• Diana

Hello Rochester: Mary Therese Friel, LLC

Mary Therese Friel is the wner of the Mary Therese Friel Modeling Agency. She works with students to achieve whatever their dreams are. From modeling to self development, acting to pageantry, she considers their agency a one stop shop, for making dreams come true!


1. If you could pick one word to describe your year of service as Miss USA 1979, what word would you pick?

All-Encompassing… The charity work I do and have done since winning my title and meeting my early mentor Muhammed Ali (who told me that “Service to others is the rent we pay, for our room in the hereafter”), is all encompassing/all engrossing and all consuming. It’s just a way of life, like breathing. I don’t think about it, I just do it. It’s what I was meant for. God put us here for a purpose, I believe mine is to make a difference. I have a cute plaque that says… "God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now, I am so far behind, I will never die.” This always make me giggle!

2. How has pageantry and modeling evolved since your reign as Miss USA?

I think it is tougher than ever before. Before you could just be yourself, your best version. Now everyone is trying to prove something, become something, or comparable to something, instead of just being themselves (and the best version of). Additionally, most people these days are more worried about what dress or outfit they’ll pick to look their best on the outside and get the most attention in. They should spend more time on what’s inside the dress or outfit!

3. Is pageantry relevant? Why or why not?

Yes, because it allows one to challenge oneself to be the best, one can be.

4. What are the top three things someone can gain from your modeling and/or pageant training classes?

Confidence, poise and positivity as a way of life, but most of all, we always say…You Can Be… anything YOU want to be. Don’t be afraid to dream, but do be prepared to do the hard work to get there.

5. What advice would you give to a young adult struggling with their self confidence due to the influences of social media?

Believe in yourself, love yourself, don’t listen to, or be brought down by others, be your own power. Soar with the eagles, DON’T trot with the turkeys! In my day, we were told, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. I believe those that say anything that is not nice, are either jelaous, miserable, negative, or thriving to bring someone down so they can find a way to feel more up. Don’t let them!!! I know it hurts sometime, but be strong. You’re better than that and them!

6. Anything else you would like to add?

Yes. When you can, surround yourself with like-minded, positive people who appreciate you. Respect yourself, and treat others the same. My final words when things get tough or negative… Lord, help me remember that nothing is going to happen today, that you and I can’t handle.

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