Meet the candidates competing for the title of Miss Connecticut 2019 in our Road to Miss Connecticut Series!
Name: Erika Farrell
Title: Miss New Haven County 2019
School/Career: Naugatuck Valley Community College School of Nursing
What was your first thought when you were crowned Miss New Haven County?
What I remember most was being overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity to represent my home, New Haven County. 24 hours prior I was in the hospital and was not expected to be discharged in time for the competition. After explaining to my doctors that this was my dream, they released me with very specific instructions. I got my paperwork and wardrobe ready that night, and the next morning I was in hair and makeup ready for my interview. It was a whirlwind of a day, but I was truly living my social impact initiative of turning my pain into power.
What do you hope to accomplish as Miss New Haven County?
Being Miss New Haven County allows me to share my journey with chronic illnesses and how I fight back against them every day. Most importantly, I want to prove to people facing challenges, or illnesses themselves, that it is so incredibly possible to still achieve their dreams, despite what they are going through. “Turn Your Pain into Power” is all about shifting negative situations into positives, and using that as your motivation to continue on.
To you, why is Miss America still relevant?
The Miss America Organization is centered around the idea of women empowerment. The four points of the crown: style, scholarship, service, and success, allow young women to be unique in their accomplishments. With so many women’s rights movements at the forefront of society today, women who compete in the Miss America Organization will continue to shatter glass ceilings by using their voices to speak up for what they believe in, make a difference in their community, and succeed in all aspects of their lives.
What has been your favorite appearance thus far as Miss New Haven County?
HuskyTHON was my first appearance as Miss New Haven County, and the most memorable. I was able to be present for the closing ceremony, where everyone makes a huge circle, and the miracle kids walk around cutting off our wrist bands. This ceremony is symbolic of the patients at Connecticut Children’s cutting off their hospital ID bracelets when they are discharged from the hospital. I have experienced this feeling many times in the past five years, which made it an extremely emotional and meaningful event for me to be a part of.
What is your favorite quote?
“I can and I will”
I have collected every card I have received since 1stgrade. On my hardest days, I like to look bad and read the messages in them to remind myself how much I am loved by family and friends.
Who would you like to thank for helping you get to this point?
I owe so much of who I am to my Miss Connecticut family—the Board of Directors, sponsors, volunteers, the Miss New Haven County team, and each person involved who has helped me along the way. Of course I would not be able to do any of this without the amazing support of my medical team, for always believing in me, inspiring me, and making sure I could continue on this journey towards becoming Miss Connecticut. Most importantly, I have to thank my family for being there through every high and every low, and loving me through it all.