Miss Massachutsetts Gabriela Taveras, 23, won a $1000 scholarship for her onstage and private judges’ interview. On stage, Taveras explained how, if given the opportunity to travel abroad as Miss America, she would represent the country during the new onstage question category.
“When I have gone abroad, the one thing I always want [the locals] to know is that we, as Americans, are supporting them and we are there to help them,” citing several mission trips she has taken overseas, “it’s allow me to show them the values of being American”.
Taveras also was one of the three candidates who won a $5000 STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering Math scholarship.
She has a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Emmanuel College in Boston and has lofty ambitions to earn a Master’s degree in International Relations and Business Administration and possibly work towards a Ph.D.
During a night of talents featuring speed painting, clogging, jazz dancing and ventriloquism, her rendition of “That’s Life” by Frank Sinatra helped Miss Indiana Lydia Tremaine, 20, win the $2000 preliminary talent scholarship.
Coming from a musical family, Tremaine said she’s been singing her whole life, but her passion is music education and plans to teach at the middle school level.
Past Miss Americas 1994 Kim Aiken and 1969 Judith Ford were celebrated on stage for their milestone anniversaries. Aiken, who was not in attendance, has her Miss America year highlighted with a video tribute featuring her powerful vocal talent performance of “Summertime” and her crowning moment, while Miss America 1969 Judith Ford talked about performing her “too masculine” talent, a trampoline routine in Boardwalk Hall 50 years ago.