Friday, April 27, 2018

Meghan Sinisi visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Meghan Sinisi is a talented twirler, an all-around baseball fan, and the current Miss Laurel Highlands.
Photo by Two20Studios
I'm so glad that she 
agreed to visit with us as the first titleholder to visit from the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I'm sure you'll love what she has to say!

So, let’s see what happens when Meghan Sinisi visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Laurel Highlands title?​ 
My family, close friends and I have an unspoken tradition for celebrating after pageants, and if you know me, it wouldn’t surprise you one bit (I LOVE food!). We always head to the nearest Applebee’s, and I celebrate by treating myself to some really yummy fried foods that I have taken a break from while preparing for the Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit competition. At the Miss Laurel Highlands pageant, I won the Lifestyle and Fitness in Swimsuit award for my first time ever in a pageant, so I was extremely happy, but knew I had to reward myself for my hard work. Spiritually, though, I celebrate by thanking God for the opportunity He has given me to make a difference in the lives of others. I accredit a lot of my success to my faith in the Lord and I thank Him daily.

After winning a few MAO titles in New York, how did it feel to win a crown in your home state of Pennsylvania? 
Photo by Mrs C Photography
Since I attended Syracuse University in New York, but my permanent residence was in Pennsylvania, I was technically eligible to compete in either NY or PA. When I first got involved, I debated on which state to compete in: the one I was born and raised in, or the one where I was a full-time student. Ultimately, I came to the decision that I wanted to represent a title and a place where I could make the most impact. Since I was in NY studying for 9 months out of the year, that made the most logical sense for me. I had an incredible 3 years serving as a local titleholder in NY and it introduced me to many people and places that I otherwise would never have experienced as a normal, every day student at Syracuse. NY and its people became my home away from home. However, when I decided to finally compete back in PA after graduating, I knew it would be something really special. I was asked in my interview at Miss Laurel Highlands, that if I was so successful in NY, why Miss Pennsylvania
now? There is no feeling to describe the honor of representing the community that raised me. So far, it has been nothing short of incredibly rewarding in so many different ways. After winning a crown in my home state, I’ve had an overwhelming feeling that there was a reason God only let me be as successful as I was while competing for Miss NY. I firmly believe that He has a plan greater than anything I can imagine and that everything happens for a reason, but I never believed in it more than I do now after winning Miss Laurel Highlands. It has been a dream come true and it is extremely humbling to see and feel all of the support from the people who have watched me grow up throughout the years.

What lessons have you learned from past pageant experiences that will help you at the Miss Pennsylvania competition?​ 
I have learned so much and am so grateful for every little part of my pageant experiences. I absolutely would not be the person that I am today without this organization and all of the experiences it has awarded me. I’ve learned about mentoring and leadership through the people who have adopted me as their own and dedicate so much of their time to helping me achieve my goals. I have learned what it means to be a servant in my community for causes that affect a wide-range of people of all ages and from all walks of life. I have learned the value of honesty and integrity, to uphold good standards, and the importance to serve as a positive role model for others in my community. I have learned to love myself for who I am,
and that it is so silly to compare yourself to your competitors when every single young woman has something so special, unique, and valuable to contribute to this organization. I have learned time management, but to also make time to have fun even when working tirelessly towards your goals. Most importantly, I’ve learned that if you have a dream or a vision, no one else will make that happen other than yourself, because, “Dreams don’t work unless you do”.

How did you select your platform, “From a new Perspective - Inspiring Autism Acceptance”?​ 
In my senior year of high school, I was crowned Homecoming Queen. After winning, I knew I wanted to do something special with the crown, so I asked my aunt who worked for the school if I could
visit the special education department and share my experience with the students. I met a young man that day who had autism, but in that moment, I realized how little I actually knew about the disorder. I gained an interest in learning about autism and disabilities, and eventually I chose a major and career path that would allow me to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities (I’d like to be a Speech-Language Pathologist). When I decided to compete for my first local pageant and had to choose a cause to promote as my platform, it was a no-brainer that I start advocating for autism awareness. Back then, my platform was titled “Different Pieces to the Same Puzzle”, but as I have learned more about the disorder and adopted new viewpoints and opinions about how those who have it should be treated and talked about, I changed the name to “From a New Perspective” and I decided that it was more important for me to advocate for acceptance of autism. I, myself, went through a transformation of ideas about autism, and I hope to inspire others to go through a similar transformation as well to become more accepting, caring and compassionate towards their peers who may have autism.

You were the featured baton twirler for Syracuse University. Does that experience make your baton talent performance less stressful at pageants?​ 
I have always loved the adrenaline I feel when performing, no matter what type of performance it is, but I definitely do get more nervous performing on a stage at pageants. A majority of my
experiences performing have been on football fields or basketball courts, so, believe it or not, it’s less stressful for me to perform in those types of venues, even though there may be thousands more people watching. When performing on a stage, there is much more to worry about for twirlers because of the height of the ceiling, the lights hanging above, and the audience (and judges) being much closer. Although I do get more nervous when I perform in pageants, twirling has been a passion of mine since I was just 3 years old, so I’m just thankful to be involved in an organization that allows me the opportunity to continue performing for others.

Fun Fact:​ I performed on the 50 yard line during the pregame show
at Super Bowl XLVIII with the Syracuse University Marching Band and the Rutgers University Marching Band. This was in 2014 when it was held at MetLife Stadium.

You had an exciting trip to the 2016 Final Four. What do you remember from that experience?​ 
Oh my gosh, SOOO much happened on my trip to the Final Four. It all began when I watched our team win the Sweet Sixteen. After that win, I instantly texted my friend Lorna (also a Syracuse Alum) and told her “If we make it, I want to perform at the Final Four”. Now... If you’ve met me, you would probably pin me as “overly-
ambitious”, but I was very determined to try to make it happen, especially since Syracuse took themselves out of the eligibility for the tournament the year before. I knew this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity - AND I was the current Miss Syracuse at the time, so how more perfect does it get? After talking with the band director, the athletic department, other student-athletes and A LOT of research, I found that there are extremely strict NCAA rules for the number of athletes/spirit team members that are allowed on the court at a time, and since I wasn’t considered part of athletics, the spirit team, or Sitrus Society (Syracuse’s pep-band), I wasn’t included in the roster to go or perform. After that, someone actually started a petition to get me to perform as the Orange Girl at the Final Four. I didn’t get the OK, but I still I ended up boarding a school-provided bus on a 31 hour bus ride to Houston, Texas. I was also asked by Syracuse local newspaper - The Post-Standard to cover the student experience as their Social Media Correspondent for the Final Four. My friends and hundreds of other students camped out outside the library to get the limited tickets for the bus, loaded the buses, and 31 hours later, we finally arrived in Houston around 4:30am the day of the Final Four Game. I only got about one hour of sleep, then I was back up to
twirl in the Lone Star Veteran’s Association Final Four 4 Miler Race. There, I met a Syracuse Alum who was the first woman to finish the race that day, a former titleholder from the MAO, and I performed on the concourse in Downtown Houston after the race. So I ALMOST performed at the Final Four (lol). At the game, the students waiting to sit in the student section were asked to stand behind a gate until the Oklahoma vs. Villanova game was over. Once their student sections cleared out, the ushers opened the gates, and it was literally mass hysteria while students sprinted to get seats closest to the court. I was wearing my Miss Syracuse sash, so fortunately some really kind fellow Orange students let me move to the front of the student section right behind the basket, which was just incredible. At one point, Vice President Joe Biden walked by with his secret service
team and was giving out some high-fives as he walked by. I wasn’t expecting for anything to happen, so I just had my phone out to record him walking by. As he was passing me and giving me a high five, he spotted my sash, took my phone out of my hand and turned it around to take a selfie. COOLEST MOMENT OF MY LIFE... and an epic picture, at that. The rest of the game was unbelievable and I just couldn’t even believe that I was actually there to support our team. Although I was disappointed that I didn’t have a chance to perform, in the end I was so happy to have that experience as a fan and a student. I didn’t get many moments like that throughout my time at Syracuse, because I was always on the move and performing at different events on campus. I never really had a moment to just sit back and enjoy them. It was probably the most exciting trip I have ever made in my life, and SO worth spending 62 total hours on a bus traveling half-way across the country! It was also really neat because NRG Stadium, formerly Reliant Stadium, is where the Final Four was held, and that is also where I performed with the “Pride of the Orange” Syracuse University Marching Band when our football team played in the Texas Bowl against Minnesota my Freshman year (2014).

You grew up in Altoona, PA, home of the Altoona Curve. Red Sox all-star Brock Holt spent a few seasons there. Do you remember seeing him, or any other stars, play in Altoona? 
​I don’t remember Brock Holt so much, but I do remember Andrew McCutchen and Josh Bell playing for the Curve and going on to play for the Pirates - I’m SOOOO sad that McCutchen is with the Giants now :( . Going to Curve games was always one of my favorite things to do in the summer while I was growing up, and it continues to be my favorite today. I’ve watched my brothers play on the same field at the minor league ball-park throughout their high school careers, too, which makes it even more special. It’s pretty amazing to go to these games every summer right here in my home town and watch the players work so hard toward their dream of developing a professional career and making it to the big leagues. You get to see a lot of really talented athletes get their start and I think that’s pretty awesome.
Fun fact​: There is also a Minor League team for the Washington Nationals in Syracuse - The Syracuse Chiefs. I’ve performed fire baton at multiple Chiefs games before they would set off the fireworks after the game, and I even threw the first pitch at a game last summer. These were some of the coolest performances because there normally isn’t a lot of opportunity to twirl fire because of safety regulations in certain venues, but it’s my favorite type of performance!

Who is your favorite current Red Sox player?​ Why?​ 
I’d probably have to say Dustin Pedroia. He’s a great athlete and since my brother played second base throughout college, that’s always a position I’m watching closely.

What about the upcoming 2018 baseball season excites you the most?​ 

Since I went to college out of state for the past four years, I’m
really looking forward to finally being back in PA for a summer so that I can make it to more Pirates games at PNC. I’m privileged to live so close to one of the most scenic baseball stadiums in Major League Baseball and I absolutely love the atmosphere in Pittsburgh on gameday, especially while walking over to get to the stadium and seeing the streets flooded with black and gold. It gets you so hyped up to watch the team.


A flood of black and gold at PNC must be quite a sight!

As always, I want to thank Meghan for visiting. It was clear she had lots of great things to talk about! I also don't think I've every had so many pictures that went along perfectly with the questions, so I want to give her a big thanks for sending them along!

As Meghan continues her time as Miss Laurel Highlands, I encourage you to follow her on their official Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter. Also be sure to check out her official Children's Miracle Network donation page! Of course, she also has personal accounts I highly suggest you check out. Her Instagram and Twitter accounts will let you keep track of her this year, and beyond. She also has her own website to help you follow along with everything she does!

And, of course, I want to wish Meghan luck when she competes for the Miss Pennsylvania crown. She could become the first Miss Pennsylvania to have visited Section 36!

Thanks again Meghan, and good luck!


  1. Cute interview! Maybe sprinkle some of the baseball in at the beginning though! I really enjoyed what she had to say about the minor league teams and PNC Park (which is on my MUST VISIT LIST! I dont have to go to every single park but places like PNC and Dodger Stadium are huge - got to cross off Dodger Stadium in 2015. Sonny Gray pitched a 2-hit shutout! It was awesome and I love the atmosphere there and they have a hella bomb beer selection! LOL!) But back to my point. When you put all tge pagent stuff in at the beginning .. it starts to bore your readers. I started scrollng (no offense!) at one point wondering if you two were ever going to get to baseball. I know it wont be easy to make the interview streamlined and not feel like you are jumping from topic to topic but as a baseball blog it needs to have some baseball early on bc I began to lose interest. I know you tho (well, kinda) and have read your stuff which is always great so I knew you'd get around to it eventually, but if I were a ramdom reader, I might not have stuck around long enough to get to the baseball part - and she had some really great answers. It was worth the wait but maybe try & get it in earlier tho! Only a thought as it was how I felt reading it ... still a fun piece!(how in the world do you get all these pagent winners to come to Section 36 anyway!?? LOL!) If 🤞 I make it to Fenway one day I have no doubt where Im going to try to sit!! #Section36! 😊

    1. Geez! That was hella long! Sorry! 😶

    2. Thanks for reading! I appreciate the kind words, and for being given the benefit of the doubt that you would enjoy the post if you kept reading!

      I have, in the past, mixed up the questions a bit. But, as you mentioned, the interview seemed to be choppy jumping from topic to topic. Plus, putting the baseball stuff at the end got you to scroll all the way to the end. 😀 I also think that the most important part of the interview is the titleholder herself, and the wonderful things she’s doing, so I like to start with those. But, I can try to mix it up a bit in the future for you. 👍

      In this case “visits” refers to visiting the blog, and not actually getting to Fenway Park. (Although several of them have been in Section 36 at one point or another) So far it’s required asking nicely to arrange an interview. 😀

      Thanks again for your thoughts!


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