Kaitlyn Tarpey, a senior in the Pforzheimer Honors College, is the new Miss Connecticut, having defeated contestants from all over her state to go onto compete at Miss America. Tarpey competed in her first pageant when she was 13, but it wasn’t some
thing she did consistently. Her biggest decision was when she chose to compete in the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Organization back in 2011. This year was her third time competing for Miss Connecticut, and she said, “Third time’s a charm!” We interviewed the newly crowned beauty queen and she tells us more about her platform, her secret tool to balancing her life, and the professor who helped her prepare.
The Pace Press: Winning moment, how did it feel? Any thoughts?
Tarpey: Goosebumps. That’s all I can say. Lots and lots of goosebumps.
TPP: What was the first meal you had after the pageant?
KT: I didn’t get to any food until about 3am and I had a huge chocolate chip cookie that was waiting for me in the winners suite. It was delicious!
TPP: As you begin your reign, what are you most nervous about?
KT: I think I’m most nervous about getting through my checklist of “to-dos.” I have set very high goals for myself, but I have faith I can reach them.
TPP: Do you have a platform? If so, what work have you done with it?
KT: My personal platform is “Our Time to Serve: Housing and Hiring our Veterans.” I volunteer with a plethora of veterans organizations, and am a member of the Pace University SVA. It’s imperative that Americans recognize the importance of ensuring our veterans acclimate back into society smoothly, and that will not be done unless we all create comfortable supportive environments.
TPP: Tell us a little about your talent for the competition.
KT: I perform a contemporary Irish Step Dancing routine. It’s fun and sassy.
TPP: Do you have any ideas for the winning gown?
KT: [Laughter] I can’t tell you! But I have to stay true to me, which is classically elegant.
TPP: What are you studying at Pace, do you plan to continue to study, take a break, ..?
KT: I have actually filed for a leave of absence so that I can fully serve as Miss Connecticut, but I’ll be back… eventually.
TPP: Do you feel that any classes, professors, or activities at Pace helped you prepare for Miss CT? If so, which and how so?
KT: I think Barry Morris’ constant tweeting really prepared me for the job. (smiles)
TPP: Did you have to miss a few classes for preparation?
KT: No. I’m actually a schedule maniac and made sure to put school first, pageant second, personal life third… hence me being single. [Laughter]
TPP: How were you able to balance training for the pageant, studying, and being a young adult?
KT: I have this wonderful planner that I literally go nowhere without. I think writing things down and having a game plan is the best way to approach every day.
TPP: What is your advice for the people who think it’s impossible to chase after your dreams and pursue a degree
at the same time?
KT: Positive thinking and positive people will foster a positive result. It was hard for me to learn this lesson, but I’m so grateful that I did. What I do isn’t easy. I am (was) a full time student and a full time pageant girl holding 2 part time jobs, while trying to maintain a sense of “normalcy.” I believe in what this organization has to offer young women and if you have that same sense of belief in whatever it is you want to do, you will be able to pursue your dream. Every fiber in your body needs to want it. Everybody you surround yourself needs to recognize it. And you need to stay focused.
Tarpey will be heading to Atlantic City for the pageant in September participating in rehearsals and appearances along the boardwalk. [box type=”info”]Show your support and be sure to tune in as Miss America airing live on ABC Sunday September 15![/box]