Miss Connecticut candidates reflect on a year of change


2020 was a year that will change people, many have said.

Miss Connecticut Jillian Duffy will crown her success today, April 11, at the Mohegan Sun Cabaret. PHOTO by MIKE CHAIKEN

COVID-19, social unrest, economic uncertainty. The calendar was shaken to its foundation as plans were often ruined by global circumstances. Miss America and Miss Connecticut were among the fixtures of the calendar that had to be put on hold.

Editorials and essays have been written about how the past year will change people. Several candidates for this year’s Miss Connecticut, who hope to vie for Miss America, said this weekend they feel the circumstances of the past year have made them better people.

“I have grown so much and I have really learned how to be resilient,” said Jaymie Bianca, Miss Bristol. “It was through watching my whole family struggle with numerous different aspects of the pandemic. My dad is immune-compromised and still worked two full time jobs … I also learned that even though those little things that may seem huge at one point actually don’t matter. “

Taliyah McGee, Miss West Haven, said, “I think that this pandemic was re-routing for everyone, whether it was destiny within work or school… I think this pandemic is much needed for some people because it was a realization of finding our purpose and who we are.”

“I think this last year really made me appreciation the little moments,” said Alyssa Anderson, Miss New Haven County, “so this week (at Miss Connecticut) I’m going to embrace the little moments that I have. It’s my final time competing (before I age out) so I really just want to make sure I embrace every moment of this opportunity and soak it all up.”

Monica Fenwick, Miss Watertown, said, “I think this year has definitely taught me to be flexible because there were lots of things you had to overcome but I’ve learned how to overcome these things in different ways that I never thought were possible.”

The new Miss Connecticut will be crowned, today, April 11, after the finals are held at the Mohegan Sun Cabaret.