Miss New York Still at Work

It’s been nearly two years since Astoria’s own Kaitlin Monte took the title of Miss New York in 2011, but the journey she began years ago was just the start.

On a typical day, this overnight local celebrity will typically wake up and head to work with a development team of Columbia University interns in an organization she helped launch combating digital defamation.

Depending on the day, Monte will also host the television show NBC Trivia on Weekend Today in New York, or fill the role as face of the Mets on Mets Insider on SportsNet New York.

“I still take the subway, I still have to pay my rent and nothing gets handed to me,” Monte said looking back on her push to the limelight. “I also realize that fame and that concept is all very fleeting, so as soon as you trust it to be there, it won’t be and that is the New York mentality.”

Her dream of becoming Miss New York came following graduation from the University of Tampa in 2008 when she was just 19 years old, earning a double major in Performance Art and Public Relations.

While aspiring to become an actress and serving as an active member of the USO of Metropolitan New York, Monte combined her two loves in life and forged a brand new path for herself.

“Becoming Miss New York wasn’t enough. I had to prove that I deserved it,” she said. “Getting a job, doesn’t mean that I deserved to get it, it’s how do I perform within the job.”

Monte was the recipient of the Anti-Defamation League’s 2012 “No Place for Hate: Difference Maker of the Year” for her Anti-bullying Through Leadership campaign.

Through the program, she has reached out to over 10,000 students across 100 schools in the boroughs, where she says the age of cyberbullying has created far-reaching problems among our youth.

“When I was in school you could fight bullying by keeping one person from accessing another person, and a rumor could only expand as far as the attention span of the group,” Monte explained. “People just get over it and they want to talk about something else.”

In her one hour presentation for students from kindergarten through 12th grade, Monte helps children and parents cope with the fast-growing digital age by teaching strategies for handling bullies, places to go to get help. She also serves as the young familiar face in an older crowd of supervisors and authoritative figures.

“So many of these kids weren’t taught how to make better choices,” Monte explained. “They see their parents yell at each other or their dad punch a wall and they think that’s how they deal with stress. We can’t blame them for things if they haven’t been exposed to different options.”

In Cyberbully Census, Monte teamed up with the New York State Independent Democratic Conference to help lawmakers gain a better understanding of bullying online.

She says children who bully often just need attention to help uncover a greater problem.

“Children’s worlds have expanded because of the Internet, but their scope and their understanding hasn’t necessarily kept up, so it’s difficult because they don’t understand the repercussions of taking these fights online,” she explained. “We just can’t blame them for things when they haven’t been exposed to different options.”

Along with her focus on a bullying in the community, Monte also fulfills her passion of reporting and publicity marketing with major television networks, NBC and SNY.

On Mets Insider, Monte interviews players and gives a behind-the-scenes look at the team. On NBC Trivia, she hits the air on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Weekend Today in New York.

As she manages her busy life post-Miss New York, she says she can always look to the rest of the blue-collar working world in the city for motivation on keeping her eyes on the prize.

“There’s always someone working harder than you and always someone willing to wake up earlier and work those extra hours,” she said. “Anytime I feel like I’m slacking, I try to think, ‘Did I meet a level that I feel was competitive today?’”

One thing is certain, wherever Miss New York is going in life, she is not only making a better for herself, but for all New Yorkers.

“We’ve all seen people who got a job they didn’t deserve and I never want anyone to say that about me,” Monte said. “If you don’t work and you don’t hustle, it will all go away.”

Short URL: http://itsqueens.com/?p=637

Posted by on Jul 8 2013. Filed under Features, Main Story. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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