Looking to be your next rep as Miss Connecticut, Miss Connecticut’s Teen


Watertown, Conn.’s Monica Fenwick came as close as possible to winning the title of Miss Connecticut last year.

But ultimately, she had to settle for first runner-up.

But Fenwick, who is competing as Miss Nutmeg this weekend, is hoping this year to succeed Gina Carloto as the state’s representative to the Miss America competition.

The Miss Connecticut and Miss Connecticut’s Teen competition will be held Friday, June 21 and Saturday, June 22 at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield. Five women will be competing for the title of Miss Connecticut. Eight teens will compete for Miss Connecticut’s Teen.

“This is my fifth year competing for the title of Miss Connecticut,” said Fenwick. “I actually started (with the organization) when I was 4-years-old. I decided to do a Little Miss Watertown (contest). I ran off the stage. It took 13 years to come back.”

What did Fenwick find attractive about the competition that she has participated for five years?

“I began in the organization because of the scholarship opportunities,” said Fenwick. “As someone who is looking at furthering my education, I had to find a way to fund it and that’s what brought me in.”

However, Fenwick explained, “The sisterhood in the community is truly what kept me here because there are other organizations where you can get scholarship dollars; but the sisterhood is truly remarkable. And it’s an environment that everyone should want to be in.”

Jaidalynn Alicea of Waterbury will be competing for the title of Miss Connecticut’s Teen for the first time this week. But she said she’s no newcomer to the Miss America Organization.

“I have always been a part of the Miss America Organization with their Princess pageant,” said Alicea, referring to the feeder organization that pairs younger titleholder prospects with older contestants.

“One of the things that really drew me in to the organization as I got older was the scholarship program that they offer for us,” said Alicea, who hopes to succeed the current Miss Connecticut’s Teen Emily Anastasio. “And as an early college high school student majoring in criminal justice who will be graduating with my associate’s degree by the time I graduate high school with my high school diploma, I thought being able to be a part of the scholarship organization will not only lift that (debt) weight off my parents’ shoulders, but I’ll also be able to help young women like me who want to have a career path become more successful.”

While candidates for Miss Connecticut and Miss Connecticut’s Teen will stand before judges in fitness wear and evening gowns or they will perform their chosen talent (Fenwick plays the flute; Alicea will dance), the women also are expected to have a cause – a community service initiative – they will promote if they win the state title and possibly the national title.

“We each choose a topic that we are very passionate about,” said Fenwick. “Mine is communication disorders.”

A speech language pathologist, Fenwick said, “I originally wanted to be a teacher and I was in a daycare setting to get some early education (experience) in the field. There was a student who didn’t communicate in a typical manner. He actually communicated through outbursts. This was looked at really poorly by the staff at the daycare system. So that inspired me to get everyone who can’t communicate in a way that we typically do (and help them find) a way to communicate and use their voice in a different manner.”

“My platform is definitely really near and dear to my heart because I have seven adopted siblings,” said Alicea. “My initiative is foster and adoption awareness and I call it A House of Love Project… One of the main things that I realized and saw was that the (foster children coming into our home) were carrying garbage bags to put all their personal belongings with only a little bit of time to do so. So I realized that I wanted to change that. And my mission was to tell my personal story, collaborate with others, and also donate duffel bags (so the garbage bags weren’t necessary) to foster agencies around the state of Connecticut as well.”

The Miss Connecticut and Miss Connecticut’s Teen competition will be held Friday, June 21 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, June 22 at 7 p.m. The competition (MissCT.org), which is a precursor to Miss America, will be held for the first time at the Ridgefield Playhouse (RidgefieldPlayhouse.org), 80 East Ridge Road, Ridgefield. For more information, visit MissCT.org.