Fil-Am Miss Philadelphia vying for two more titles
Elaine Ficarra, recently crowned Miss Philadelphia 2021, is the first Filipino American to win the title in the pageant’s hundred-year history.
Ficarra is now gearing up for the Miss Pennsylvania crown, scheduled on June 17-19. The winner among the 22 candidates for the state crown will go on to vie for the title of Miss America 2021.
Elaine Ficarra, 20, of Glenmore, Pennsylvania, is studying at Drexel University in Pennsylvania, pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences. She is an aspiring singer, dancer, actress and model.
Her Italian American father, Paul Ficarra, owns the Bartco Tech Corporation-Industrial Sales. Her older brother, Victor Ficarra, just graduated with honors at Penn State University and is headed to law school this fall.
Her mother, Jeanilyn Ficarra, was born in Pugo, La Union, Philippines and became the first civil engineer in her hometown. Jeanilyn is a role model for Elaine. She is a hardworking woman and President of a Filipino American charity organization. As a Filipino-American, Jeanilyn has overcome adversity and demonstrated true resilience and strength.
Elaine feels honored to be the 100th anniversary Miss Philadelphia this year. “I plan to serve my state as a symbol for the city’s diversity and an ambassador for the people,” she says.
“I am proud to be the first Filipino American Miss Philadelphia in the program’s 100-Year History. I am looking forward to the opportunity to expand my outreach nationwide after competing for the title of Miss Pennsylvania this June. I could be the first Miss Philadelphia since 1940 and Miss Pennsylvania since 1954 to win Miss America.”
In the Miss Philadelphia Pageant, Elaine competed with 10 other candidates, ages 18-26. The Miss Philadelphia Scholarship Organization is a volunteer-based 501c3 organization and one of the nation’s top local affiliates of Miss America, the largest provider of scholarship for women in the United States.
Miss Philadelphia and Miss Philadelphia’s Outstanding Teen are role models and ambassadors for the city. Both Miss Philadelphia and Miss Philadelphia’s Outstanding Teen receive a prize package valued at more than $150,000 including a full scholarship to Cabrini University (undergraduate or graduate program) in Radnor.
For her part, Elaine received a $5,000 cash scholarship and full tuition scholarship to Cabrini University. “The cash scholarship can help me pay for my current education at Drexel University. I can use the scholarship to Cabrini University for a master’s degree,” Elaine says enthusiastically.
Elaine’s Miss Philadelphia title boosts her role as an aspiring singer and influencer who engages in initiatives with social impact, is a role model for other young women, and makes a positive contribution to the community.
Elaine is supported by her local Filipino American community in Philadelphia. She grew up being close to other Filipino Americans in their area and she is proud to have them alongside her as she works towards her goals and dreams. Her family, friends from school and within the Miss America organization have been a great source of support.
“The sisterhood is real,” she says. “I am fortunate to have grown-up empowered by my surrounding Filipino American community. I learned Philippine cultural dancing, enjoyed Philippine cuisine and wore Filipiniana costumes. I will use the platform and voice I am given to empower the Asian-American community and aid the movement in any way I can to Stop Asian Hate.”
One of Elaine’s goals, is to break the stigma of mental health by talking about suicide prevention. She started “The World Is Better With YOU In It,” an outreach program built on simple but life-saving conversations about how to spot a mental health crisis before it’s too late.
Currently, she partners with Prevent Suicide PA to create a PSA that is being shared on their website and social media platforms. Elaine’s world keeps growing, helping her reach out to all those around her.