By Connor Beach
A young woman from Huntington Station won the title of Miss Liberty earlier this month and punched her ticket to the Miss New York competition in June.
Inpreet Rattu, 20, of Huntington Station, started her pageantry career back in 2013 while looking for a pageant for her little sister. After taking a hiatus from the pageant scene during her high school career, Rattu decided to give beauty pageants another shot as a college student.
The sophomore at Farmingdale State College traveled to upstate Cortland on March 11 and there she beat out a strong group of competitors in the interview, talent, evening wear and swimwear competitions to capture the title of 2018 Miss Liberty, a part of the Miss America organization.
The Miss Liberty pageant is this year’s last regional pageant through which the winner can qualify to compete in the Miss New York pageant, and Rattu said she was well aware of the added pressure.
“I was so afraid in the moments leading up to the name being announced,” Rattu said. “I was afraid that I wasn’t going to make the cut, and I would have to wait an entire year before competing again.”
When it was finally announced that Rattu had won the pageant, her fear quickly turned to joy.
“When they finally called my name it was like all the hard work in the weeks and months leading up it paid off. I was in the right moment, at the right time, I said all the right things and it felt well deserved.”
Although it takes a remarkable amount of skill, poise and confidence to win a pageant in the Miss America series, Rattu said she is self-taught.
“I haven’t really had any type of coaching; I’ve always just been really comfortable being on stage. If I were to say if I ever had a coach, I would probably have to say my friends,” Rattu said. “They always give me the advice that I need and they always tell me how it is, whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing.”
The college student says she stays well versed in politics and social issues in between earning her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Rattu is currently enrolled in the ROTC program and will earn a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army upon graduation from college.
Rattu’s personal platform during her pageants is Project 9 Line, a charity that supports the reintegration of veterans into civilian society through the arts.
Rattu said she is looking forward to the opportunity to compete for the Miss New York title in upstate Buffalo on June 30.
She said, “I’m super excited to head to states, and I hope to make Long Island proud.”