Southington, Conn. June 28, 2015 – Colleen Ward, 22, from Wolcott is the new Miss Connecticut and Sapna Raghavan, 17, from Ellington is the new Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen. The two young women were crowned at Mohegan Sun Cabaret Theater today. Raghavan was crowned at the 2 p.m. pageant show and won $1,000 in scholarship dollars. Ward was crowned at the 8 p.m. pageant show and won $8,500 in scholarship dollars.
The Miss top five included:
1st runner-up Miss Naugatuck Valley Jonet Nichelle
2nd runner-up Miss Bristol Gina Salvatore
3rd runner-up Miss Southington Valerie Voccio
4th runer-up Miss New Haven County Cara Ann Cama
The Miss Connecticut's Outstanding Teen top five included:
1st Runner-up – Miss Mum City's OT Samantha Anderson
2nd Runner-up – Miss Bristol's OT Amanda Morelli
3rd Runner-up – Miss Wolcott's OT Julia Audibert
4th Runner-up – Miss Cheshire's OT Tara Lynch
Miss Connecticut 2015 will compete in Atlantic City for the title of Miss America in September, and the winner of the Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen 2015 crown will compete in the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen pageant in Orlando, Fl. in August.
Raghavan, former Miss Greater Rockville's Outstanding Teen, was one of twenty contestants who competed for the title of Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen and Ward, former Miss Windham County, was one of thirteen contestants who competed for the title Miss Connecticut. Both competed in multiple phases of competition including interview, talent, evening gown and fitness. Raghavan performed an energetic modern and traditional Bollywood style dance for her talent routine and Ward performed and Irish dance.
Ward obtained her Bachelors of Science Degree in Elementary Education specializing in English from Central Connecticut State University this past May. Her ambition is to become an elementary school teacher and reading coach. She began initiating her platform; promoting childhood literacy: Encouraging a Healthy Mind for a Healthy Life at a young age when she saw the effects of students who did not have access to the necessary materials or support needed to excel in school. Since then she has teamed up with local and national organizations to spread awareness and knowledge about the importance of literacy.
Ward is a champion Irish dancer who has had wonderful opportunities to showcase her talent around the state of Connecticut. She has been fortunate to dance at Mayors’ Inaugural Balls, weddings, college half-time shows, newscasts, parades, and national competitions. She was also selected as one of the opening dancers for Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance show at the Palace Theater.
Ward is currently employed by the Vernon Public School District where she is able to live out her passions each day. She will be pursuing her Master’s Degree in Reading and Literacy Specialization with the desire to continue working in the Connecticut school systems; encouraging the youth of our nation to achieve their greatest potential as a student and member of society.
Raghavan’s platform, Embracing Diversity through Cultural Awareness, takes inspiration from the author and major literary figure, Maya Angelou, who stated: “It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” Being the target of racial bullying, Sapna has had to overcome much adversity and learn to face negativity head on. Her goal is to broaden America’s cultural outlook by celebrating and embracing all the various cultures in our great nation.
She is a member of the Developing Positive Youth Culture group in Ellington, which strives to better the wellbeing of the youth in the community, and has founded the Diversity Committee at her school, which meets weekly to create new ideas that will help the student body embrace diversity.
The Miss Connecticut Scholarship Corporation is a preliminary to the Miss America Pageant, the nation's leading achievement program and the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance to young women. Both young women crowned today will have the opportunity to win more scholarship dollars throughout their one year reign.
To learn more about this Miss Connecticut Scholarship Corporation, visit www.missctamerica.org.
About The Miss Connecticut Scholarship Corporation
The Miss Connecticut Scholarship Corporation is a non-profit organization that awards scholarships to outstanding young women to help advance them academically and professionally. Participants have gone on to achieve major success in diverse fields including medicine, law, business, broadcast journalism, theater, politics, literature and more.
The Miss Connecticut Pageant is an official preliminary of the Miss America Pageant, the nation's leading achievement program and the world's largest provider of scholarship assistance to young women.
Participation in this program provides young women with the opportunity to promote a platforms of community service, share their talents, intelligence, and positive values while serving as role models in their communities, all with the support of dedicated volunteers assisting them in their pursuit of academic excellence, service and lifelong success. Visit missctamerica.org for more information.
Kate Ottavio Kent, MCSC marketing director