Meet the candidates competing for the title of Miss Connecticut 2019 in our Road to Miss Connecticut Series!
Name: Micayla Barrows
Title: Miss Bristol 2019
Hometown: Prospect, CT
School: Undergraduate majoring in Biology and Psychology at the University of Connecticut
What was your first thought when you were crowned Miss Bristol 2019?
My absolute first thought was “Oh my lord, I actually did it!” Last year was my first year competing in the organization and Miss Bristol 2018 was the first local pageant I competed in. I won first runner-up I was upset, but I was grateful because it had taught me that this was only the beginning. I was more than determined to come back the following year for the “Miss Bristol 2019” competition, and prove not only how far I have come, but how ready I am to take on the job of Miss Bristol. Winning this year, to me, did not make “Miss Bristol” just another local title, it was the moment I knew all of my hard work had paid off, and that dreams can actually come true if you prove to yourself, that you are just as capable as any other individual.
What do you hope to accomplish as Miss Bristol 2019?
Going into the competition this year, I had set aside three goals/hopes for accomplishing throughout my year as Miss Bristol 2019. One of those goals was to plan a fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network along with a partnering company. I am currently in the process of getting approvals for the fundraiser, so stay tuned to see what we have planned! The second goal of mine was to make it to every appearance we had. I have almost been able to complete this goal, however, I was sick with the flu a few weeks ago, so I had to miss one of those appearances. My final goal for this year was to share and spread the word about my social impact, “Autumn’s Language.” I developed the program “Autumn’s Language” to stand as an animal-assisted therapeutic program that connects with all ages and offers service to individuals who may have trouble vocalizing with a therapist.
To you, why is Miss America still relevant?
Miss America has not only stood as one of the largest empowering movements for women, but it has given women a microphone to speak about what they believe in and it reminds our nation how impactful one individual’s service is. I have always desired to join this sisterhood of positivity and empowerment, and discover how I can further help our community. I hold this organization close to my heart because it has allowed me to share the importance of assisted-animal therapy through my program, “Autumn’s Language,” within our school districts, to social science professionals, and even with the families of our surrounding communities.
What has been your favorite appearance thus far as Miss Bristol 2019?
So far this year I have attended more than 20 appearances and it has only been a few months. Between every appearance, my absolute favorite was at the Special Friends Holiday Dinner. The day after getting crowned, we visited the Elk’s Lodge in Bristol, CT and helped serve turkey dinners at their annual Special Friends Holiday Dinner. I had an amazing time dancing with all the guests, singing carols, and seeing the festive sweaters everyone was wearing.
What is your favorite quote?
For many years my favorite quote has always been from my AP Psych teacher in high school. She once told our class, “It’s your flaws that give your personality its flavor,” and the second she shared that, I wrote it down and have yet to forget it. Despite that quote being my top choice, I recently heard of a new one that caught my eye. The quote says, “Take who you were in the past and who you would like to be in the future, split it, and that’s who you are now.” I was so inspired by this quote because it is so true. We grow up with an image of who we are constantly striving towards being, so while pressing towards that goal, everything that has happened to us in the past has allowed us to be the strong, independent person we are today. It is the split down the middle that can tell a person who they really are.
I run a program in downtown Waterbury, CT, offering ballet classes to girls between the ages of 3-18, who cannot afford to or are unable to join an after school program. A lot of the girls there do not have sports-related activities to help them stay in shape or grant them the chance to become part of a team, so that’s when I decided to develop this program. I now teach over 70 girls between those ages, three days a week, and I have been able to see how this small program has positively changed and impacted these girls’ lives.
Who would you like to thank for helping you get to this point?
At this point in my life, I want to thank my family for absolutely everything. My parents have taught me what hard work and determination looks like, and my little brothers have helped me to understand patience and the importance of best friends. Thank you, dad, for teaching me how to change my car tire at 10 years old, and for always being by my side whenever I needed someone most. Thank you, mom, for all those sitting on kitchen floor math lessons until 1:00 am, and for always making the time to be my biggest fan on top of having three other places to be at that same moment in time. I know there are so many other individuals to whom I am beyond grateful for having as a part of my life, so thank you to the people who have smiled while walking by me, instantly making my day, and thank you to every sister I have met and grown to bond with. All in all, thank you to every person that has been there and taken part in my life in every type of way. You have all helped me to become the women that I am today, achieve the dreams I dream of, and love the way you have taught me to love, for that, I am truly blessed.