OXFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — “I almost started to cry, almost,” said 20-year-old Morgan Iazarra, explaining the emotions she felt when she was crowned in April, along with 29-year-old Kimberly Marchesi and 12-year-old Maeve O’Shaughnessey.
“I was overjoyed and excited and just super happy and like, ‘Wow, I never expected this!'” O’Shaughnessey said.
Now, a month later, they are meeting for treats at Country Creamery, prepping for the next stage of Miss Amazing.
“Miss Amazing is a non-profit that started in Connecticut in 2015. We put on a pageant for girls and women with disabilities all the way from 5 to 99, it doesn’t matter how old you are,” director Monica Mordowanec said.
Several women and girls are crowned after showcasing a talent like dancing or singing.
“I sang This Is Me from The Greatest Showman,” O’Shaughnessey said.
They were also interviewed on stage.
The pageant builds confidence and self esteem. It also cultivates friendships.
“It’s fun, I really like being on stage, and seeing all my friends,” Marchesi said.
“Anytime they’re together, they’re like, ‘Oh, I have to take a picture with my Sister Queens,’ that’s what they call each other, I think it’s the coolest thing ever,” Mordowanec said.
It’s also about showing the world what these “amazing” people can do.
“Because I feel like sometimes people with autism are under-estimated and definitely often treated unfairly. The world still has a long way to go but we’re making a lot of progress,” O’Shaughnessey said.
The fun isn’t over. These winners will soon be heading to a national competition in Illinois.
“I am so excited,” Iazarra said.
A dream come true. A life-changing journey filled with hope and heart.
“Some of them, it might be the first time they hold a microphone and it’s this incredible experience they get out of it and that’s all we can ask for,” Mordowanec said.
The national competition – also called the Miss Amazing Summit – is happening in Chicago in July.