Friday, June 18, 2021

Lily Jeswald Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Lily Jeswald is passionate about stopping the diabetes stigma, a talented singer, and the current Miss Commonwealth. I was thrilled that she wanted to visit with us to discuss those topics, and a few more.

So, let's see what happens when Lily Jeswald visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate winning the Miss Commonwealth crown?
After all the hugs, photos and my mom running onstage WHILE I was being crowned, I threw off my gown and headed straight to the Cheesecake Factory with my mom, Kim and my boyfriend, Jake. During the Fettuccine Alfredo and Chocolate Cake, I discovered our waitress was actually related to Miss Massachusetts, Lynsdsey Littlefield! So funny how worlds collide. 

What did you learn about yourself at the Miss Commonwealth competition that will help when you compete for Miss Massachusetts? 
I learned how important it is to be my true, genuine self.
Through all the stress of competing, it's hard not to belittle yourself for not being like the girls around you. I am so grateful that as I've grown up, I've been able to hold my own, while still keeping my bubbly personality. 

Is there a specific goal you’d like to accomplish during your time as Miss Commonwealth?
As Miss Commonwealth, my number one goal is to give back to my community. When I was younger, I studied at the Burtwood School of Performing Arts in Middleboro, where many of the Miss America Organization girls studied public speaking, and so as you can imagine, my dream was always to be one of the girls with the 'sparkly hats'. Once I started competing in the Miss Massachusetts Outstanding Teen program, I realized being a titleholder meant a lot more than wearing gowns and singing onstage. It required the women who competed to be well-rounded, well spoken members of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, who continuously gave back to their community. I am so excited to get started - next week I will be singing the national anthem at the Veteran's Day event in Middleboro, MA to kickoff my start of appearances as Miss Commonwealth.

How did you select your social impact initiative, “Type 1 Diabetes and Me: Generation Z”?
I live my social impact initiative. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at the age of four, and now seventeen years later, I wear both an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitor. As a child, there were not many kids like me, so I sought out to find them. Did you know there's over 600,000 people right now in Massachusetts alone who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes? This is an underrepresented group, and as Miss Commonwealth my goal is to be their representative at Miss Massachusetts. I like to say the phrase "Just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there". With all chronic illnesses there are two immediate reactions: "Can I catch it?" or "You poor thing". I'm here to stop the stigma and to show children and adults alike that people with T1D can be successful in whatever they wish to do, despite their medical condition.

As a talented singer, what do you enjoy most about performing on stage?
I was a shy kid, but I always loved singing. My pure love for
Photo by Peter Camyre

Disney movies kickstarted my love of musical theatre. The most thrilling experience of performing onstage is the fact that it is always different. I have performed both onstage and on film, and nothing is more nerve wracking than the idea that something could go wrong - at any time. There will never be this exact show again. People will sing the same lyrics all over the world - but no one will tell the story the same way again. 

How would you finish the sentence, “I get great satisfaction when ___”?
I get great satisfaction when I... eat ice cream? Just kidding. (Not really :) ). I think the most satisfying piece of my education so far has been directing and teaching. I am a current double major in both theatre and english at Dean College in Franklin, MA. Seeing one of my students or performers have a breakthrough is the best moment for me. When a student works hard week after week after week and one day - it just 'clicks'. That makes the hours of teaching worthwhile. 

If you could be a Disney character for a week, who would you choose? Why?
I am the biggest Disney nerd around. I would love to think that Cinderella's castle is my second home! I would have to swap places with Ariel from The Little Mermaid. My childhood dream of being a singing mermaid would finally come true - and having Flounder as my sidekick would be the icing on top of the cake.

If you had an extra ticket to a Red Sox game, who would you take with you? Why?
I have never been to a Red Sox game - so I'd have to take my brother Ricky with me to show me the ropes. He is the sports sibling - I'm the musical sibling. 

Is there a feature or activity at a Red Sox game that you’d especially like to experience?
I want to throw the first pitch as Miss Commonwealth! I would LOVE to sing the national anthem at a Red Sox game and start the game off - I did sing at New York Fashion Week last year - so I'm fully qualified! :) 


Yup. Most definitely qualified!

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

I encourage you to follow Lily on her title's Facebook and Instagram accounts, as well as her personal Facebook and Instagram, and the Facebook and Instagram accounts for her social impact. So many ways to keep track of everything she has going on!

I also definitely want to wish her the best of luck when she competes for the Miss Massachusetts title. It would be wonderful to have another Section 36 visitor wear that crown!
Thanks again Lily, and good luck!

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