvancemedia.com. Follow Tim on Instagram @photog_hawk.

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