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Michelle Leonardo was Miss New Jersey USA 2012

Tinton Falls

Miss New Jersey Teen USA 2008

Top 10 at Miss USA 2012

A native of Tinton Falls, Michelle Leonardo was crowned Miss New Jersey USA 2012 on 22 October 2011 and represented New Jersey at the Miss USA 2012 pageant in Las Vegas, Nevada. Michelle was a student at Suffolk University during her reign, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism in 2013. A talented dancer, she has danced for both the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks. She is now VP and Global Brand Lead for Bottega Veneta.

Fadil Berisha
Fadil Berisha

2012 bio:

Miss New Jersey USA 2012 Michelle Leonardo, 20 is from Tinton Falls, New Jersey. She currently studies at the prestigious Suffolk University where she is working towards a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. Michelle enjoys participating in the Suffolk Voice, Cooking 101 and was a member of the Suffolk University Dance Team.

Michelle volunteered for The American Heart Association, The Sunshine Foundation, Best Buddies, The Ronald McDonald House, St. Anselms Interfaith Hospitality and most recently donated her time serving lunch at RosieÕs Place in Roxbury, Ma., a sanctuary for poor and homeless women.

Currently, she is a college reporter for Boston based television show Style It Up. Most recently, she attended Boston Fashion Week covering Daniel Faucher Couture and Lily and Migs. She hopes to someday be a reporter for ESPN working either as a sideline reporter for the NY Jets or in the dugout at Yankee Stadium.

Michelle has been dancing since she was three years old and has captured numerous titles and scholarships including Miss Teen Starquest, Star Systems Top Advanced Senior Soloist, two times Jump Convention and Competition VIP scholarship recipient and six times Co. Dance scholarship recipient.

Miss USA pageant photos

Competing in the Miss USA pageant is once-in-a-lifetime event few get to experience. Here are Michelle’s official Miss USA photos.

State pageant photos

The on-stage moments, the tension of the final two and the glory of the crowning, here are Michelle’s state pageant photos.

Professional photos

Lights, camera, action!  Professional photoshoots are one of the perks that comes from winning a title.

Candid & Appearance photos

From events straight after her crowning to her final appearances before she passed on her crown, here’s a look at all the appearances Michelle made during her reign, as well as other candid photos during her year.

Previous pageant photos

There’s nothing better than watching a contestant progress from year to year! Here’s a look back at Michelle’s photos from winning Miss New Jersey Teen USA 2008 and competing at Miss Teen USA.

Farewell photos

All beautiful things must come to an end, no matter how bittersweet. See Michelle’s farewell walk and other candids from the weekend she crowned her successor Libell Duran as Miss New Jersey USA 2013.

After the crown

Winning a state title is a sisterhood for life. Here are Michelle’s “after the crown” photos.

Get to know more New Jersey titleholders...