Friday, November 20, 2020

Therran Adams Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Therran Adams is passionate about first responders mental health, a talented harpist, and the current Miss Washington County. I was excited that she was willing to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more.

So, let's see what happens when Therran Adams visits Section 36!

What made you want to participate in the Miss VT preliminary program as Miss Washington County? 

I wanted to participate in the program after my sister was Miss Vermont's Outstanding Teen 2018. My mother was also a contestant for both Miss New York and Miss Vermont many years ago. What really drew me in was the service and scholarship piece. I really want to use my voice to make a difference, and I think being Miss Washington County and hopefully Miss Vermont is the right channel for me. And the scholarship is going towards completing my Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with Southern New Hampshire University which allows me to further my career and life goals.

Do you have a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss Washington County?

My goal remains the same no matter what title I hold. I want to break the stigma around mental health, especially when it comes to our first responders. I plan to do that through telling my own story as well as really starting a conversation about the stigmas and beliefs regarding mental health. From the beginning, there has always been a belief that our first responders have to be mentally tough all the time, and it's not realistic. They have an image to uphold, to be tough. And tough guys (or girls) don't have mental health issues. Even people who aren't in an emergency care field have or have had some sort of struggle with their mental health, myself included. So to ask someone who has seen some pretty hard core stuff to keep it to themselves, it isn't possible. I want to bring theconversation of mental health to our emergency and military workers and break those stigmas, especially during these hard times of COVID when our workers haven't been able to really take any time for themselves. We have been going non-stop since the outbreak in February. It's important to care for the people who have always been there to care for us.

What have you learned about yourself from past competitions that will help you whenever you compete for Miss Vermont?

One of the biggest things I learned was how much of myself I

didn't really know. I believed I was comfortable with who I was a person, and competing for Miss Vermont last year was an eye opening experience for me. Throughout preparation, I felt like I was finding parts of myself that didn't feel relevant to the person I want to become, and I think I was a bit unsure of myself and who I really wanted to be. But over the last year I have started to really be more confident as a competitor and a person. Most importantly I am learning to love and embrace who I am while I grow as a person, reminding myself that it's okay to grow, and that no one is perfect.

How did you select your social impact initiative?

My social impact is "Mental Health Matters: Putting First Responders First". I chose my social impact for a few reasons, and I actually love to tell people this story. I personally have struggled with my own mental health for several years, easily ten years to this date. I was bullied in school, I wasn't the type of kid who had very many friends, and overall it was very taxing on my emotions. Through a lot of middle and high school I was either denying there was a problem, or just trying to take each day as it came without knowing what to do. I eventually hit an all time low, questioning whether my presence on this earth would be missed. And I stayed there for longer than was really healthy for anyone to be in that dark place mentally. However, slowly but surely, I set my sights on recovery. I started by embracing the few friends I had a little bit closer, my family even more so, and found more things to be thankful for. Even if it was one thing a day. I also cut out any negative connections that were holding me back. Then I took the next step. Outreach and resourcing. I found a professional that I really connected with and trusted, and that was just over a year ago now, and we've been working together since! The way I look at it, she has been taking the tangled mess of yarn that were my thoughts and past experiences, and weaving a beautiful tapestry that shows who I am on the other side of recovery.

My social impact is being fueled by my own experiences with mental health, as well as my realization as I have worked and trained in this field for three years now. Over those three years I have learned that this is not a conversation that people are wanting to have, nor is it even acceptable to think about in the minds of others. Hearing the stories of friends who want to get help but fear the repercussions from their departments or their peers, or have been fearing that they are too broken to even get help, it breaks my heart to know that  people who are looking to get help... can't. So I want to be their voice. I want to start the battle cry of mental health, that it's normal and it's okay. The battle cry that mental health matters. I will stand with the ones who feel they are alone. No one is ever truly alone. 

You currently work as a firefighter/EMT. What got you interested in that field?

I have always loved the idea of being a firefighter. The running joke in my family is that it came from the first book I learned to read, it was called "Fire Cat". Can you guess what it was about? If you guessed a firefighting cat, that rescues other cats from fires, you were right! Realistically, I attribute my love of helping others to the way I was raised. I was always told to put others first, help without expecting reward. For me, it's the thought of always being there for someone during the absolute worst day of their life, being that person they can rely on. I actually have a favorite line from an interview that John Travolta was a part of when one of his famous movies, "Ladder 49", came out. He said, "You don't question why a fireman is a fireman. You just don't. You know exactly why they are. They're not doing it for the money, they can't be. They're not by nature paid enough. They're doing it from a deep, heartfelt place... Bottom line, man is only alive as much as he can help someone. He's only as valuable as he can help somebody.". And I don't think anyone could've said it better.

As a talented harpist, what is your favorite part about performing on stage?

My favorite part of performing is the transformations that happen from start to end. No matter the performance, there is always this energy that takes over the room and makes you feel like you're not sitting in a performance hall, but instead you're watching the piece come to life. Sometimes it's tranquil, sometimes the energy makes you feel youthful like a kid, and sometimes it just takes you to the place that makes you feel safe and secure. One good example was the piece I performed at last year's competition called "Soaring". I always encouraged listeners to close their eyes and picture something that flies. A cloud, a bird, or maybe a flowing waterfall. No matter the piece or even the instrument, you can almost see it take over the audience, and there's no better feeling then to be the one producing that energy and beauty.

If you could be a Disney Character for a week, who would you choose? Why?

My all time favorite character is Merida from Brave. Not only because of my Celtic (Irish and Scottish) history, but because she is so outgoing and driven, and she's not afraid to stand up and speak her mind. She puts her mind to it and doesn't stop till she's reached her goal, and she finds her own way to make the journey special. I can personally relate to her on so many levels, and I almost aspire to be like her, even though she's not real.

If you had an extra ticket to a Red Sox game, who would you take with you? Why?

I would take either my dad or my younger sister. It's really a hard decision. My sister and I have a close bond and were raised Red Sox fans. But I am also very close to my dad, who is also a born and raised Red Sox fan, and taught me and my sister how to be die hard fans like him. My dad and I actually have gone to see one game together, and it was actually my first game at Fenway. So it was even more special to be sharing that moment with him.

Is there a feature or activity at Fenway that you’d especially like to experience?

I'd love to be the one to throw a first pitch, or even just walk out on the field. I'd even just settle for catching a fly ball in the stands.

Bonus event would be attending the Winter Classic at Fenway with the Boston Bruins!


Those are great events. Wish I had made it to the Winter Classic at Fenway!

As always, I want to thank Therran for visiting with us, and for sending along the wonderful pictures to go with the interview.

As Therran continues her time as Miss Washington County, I encourage you to check out her Instagram account. It’s a great way to keep track of everything she has going on!

I also definitely want to wish her the best of luck whenever she competes for the Miss Vermont title. It would be wonderful to have another Section 36 visitor wear that crown!

Thanks again Therran, and good luck!

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