The 2019 Miss Farmington contestants, from the left, Amari Torres, Maria Cheriyan, Emma Hahn, Elena Vargo and Madison Ebiware-Shaughnessy, pose for a photo at the Groves-Walker American Legion Post on Memorial Day.

The 2019 Miss Farmington contestants, from the left, Amari Torres, Maria Cheriyan, Emma Hahn, Elena Vargo and Madison Ebiware-Shaughnessy, pose for a photo at the Groves-Walker American Legion Post on Memorial Day.

Photo provided by Sidney Schrand


Meet the 2019 Miss Farmington contestants

By: Jonathan Shead | Farmington Press | Published July 9, 2019

 The 2019 Miss Farmington contestants, from the left, Amari Torres, Elena Vargo, Emma Hahn, Maria Cheriyan and Madison Ebiware-Shaughnessy, spent their Memorial Day at the Groves-Walker American Legion Post helping pass out 500 hot dogs to hungry residents.

The 2019 Miss Farmington contestants, from the left, Amari Torres, Elena Vargo, Emma Hahn, Maria Cheriyan and Madison Ebiware-Shaughnessy, spent their Memorial Day at the Groves-Walker American Legion Post helping pass out 500 hot dogs to hungry residents.

Photo provided by Sidney Schrand

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FARMINGTON — For the 13th year, the community draws closer to crowning a new Miss Farmington Cities.

Each year, five to 10 young women from the community enter the contest with the goal of earning the crown and supporting the community and a charity of their selection.

Each contestant is sponsored by a local family or business, and the winner of the pageant receives an educational grant to put toward furthering her education after high school.

Prior to the pageant and awards ceremony, held at 7 p.m. July 17 at the Farmington Civic Theater, meet the young women competing for this year’s crown.

 

Maria Cheriyan
In her second year as a contestant, Maria Cheriyan, a junior at Detroit Country Day Upper School, said she enjoyed her experience with the program last year and is excited to be back competing this year.

Cheriyan said the program gives her the opportunity to help out and participate in the community, and it’s helped her gain more self-confidence.

“I thought (the program) really improved my self-confidence and leadership skills, and I really wanted to go more along that path and also help the community of Farmington,” she said.

This year, Cheriyan is supporting Beyond Basics, a literary nonprofit based in Detroit and Taylor that helps to provide tutoring, mentoring and access to free books to underprivileged students. Her sponsor this year is the Farmington/Farmington Hills Optimist Club.

Cheriyan’s favorite part about the community is, simply put, “the people.”

“I really like all the people there. They’re all super welcoming and accepting, and I really like going around the streets and saying hello to everyone,” she said.

As a member of the robotics and engineering clubs throughout her high school years, Cheriyan hopes to continue to pursue those passions in working toward a career in aerospace or medicine, because she “really wants to help people with her work.”

 

Elena Vargo
As a second-year contestant and the 2018 first runner-up, Elena Vargo, a senior at Farmington High School, came back to compete in the program again because her increased involvement in the community last year made a huge impact on her personal life.

“I’m excited to hang out with little kids, and (for) all the events this year, and I of course want to go for Miss Farmington again,” she said.

This year, Vargo is supporting the Alzheimer’s Association, because the disease has affected her life personally. Her grandmother was diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s 12 years ago.

“Last year we moved her into a wonderful memory care facility. Visiting her has changed my life and made me realize the importance of understanding, supporting and caring for people with this disease,” she said.

She is being sponsored by Dan and Colleen Irvin, and their family.

Vargo’s favorite part about Farmington is going to the farmers market on Saturdays and having the opportunity to talk one-on-one with the vendors and members of the community.

While Vargo is still undecided about where her future may lead, she at least knows she doesn’t want an office job.

“I thought about going into sports medicine or physical therapy, because I enjoy being one-on-one with other patients and athletes, and I want a moving job, not an office job,” she said.

 

Amari Torres
Amari Torres, a sophomore at Farmington High School, is making her debut appearance in this year’s Miss Farmington contest.

Torres said she joined the program because she feels it’s a “really good opportunity to get to know the community and the people and interact.” She thinks the program will help her grow as a person.

Torres is supporting the Michigan Humane Society because she’s seen firsthand, by going to marches for animal rights and protests against animal cruelty, the support that’s needed to make a difference.

“I’m aware that millions of people are familiar with the poor ways in which many animals are treated; however, I am also aware that millions are not,” she said. “Animals are treated inhumanely worldwide, and I would love to be part of a movement that helps raise awareness for those mistreated beings.”

Torres is being sponsored by Roxanne Fitzpatrick, of Keller Williams.

Like Cheriyan, Torres shares a deep appreciation for the people of Farmington.

“They’re really sweet,” she said. “In all the areas I’ve lived, the people are so sweet, and I love the buildings and the history behind them. It’s nice.”

Torres is torn between wanting to be a singer and wanting to be a veterinarian.

 

Madison Ebiware-Shaughnessy
As the youngest contestant, Madison Ebiware-Shaughnessy, a freshman at Farmington High School, joined the program because she feels it’s important to step out of your comfort zone and try new things.

“This program really steps into the community and doing things for the community, and I think it’s really important to give back,” she said.

Her two favorite aspects about the community are its diversity and the variety of activities to do in town.

“I remember when I was little I used to go to Heritage Park literally every single day for the activities they had there, and the splash pad,” she said. “And I just love how many different cultures and ethnicities are represented here.”

This year, Ebiware-Shaughnessy is supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, because as a family member of a lymphoma survivor, she thought it was the perfect charity for her.

“I know the pain and trauma it causes for families affected by this devastating disease,” she said.

Ebiware-Shaughnessy is being sponsored by Heeney Sundquist Funeral Home.

Although she is the youngest contestant, she seems the most certain about her career plans — becoming a software engineer.

“I really want to follow after my aunt, because she really inspired me to do things that are kind of out of the norm,” she said. “Most of the people in my family are doctors and lawyers, so I wanted to try something that was a bit different.”

 

Emma Hahn
Although Emma Hahn, a senior at the International Academy, grew up in the community, she thought joining the pageant would help her reconnect with the community and continue to give back.

Hahn said two of her favorite places in Farmington are easily the downtown corridor, because over the last few years she’s seen it grow and become “so lively,” and the ice rink.

Hahn is supporting HAVEN, a nonprofit that supports victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse through shelter provisons, counseling, advocacy and various educational programs.

“I chose (HAVEN) because it’s a great charity that helps to empower women and their children,” Hahn said. “It helps strong women raise strong children who are productive citizens living without fear of abuse, and breaking the vicious cycle of poverty.”

Hahn is sponsored by the Focal Point photography studio.

Hahn said she’s currently considering being a hedge fund manager and following in the footsteps of her cousin.

“I really love economics, and I think it’s so interesting,” she said. “This is the perfect job for me because it combines economics with my passion for helping and working with people.”

For more information about the Miss Farmington Cities pageant, visit www.missfarmingtoncities.com.

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