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Williamsport Native Takes Miss Pennsylvania USA

Williamsport Native Takes Miss Pennsylvania USA

Some people might shy away from the spotlight, but not Williamsport native, Sydney Robertson. She recently took the title of Miss Pennsylvania USA and will be competing on the national stage for the Miss USA crown, which will be held on November 29th in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the Paradise Cove Theater in the River Spirit Casino Resort. If Sydney wins, she will move on to the Miss Universe pageant, making her only the second contestant from Pennsylvania to represent the United States after Miss USA 1971, Michele McDonald.

Sydney is super busy these days, so I was fortunate to catch up with her between interviews and appearances.

Dave: How did you get into pageants?

Sydney: I had just turned 14 and had just gotten a Facebook account. I saw an ad for Miss Teen PA, applied, got a phone interview, and got accepted. It was all so sudden. I only had six weeks to prepare, which for pageants is a short time. I bought a dress from Amber Rose bridal and a bathing suit from Victoria’s Secret. I ended up placing in the top five with no training. It was super fun. My theatre background really helped me to be in front of a lot of people. I also got to meet girls from all over the state.

What I really liked about the experience was that the pageant was all about self-esteem. As a rookie and a teenager, it turned out to be one of the best experiences I could have had. In 2014 I went back to compete at age 16 and won Miss Teen Pennsylvania.

Dave: What was it like to grow up in Williamsport? Friends, family, things you liked to do in the area, etc.?

Sydney: I grew up in the East End of Williamsport; I was a typical neighborhood kid with two older sisters, Holly and Lindsey, who I always admired and looked up to. We spent summers going to the pool, playing at the local parks, hiking, cooking with my mom, playing sports with my dad, going to our amazing Williamsport Farmer’s Market (where my mom worked), and going to church youth programs. I really loved swimming and, for a number of summers, was part of the Williamsport Summer Swim Team.

Around nine years old, I started getting involved in the Community Theatre League’s summer programs and kids’ productions. That’s when I realized how much I loved the stage. One of my favorite roles was Charlie in the youth production of Willy Wonka. Yes, I played a boy as one of the lead roles.

Dave: Please tell me about your education. High school, education in NY, career interests?

Sydney: My childhood education was home-based. I was homeschooled by my amazingly intelligent and creative mom up to the 7th grade. We then decided to transition to a home-based cyber school, Commonwealth Connections Academy, which I attended for five years and graduated a year early. I really loved my learning experience and teachers at my Cyber School.

After winning Miss PA Teen USA in 2014, I spent a year in New York City working in the modeling industry; I was only 18 at the time. It was a tremendous experience in the big city. I grew up fast, learning and struggling in an industry that’s both exciting and challenging.

I later returned home, as I transitioned out of modeling, and worked for another year or two, saving as much as I could. Eventually, I returned to New York to attend Esthetician School at the renowned Aveda Institute in Manhattan. I lived in Brooklyn at the time.

I’m currently a full-time Esthetician, and I love my work, co-workers, and clients! I eventually want to open a health/wellness center or create a brand that helps people discover, nurture, and radiate their unique beauty from the inside out. Some of the things I’d like to incorporate are spa skincare services, acupuncture, yoga classes, meditation instruction, cooking classes, and a mini cafe.

Dave: Do you have any sports you play or hobbies?

Sydney: I love hiking, kayaking, and being outside in general. I like to cook and bake. I also really enjoy traveling to new places, seeing new cultures, and visiting local farmer’s markets and new fitness/yoga studios along the way.

Dave: What do you like about doing pageants?

Sydney: There are many aspects of pageants I enjoy. Honestly, and it may seem like a surprise to some, it allows me to meet incredible women! To build friendships, a sisterhood if you will. Women who inspire and encourage me to continue to foster inner and outer beauty. It’s a great opportunity to build personal communication skills. For me, it helped me develop a real sense of self-love and self-confidence.

The next phase for me is to continue being a role model for all women. To inspire, uplift, and empower them in their life’s purpose and dreams and to nurture and help them grow into that “beautiful self” that we all have inside of us.

Dave: How did winning Miss Pennsylvania change your life? Big things? Day-to-day things? Obligations?

Sydney: Seemingly overnight, I was put in the spotlight, and now almost everyone knows my name, where I’m from, and my social media accounts went crazy. Though being in the spotlight comes with the title, not everyone enjoys the attention. I see this as an opportunity, however, to be a role model and to be inspiring and uplifting to others. Some people might not like the attention, responsibility, and pressure, but it does not bother me. I see these interactions as opportunities to make a difference.

Dave: What’s next?

Sydney: Preparing for Miss USA in Tulsa, Oklahoma on November 29th, then, if I win, on to Miss Universe in December 2021.

Due to the change in schedule as a result of the pandemic, I will literally be preparing for Miss Universe and Miss USA simultaneously. This went from a twelve-month cycle and schedule to a four-month intense preparation period. But along the way, I will continue to utilize the Miss PA USA title to bring beauty to the state, nation, and world. Because “beauty is as beauty does,” as a wise mentor has shown me.

Dave: Any advice you want to give?

Sydney: Never ever give up on yourself. There is only one you! You are the universe! Life will bring what it brings your way, including challenges and successes. Reach-in, reach-out, believe in Beauty! The world is your stage!

One last important message — my purpose is to communicate my love for health, wellness, and inner beauty and sharing that with young women and hoping to inspire them to discover their inner beauty. That’s what I will be sharing at many of my appearances throughout the year.

Dave: Anything else you want to add?

Sydney: I’m very grateful for the love and support I’ve received, not just in my successes but also in my struggles, from family and friends, co-workers, and the whole community of Williamsport! It’s very humbling and heartwarming, and it has given me strength. All of these people encouraging me along this journey, even now as I prepare for Miss USA and Miss Universe, has been wonderful.

A few quick facts about Sydney:

Sydney is 23 years old and was born and raised in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

She is the youngest among the three daughters of Allan Robertson and Diane Robertson.

In 2012, she began modeling in NYC and was published numerous times in Seventeen magazine; after competing at Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA 2012, she placed second runner-up.

On December 8th, 2013, she was crowned Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA 2014 at the Hyatt Regency International Airport Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She also won the Miss Congeniality and Miss Photogenic awards.

She was attending Commonwealth Connections Academy when she was crowned Miss Pennsylvania Teen USA 2014.

On August 2nd, 2014, she represented Pennsylvania at Miss Teen USA 2014 at the Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in Nassau, Bahamas, where she won the Miss Congeniality award and placed 2nd runner up at the National Competition.

In 2018, she graduated from the Aveda Institute in Manhattan, where she completed an Esthetician licensing program.

On November 4th, 2019, she competed at the Miss Pennsylvania USA 2020 at the Richland Performing Arts Center in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where she placed 4th runner-up.

On July 31st, 2021, she was crowned Miss Pennsylvania USA 2021, Miss Congeniality and Most Photogenic at the Richland Performing Arts Center. Representing Williamsport, she bested 44 other candidates.

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