BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Ariel Staffin, of Bridgewater, was crowned Miss Central Jersey 2020, a title that is one of several conferred by the Miss America Organization.

Staffin participated in a number of the Miss America Organization local competitions in 2019.

“I have lived in Central Jersey all my life, so being able to represent and serve this region with this title will be a great way to give back to community,” she said. “Plus, winning this competition has brought by experience full circle. Last year’s Miss Central Jersey competition was my first ever Miss America local competition.”

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Staffin said that last year’s Miss Central Jersey, Kyra Seeley, was her first friend in the organization.

“She is the person who encouraged me to enter these competitions, and she has been an incredible role model and mentor,” she said. “Being chosen to take her title was surreal.”

As part of her responsibilities with her new title, Staffin will spend the next year promoting her social impact initiative, SALUTE, standing for Serving, Advocating, Leading, Understanding, Teaching and Empowering.

The initiative focuses on spreading the stories of servicemen and women in order to educate the public on what they do and illustrate the qualities that they exemplify in their everyday lives.

Staffin meets many military servicemen and women and hears their stories firsthand as a cadet in the Army ROTC program at Cornell University, as well as as a member of the Army National Guard.

With the Miss Central Jersey tital, Staffin is now qualified to complete with other New Jersey local title holders for the Miss New Jersey crown in June.

“I am so excited to be joining the Miss New Jersey Class of 2020,” she said. “This is an incredible sisterhood, and all of the women have been so inspirational and welcoming.”