Name: Taylor Lemme

Title: Miss Southington

Hometown: Danbury, CT

School/Career: University of Connecticut pursuing a degree in Finance and Accounting

Talent: Rhythmic Tap Dance

What was your first thought when you were crowned Miss Southington?

To be honest, my first thought was “WOW I am an MNSO girl again and I am headed back to the Miss Connecticut stage.” There is nothing quite like the feeling of hearing your name called after so much sweat, dedication, and tears are put into preparing for this moment. I began my journey to Miss Connecticut with the Miss Nutmeg Scholarship Organization and I am so grateful to be back to where I started to compete for my dream job.

What do you hope to accomplish as Miss Southington?

When I was crowned Miss Southington, I took a moment to think about what I wanted to get out of my year and that was for this year to be a year of growth with the intention to not only grow as an individual or titleholder, but also a role model. Throughout my entire time as a titleholder, my goal has always been to inspire young girls and boys, empower them, and show them what you can do when you put your mind to it. But most importantly, to remember to always stay true to yourself and your beliefs.

To you, why is Miss America still relevant?

Today more than ever, Miss America is relevant. Being a titleholder is not all about the sparkly hat, but instead an opportunity to impact lives while earning scholarship dollars. Miss America goes beyond physical appearance, but instead opt for what a woman stands for and giving back to the community. The organization is modernizing and continually evolving to empower and inspire all woman. We are the female leaders of the future.

What has been your favorite appearance thus far as Miss Southington?

My favorite appearance thus far as Miss Southington would be my school tour on my social impact, “Act F.A.S.T: Preventing and Recognizing an Anaphylactic Reaction. When I was 10 months old, I was diagnosed with an anaphylactic peanut and treenut allergy. My allergy impacts my everyday life and it is part of my mission to educate others while also bringing awareness to such a prevalent disease in today’s society. Over the course of National Food Allergy Awareness Week, I was able to present the “Be A PAL: Protect A Life” program to over 350 students. This program teaches students at a young age how to recognize an reaction as well as educating them on how to be more sympathetic and understanding of family members, friends, and/or classmates that do have allergies.

What is your favorite quote?

“I want to inspire people. I want somebody to look at me and say because of you, I didn’t give up.”

Fun fact:

I am a huge UConn Women’s Basketball Fan. GO HUSKIES!

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

I would not be the person I am today without the village I have behind me. These people have been there through the highs, lows and everything in between. Mom & Dad, your support, love, and encouragement to Tori & I goes beyond words. We are so lucky to have you and thank you will never be enough. Tor, I am so thankful that we get to experience such an amazing opportunity together. This journey definitely would not be the same if I didn’t have you by my side. Thanks for always being my biggest cheerleader. My Aunt Pam & Uncle Phil, thank you for treating me as one of your own, being there every step of the way, and of course Pam for being my personal stylist. Brandie, Greg, Kim, Mark & all of Team MNSO: You guys really are the dream team and have made each and everyone of us feel prepared and like a million bucks. There really is nothing like being an MNSO girl and I am so lucky to have experienced it twice.

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