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- Cardiac Kids is a volunteer group who raise much-needed funds for children who are suffering from congenital heart disease.
- Free The Children is an international charity and educational partner, working both domestically and internationally to empower and enable youth to be agents of change.
On day 5 at nationals, we headed out to do some sightseeing in Toronto. We ended up heading over to the Eaton Centre, and grabbing lunch at the Taco Truck in the Richtree Market! All 82 of us girls lined up and order either 3 tacos or one burrito, with the choice of chicken, beef, or vegetarian. I ordered a beef burrito, although I had also been thinking about getting the vegetarian because they both sounded so delicious.
Although the truck isn’t big in size, it is high tech (with iPads on each side) and quick to serve you (with a talented group of employees). I waited for my food for less than 5 minutes, which is impressive considering the size of our group! Once I get my burrito, I sat down and began to eat. I personally love Mexican food and everything spicy, so this was definitely the place for me! I loved that they grilled the burrito once it was wrapped, making it warm and a bit crunchy. I finished my whole burrito and was super satisfied. I would definitely recommend eating there if you are in the Eaton Centre!
And make sure to follow the Richtree Market on all of their social media accounts, and write your own review of the food with the hashtag #RichTreeFiesta!
The first day at nationals was a bit crazy, but I enjoyed every minute of it! I arrived at the hotel around 12:30pm, and was sent upstairs to meet the other girls. There were about 30 girls when I first arrived, and over the afternoon the other 50 girls showed up. Since there have been so many events in Toronto, the hotel was behind on cleaning rooms so although we were supposed to get our rooms at 3, we didn’t get into a room until closer to 5pm. It was okay though, because that just meant we had more time to get to know each other!
Once we we got into our rooms, my roommate and I took a nap as we were exhausted from the long day. Around 9pm we were called back upstairs where we had our introduction party, and it was super fun! We got our new sashes, met our sponsors, and even got a few gifts!
After that we had pizza and salad for dinner, and eventually made our way back to our rooms for the night.
Since we had such a late night the first day, we were allowed to sleep in a bit the next morning! I woke up at 10am and got my things prepared for photo shoot and interview. We had hair stylists and makeup artists come in to style us, so we didn’t have to worry about any of that stuff in the morning, which was nice.
Since there are 82 girls to get through, hair and makeup took quite a while for me. I got upstairs at 10:30 and I didn’t leave until 5:30, so it was a long day of waiting. Once I had my hair and makeup done though, I was sent right in to do my photoshoot right away, quickly followed by my judged interview.
Once that was over, we went and had dinner in the hotel’s restaurant, and then it was back upstairs for some of us to finish our video interview. I sat in that room for a long time too, but all of us girls get along so well that it’s never boring, and we have a good time no matter what.
Eventually I got to do my video interview, and I’d say I was one of the quickest. Although it may of just been me trying to do my best and not mess up, so I could go to bed. It was close to 11pm by the time I finished!
Our wake up call on day 3 was for 9am, and once we were ready we headed down to have breakfast. When breakfast was over we all piled into the elevators and went back up to our rehearsal room to meet our choreographer Shawn. He practiced stance, walking, and turning with us, before teaching us our evening gown walks and our opening number. Once we got to the dancing I was super excited because I used to be a dancer, so I pick up on choreography quickly and I have such a fun time doing it! We spent all day from 10am to 5pm rehearsing (minus the hour we took for lunch), so it was another long day. My feet were killing me by the end so I took my heels off and practiced in my flats like most of the other girls did.
For the first time in a few days, we ended up leaving the hotel to go for dinner. We walked next door to the Lone Star Texas Grill and had an amazing dinner where we got to make our own fajitas. Once that was over we walked back and got to go into our rooms for an early night, which was nice because we were all quite tired. We did get called down to have our opening number dresses fitted, but once that was done we got to stay in our rooms for the rest of the night.
Overall these first three days at nationals have been so much fun, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the rest of the week!
Before I head off to Toronto for nationals tomorrow morning, I want to quickly go through and thank my biggest sponsors! They have all helped me get to this point, and I cannot even begin to say how thankful I am for them!
1. NuMe Professional Styling Products
2. Silver Jeans
3. Teresa’s Bridal Salon
4. Bare Body Sugaring
5. Brows By G
6. Tiber River Naturals
I cannot express how grateful I am for their generosity and support!
Thank you all so much!
When I first started thinking of what to make my platform I had a really difficult time deciding. It wasn’t that I couldn’t think of anything to promote with my title, but I couldn’t think of a platform that I was really, really passionate about. I wanted to make sure that whatever I was promoting would be dear to my heart, and something that I really wanted to make people aware of.
After a few weeks of thinking, I finally realized what I should make my platform. I want to promote the idea of positive body image while using my own issues to make my point more personal.
Something people might not know about me is I have scarring on my shoulders. They are acne scars, and I’ve had them since I was about 14. Before I had the scars though, I had very terrible acne.
It first started when I was about 12 and quickly escalated. By the time I was 14, my acne was so bad that I had to go to the doctor to get medication for it because regular soaps and cleansers didn’t cut it anymore. Over the course of a year, I took two different medications and used a special face cream to get rid of my acne, and it worked! However, I was left with some pretty bad scarring, especially on my shoulders. I had big bumps left behind that were quite red, and I even had a few scars that had sunken my skin in.
For the first couple of years I absolutely hated my skin. I never wore tank tops or any that would show off my shoulders. I hated wearing a bathing suit. If I went shopping and found a shirt that would show my shoulders, I would have to buy a jacket or cardigan to go over top otherwise I wouldn’t buy it. I felt trapped in my own skin.
Eventually I went to my doctor, who referred me to a plastic surgeon. I went to see that doctor, who ended up telling me there were a few procedures that could be done to fade the appearance of the scars. Over the span of a year, I got three laser procedures done. They were quite painful and required some recovery time, but each time I did one I noticed my scars were slightly less visible, so I kept on getting them done. At one point my plastic surgeon suggested that I have surgery on one of my biggest scars to soften the appearance of it, so I also had that done.
It been over a year since I’ve had anything done on my shoulders now, and although the scars are quite faded, they are still noticeable. The difference now though is that I don’t mind anymore.
As I’ve grown up and matured, I’ve realized that I don’t have to be defined by these scars. Yes they may be one of my biggest imperfections, but I have so many other great qualities that I used to overlook because of them. Instead of looking into the mirror and hating how my skin looks, I look into the mirror and see that I have pretty eyes or a nice smile. I see myself as more than just one flaw. I see a girl, who when you put all of her great qualities together, is beautiful and kind and confident, and I want every young girl to feel like that.
Having the audience that Miss Teenage Canada does you are bound to have many young girls looking up to you. I myself looked at the past Miss Teenage Canada winners, and thought to myself “Wow, they are so beautiful!” …but then I thought about my shoulders. None of the past winners seem to have noticeable imperfections like I do, and at one point I thought my dreams of being Miss Teenage Canada were over because nobody’s going to pick a girl with a big flaw.
That’s when it hit me: I can focus on my flaws and bring myself down, or I can use my flaw as my own personal reason for being Miss Teenage Canada 2015. If I won and I had my pictures and quotes all the media, I would want some girl to look at me and think “She has imperfections, but she still became Miss Teenage Canada”. And maybe that girl has her owns flaws, whether its scarring, or her weight, or an illness. No matter what issue she’s battling, I would want my story to give her strength and to inspire her to chase her own dreams no matter her imperfections.
However, if I won, I would want to do much more than just tell my story. I have ideas for creating a whole website organization around my platform.
When I was younger, along with struggling with my shoulders, I struggled with other things like my weight, which is why my platform revolves around positive body image as a whole, not just my shoulders. I wish I would’ve had a place to go to talk to other people, find out information and have a valuable resource, which is what I want to make a website for. I want to create a website that allows girls to go into forums and discuss their specific issues and have other girls reply and comment. I want to have my own representatives on the website 24/7 with an online chat line, or a call service, or a texting service, where girls can tell their story to somebody like me who has dealt with their own issues. Somebody that will listen, and give advice, and make those girls feel like they aren’t alone.
Another part of this website would be resources. From how to use makeup to cover scars, to the best ways to exercise or diet, to anything and everything that a young girl could use advice on, this website would have information for her.
Although this website would be a huge project and would require a lot of work, I would do anything to make it come to life as great as I imagine it in my head. I want to help young girls, so that we can grow a generation of strong, confident young women who can use their own ideas to change the world.
For me, the best part about Canada has always been the experiences. Naturally, people tend to want to travel far away from where they are from and explore new places (me included), but I realized some of the best times I’ve ever had have been on Canadian soil.
I’m so glad I grew up in Canada, and here’s why:
Although technically snow is only in Canada, as a country we sure get a lot of it. All the kids dress up in 20 different layers of sweaters, mittens, snowsuits, boots, etc. just to be able to go out into the cold winter without freezing. I remember playing with my cousins in the snow piles at my grandparent’s house for hours and hours. We would throw snowballs, make forts, and even dig tunnels in the snow! Eventually the snow would seep through your mittens and your hands would start getting wet, so you would head on inside and find something else to do with you waited for your snow gear to dry.
2. Winter Holidays
I don’t think I could ever be a person to travel out of the country during Christmas time because I love Canada too much during the holidays. From the first snow fall, to driving down the street and seeing almost every roof lit up, I love the atmosphere of the holidays in Canada. As much as I would love to travel somewhere warm and tropical, I would never go during the holiday season because without those little details, it really wouldn’t feel like Christmas to me. If there’s one thing to know about me, it’s that I love all holidays (especially Christmas), so not experiencing the snow and lights and decorations would really put a damper on my holiday, so I know for sure I would never leave Canada on Christmas!
3. Outdoor Activities in the Winter
One thing Canada is known for are our winter sports. Hockey, skiing, and everything in between, if you can name it, I’m sure we’ve won a medal in it. In my case growing up, gym class included so many types of winter activities, including skating and skiing. I remember the best part of gym was the days when we would get the skis out, and either go cross-country skiing or (everybody’s favourite) downhill skiing. We would all trudge ourselves up the hill, just to glide down it in 5 seconds and have to climb all the way back up once again. We never got tired of it though!
Another one of my favourite winter activities was going on the horse sleigh. I went a few times when I was a kid, and I enjoyed it every time! My friends and I would all hop on the huge sleigh, and once the horses were off the fun began. Normally we would just sit and enjoy the ride, especially when the horses would get into an open pathway and could run fast, but one time one of our friends fell off! She wasn’t very happy considering she fell into a huge pile of snow, but once we got back to the lodge building and warmed up, she was okay. Although horse sleighs may not be uniquely Canadian, I doubt I would’ve ever experience something like that if I didn’t grow up in Canada, which is why I’m so grateful that I did!
Although you may that realized it from my last few paragraphs, we do actually have summer in Canada! Especially where I live, summer is short but hot, so we always try to make the most out of the time we have. From going to the beach, to watching Canada Day fireworks, to going camping, I have always loved summertime.
My ultimate favourite thing to do was go camping, and I went quite a bit as a kid. Canada has such beautiful parks, beaches, lakes, and campground areas, and I have been to a few of them. However, my family and I normally camped at Falcon Lake. We would go to the beach, stop in to town and go to the store, or just sit around the fire at night time. Although we didn’t do much, those times were still some of the best I ever spent!
Growing up in Canada has given me amazing experiences I never would’ve had the opportunity to experience if I didn’t grow up here. I’m so grateful that I have lived in such a great place my whole life, and although I may travel and get away time to time, I know I will always come back!
Now that school is done, I have much more free time to make appearances and volunteer at events, which I have been taking advantage of! Within the past two weeks I’ve gone to the Red River Ex, Summer in the City, and Paws in Motion, and I’ve had such a great time at every place.
On June 13th, I handed out maps and program guides to guests entering the Red River Exhibition, which was also my very first appearance as Miss Teenage Central Manitoba 2015 (not counting my own fundraising event).
I was so nervous at first because I wasn’t sure how people would react to my crown and sash, but after a few minutes I realized I had nothing to worry about! People would stop and ask me about how I got my title, and I was asked to take pictures with multiple groups of people. Two girls event stopped to talk to me for a good 10 minutes, and were giving me tips on how to promote my title even more. The support I got from complete strangers was amazing!
After a few hours of handing out papers, I was allowed to walk around the park which was when the “power of the crown” (as I’m going to call it) really came into affect. People would stare and sometimes even stop walking when I passed by, and when I played a popping balloon game, the guy running it started yelling out to people, “If she can do it with a crown on her head, you can too!” It was hilarious, and I had such a great day!
Next weekend, I went out to Steinbach, Manitoba (where I actually lived for a few years as a kid) to help out at their Summer in the City event. I was there from noon to five, and I spent all of my time in the kids tent.
I helped out with the crafts, but I mostly did temporary tattoos on the kids. When I first started with the tattoos, the table was completely covered with them, but by the time I left five hours later, there was not one tattoo left! I was running around that table all day, helping the kids choose, cut out, and put on the tattoos. Although my feet were sore at the end of the day, I had such a great time! I hope I can come back again next year to help out again! My highlight of the day was definitely when one little girl pointed at my crown and asked how I had gotten it. I told her about the competition, and her response was “When was this competition? I want to do it too! I want a crown too!” She was adorable!
The next day I was out at Assiniboine Park in Winnipeg to help present awards at the Paws in Motion event. I went on stage with Gord Leclerc from CTV News Winnipeg, and Samantha Stevens from QX104, which I thought was amazing considering I watch Gord Leclerc on tv every night, and I listen to Samantha Stevens on the radio quite often! When I asked Samantha for a picture, she said “I should be the one asking you for a picture!” which i thought was incredible. She was treating me like a celebrity, when she is a celebrity to me!
I got to stand on the stage, and hand out awards to the top 3 placing runners and walkers. They called me the “Vanna White” of the event, which I thought was hilarious!
Overall, these three events were so much fun and I am so thankful that I got to participate in them. I hope to have more events to come, as I had such a great time volunteering over the past two weeks. Thanks to everybody that allowed me to take part!
I held my first ever fundraiser for Free the Children a week ago on June 5th, and I can hardly believe I actually pulled it off! Although to say I pulled it off on my own wouldn’t be true because my family put in even more work than I did, so before I start this post I want to give them a HUGE shout out and say thank you to them for all of their continued support!
My fundraiser was a Bingo Bowling night hosted at Dakota Lanes in Winnipeg. I never realized how much work goes into holding an event like this until I had to do it myself! To be completely honest, at some points I thought it might be easier to scrap the whole event rather doing all this work to put it on just for it be unsuccessful. I’m so glad I persevered though because it was such an amazing night!
Not only was the night extremely successful, but I had the best time! I met a group of boys who were there for a birthday party, and they were definitely the highlight of the night. They would all gather around me, kneel, and start saying “All hail the queen!” Later on they wrote me a song with the same name, and had an argument about whether I was a princess or a queen (the vote was 50/50). The boy in the red shorts, Owen, even asked me to come to a movie audition for a princess who gets saved by the prince (played by him)! They were absolutely adorable, and I’m so glad I got a picture with them before they left.
The night was so much fun and a raised lots of proceeds for Free the Children, so I would say it was extremely successful! Once again, thank you to everybody that came and supported, I could not have done it without you!