Once upon a time, before I was Miss Massachusetts, I wore the Miss Cambridge crown. Last weekend, I passed on that title to another lucky lady, Miss Emily Thomas! Both Miss Boston and Miss Cambridge will represent the Miss Boston Scholarship Organization and the metro-Boston community at the Miss Massachusetts pageant in July. Statistically, Miss Cambridge has a pretty solid track-record at the statewide competition. Emily was kind enough to chat with me about her new title and plans for her upcoming year of service. She is in for the experience of a lifetime!
How did it feel to hear your name called out for the title of Miss Cambridge?
It's a split second moment that is almost surreal but filled with so much excitement. I've always looked up to the Miss Boston/Cambridge Organization and it's an honor to be able to follow formers like you* who have had such success with the title. The shock is still setting in.
* I did not pay Emily to say this.
Where are you originally from and do you have any ties to Cambridge?
I'm originally from Bridgewater MA and while I don't really have any ties to Cambridge, the first time I ever rode the T by myself was going into Cambridge to meet up with a friend to see a concert. Happy to say I didn't get lost, and mastering that will definitely come in handy this year!
What is your platform and how do you plan on sharing it through the Cambridge community?
My platform is "From STEM to STEAM: Incorporating Arts into Science Education". It's kind of a mouthful, but its all about changing the way we treat the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects in schools. STEM becomes STEAM when you add art to the curriculum so that students can use the STEM content to creatively solve problems and answer real life questions. It's a much more practical way to look at the subject and what I live and breath everyday as a science teacher. I want to reach out to local school districts in the Boston and Cambridge area and work with students on STEAM based activities.
Not only did you win the title of Miss Cambridge, but you also won the talent award, a Stem scholarship and the Winifred McGarry Public Service Award; a total of $2450 in scholarships (almost 1/3 of what the entire pageant awarded!) What are your school plans?
I'm fortunate enough to be enrolled in a fellowship program that pays for my Masters degree while I dedicate my time teaching at a local high school. However, there are still undergraduate loans to take care of. I also hope to use some of the money towards my fourth and final MTEL exam (Massachusetts Test for Educator Licensure). This last one will qualify me for a second teaching license in Moderate Disabilities, my first one is in high school Chemistry.
You looked great in swimsuit (excuse me…"Lifestyle & Fitness”).
What was the first thing you ate after you won?
Buffalo Chicken tenders. I really don't know why I was craving that so much. It was extremely satisfying. And thank you!
What is an interesting fact that some people might not know about you?
I have two sisters. Grace is my younger sister and a freshman at Merrimack. She plays on the soccer team there. Amanda is my older sister and is also considered "royalty" because she was crowned Miss Inspirational last year. The Thomas sisters are a pretty talented group, and they both mean the world to me.
Tell me a joke.
I would try to tell you a Chemistry joke but all the good ones Argon.
Who is your favorite Miss America and why? (I’d ask you who your favorite Miss Massachusetts is, but I think I already know the answer to that one)
I'd have to say Nina Davuluri, Miss America 2014. She did a lot of work promoting her platform which was all about embracing diversity and respecting other cultures. She also worked to promote STEM education especially among women, which I think is really important.
You're pretty tall (which is why you had to squat so low during crowning).
Tell me about the pros and cons of being tall. #CantRelate
Being tall has its perks, like always being able to reach things, but it's not all it's cracked up to be. For one thing, pageants are one of the only times I feel comfortable wearing super high heels because otherwise I feel like a giant. Another con has to do with my hands. In case you didn't notice (it's pretty obvious if you go back and look at the pictures from crowning), my hands are purple almost 24/7 in the winter. Its from an autoimmune disease called Reynauds that's more common in people who are tall because it's harder for the blood to flow to the extremities, especially when it's cold. I get a lot of weird looks.
Here's something people might not realize we have in common; we're both Lebanese!What’s your favorite Lebanese food?
Lebanese food is the best! It's hard to choose, my lunch often consists of hummus, tabouli, and grape leaves, but my favorite is definitely homemade Mujedra. It's not something you can order or find in store, but more of a traditional dish made at home. It's made of onions, rice, and lentils and is amazing. My dad makes it the best.
Did you watch the Patriots win the Superbowl or were you so exhausted that you went right to sleep after you got home from the pageant?
Happy to say I did manage to stay awake to watch the end of the Super Bowl and I'm glad I did!
Is there a Mr. Cambridge? Is he an official "pageant-boyfriend" yet?
There for sure is a Mr. Cambridge and although he'll never admit it, he has become totally engrossed in the pageant world. Connor is super supportive and has made it to every single pageant I've competed in and is always the first one to offer me constructive feedback. He totally gets what it takes to be a titleholder and respects all the hard work that goes into competing. He's also way taller than me, which solves the whole high heels problem I mentioned earlier.
To follow Emily's journey to Miss Massachusetts and her year as Miss Cambridge, check out her official Facebook and Instagram pages. Can't wait to see you on the Miss Massachusetts stage in July, Emily!