Meet the candidates competing for the title of Miss Connecticut 2019 in our Road to Miss Connecticut Series!

Ariana Jewel Puglisi

Miss Naugatuck Valley

Hometown: Meriden, CT

School: Dean College

Talent: Jazz Dance

What was your first thought when you were crowned Miss Naugatuck Valley?

I have been a volunteer and candidate in the Miss America Organization for as long as I can remember. However, this is the first year that I decided to compete as a “Miss” candidate. When Bridget announced my name, so many thought swirled through my mind. I was so ecstatic for all of my hard-work and dedication over the years to have finally come to fruition. I felt so honored to be crowned Miss Naugatuck Valley, and in that moment I knew that I would do everything in my power to represent my region to the best of my ability at Miss Connecticut!

What do you hope to accomplish as Miss Naugatuck Valley 2019?

My most important goal as Miss Naugatuck Valley is to create more dance opportunities for children and adults within the Naugatuck Valley region. Dance is a very creative and healthy outlet that has a positive impact on all participants. As Miss Naugatuck Valley 2019, I want to expand my free monthly dance classes to more than just one studio location, so that even more people can benefit from this incredible activity! 


To you, why is Miss America still relevant?

No matter the decade, Miss America and the ideals that she represents shine as a beacon of light and hope for me. The four points of the crown are forever timeless. Implementing them bolstered my life exponentially. Scholarship, service, style, and success are always relevant.


What has been your favorite appearance thus far?

My favorite appearance is the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Reach for the Stars event! This fun-filled appearance is one that allows me to make connections and really interact with some of the survivors and current patients of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center! However, I am also very excited for the Traveling Tutus fundraisers that I will be hosting in the next few months! Starting on April 13th, I will be hosting free dance classes where all are welcome to learn the basics in dance! For more information check out my Facebook and Instagram pages! 


What is your favorite quote?

“There’s only us. There’s only this. Forget regret or life is yours to miss. No other road. No other way. No day but today” – Jonathan Larson 


Fun fact: 

I am exactly 97% Italian and 3% Greek! 


Who would you like to thank for helping you get to this point?

If it were not for all the Miss Connecticut volunteers and past titleholders who inspired me, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today! Thank you for embracing the spirit of Miss America and making this organization what it is today! Thank you to my Apogee Dance Academy family, who always support me and cheer me on in every aspect of my life. Finally, a HUGE thank you to my Mom, Dad, sister who have always been my greatest supporters and molded me into the empowered woman I am! 

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