What had been a typical summer this past August all changed for Alisa Scivetti ’19 after she came across a social media advertisement browsing through her Snapchat story.
The open-call advertisement encouraged applications for a chance of entering a highly selective, once-in-a-lifetime competition — one that would test Scivetti against some of New Jersey’s most impressive young women onstage, in front of a live audience of thousands.
Scivetti took a chance and submitted her information online. The very next day, she received an unexpected phone call, confirming her spot onstage Nov. alongside 80 other women, each vying for the title of 2019 Miss New Jersey USA.
“I was in absolute shock,” said Scivetti. “The night before they called I was laughing with my mom about it and thinking, ‘Why not? What is the harm in just submitting?’… I am still speechless and still don’t really know how I even got here. There are so many amazing young women in New Jersey and I am so grateful to have been selected.”
To get there is difficult. Each year thousands of applicants are narrowed to fewer than 100 contestants who will take the competition’s stage. However, Scivetti’s rare combination of skills and experiences may, in fact, help her stand out even among the talented Miss New Jersey USA competitive field.
Before arriving at NJIT, Scivetti spent almost a decade in modeling world, appearing in Vogue, Fashion Week in New York City, and television commercials.
Since arriving at NJIT, she has developed an ambitious legal mind, hoping to graduate NJIT’s Law, Technology and Culture program one year early, while working full-time and gaining experience in the corporate compliance law field alongside NJIT alum, Alena Galante ’87, at her company, Galante Compliance Services, L.L.C.
“It is wonderful being under her wing,” said Scivetti. “Not only am I learning so much from both a business and legal point of view, but I admire her greatly as a successful and passionate businesswoman. “It is funny how things come full circle … NJIT has opened many doors for her, and is now opening so many opportunities for me.”
Though her modeling experience may have already gifted her a sense of poise needed to tackle the Miss New Jersey competition, Scivetti sees her pre-law studies as a unique edge and opportunity for success at the competition. Scivetti has been trained to publicly advocate and address social issues through her work, academic study and campus activity as member of NJIT’s Pre-Law Society and NJIT Lobbying Committee of the Student Senate, which meets with other in-state university student representatives to advocate for legislative change that benefits college students.
“I do think my pre-law background will help me going forward,” said Scivetti. “We each have a private interview segment where the judges can ask us anything personally, socially, politically, or resume-based. There is also a final question on stage in front of the live audience that can relate to any worldly topic, social issue, or personal understanding or opinion of an issue. I don’t think I’ll be nervous being on my toes and discussing political or social issues during live questioning in such a public forum because I’m used to it. NJIT has really given me an edge there.”
Two such issues that Scivetti will be championing as her personal platforms are issues that she has a close connection with: bullying and Osteochondritis Dissecans, a genetic joint disorder that her younger brother Andre was diagnosed with at an early age.
“I was a victim of bullying for a long time when I was younger, and it is easy to start believing that you can’t change things for yourself or for others because of it,” said Scivetti. “The pageant supports so many campaigns and platforms and it is really inspiring to be part of something that is a lot bigger than just winning a crown… I see this pageant as a vehicle to grow confidently into oneself, one’s future platforms, one’s future experiences, and I am looking to become the best version of myself through this competition.”
Some of those changes are underway. Since August, Scivetti is seemingly preparing in every way possible to compete for the crown of Miss New Jersey. She currently balances her full-time job and coursework with a dizzying regiment that includes presentation-training sessions with a specialized pageant coach, as well as strict diet and fitness instruction from NJIT strength and conditioning coach, Drew Culp.
When she is not involved in her routine, she is collaborating with her younger sister, Lexi, on launching “Your Sister’s Closet,” a donation-based non-profit venture, which aims to provide young students with better access to free formal clothing for special events.
“It is a hard schedule, but every small effort can go a really long way,” said Scivetti. “I am at work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., then evening classes 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and then I’m off to the gym around 10 p.m. Most days I get home around midnight or later and it is definitely taxing, but I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I want to stay motivated and keep my goals in mind.”
Scivetti is weeks away from realizing her goals — the pageant will take place at the Hilton Parsippany Hotel Nov. 16-18. However, the journey may not end there.
Should she succeed against the field and is crowned Miss New Jersey USA, she will advance and begin training for the Miss USA competition, which is televised before a national audience.
Miss New Jersey has never won the Miss USA crown.
“I would love to take the Miss USA crown home for the first time,” said Scivetti. “If I win, I will stand by and work with the causes and charities I supported and feel strongly about. If I don’t win, I will keep moving forward to work on the things that I love… win or lose, I will still be Alisa, the same Jersey girl that I was this whole time.”