Connecticut’s Sapna Raghavan makes her pitch at Miss America


On night of two of the Miss America preliminaries at the Mohegan Sun on Monday, Connecticut’s Sapna Raghavan got to speak her mind.

Initially, she took an on-stage question from the judges as she stood before them in an evening gown for her red-carpet moment.

Later, she stood before them in a business suit and made her pitch for her social impact issue: confronting biases.

“One of the tragic events in history was the Titanic,” the Ellington resident explained. “The passengers… saw the iceberg as an obstacle and jumped off the boat. But could they have climbed the iceberg and waited for help instead of immediately jumping in the water? Was this natural instinct or a form of bias?”

“Our brains are trained to go to the most obvious use case…,” Raghavan told the judges. “We miss opportunities that are right in front of us like the iceberg.”

“Bias impacts our everyday lives. Even our careers. And it challenges our confidence,” said the Connecticut representative. “I, like most women, have experienced bias in the workplace. I often find myself judged for what meets the eye, like the iceberg.

“But there’s so much beneath the surface that I have to offer,” said Raghavan, a first generation American born Indian. “It’s time to be proud of what makes us unique”

Raghavan did not win the preliminary competition for her social impact pitch.

Mallory Fuller, representing Texas, was named the social impact pitch winner. She was awarded a $1,000 scholarship courtesy of IT Help, Inc. Fuller’s social impact pitch was for “Mission: Suicide Prevention,” which seeks to normalize conversations surrounding suicide and provide education and prevention strategies.

Raghavan did not compete in talent on Monday. But the talent preliminary winner was Illinois’s Isabelle Hanson was named the competition talent winner from preliminary night two and was awarded a $2,500 scholarship courtesy of Kawai Piano.

The finals for Miss America are Thursday at 8 p.m. from the Mohegan Sun Arena. It will be streamed on Peacock.

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