|Photo Anthony Panzino|
So, let's see what happens when Maria Cade visits Section 36!
How did you celebrate winning the Miss Central Pennsylvania crown?
After earning the job of Miss Central Pennsylvania, I celebrated with my family! My mom, grandmother, and cousin drove over three hours to watch the competition. I was so grateful that they could be there for that moment! We shared so many hugs and then spent the evening at dinner celebrating the day!
What part of the upcoming Miss Pennsylvania competition are you most nervous about?
I wouldn't say I'm nervous, but I have been putting a lot of time into preparing for this year's talent portion. I am a classical vocalist and studied vocal performance while attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This year, I will be performing an Italian aria that has pushed my vocal abilities to the limit, both technically and emotionally. To me, feeling butterflies in your stomach before any event means that you care, so I like to view any "nerves" before a performance in a positive light. I can't wait to perform my talent for everyone this year and showcase what I've been working on!
What’s something Meghan Sinisi is doing as Miss Pennsylvania that you would like to emulate?
I feel very fortunate that I was able to spend last year's Miss Pennsylvania week right next to Meghan, as we were number 7 and number 8 in the lineup! Watching her shine as Miss Pennsylvania and serve the commonwealth with such grace has been a joy. I most admire her tenacity and dedication to service. If there was an event in the state, chances are Meghan was there. If chosen as her successor, I hope to continue this level of excellence she has demonstrated throughout her year.
How did you select your social impact initiative, “Be V.I.S.I.B.L.E”?
Growing up in a small community, I often struggled with the idea of belonging because I come from a different background than most in my town. My mom is Italian and my dad is Taiwanese. I often grappled with embracing all parts of my identity, in my personal and professional life. It wasn't until my senior year of college when I met a Journalism professor who was also Taiwanese, that I truly felt like I could succeed as a journalist. Now more than ever, it is vital that our youth feel represented no matter who they are or where they come from. I chose my SII after realizing the importance of seeing representation in all areas. How can a child imagine that they can do something without visually seeing someone like them do it first? I want every child to know that no matter who you are or where you come from, your success is only limited by the depths of your imagination.
What do you enjoy about performing your talent on stage?
I am always up for a challenge, so when choosing a song for my talent, I knew I wanted something that would demonstrate technical complexity while also showcasing my vocal strengths. I most enjoy bringing a sense of drama to the stage. As someone who grew up performing in musicals, I love to embody characters who are unlike myself and create a shared experience with the audience. To me, there is no thrill quite like a live performance, and I love getting to have a hand in that during the talent portion.
You’re working as a reporter for WTAJ. What do you enjoy about that field?
I am currently a multimedia reporter at WTAJ, which means Ipitch stories, conduct interviews, write the scripts, film video footage, edit the b-roll and write the web stories! It's a lot of work but I love that every day is different. When I wake up, for the most part, I never know what exciting adventures I will be going on for the day. I also enjoy getting to be in the community and meet the people of Central Pennsylvania. I am often traveling between six different counties for stories on any given week, so it has been a joy to tell the stories of community members across Central Pennsylvania.
If you could be a Disney character for a week, who would you choose? Why?
I am a HUGE Disney fan, and even worked for the company as a Disney Professional Intern for ABC News. If I could be any character for a week I would be Ariel. She is my favorite Disney princess and is a singer like me! I would also love to explore the underwater city of Atlantica where she is from.
If you had an extra ticket to a Pittsburgh Pirates game, who would you take with you? Why?
I would bring my grandpa! Every summer for Father's Day, my family treats him to a Pirates game in June. He loves the atmosphere of baseball games and also spends a lot of time watching my younger brothers play. It's always a great day getting to spend time with him at a game.
Is there a feature or activity at a baseball game that you’d especially like to experience?
As a singer, I would love to sing the National Anthem at a Pirates Game one day! It's a challenging song, but it would be an honor to perform at PNC Park! Also, for a Pittsburgh-specific event, I would love to run with the pierogis in the Pierogi race!
As always, I want to thank Maria for visiting with us, and for sending along the pictures to go with the interview.
I also want to wish her luck when she competes for Miss Pennsylvania! It would be fantastic to have another Section 36 Forever wear that crown.
I'm sure you'd like to follow along with Maria during her journey as Miss Central Pennsylvania. You should be sure to check out her title's Instagram account as well as her personal social media (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter). They're great ways to keep track of everything she has going on.
Thanks again Maria, and good luck!