You know the story: Harvard graduate, poised for success, becomes a doctor, lawyer, president, CEO.
But here’s something you don’t see every day.
Galler Rabinowitz, a former professional figure skater, poet (under the mentorship of Pulitzer Prize-winning Jorie Graham), and future medical student, said she decided to enter the Miss Massachusetts competition at the urging of Michelle Hantman, Miss Massachusetts 2000.
Hantman “suggested that the Miss America Organization would be a good fit for me, given my commitment to academics and public service,” recalled Galler Rabinowitz, who will head to Las Vegas in January to compete for the national title. “Additionally, the scholarship opportunities available through the program are extraordinary — particularly through the Allman Scholarship, which is specifically for students accepted at or attending medical school.”
The Miss America Organization is the largest provider of academic scholarships to young women in the world. As Miss Massachusetts, Galler Rabinowitz received $8,000 in scholarships, and another $250 for winning the talent portion of the competition. (She is also a classically trained pianist.) The winner of the Miss America title receives a $50,000 academic scholarship.
“As Miss Massachusetts, I have committed my year to charity work and public service,” said Galler Rabinowitz, who as a Harvard undergrad often woke at 5 a.m. to give youth skating lessons and tutor college-bound students. “In addition to doing appearances at events across the state, I’ll also be working to promote Miss America’s national platform, the Children’s Miracle Network, which raises funds for the medical treatment of nearly 17 million children annually.”
Galler Rabinowitz, who was raised in Brookline, Mass., and in Barbados, will return to the island country where her mother runs a malnutrition center for children “to promote my personal platform, fighting childhood hunger, based on the research work I have done at my mother’s center.”
As part of her time in Barbados, Galler Rabinowitz, who was awarded one of the English Department’s Le Baron Briggs Traveling Prizes for her humanitarian work and poetry, plans on furthering her writing and working at the Barbados Nutrition Center.
“I’m also hoping to once again teach creative writing in a shelter for abused women and children, where I volunteered last summer.”
“Thinking big,” Galler Rabinowitz said, was the most important thing she learned at Harvard.
“This is an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to use my voice to effect social change,” she said. “I’m looking forward to raising funds and awareness for children in need and talking to students across the state about what it means to be successful. To me, it’s getting to do something you’re passionate about every single day, and making the world around you a better place in the process.”