Kaitlyn Tarpey of Stamford was crowned Miss Connecticut 2013 on June 22 at the Garde Arts Center in New London.
Tarpey is a 21-year-old student at the Honors College at PACE University. She began competing in the Miss Connecticut Pageant two years ago after surviving an almost-fatal lung surgery.
A very talented field of 20 contestants competed for the title, with Miss America Chairman of the Board Sam Haskell, III in attendance. Tarpey said she had a “wonderful time with wonderful young women” during pageant week.
When the final moment came, and she was standing on stage with eventual runner-up Alyssa Taglia, Tarpey said she gave Taglia words of encouragement, telling her that either way, Connecticut would have a quality titleholder. After the announcement was made, Tarpey told Taglia “to take advantage of going to the Sweetheart pageant, and to grow.”
Tarpey said that besides working on her platform, she hopes to help the Miss Connecticut organization grow, including bringing more sponsors on board, and helping with recruitment.
“I’d like to see more than 30 girls competing for Miss Connecticut next year,” she said. “I would love to recruit more young women.” She said another goal, naturally, is to reach the top 15 at the Miss America Competition in September. Shortly after her crowning, Tarpey learned of the crowning of Carly Mathis as Miss Georgia. The two had become close at the Miss Sweetheart competition last summer.
“I need to call her,” Tarpey said, choking back tears of excitement. Having family members who have served in the military and are now struggling to acclimate back into society, she has made it her priority to educate others and help veterans as much as she can.
She is involved with multiple veterans’ organizations including the CT Fallen Heroes Foundation, the Purple Heart Foundation and the National Veterans Services Fund. Being a competitive Irish Step Dancer since the age of 8, she presents a contemporary Irish Step Dancing routine for the talent portion of competition.
And though she might appear fully Irish, Kaitlyn was actually born in France. She has a 19-year-old brother who is attending the College of William and Mary on a full athletic scholarship. After learning that the Miss America Organization is the largest provider of scholarships in the world, she decided to participate in a local pageant. After joining the organization, Kaitlyn realized the voice it gave her in the community and she fell in love with the idea of being a local leader. For more information, visit www.missctamerica.org or kaittarpey.wordpress.org.