Michelle Leonardo is a 16 year old junior at Red Bank Catholic High School were she is actively involved in her school and community. She participates in her schools Dance program, Drama program, Arts from the Heart club and Life club. Michelle is a volunteer for her public library and her churches summer camp program for kids. This was her first time competing for the title of Miss New Jersey Teen USA and she believes that her confidence, Guardian Angel and God helped her get it.
Michelle has been a dancer since the age of three and hasn ’ t stopped since. She has been on a competitive dance team for nine years and this year alone she has won three National titles as a Top Teen Soloist. In the past six years she has won over seven dance scholarships. She also studies dance in NYC and this past summer was in LA for a week learning with top choreographers. In the 8 th grade Michelle created her middle school dance program and had over 120 girls audition. She believes her dance gives her a way to inspire and communicate with people.
Michelle has also been modeling and acting since the age of five. She has been in two national commercials, has appeared on the Guiding Light and has been in numerous print ads including Polaroid, Million Dollar Baby Swimsuits and Sesame Street Kids. She has been in three Seventeen Magazine Fashion shows including one for NYC Fall Fashion Week. She lives for the stage and has been in a number of plays including The Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Carol, Annie, Kids Cabaret, West Side Story and The Nutcracker. The stage is her second home and is one the most comfortable places she can be. She has also helped direct her schools summer shows.
Michelle has been recognized for her writing skills. She won an essay contest for the DARE program where she wrote about the hazards and effects of drugs and alcohol. She also entered an essay contest to work with the author Todd Strouser. Out of 200 students, Michelle and nineteen others were chosen.
She has won The Presidential Physical Fitness award six years in a row. She was also chosen as a Member of Student Council as Chairperson of Activities and a Peer Mediator where she was able to work with other students and their conflicts. Michelle has played the drums for four years, the piano for six years and the flute for two years.
Michelle has big dreams for the future. She would like to attend a college in NY or LA, where she can pursue a career in journalism, and continue to model, act and dance. She would like to see her name up in lights someday and have her own article in a major magazine. Michelle has two quotes with which she lives by, "My greatest pleasure in life is doing what other people say I cannot do. Also, "Your dreams will carry you, but you have to be willing to fly first." She believes her strongest qualities are her confidence and positive outlook on life.
Michelle’s parents Anthony and Laura and little sister Laine, are extremely proud of her and all her accomplishments so far.