Within the last year, Maude Gorman ’17 won the Miss Massachusetts World America crown and placed in the top ten of the pageant when she represented the Commonwealth at the national level in Washington, D.C. during the summer. With such success comes a high public profile, which Gorman has been using to advocate for victims of sexual assault, spreading awareness and supporting survivors.
When Gorman, 21, addresses the topic of sexual assault, she does so based on personal experience. In her early teens, she was assaulted and raped by three young men in a public playground. Painful, difficult years followed and Gorman speaks candidly about those struggles, which prompts her to reach out to others who face the same challenges that she experienced.
Guided by the theme of Beauty with a Purpose, today she is a certified rape crisis counselor and medical advocate. In August, at the National Organization for Victim Assistance, she spoke on the importance of youth advocacy outreach. A youth ambassador with the Center for Hope and Healing in Lowell, Gorman addressed that city’s Take Back the Night Rally earlier in the year.
In addition to those and other outreach projects, she is working with the state advisory council established by Governor Charlie Baker and led by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito to enhance measures preventing sexual assault and domestic violence. In April, for her outreach, Gorman will receive the Future Leaders Award from the Massachusetts Office for Victims Assistance and Advocacy.
Away from advocacy, Gorman enjoys snowboarding, playing the piano and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. For her, “kindness is the most important thing in this harsh world.”