A year ago, as Jonet Nichelle stood on stage as a finalist of the Miss Connecticut Pageant, she was filled with disbelief. Nichelle was in a position, a moment away from capturing the state crown and heading to Miss America, she had never thought was possible.
“There was a tremendous level of preparation that went into last year’s pageant,” said Nichelle. “I entered the pageant with a very open mind, knowing this was my first Miss Connecticut and that I was one of the youngest contestants, I never expected to find myself amongst the final contestants.”
Nichelle, a Post University junior, ended up finishing as the state’s first runner-up, second only to 2015 Miss Connecticut Colleen Ward.
“It was such an amazing experience and an unforgettable moment,” she said. “It started to sink in when I heard my name called as a top-five finisher. I remember thinking when it was all over how much I hoped to be back on that stage.”
After winning the Miss Stamford 2016 Competition, Nichelle has again qualified for the Miss Connecticut pageant, and a chance to claim the state crown. The bright lights and the stage will be the same in 2016, but in a way, this time around, everything will be different.
“A lot has changed in my life over the past year,” she said. “There has been positive change and negative change, but all of it has shaped me into where I am at this very moment,” she said.
As Nichelle prepares for the upcoming pageant, she has allowed herself to momentarily think about what the moment would be like this year, if hers was the final name called on the Miss Connecticut stage. As one can imagine, much of the past year would be running through her mind.
“I would think about all of the people that have helped me get here—my mother, my grandfather, so many others,” she said. “It would mean everything to me to make them proud and to get a chance to represent my state in the Miss America pageant.”
That chance will come on Saturday, June 18 as Nichelle and 16 other contestants from around the state compete for the Miss Connecticut crown.
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