WORCESTER, MA – Gabriela Taveras, 23, of Lawrence was selected as Miss Massachusetts 2018 on Saturday, June 30, at the 79th annual Miss Massachusetts Scholarship Pageant. Competing as Miss North Shore, she was chosen from among 27 contestants at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester. Taveras was awarded a $12,000 scholarship, and will compete at the Miss America Pageant in September in Atlantic City, N.J.
“For the first time I was just really calm,” Taveras said about the moment she learned that she had won the competition. “And then when I heard “North Shore”, I was like, “Oh my God, I did it”, because I’m the first woman of color to win the title.”
On competing at Miss America, she said, “Oh, I’m so excited,” (I have) “no idea what to expect because everything’s changed,” after the elimination of the swimsuit competition. “But we’ll figure it out. I can adapt.”
Taveras is a 2017 graduate of Emmanuel College in Boston, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a Concentration in Neuroscience. She was a member of the Dean’s List and received an Emmanuel College Dean’s Scholarship. She is currently employed as an account recruiter at Insight Global where she was named an All-Star Recruiter. An accomplished vocalist, she performed “Stand Up for Love” by Destiny’s Child at the pageant.
During her year of service, she will highlight her platform, “F.E.A.R. – Face Everything and Rise” as well as promoting The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the national platform of the Miss America Organization.
Gabriela is also a 2013 graduate of the Central Catholic High School. She is the daughter of Maria Taveras of Lawrence.
In addition to her $12,000 award, Tavares received a $250.00 Dr. Robert Harney scholarship as a Preliminary Swimsuit Winner. She will also receive gifts and services from numerous pageant sponsors from across the state as part of her prize package.
Other award winners were:
First runner up: Alyssa Maitoza of Dartmouth, Miss Bristol County received a $3250 scholarship. She was also the recipient of the $400.00 Preliminary Talent Award.
- Second runner up: Karen Lynn Yang of Cambridge, competing as Miss Blackstone Valley, received a $2750 scholarship and an additional $400 as a Preliminary Talent Winner. She was also the winner of the Miss America State Academic Scholarship Award of $1000.
· Third runner up: Renée Banks of West Bridgewater, competing as Miss Middleboro, received a $2250 scholarship. Additionally, she received the $250.00 Dr. Robert Harney scholarship as a Preliminary Swimsuit Winner.
- Fourth runner up: Gina Brazao of Scituate, competing as Miss Middlesex County, received a $2000 scholarship.
The rest of the Semi-Finalists received a $500 scholarship:
- Madison Cota of Newton, Miss Boston.
- Amanda Hatcher of Boston, Miss Collegiate Area
- Lyndsey Littlefield of East Taunton, Miss Lakeville
- Caroline Holladay of Hadley, Miss Mayflower
- Aubrie Przybysz of Boston, Miss Nashoba Valley
- Molly Caron of Raynham, Miss Worcester County
- Olivia Marques of New Bedford, Miss Greater Worcester. She was the Online Voting Award Winner.
Other special award winners were:
- Meghan Rubadou of East Taunton, Miss Taunton, was the recipient of the $350 Frederick T. McCarthy Interview Award for having the highest score in the Interview Competition.
- Sara Achorn of Rochester, Miss New Bedford, was the recipient of a $200 scholarship as the Most Talented Non-Finalist. She also was the CMNH Miracle Maker Award Winner and received an additional $300 scholarship.
- Christine Lattouf of Norton, Miss Commonwealth. She was the winner of the Miss America State Community Service Scholarship Award of $1000.00
- Samantha McGraw of Brockton, Miss Central Massachusetts, was the recipient of a $500 Quality of Life scholarship that was sponsored by Jillian Zucco, Miss Massachusetts 2017.
The remaining contestants each awarded a $100 scholarship were:
- Olivia Clark of Westfield, Miss Bay State
- Mackenzie Starnes of Boston, Miss Cambridge
- Sabrina Marie Ponte of North Reading, Miss Cranberry Country
- Kimberly Lim Souza of New Bedford, Miss Fall River
- Chrissy Sardano of Boston, Miss Freedom Trail
- Drew Leonard of Taunton, Miss Old Colony
- June Klemmer of Springfield, Miss Pioneer Valley
- Maude Gorman of Hingham, Miss Plymouth County
- Samantha White of Whitinsville, Miss South Coast
- Meighread Dandeneau of Fairhaven, Miss Wachusett Mountain
- Kenzi Riley of Westfield, Miss Western Massachusetts
About Miss Massachusetts
The Miss Massachusetts Scholarship Pageant is a preliminary to the Miss America Program, one of the nation’s leading achievement programs and the world’s largest provider of scholarship assistance for young women. Last year, the Miss America Organization and its state and local organizations made available more than $45 million in cash and scholarship assistance. For more information, go to www.missmass.org or to Miss Massachusetts MAO on Facebook.