A rising Senior at Amity High School in Woodbridge, CT, Ananya is currently the reigning Miss Connecticut Teen for the U.S.A. Ambassador Pageant System. The U.S.A. Ambassador system promotes success through leadership, integrity, character, and confidence (SLICC). At U.S.A. Ambassador Nationals this summer, Ananya won the National Best in Class award for academic achievement along with excellence in leadership and placed 1st Runner-Up to the National Spokesmodel award for her speech on the state of Connecticut.
Ananya states, “I first became involved in pageantry in the summer of 2011, and have come to love the sisterhood, individuality, and leadership that it celebrates. Along the lines of SLICC, I am involved in my school, local, statewide, and national community. In high school, I have become especially involved in debate and representing students to the Board of Education.”
As Captain of the Amity Debate Team, Ananya has been focusing on expanding her team’s prevalence throughout the state and East Coast Region. She debates in the Connecticut Debate Association and works with her school administration to join the National Speech and Debate Association and involve the team in different regional and national tournaments- ranging from the High School Public Debate Program to the Yale Invitational. Ananya is specifically working on building a stronger 7th-12th program in the Amity Region #5 District by coaching middle school debaters and advocating for increased participation in the CT Middle School League. In addition to her work with Amity Debate, she is currently training with the International Public Debate Program to compete as a member of Team USA at international debate tournaments.
Ananya is also involved with her local Board of Education. As the Student Liaison to the Region #5 Board of Education, she communicates with Amity Board Members and shares input regarding different discussions. Throughout her term, she increased BOE exposure in her school newspaper and ensured an open pathway of communication between students and the BOE.
“In addition, I began to realize my passion for advocating for increased educational opportunities and education equality for students in the state of Connecticut. The achievement gap in our state is extremely large, and I want to focus on exploring creative solutions to improve upon this.”
She recently has been appointed to the 2017-18 State Student Advisory Council on Education. The Council reports high school students’ perspectives to the Connecticut State Board of Education, the commissioner of education, State Department of Education personnel, the governor, and state legislators.
“I am equally passionate about education on a larger scale, too! The Peace Corps’ Let Girls Learn initiative especially inspires me. Started by Michelle Obama, former First Lady, as a White House Initiative, this program looks to delve into various socioeconomic factors that prevents millions of girls (USAID), worldwide, from receiving an education. After talking with a representative from the Peace Corps, I became more involved with this initiative. Now, I spread awareness for the program throughout my community. I have gone to schools within the BOWA (Region #5) District to talk with elementary school students about the Let Girls Learn program, the importance of being global citizens, and different ways to get more involved- both on a local and global scale. My goal for next year, especially as Miss Connecticut Teen, is to travel across the state with this same message.”
Ananya is delighted to contribute to the Ms President US initiative and hopes to play an instrumental role in sharing the program’s message among other towns in Connecticut.
On Monday, August 14th, Ananya held a seminar about education in other communities and what we all can do to help, along with Ali Hagani (another Ms President US mentor) and Nevia Selmon. The discussion focused on Let Girls Learn, a US Government Initiative that aims to overcome physical, cultural, and financial barriers that prevent MILLIONS of girls, worldwide, from receive an education. The seminar also included a conversation about local and statewide education, storytelling, bookmark and poster activities, and a collection of back-to-school supplies to donate. Remember that your education can be an agent of change and to support those around you! Here is a video about Let Girls Learn, a global initiative: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHcusyg138s