The New York Miss Amazing Pageant is made possible by our dedicated and experienced volunteer committee. 



Melissa Felson- Melissa is from Bellmore, NY and is a Special Education teacher in the North Bellmore School District.  She has a B.A. in Psychology and an M.A. in Education from Adelphi University, is certified to teach General and Special Education, and hopes to have a long and fulfilling career teaching children with disabilities.  Melissa has always been passionate about the disability community.  She is extremely close with her younger brother Steven, who was diagnosed with Autism at the age of four.  She began working with children with disabilities as a camp counselor at the age of 13 and then as an ABA Paraprofessional at the age of 17.  She also founded and organized events for the Disability Awareness organization Breaking Boundaries throughout high school and college. Melissa is so honored to be the New York State Director and is truly inspired by all of the amazing participants, volunteers and family members she gets to meet along the way.



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director of fundraising

greg bustamante, otr/l

Greg is from Commack, NY and is an Occupational Therapist at Nesconset Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation. He acquired a Bachelors of Health Science and a Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from Stony Brook University. He hopes to provide young women with disabilities the opportunity to explore their self-confidence and advocacy skills through the Miss Amazing program. He enjoys discovering the passions and talents of the participants in a setting that focuses on their strengths. He is excited to contribute to the success of this year's 2018 event!


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director of operations and Recruitment

Marianna ferraro

Marianna is from Levittown, NY and is a graduate student at Adelphi University pursuing a masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology with a Bilingual Extension in Spanish. She began her work with the special needs community as a substitute teacher's aide for Nassau BOCES, in addition to being an intern for the Adelphi University Bridges to Adelphi Program. Marianna began her involvement with New York Miss Amazing as a Buddy Volunteer and Volunteer Recruitment Chairperson/Assistant Director before beginning the role of Director of Operations and Recruitment. In her free time, Marianna enjoys traveling, kickboxing, and spending time with friends and family. Marianna is very excited for this year's event and looks forward to meeting all of the wonderful people volunteering and participating in New York Miss Amazing! 



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external media lead

Kendall stempel




social media lead

jose barranco

Jose is a recording artist and photographer/videographer. He has experience emceeing for local fundraisers, weddings and sweet sixteen parties. He is an active member in the community, particularly with anti-bullying programs and AMBUCS, an organization that builds and donates adaptive tricycles for people with disabilities.




social media lead

samuel castro

Sammy is from Westchester, New York and is a Youth Pastor in White Plains who works with several teens from the Westchester area. A large part of his job consists of planning large youth events such as weekend retreats, international and national service trips, and fundraisers. Sammy’s involvement with New York Miss Amazing began in 2015 when he volunteered as a Right Hand Man. He felt honored to witness the happiness, talent, and confidence of the truly amazing girls and women that day. The following year he served as a Right Hand Man Coordinator and is now very excited to assume the position of Social Media Lead.



volunteer lead

valerie fiore

Valerie is from Queens, NY and is one year away from a B.S. in Molecular Neuroscience from Adelphi University. She hopes to apply to medical school and fulfill her dream of becoming a medical doctor. Valerie loves to give back to her community in any way possible and fell in love with Miss Amazing's philanthropic efforts when she first volunteered for them. Ever since that day, NY Miss Amazing has become one of the most inspiring opportunities she has ever had the honor to be a part of, and she cannot wait to flourish along with this organization and the women this organization serves.


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participant lead

mary liguori

Mary Liguori is from Westchester, New York. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Adelphi University and a Master's degree in Speech Language Pathology from New York Medical College. Her chosen career path as a speech-language pathologist has provided her with the privilege of working with many children and adults with disabilities during her educational years. Mary has been with the New York Miss Amazing program in various volunteer and leadership roles for three years, since its arrival to New York. She is passionate about societal and educational inclusion of children and adults with disabilities, advocacy work, the power of kindness, and investing in the strengths of girls and women with all kinds of abilities. 


event goods lead

maria lopez

Maria is from Queens, New York and is an Arts Director for the Boys’ Club of New York, a non-profit after school program located in East Harlem. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Music and a Master’s degree in Child Advocacy and Policy. As a child advocate and pageant girl, Maria was delighted for the opportunity to work for an organization that allowed young girls and women with disabilities to shine on stage. She is so honored to partake in such an inspiring event filled with so many wonderful people.