Thursday 1 December 2022
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Rochester Teen, Dajania James, was Crowned Miss New York’s Outstanding Teen

By Sasha Smith

Dajania James. Photo provided.

Dajania is a 17 year old high school student at East Rochester High School.  She competed against 18 other outstanding teens from across the state. 

Her prize package includes:

• Financial Compensation

• College Scholarships

• Opportunities to travel and make extensive appearances throughout her title holding year.

In addition to being crowned Miss New York’s Outstanding Teen, Dajania was the Overall Interview winner.

Candidates for the Miss New York Outstanding Teen Competition are judged based on the following four categories (according to the Miss New York’s website):

• Interview (30%)

The private interview is eight minutes long and is between the candidate and the panel of judges. During this phase judges are assessing a candidate’s ability to think under pressure, speak eloquently and quickly and the aptitude for the job as a titleholder. This is the first phase of competition to take place.

• Talent (40%)

This is an assessment of the candidate’s dedication to her preferred art. While the most traditional talents are singing, dancing, playing an instrument, and dramatic performance, there have been very unique talents to grace the stage in the last few decades, including ventriloquism, painting, photography, composing, trick roping and of course, baton twirling.

• Red Carpet & Onstage Interview (20%)

On-stage questions are worth 20% of the score and are important to the judges in determining how well a candidate can respond under the pressure of an audience or the media. These questions range in their topic from current events to the job of a titleholder. Miss America is a public figure and keeping composure during stressful or awkward situations is an essential part of the job.

• Lifestyle and Fitness (10%)

This phase of competition is designed to see how well the contestant maintains a lifestyle of good physical health and whether or not she has the sense of confidence and self-assurance needed to be a titleholder. This phase is performed in active-wear, not swimsuits, and accounts for 10% of the score.

Candidates are also required to choose a Social Impact Initiative that will be the basis of the titleholder’s Community involvement. This is chosen by the candidate, based on their passion and experience.

Dajania’s Social Impact Project, called “Amplifying Underrepresented Youth through Media” is a radio show she voluntarily produces at the radio station of the Rochester Community Media Center (RCTV).

During her year of service, Dajania will have the opportunity to earn scholarships, develop public speaking skills, engage in community activism and network with professionals from around the state and the nation. 

Dajania will be competing for Miss America’s Outstanding Teen National title, in August 2022.

“No dream is too extreme because we are all simply supreme,”  said Dajania James

Miss America’s Outstanding Teen competition is the little sister program of the Miss America Organization.

The Miss America Organization/ Miss New York Scholarship organization is not a beauty pageant, but a competition  and the largest provider of scholarships for girls in the world.

For more information about the Miss New York’s Outstanding Teen Competition, visit