Section 36 has another visitor! Aaliyah Manning is a proponent of autism awareness, a talented pianist, and the current Miss City Beautiful. I was so excited she was willing to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more!
So, let's see what happens when Aaliyah Manning visits Section 36!
How did you celebrate winning the Miss City Beautiful crown?
Believe it or not, one of my favorite things to eat is a double bacon cheeseburger. Per tradition after just about any pageant, my family and I took a trip to the notorious and glamorous: Steak ‘N Shake! After winning we drove straight there and although I took my crown and sash off before walking in, we were the most dressed up people in the building and people were asking where we came from!
What has surprised you the most about your time as Miss City Beautiful?
The never ending support, generosity and family oriented atmosphere of Team Orlando. It’s incredible! Our directors, my sister queens, our teens and parents within our group are just incredible. The surprises just keep coming! We’ve had mock interviews, photoshoots and planned appearances that are organized without us lifting a finger – all done with love the Miss Orlando board has a reel of various events set up for us to succeed in the journey to Miss Florida.
Is there a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss City Beautiful?
So far this year I’ve assisted in training over 50 first responders spanning all the way from Kissimmee, Universal Studios Security and Orange County! I want to see that number skyrocket and as Miss City Beautiful I can make that happen.
I will continue increasing the number of trained first responders and sworn workforce in Orlando to recognize the behavioral symptoms and characteristics of an individual with autism! The second leading cause of death for children with special needs is police interaction, and it’s often
because basic response techniques and ability to deescalate emergency scenarios aren’t practiced first. Orlando is a city that has millions of visitors traveling through to see our theme parks, attractions and resorts. With people from all walks of life and neurological backgrounds, our first responders should be aware of the fastest growing developmental disorder in America, and how to identify these unique civilians in their communities.
How did you select your social impact initiative, “The Autism Alliance”?
My nephew, Xahir (Zye-ir) is five years old, and I have a young boy that I mentor through the Miss Florida Program as my protégé, Liam who is seven years old – both of my boys have autism and I’ve recently connected with one of Orlando’s oldest and most active advocacy platforms for children with ASD: The Autism Society of Greater Orlando. Our first responders are everyone’s first line of defense, and it breaks my heart that yet the second leading C.O.D. for
children with autism fall under scenarios with first responders. Our first responders and our community fit together and it’s a synergistic connection and combination! This relationship is vital and should work together more smoothly, and that’s why the Autism Alliance is one of the
strongest forces our communities will see!
As a talented pianist, what do you enjoy most about performing on stage?
The feeling of hearing your name called, along with the title of you piece is a subtle reminder before you begin preforming of the time, dedication and passion poured into what you present. I’ve played the piano ever since I was 5 as I grew up in Seoul, Korea on behalf of my mother being in the U.S. Army. Each time I play, I remember the very first time little me touched the keys and I just love sharing my love for music with the state of Florida!
If you could be a Disney character for a week, who would you choose? Why?
Oh my goodness. Princess Tiana without a doubt! Although, Moana is definitely my next in line also. Both characters send such a loud, powerful message to young girls that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to. Tiana and Moana knew what they wanted in their future and with a servant’s heart, kind spirit and determined mindset they worked their way to achieve their dreams! Not to mention, beignets are so delicious and I’d love to live in paradise!
How would you complete the sentence “I get great satisfaction when ___”?
I’m surrounded by people. I’m an extrovert, and I live for my people and human connection. Serving my community, being at work, talking with classmates at school or even meeting new people is what I live for! I am a social butterfly and seeing my people succeed, connect and grow
in friendship is what keeps me going. (I also get great satisfaction when I’m eating cookies and ice-cream, but that’s another story!)
Is there a feature or activity at a baseball game that you’d especially like to experience?
I’ve always wanted to throw the first pitch at a baseball game! I think it’d be an awesome experience to have. I’m not sure how good my throw would be, but it’d be worth a shot!
If you had an extra ticket to a Marlins-Rays game, who would you bring with you? Why?
Without a doubt, my close friend and pageant sister: Mariluz! She’s actually visited Section 36 before and my girl knows her baseball and crowns, just like you Ron! Mariluz is my queen of sports broadcasting and we have so much fun when we’re together. She’d be able to tell me what’s going on each play at the game, so I’d definitely need her there!
That sounds like it would be so much fun!
As usual, I want to thank Aaliyah for visiting with us, and for sending along the fantastic picture.
As Aaliyah continues her time as Miss City Beautiful, I encourage you to check out her official Instagram Page. It’s a great way to make sure you don’t miss out on anything she’ll have going on.
I also want to wish her the best of luck whenever she competes for the Miss Florida title. It would be wonderful to have the first Section 36 visitor wear that crown!
Thanks again Aaliyah, and good luck!