Carolyn Brady Crowned Miss Maine

Carolyn Brady was crowned Miss Maine 2019 at the competition held at the Freeport Arts Center on June 22.

Brady, a native Philadelphian, and the first black woman to be crowned Miss Maine, was shouting to herself as Miss Maine 2018 Olivia Mayo was crowning her.

“I literally burst into tears, but then I was telling myself ‘You’ve got to get it together, because you only get a crowning moment once,'” she said. “I can’t be a hysterical mess in the middle of the stage.”

Brady, a student at Bowdoin University, previously competed in the Miss Pennsylvania competition, where she was second runner-up in 2017.

She said it was a bullying experience in college that compelled her to compete. She said Maine has really become home for her, and she was filled with that feeling when the final announcement happened.

“I was simply overcome with love and emotion for all of the support this state has shown me over the past four years,” she said.

Brady said she’s not related to Tom Brady, but also has her football loyalties in check.

“I’m not a fan of the Eagles…because I was told I am supposed to say that,” she joked.”I was also taught to say, ‘lobstah.'”

The energetic titleholder said she has many ideas for her year as Miss Maine, including expanding opportunities for volunteers at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital and creating an expedited peer-to-peer volunteer positions for other titleholders.

She also hopes to expand the Miss Maine program, adding sponsors, volunteers and candidates for the future.

Jane Lipp, a 16-year-old resident of New Gloucester and a rising junior at Greeley High School in Cumberland, won the title of Miss Maine’s Outstanding Teen at the same competition.

Lipp said she worked really hard and although she has danced and sang all of her life, this is her first step into the pageant world.

“It’s something different. I’m learning,” she said. “I love having the tight-knit community of girls and empowering other women. I’m excited for the ride I’m going to be on in the next year.”

Lipp said she’s very excited to be competing for the title of Miss America’s Outstanding Teen in slightly more than a month.

“I have heard so many great stories, and I am looking forward to talking with the other state titleholders,” she said, adding that she also hopes to inspire more Mainers her age to get involved in their communities.

“I want to educate other kids in high school to be more civically-minded,” she said, “Specifically to teach them how to have their own drives with other organizations to learn about non-profit organizations and giving back to other people in need.”

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Conversation With…Miss Maine

In full disclosure, this reporter was one of the panelists at the Miss Maine pageant in June, but I can tell you for sure that Olivia Mayo deserves the experience of being Miss Maine and competing for Miss America. Between nights 2 and 3 of prelims, Olivia said she is relaxed, calm and having an amazing time.

How is it going and how was it performing your talent on the Miss America stage?
Really good. I feel good. I haven’t been nervous at all. I just feel so at peace. I’m just soaking it in. It’s a once in a life time opportunity, and I’m just living in it. I got positive feedback last night, and I’m just kind of rolling with it. It was really cool to see all of my hard work come to life. I’ve been performing since I was three years old, so it was one of those moments where I was thinking, ‘Wow, this is where it brought me.’ Regardless of the outcome, I want to leave here knowing that I did my best, and last night validated that for me.

What did you get out of your interview?
I came out of my interview with happy tears. I was so over the moon with how it went. It seemed as though they were looking to figure out who could be Miss America and who could handle the job. For me, it wasn’t too politically-focused at all. They did throw those political questions in there, but I think it was just to see how you react to them. I think I touched upon all of the points I wanted to touch upon.

How do you feel about your fellow contestants?
I love them. All of them. We were talking at breakfast and saying ‘What are we going to do without each other?’ Our class has been through so much together, it has made us so much stronger. We’re sticking together and supporting each other. Everyone is here for the title of Miss America, but it doesn’t feel like a competition at all.
I look at all of them and I see a different Miss America in every one of them — any girl could do the job — which makes me even more at peace. I think that’s why I’m having such an easy time competing, because I look around and think any of these girls could be Miss America and I know the crown would be in good hands.

Do you imagine yourself winning that crown?
I do…especially because Maine has never produced a Miss America. I think that eventually, it will. If Maine did make it to the top 15, and we were seen on national television, it would get more girls to compete. So, I’m keeping those girls in mind when I compete.

What are your words for Maine?
Every time I hear “Olivia Mayo, Maine” I am so elated. It’s just been an honor to represent Maine, especially with my social impact initiative relating to domestic violence. It’s a huge issue in Maine, and I think I can make a huge impact, especially if they do see me on ABC, talking about openly. I think it’s a perfect role for me to play for the state of Maine.

Who was your favorite judge at the Miss Maine competition?
You were, but you were also the most intimidating. You didn’t make as much eye contact and you’d squint a lot and cross your arms.