Section 36 has another visitor! Gabriela Taveras is a former wrestler, a Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Massachusetts. Eventhought she’s busy trying to get ready to compete for Miss America, she was willing to take the time to visit with us and answer questions on those topics, and a few more. You’re going to love what she had to say!
So, let’s see what happens when Gabriela Taveras visits Section 36!
How did you celebrate winning the Miss Massachusetts crown?
As boring as it sounds, I celebrated by finally sleeping! Between working my full-time job as a professional recruiter and preparing for the competition (which is a full-time job on its own) I had to sacrifice sleep most days to make sure that everything was done the right way. It was of course a small sacrifice to make considering the outcome!
What did you learn about yourself at the Miss Massachusetts competition that will help you at Miss America?
I learned that I am more of myself than I ever have been in my life. I read often and a common theme I seem to find in the books I am drawn to is this theory that when you are in the right place and on the right path to your "personal legend", you have a sense of peace within yourself. Every time I stepped on the stage, I had a wave of peace that would overcome me. I didn't feel this because I thought I was going to win, but because I knew that I was truly being myself and I didn't care what anyone else thought of me. It may have taken me 23 years to get to this point, but I'm so glad that I finally made it!
What aspect of the Miss America competition are you most excited about?
So many things! I am excited to be a part of the first class to experience Miss America 2.0 because nobody knows who she will be. This leaves plenty of room for your imagination to wander and to revel in the unknown! I'm also excited to get to know the other women competing more because all we do is post embarrassing pictures of ourselves in the group so I think that's a good indicator that we are going to have a lot of fun and make the most of everything we do!
How did you select your platform, “Face Everything and Rise - F.E.A.R.”?
As cliche as it sounds, it stems from my life. I have overcome losing a friend to gang and gun violence, sexual assault, growing up in poverty, coming from a single parent household, and being the child of an incarcerated parent to name a few things. Typically you may see some of these things happen to one person, but I experienced them throughout my life! Many people tend to ask "How did you overcome all of that?" and the answer isn't simple. First, God. Second, I had an undying drive to fight for my life because I knew I had to actually fight for it. Lastly, I always knew that there was a light at the end of the tunnel - I just had to stay focused on it. I found the people and help that I needed, I was honest with myself (even when it wasn’t easy), and I didn’t give up even when others told me to because there were many people who did. I hope to change the definition of the word fear from something that scares us to something that empowers us. Now I boldly walk in the direction of things that scare me most because I know that I will be stronger and better after it all.
What is your favorite part about singing on stage?
My mom was a professional singer and I had the opportunity to watch her as she embarked on her music career as a child. She eventually gave it up because of life circumstances plus she had children; therefore, whenever I have the chance to sing I always feel like I’m doing it for the both of us. It’s the greatest and most indescribable feeling in the world!
I’m pretty sure you’re the first interviewee I’ve had with a background in high school wrestling? What was that experience like?
I definitely am a rare breed of human, but I loved being on thewrestling team! My uncle was a quarterback when he was in high school and I remember asking to be a member of the football team, but I was told that I couldn't because I would get "hurt" (thankfully now there are so many amazing young women on football teams now). Naturally, I didn’t give up and looked for other opportunities and that’s when I found wrestling! It was something that was untraditional, but it forced me to work smarter not necessarily harder. The number one thing I learned from wrestling was that it doesn’t matter your size - what matters is your ability to be 3 steps ahead of your competitor. I think this is a great sport for young women to join because it teaches them that regardless of their size, they can do anything and take any guy down - the largest one I took down was 180lbs!
Who is your favorite current Red Sox player?
Mookie for sure, but lets be real - the GOAT of the Red Sox is hands down David Ortiz!
Which feature/aspect of Fenway Park would you most like to experience?
I'm not sure it's a feature/aspect, but I would love to be sing the national anthem at Fenway Park and maybe even throw the first pitch!
How will the Sox finish the 2018 season?
WINNING OF COURSE!
Obviously, I think she’s absolutely right!
As usual, I want to give huge thanks to Gabriela for doing this interview, especially so close to competing for Miss America.
As Gabriela continues her time as Miss Massachusetts, I encourage you to follow her on the official Miss Massachusetts social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.
I also absolutely want to wish Gabriela luck as she competes for the Miss America crown in just over a week! Once again there will be several Section 36 visitors gracing the stage in Atlantic City. It would be incredible to have her take home the title!
Thanks again Gabriela, and good luck!