A born-and-bred New Yorker with Dominican heritage, Heather Nunez was crowned Miss New York USA on 4 June 2022. She represented New York at the Miss USA 2022 pageant in Reno, Nevada. After experiencing domestic abuse, Heather is motivated to use her life experiences to help others.
Miss New York USA 2022 Heather Nunez is Dominican-American, born and raised in New York. She grew up visiting the Dominican Republic every year to see her family who still lived in the country. At the age of 9 her father was deported and she was forced to move to Sugar Hill to live with her grandmother, single mother, and older sister. SHE vowed to work hard and stay focused in school to be able to someday help her family.
Heather witnessed domestic violence in her household from a young age. At the age of 15 the cycle unfortunately continued outside of her home as she found herself in an abusive relationship. After many attempts to detach herself from her abuser, Heather was left no choice but to reach out to law enforcement for help. After successfully ending the abusive relationship, Heather was motivated to use her life experiences to help others. She went on to study at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and obtained a Bachelor of Science honors degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Cyber Crime. After sharing her story she learned that many other friends and family had experienced similar traumatic events and she vowed to become a voice for those women who are afraid to speak up or lack the knowledge or resources to do so.
Heather quickly became an inspiration for so many women who shared similar life experiences with her and began spending most of her time volunteering and donating to survivors. At the age of 20, Heather continued living with her single mother and helped raise her baby sister. She learned how to be a nurturing caretaker and made a commitment to herself to be a role-model for her younger sister. She pledged to teach young girls ways to protect themselves and utilize the available resources to end their abuse. As Miss New York USA, Heather plans to use her title to continue inspiring women in low-income communities who feel their goals are unattainable.
Heather enjoys writing poetry and taking karate classes. She spends most of her time with family and close friends and she loves to watch disney movies with her baby sister.
The on-stage moments, the tension of the final two and the glory of the crowning, here are Heather’s state pageant photos.
Lights, camera, action! Professional photoshoots are one of the perks that comes from winning a title.
There’s nothing better than watching a contestant progress from year to year! Here’s a look back at Heather’s previous pageant photos.