Rachel Michelle-Marie Perry of New Bedford, a 17-year old junior at Old Rochester Regional High School, was named Miss Massachusetts’ Outstanding Teen 2019. The 20th annual pageant was held on Sunday, April 7at the Keith Middle School in New Bedford. Fourteen contestants from across the Commonwealth competed for the title and $6,800 was awarded to the contestants in scholarships. Jordan St. Onge of Acushnet, the outgoing titleholder, crowned her successor before a crowd of almost 400 attendees.
Perry, who competed as an At-Large contestant, will compete at the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen pageant in July in Orlando, Fla. As Miss Massachusetts’ Outstanding Teen, she will receive $3,000 in scholarships and various awards and gifts from pageant sponsors. At the national pageant, she will win a minimum of a $1,000 scholarship with the opportunity to compete for thousands more. Perry will dedicate her year of service to her personal platform, “Healing Song: The Power of Music to Restore the Brain”, which promotes the use of music therapy with sports and recreation-related concussion patients, mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) patients, and individuals with dementia and Alzheimers. Rachel is currently working with her school nurse to develop a program to provide music therapy as a treatment for concussions. She has presented on this topic to various state-wide groups, including the Massachusetts Medical Assistants Association. In addition to the $3,000 scholarship for placing first, she received an additional $300 in scholarships for winning the Overall Talent Award, Scholastic Award, and Evening Wear/On Stage Question Award. She will also promote the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen’s national platform, the Children’s Miracle Network. At the state competition, the 14 contestants collectively raised over $12,000 for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and the designated state hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital.
At Old Rochester High, Rachel is currently ranked first in her class and is enrolled in all Honors and 4 Advanced Placement courses. She is a member of the National Honor Society and as a dual enrollment student, has a 4.0 GPA in her college courses. She is a National Merit Semifinalist and is on the dean’s list. Rachel has been accepted to Cornell University as a junior, but will defer entry until the fall of 2020 in order to fulfill her obligations as Miss Massachusetts’ Outstanding Teen. Her accomplishments outside of the classroom are many. She is a multi-sport athlete, member of the Student Council, active in St. John Neuman’s parish. She has also produced and performed musical productions at many local nursing facilities throughout the Greater New Bedford Area. An accomplished musician, Rachel plays twelve instruments. She is the daughter of Deborah and Mark Perry of New Bedford. For the talent portion of the competition, she performed an energetic and entertaining Rock Fiddle performance to Aerosmith’s Walk This Way.