Friday, May 5, 2017

Samantha McGraw Visits Section 36!

Samantha McGraw is a self-described huge Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Collegiate Area. I was pleased when she agreed to
take time out of her busy schedule to visit with us. It was a lot of fun.

So let’s see what happens when Samantha McGraw visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate being crowned Miss Collegiate Area? 
When I got home after winning Miss Collegiate Area, I had about one hour to kill before I had to start driving back to campus to work on some homework. In that hour, my 2016 Miss Massachusetts roommate, Joclyne Nunes (Miss New Bedford 2015), joined me in chowing down on some Chinese food! 

Which part of the upcoming Miss Massachusetts competition are you most nervous about?
I honestly do not get nervous when competing, but during crowning I am shaking in my heels. When I am onstage, I can control everything I do, so I am not nervous.  Miss Massachusetts is a job, and I want the judges to be able to see who I really am, so that they can determine if I would be best for that position. During crowning though, everything is out of my hands and over with, which is super nerve racking. 

You’ve held several local titles in your life. What lessons can you bring with you from previous competitions to this year’s Miss Massachusetts competition?
My first rodeo (Miss Massachusetts 2015), was life changing. The week was full of volunteer events, rehearsals, and endless amounts of coffee. The main lesson past Miss Massachusetts weeks have taught me would be to not take a single moment for granted. As stressful as the week can be, it was an opportunity that many women dream of. For me to be there, during that week, up on that stage, is what I worked hard for and need to enjoy every minute of.
I will continue to remember that during the Miss Massachusetts 2017 competition on June 30th and July 1st at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, Massachusetts. 

How did you become involved with your platform, “The Wheelchair Foundation"?
When I was in the fourth grade, I was misdiagnosed. Doctors believed I was just experiencing “ordinary growing pains,” when I really had a condition called Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis. Unfortunately, my case was rather extreme due to the condition being misdiagnosed and caught to late, which led to a full a bilateral slip. If I had taken just one more step, I would have had an unfixable ambulatory disability. August 2012, after a total of three surgeries and what had felt like endless amounts of physical therapy, I beat all odds against me and took my first steps again. From that point on, I wanted to stand up and make a difference in the disabled community. I began by donating my wheelchair to The Wheelchair Foundation; a non profit organization that promotes disability acceptance and uses donations to provide wheelchairs to anyone who needs one but cannot afford one. Since donating my first wheelchair, I have become progressively more involved, and am now a Massachusetts ambassador for The Wheelchair Foundation.

You’re a Track and Field coach with Special Olympics of Massachusetts. What is that experience like?
Adaptive athletics is something I am extremely passionate about. A disability doesn’t limit the ability to be successful in a sport. I couldn’t be happier to share my first coaching experience with a team full of dedicated individuals with amazing sportsmanship. This experience is extremely positive, and strengthens the reason why I want to become an Occupational Therapist for those with developmental disabilities.  

This is the first Red Sox season in a while without David Ortiz. What’s your favorite Ortiz memory?
After the Boston bombing, Ortiz gave a speech that explained the strength and resilience of Boston. “This is our (expletive) city!” Although the swear wasn’t particularly necessary, this speech forever will make me proud to be Boston Strong. 

Which of the young B’s (Bogaerts, Betts, Bradley, Benintendi) are you most excited about?
I am most excited about Benintendi. After the first month of his rookie season, he led the team in hits and RBIs… The last Red Sox player to do that was Red Sox hall of famer Freddie Lynn!

How has it been to watch Chris Sale this year?
Samantha is joined by Kristen, Lyndsey, and Emily
Watching Chris Sale has been exciting, however they can't get him any run support when he's on the mound. I was at his debut where he struck out 7 and didn't give up a run. At the end of 11 innings, the score was 0-0.

Other than Section 36, where do you (or where would you) like to sit to watch the Red Sox in Fenway?
If I couldn’t pick section 36, then I would have to go with any other right field bleachers. They are the some of the best seats in Fenway, no doubt. The fans are always outspoken, excited, and passionate. 

How will the Red Sox finish in 2017?
The Red Sox will be American League Champions and contending for the World Series title in October! 


Sounds like a great year to me!

As always, I want to send out a huge thank you to Samantha for doing this interview. These visits are always incredibly popular, and I have no doubt that hers will continue that trend. I also want to thank her for providing the pictures to accompany the interview. Pictures make every post more fun.

As Samantha continues her reign as Miss Collegiate Area, I encourage you to follow her on the official Facebook page and Instagram account. 

And, of course, I want to wish Samantha luck in July as she competes for the Miss Massachusetts crown. It would be fantastic for another Section 36 visitor to claim that title.

Thanks again Samantha, and good luck!

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