Section 36 has a new visitor! Ashlyn Manuel is a dancer, an advocate for the homeless, and the current Miss Fairfield County’s
Outstanding Teen. Next week, she’ll be competing for the Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen title. I was thrilled that she wanted to visit with us before that to discuss those topics, and a few more! I just loved everything she had to say, and I’m sure you will too.
|Photo by Catherine Fiehn|
So let’s see what happens when Ashlyn Manuel visits Section 36!
How did you celebrate winning the Miss Fairfield County’s Outstanding Teen crown?
I was so unbelievably excited because I realized I would have the opportunity to have another year full of incredible opportunities and to have another chance to compete for the title of Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen! My family was thrilled for me and have been so supportive of my journey throughout my past 2 years in the Miss Connecticut Organization.
What’s something you learned about yourself at the Miss Fairfield County’s Outstanding Teen competition that will help you at Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen?
Throughout competing I have learned so much more about myself. I have learned that I should trust myself when it comes to choosing aspects of my wardrobe and talent. I have become more confident in my own self and my choices. I have grown so much and I am so thankful to every person who has helped me get this far. I know that no matter what happens at the Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen pageant on June 8th 2019, I went out on the stage and truly gave it my all. I have been working so hard for this and I am so proud of myself for that.
Is there a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss Fairfield County’s Outstanding Teen?
My goal for my year as Miss Fairfield County’s Outstanding Teen is to spread my platform “Homeless NOT Helpless” throughout Connecticut and to be able to share my story with as many people that will listen. A goal I set for myself at the beginning of my year is that I wanted to attend more events than I did last year as a local titleholder. I work hard to be able to attend every single event and appearance because I truly want to have an effect and make a difference in as many peoples lives as I possibly can throughout my year. I told myself that I only have one year to create change and that I am in control of what type of year I have. I already have accomplished some of my huge goals that I set for myself this year. I was able to create my event, Benefit Concert “For the Kids.” It was such a rewarding night to see how many people came out to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and to see some incredible artists perform that night. This night would not have been as successful without the help of my mom, Scott, Papa, my sisters, Savannah Giammarco, Maia Dobbs, Jill Duffy, Maria Pellegrino, and so many other wonderful people!
How did you select your platform “Homeless NOT Helpless”?
My platform “Homeless NOT Helpless” is so incredibly importantto me. I chose this as my platform because my family and I were forced to experience homelessness first hand due to a fire that destroyed our home. I knew that I never wanted other people to experience what I did no matter the reason that they got to their situation. My platform is called “Homeless NOT Helpless” because it is my goal and passion to get rid of the stereotypes that people have about the homeless that the population is just addicts or abusers. I want people to understand that homelessness can happen to anyone, at any point in their lives. It can be due to a family not being able to afford their bills, a natural disaster, domestic violence and the list goes on. I want people to understand that although they are homeless, they are still human beings. They deserve kindness and respect just like any other person does. I am proud to share that I was able to create my “Necessity bag program.” I began this in December of 2018 and it has grown so much throughout the past seven months. These bags are filled with the most important items a homeless citizen needs which are nutritious snacks, water, socks, and basic hygiene items. I have been able to give these bags to many people on the streets and just knowing that I am a small part in their journey to finally getting off the streets and out of their situation is such a great feeling. I know that all of the help that people gave my family and I when we were in this situation was greatly appreciated, so I want to be that help for someone else.
As a talented dancer, what is your favorite part about performing on stage?
My ultimate favorite part about performing on stage is that incredible feeling you get while performing when you know you are killing it and then when you come off stage and feel so great! Being able to dance at Triple Threat Dance Company with some of my best friends is something I will never take for granted because it is such an amazing opportunity!
If you could be any Disney character for a week, which one would you be?
I would love to be Alice from Alice in Wonderland because she is very curious about the world around her and has a very positive outlook on life! One of my favorite quotes from the movie is, “If everybody minded their own business, the world would go around a great deal faster than it does.” This quote relates to everyday life because people are so caught up in what other people are doing, instead of focusing on their own lives.
Who is your favorite Red Sox player? Why?
Although I am not too big of a baseball fan, I think that Matt Barnes is a great player. I think that his position on the team of the pitcher is really awesome! And if I did baseball/softball I would consider being a pitcher.
Is there a feature or activity at Fenway Park that you’d especially like to experience?
I think it would be pretty awesome to be able to get a tour of Fenway Park! There is so much to see such as the roof deck and the Fenway Park museum which includes over 150,000 photographs and 170,000 stadium artifacts! There is so much history apart of the museum and it would be amazing to have the chance to see it in person!
What were you doing when the Red Sox won the 2018 World Series?
To be completely honest the Red Sox won the 2018 World Series right before Halloween. Which means that I was planning for my Halloween party with my friends, rather than watching the World Series! But I am excited to see who will be making it to the 2019 World Series!
The series really does occur at an annoying time, doesn’t it?
As always, I want to thank Ashlyn for taking the time to visit with us. Especially with her next competition coming up so soon. I also am glad she was able to provide so many great pictures to go along with the post. It’s always so much better that way.
As Ashlyn continues as Miss Fairfield County’s Outstanding Teen, I suggest you follow along on her official MFCOT Facebook and Instagram pages. That way you won’t miss out on anything she’s up to!
Of course, I also want to wish Ashlyn luck next week as she competes for the Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen crown! It would be wonderful to have a Section 36 visitor claim that title!
Thanks again Ashlyn, and good luck!