Caroline Parente holds the record for the longest reign as Miss Rhode Island’s (Outstanding) Teen, serving for two years, due to the pandemic, 2019 and 2020.
Apparently, she didn’t get enough of being a state titleholder, as her year as Miss Rhode Island began on May 23, when she earned that title.
“I’m feeling incredible. I’m feeling on top of the world,” she said, just minutes after being crowned. “I am just so humbled to have this wonderful opportunity, and I really can’t wait to get started.”
The 21-year-old South Kingstown native said she is also excited for the Miss America competition, set for next January, with exact dates and location TBD.
“It’s surreal,” she said. “I can’t wait. I have been looking forward to this for so long.”
Among the endeavors Parente will be diving into is working with her Community Service Initiative, InvestHer: Igniting the Power of the Female Entrepreneur. She is teaming with the Nelson Center of Entrepreneurship at Brown University (where she is a rising senior) to develop a curriculum to implement in high schools to talk to young girls about how they can invest in their own futures and be successful.
Through the competition, Parente said she was nervous, as well as excited.
“I just really couldn’t wait to get back on the stage, and just give it my all,” she said. “I have the mentality of just giving 100% when I put myself on the stage, and whatever happens is meant to be. I’m excited that this is my time and I want to make the most out of my year, and do the best that I can.”
Parente said her time as Miss Rhode Island’s Teen certainly helped prepare her for her Miss role, and fueled her desire for more.
“I knew that I wanted to be back,” she said. “This organization is truly the most transformative experience in the world. Once you’re bitten by the pageant bug, you’re stuck. I’ve loved this organization and haven’t looked back.”
While waiting to embrace her friends and family, who were all in the audience wearing yellow, to match her evening gown, Parente said it’s that similar sense of family that keeps her involved in the Miss America Organization.
“It means grace, sisterhood and accomplishments,” Parente said. “It really is a sisterhood, not a competition. You meet the best friends you will ever meet in your entire life. It really is a family.”
For more information, visit http://www.missri.org.