Miss Connecticut, Erin Brady, was named Miss USA Sunday night in Las
Brady, who is from East Hampton and lives in South Glastonbury, is a graduate of Central Connecticut State University.
She is an accountant for Prudential Financial in Hartford.
Brady, 25, was first runner-up in last year's state competition before winning this year.
In an interview with The Courant's MaryEllen Fillo in May, after being named Miss Connecticut, Brady said she got a late start in pageants.
"I was always interested in modeling, and being in pageants is a great gateway," she said. "I first entered last year and was older than a lot of women who get involved in pageants, but I did the research and the USA organization seemed to be the one that was the best fit.
Brady said she wasn't quite prepared for all that was involved when she entered the 2012 pageant.
"When I entered last year I had no expectations and was not sure of what to expect because I had never competed, so I was really blindsided," she said. "After participating in that, I learned about the physical preparation like exercising and eating well that needs to be part of getting ready to compete, as well as choosing outfits and getting mentally ready. You are in it as soon as you register, long before you are ever on a stage. Most of the girls who compete have been doing it since they were teenagers. This time I have more sponsors and have done a lot more to get ready. I am in it to pick up the crown."
Brady worked full time while she attended CCSU, where she received a degree in finance with a minor in criminal justice.
"I couldn't even think about being in beauty pageants," she said. "I had no free time and didn't have any extra money and was not mentally in the right state of mind. It's been a struggle, but it shaped who I am. Sometimes I feel like a 35-year-old in a 25-year-old body, but the struggles helped me be better. Being older now I think works to my advantage. I think I have more poise, more life experience, and more maturity.
To read MaryEllen Fillo's full interview with Erin Brady, click here.
(c)2013 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)
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