M-E Alum Focus: Mia McCarthy

Former M-E cheerleading standout, Mia McCarthy is in the midst of her junior year at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she’s already helped the UNLV Rebels to 2 national championships. Former student school board member, cheerleading national champion, cancer survivor…Mia’s academic and personal experiences have shaped who she is today and where she’s headed in the future. Mia took some time to update us on what's going on in her life after graduation.

Please give us an update on how you are doing. How is college going? Tell us about cheerleading at the college level? Memories of winning the National Championship at UNLV.

College is going really well, being able to go to a university across the country has opened so many opportunities for me. Cheerleading at a college level is much different than high school. It is much more time and commitment, but it is so rewarding. Cheering collegiate football and basketball games is a truly amazing experience and being able to compete against the best colleges in the country is a thrilling experience. My freshmen year I was able to travel to Disney for cheerleading college nationals which was my favorite memory of college so far. Throughout my cheer career at UNLV I was able to help my team win the D1A gameday national championship 2 years in a row. This past year, my sophomore year we competed virtually but the experience was unforgettable.

What are your favorite memories at Maine-Endwell?

My favorite memory at Maine Endwell was going to states for cheerleading and placing 2nd my sophomore year. This was my first year cheering so it was super exciting being able to make it so far with my team! I also loved cheering basketball games and being the student member of the school board!

Do you have a favorite teacher? One that had an impact on your life?

Mrs. Ehrie was the student council advisor when I was student council president. She was never my teacher, but she has had a great impact on my life. In my senior year I found out I had lung cancer and I was able to beat it a few months later, but she was my rock when I was at school. I was always able to lean on her when I needed someone and I am forever grateful for her! 

What year are you in now at UNLV? Do you have any plans on what you’d like to pursue after graduation?

I am currently in my junior year and I am majoring in communications studies with a business administration minor and a certificate in sport leadership and management. I plan to continue my education by attending grad school for sports management.

What advice would you give the current Maine-Endwell students…whether it be academic, athletic, emotional…about overcoming adversity, never giving up, etc. You are a survivor in the true sense of the word and maybe someone who will read the post may need some encouragement in their own struggle.

In all aspects of life you will always be faced with obstacles that are beyond your control. It’s important to remember just because it’s out of your control that doesn’t make you helpless and strength comes from your reaction to the things you can control. Another thing that I have learned through my own struggles is that it is okay to ask for help and that does not make you weak. Lean on those around you and if you need help take it, you don’t ever have to overcome things alone.