Miss Connecticut 2016 is Alyssa Taglia

Alyssa Taglia was crowned Miss Connecticut at the Cabaret Theater at Mohegan Sun on June 18.

Taglia, 22, beat a field of 16 other very well-rounded young women for the coveted title, and will be competing in the Miss America competition in Atlantic City this September.

A graduate of Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Taglia was first runner-up in the 2013 Miss Connecticut competition, and placed second runner-up in 2014. She did not compete in 2015, but that year off helped her win this year.

“I took a year off and really established myself as a woman,” she said. “I realized what the ultimate goal was. I truly empowered positive thinking this time around and it seemed to do me well. I knew that I wanted to be Miss Connecticut and I set my mind to it.”

While Taglia and first runner-up Bridget Oei were waiting for the final announcement, she said she was thinking very highly of her competitor and new friend.

“Bridget is amazing,” Taglia said. “This was her first time competing and she blew me away, so standing next to Bridget was an honor in itself.”

Competing for the national title hadn’t yet sunk in for the new state titleholder, just after being crowned.

“I can’t even process it yet,” Taglia said. “I’m going to Miss America. That’s crazy!”

As Miss Connecticut, Taglia said she hopes to continue to spread her platform, Smiles For Seniors: Enriching the Lives of Seniors Across America, which she has been working on since she was 12 years old.

“It’s something that’s so important to me,” she said. “As Miss Connecticut, I’m going to bring it to a national level, share it with the other girls competing at Miss America and hopefully get them to start Smiles For Seniors in their own states.”

She is also eager to work for the Miss America Organization’s National Platform – Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

“I think that’s one of the more important jobs of Miss Connecticut, and I can’t wait to embrace it,” she said.

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