|Michaela Gagne of Fall River is Miss Massachusetts 2006|
Twenty three year old Michaela J. Gagne was named Miss Massachusetts 2006 this past June at the Miss Massachusetts Scholarship Pageant. She received more than $9,000 in scholarships and will compete in September at the Preliminary Competition of the Miss America Pageant in Los Angeles and in January of 2007 at the Finals at a location TBA.
Michaela Gagne is a graduate of Lesley University in Cambridge with Master of Arts Degree in Art Therapy and Mental Health Counseling. She graduated with a 3.9 cumulative G.P.A. She did her undergraduate studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst where she received her B.F.A. in Fine Arts. While at UMASS, Michaela was on the Dean’s List, was a member of the Commonwealth Honors College, and was a UMASS Community Scholar. She completed a Summer Art Program in France and has had her artwork featured in many art gallery exhibitions, including a personal thesis show. After graduation, Michaela traveled to Africa to set up and assist at a medical clinic for villages in the Bukoba region of Tanzania, as well as creating a photo and video documentary.
Michaela was featured on the cover of the UMASS Alumni Magazine and was featured in an article entitled “The Changing Face of Beauty”. She recently completed an internship at her alma mater, B.M.C Durfee High School in Fall River, where she provided crisis and adjustment counseling for students and served a the Assistant Leader for “The Peaceful Coalition”, a group for gang-involved male students. She is employed as an Art Teacher and Residential Counselor at a local youth residential facility. She has also worked as a substitute teacher at the middle and high school levels, and waitresses at a family-owned restaurant/café in Fall River.
As a student at Durfee High School, Michaela was a top scholar-athlete and graduated in the Top 10 of her class of 500 students. She was a three-sport varsity athlete, participating in basketball, soccer and track and field. During her senior year, she was diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome, a genetic cardiac condition that is especially dangerous for athletes because of the way it causes a response to stress on the heart.
Given her experiences with Long QT Syndrome, combined with an exemplary positive outlook relative to a life changing event, Michaela will highlight her platform, Go Red, during her year of service. Michaela has been selected by the American Heart Association of Southern New England to serve as an official spokesperson. Go Red acknowledges heart disease as the number one killer of women and aims to help women be aware of the facts necessary to live a healthier life. Michaela will also continue to make the public aware of sudden arrhythmia death syndromes and their lethality, and she will advocate making the existence of Automated Cardiac Defibrillators (AED’s) mandatory in public schools throughout Massachusetts.
For her talent presentation, Michaela performs jazz vocal.
After completing her year of service as Miss Massachusetts, Michaela plans to become a School Adjustment/Crisis Counselor. She plans to obtain her license for Mental Heath Counseling and School Adjustment Counselor as well as becoming a Registered Art Therapist.
Michaela is a resident of Fall River. She is the daughter of Ron and Denise Gagne and has one sibling, Rachel Valente.