Acacia and Cynthia

Miss Connecticut and Miss Connecticut's Outstanding Teen 2014

Our newest Miss Connecticut and Miss Connecticut's Outstanding Teen have been crowned!!

Congratulations to Acacia Courtney, Miss Connecticut, and Cynthia Moura Dias, Miss Connecticut's Outstanding Teen!

Press release:

Hamden woman crowned Miss Connecticut 2014

Hamden's Acacia Courtney is the 86th woman to represent Connecticut in the
Miss America Organization, and will compete for the title of Miss America in
Atlantic City in September

New London, Conn. (June 28, 2014) - Acacia Courtney, 21, of Hamden was
crowned Miss Connecticut 2014 at the Garde Arts Center in New London.
Seventeen women from across the state of Connecticut competed for the title.
She competed as Miss Hamden, and was previously Miss Connecticut's
Outstanding Teen 2009.

Courtney is majoring in Communications with a concentration in Journalism,
and minoring in Theology. She is the founder and president of Racing for
Home, Inc., a certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to
rescuing and retraining thoroughbred ex-racehorses for new careers beyond
the racetrack. A life-long animal lover, Acacia wants to enter the racing
industry professionally as a broadcast journalist specializing in horse

Acacia promotes the personal platform of "The Monday Campaigns: A Guide to a
Healthier World," which advocates for small, easy-to-adopt changes that can
result in major health improvements. She believes that the United States is
becoming unhealthier as a nation, and it is the core goal of her platform to
address the way we approach the concept of health. The Monday Campaigns is a
nonprofit health initiative that encompasses the entire approach to health
consciousness. Acacia advocates for Meatless Monday, Move It Monday, and
Kids Cook Monday, encouraging alterations to our daily lifestyle that can be
influential in creating a healthy body, a healthy mind, and a healthy world.
Acacia is an accomplished dancer and performed ballet en pointe during the
talent portion of competition, but is also proficient in jazz, musical
theater, and international ballroom dance styles. She has studied at Steps
on Broadway, the Joffrey Ballet School, and American Ballet Theatre, and was
named a semifinalist in the 2009 Youth American Ballet Grand Prix Ballet
Competition out of 90 contestants. She was also selected as a dancer in the
opening number of the 2011 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show on CBS.

Courtney will compete for the title of Miss America 2015 in Atlantic City,
beginning on Sept. 9 - Finals are on Sept. 14.

Cynthia Moura Dias was crowned Miss Connecticut's Outstanding Teen. Dias,
14, is from Wolcott and previously held the title of Miss Wolcott's
Outstanding Teen.

Dias is an honor student in advanced level classes at Wolcott High School
where she is an active member of her school community, and is Freshman Class
President. Cynthia's passion is the Importance of Literacy which she's been
working on since the tender age of 8, and she does not plan on stopping
anytime soon. In fact, she founded a literacy program, Reading Is
Succeeding, in her hometown of Wolcott with more than 25 children now
attending. She has also teamed up with various state nonprofit organizations
to raise awareness of the importance of literacy.

She has received numerous awards for her academics and service, not only in
her community but also at a state level; some of them including: the
Secretary of the State's Excellence in Citizenship Award and the Waterbury
Youth Excellence in Community Service Award. Cynthia was very excited to be
inducted into the National Junior Honor Society, attend the National Young
Leaders State Conference, nominated as a United States People-to-People
Student Ambassador 5 years in a row. Additionally, as a Johns Hopkins
scholar she attended a Biotechnology Summer Program for talented youth.

As a freshman, she made the varsity soccer team where she serves as a leader
both on and off the field. From ballet to ballroom dance to her new found
passion playing guitar, which is added to her list of instruments the violin
and clarinet. The arts have always been a major influence in her life.

The most important aspect in Cynthia's life is her family. From eating
dinner every night to spending Sunday afternoon with family members enables
her to share her hopes and dreams with them. She believes that the secret to
her success is the love and support from her family.

Dias will compete for the title of Miss America's Outstanding Teen in
Orlando, Florida, July 29 - Aug. 2.

For more information, interviews, or media appearances, please contact Steve
Smith, Vice President of the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Corporation, at or 860-849-3863.


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