Wow. It seems unbelievable, but the night is here. Tonight, I will hand off my title of Miss
Teenage Manitoba to another lucky lady. Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting all the contenders, and helped train them to prepare for tonight’s final event. This whole weekend is bittersweet, as I’ve come to realize that a year full of personal accomplishments and new experiences is finally coming to a close. Throughout my year as a titleholder, I feel as I’ve learned so much about myself and the world around me. I’m proud of the person I’ve become within the past year, and look forward to seeing how I grow in the future.
Winning the title of Miss Teenage Manitoba has been life-changing. I remember standing on stage after being crowned, crying because I was overwhelmed with emotions. For me, this event was so much more that a beauty pageant. It was an opportunity for myself to set a goal, work towards it, and achieve something I thought was unattainable. Because of my title, I’ve made friends across the country, organized and attended charity events that garnered the attention of local media, had a ton of fun, and became a more active member in my community!
MY FAVOURITE EVENT
Choosing a favourite event is definitely something hard to do. Over the year I’ve met people such as Marc and Craig Kielburger, founders of Free the Children Charity, as well as Mayor Bruce Henley of West St Paul. The events I did in my community were numerous, and definitely memorable. The time Miss Teenage Winnipeg Mikaela Mendez and I hosted the Canada Day Ceremonies at the Sunova Centre in West St Paul was definitely one of my favourites! Because of my title, I’ve also received perks such as a “behind the scenes” tour at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. I’d be lying if I said these perks weren’t a bonus of being a titleholder! By far however, my favourite event was being the keynote speaker at Youth Awards Day for the Girl Guides of Manitoba this past month.
At this event, I gave a fifteen minute speech to an audience of 150 young women, all receiving awards for their achievements in the community. I spoke about female empowerment, the importance of supporting each other as strong, confident females, and how being your own kind of beautiful is the best thing you can be. Being able to speak to all these young women was a blessing, and I felt excited to finally be part of a public speaking engagement. As public speaking is the career path I wish to take, it definitely felt good to dip my feet in the water.
FRIENDS I’VE MADE
To all the girls that are crowned tonight, be ready for a crazy (in a good way) week in Toronto. You’ll see tourist attractions and be on television, but above all, meet some amazing people. Through the Miss Teenage Canada experience I’ve made some great friendships with people across the country! Gracie, my roommate for the week at Nationals is someone I’m still very close with, and look forward to visiting this summer in
Saskatchewan! From Newfoundland to British Columbia, I’m happy to hold good relationships with so many of the girls. If I could only give one piece of advice for the upcoming titleholders, it would be to go into Nationals with an open mind. Despite popular belief, 99.9% of the girls aren’t catty, and almost every girl has never been in a pageant before! With so many genuine, beautiful girls, I’ve decided that I would never want to be a judge on Finals night… It would simply be too hard to choose!
GOOD LUCK 2016 DELEGATES
To all the Manitoban delegates competing in this weekend’s pageant, good luck to you all. You are all beautiful inside and out, andI’m so happy to have met you yesterday! I remember feeling nervous, being in your shoes almost one year ago. Here are two simple rules that will hopefully make the whole experience more enjoyable:
- BE YOURSELF! I know this sound cliche, but the judges aren’t looking for a specific “type” of girl. You could see an example of this through the past Miss Teen Canada titleholders. Channing Smendziuk, Miss Teenage Canada 2010 (Manitoba represent)! is a brunette who does ballet. Lauren Howe, Miss Teenage Canada 2011 is a blonde who plays field hockey. Megha Sandhu, titleholder from the first year I competed is East Indian in descent, and did stand-up comedy as her talent. Sarah Wojcik, Miss Teenage Canada 2015 stood at 5’3″, and broke boundaries by being the first non-provincial titleholder to win the National title. As long as you are confident in who you are as a person, the judges will notice this and see all your other amazing qualities shine through.
- HAVE FUN! Looking back, the Miss Teen Manitoba pageant was one of my most fond memories to date. Although it is a competition, don’t let that stop you from having fun, making friends with the other delegates, as well as memories to last a lifetime. Embrace this experience for all it’s worth, as I’m sure by now you realize that the weekend goes by very quickly!
Writing my last paragraph as Miss Teenage Manitoba, for one last time I wanted to thank all the amazing people that have helped me throughout my journey. Winning the title of Miss Teenage Manitoba was only the beginning of hurdles I had to jump along my journey to Nationals. To my friends and family, thank you for supporting my dreams along the way, backing me with your endless love and support. To the following sponsors, I thank you. Without the help of your funds and services, there is no way Nationals would have been possible.
- Zhanna Polishchuck, of REC Photography
- IBEW Local 2085
- Coughlin Insurance
- The Construction Labour Relations Association Board of Manitoba
- Scinn Studio Spa
Thank you to my readers as well. I have truly enjoyed writing these posts! There are so many elements involved in being a successful titleholder, but I can easily say blogging has been one of my favourite things to do. I can only dream that you see my writing again someday, but in a larger way. Whether it be my own novel, CNN journalist column, or sports broadcast report, I will continue to pursue my dreams. I can only hope that you will do the same!