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Hello everyone! My name is Mikayla and I’m honored to announce that I was crowned Miss Teenage Essex County 2016 this year at the Miss Teenage Ontario pageant! I am 18 years old and I come from the small town of Belle River. After graduating from my senior year at Belle River District High School, I will be moving onto an Architectural program at St. Clair College. I am an animal lover, as we all should be, and I am very passionate about everything I stand for. This means I’d like to say I’m passionate about my work, my schooling, and my platform! My platform is Animal Cruelty and Animal Rights awareness because I believe, not only should we treat the people in this world with respect and equality but also the animals who inhabit the world just as we do!
2016 has been a great year to me so far, starting off with a bang after being crowned! I am so excited to be starting a new chapter in my life, such as; college, moving out on my own, and everything that comes along with the pageant life! It indeed has been everything and more than I expected and I am so grateful to be where I am.
I hope to get more involved in not only the beautiful county of Essex but also my online community by getting my YouTube Channel up and running with video tutorials for beauty, as in makeup and hair, but also a look into my new pageant life!
Ever since I have been a little girl I have always dreamed of being in pageants. The whole idea of strutting across a stage dressed like a princess, all eyes on you, seemed like a fairytale to me. Little did I know, they are so much more. I feel that shows about pageants have influenced the minds of the public into believing that pageants are all about having a perfect façade, yet to truly excel in pageantry you must focus on the person that you are inside and out.
Dreaming as little girl of being in pageants and the act of actually applying to be in a pageant are two completely different tasks. The dreaming is easy, it’s everything that comes afterword that can be a challenge. This past year I had finally got up the courage to be in my first pageant yet I had no idea where to start. That is until I stumbled upon the Miss Teenage Canada pageant (www.missteenagecanada.com). Miss Teenage Canada (www.missteenagecanada.com) , formerly Miss Teen Canada – World (www.missteenagecanada.com) is the largest teen competition in Canada (www.missteenagecanada.com/about-mtcw/company-profile) , owned by MTC-W Inc. and is produced by Michelle Weswaldi (www.missteenagecanada.com/about-mtcw/meet-the-team) originating in 2008.
When I originally brought up the idea of competing for Miss Teenage Canada (www.missteenagecanada.com) my parents associated it with the former Miss Teen Canada pageant that was originally aired from 1969 to 1990 on CTV. For the first three years of production the pageant was known as Miss Teenage Canada and after changed to Miss Teen Canada. In 1990 the unfortunate arrival of financial concerns forced the national tradition to come to a halt.
I applied for Miss Teenage Canada (www.missteenagecanada.com/become-mtcw/apply-now) because I saw their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/MissTeenageCanada) and thought it would be the opportunity of a lifetime. There are numerous teen pageants out there yet I felt this pageant would be the best fit for me. The mission of the pageant is to allow young women the opportunity to “Be Your Own Kind of Beautiful” (the motto of the pageant). It is the only pageant to hold provincial competitions, meaning that delegates are not just selected through an application and interview, but through a preliminary provincial competition that accelerates the delegates to the national pageant. Each year the prizes for Miss Teenage Canada (www.missteenagecanada.com) are astounding, with over $25,000.00 in cash, prizes, and scholarships awarded last year alone! Each year approximately 70 young women from across Canada compete at the national pageant with the winner advancing to Miss Teen Universe. Delegates are provided with so many amazing opportunities during the week-long stay in Toronto for the national pageant as the media exposure is phenomenal. In previous years delegates have appeared on Much Music, Breakfast Television, and make numerous appearances around the Toronto area. Each year the judging panel is comprised of individuals from all aspects of the talent and healthy lifestyle industries and the hosts are always sure to please. This year it has been announced that Luke Bilyk (star of Degrassi… Eeek!, one of my all time favourite shows!)
Cynthia Loewen (pageant star herself, starting from the age of 16!). Both of these hosts are major role models and I cannot wait to have the opportunity to meet and speak with them. Miss Teenage Canada (www.missteenagecanada.com) does not only help to enrich the lives of the delegates who compete but also the lives of children in developing and poverty stricken countries through the organization Free The Children. All delegates must raise funds for the organization, with over $190,000.00 raised so far (Wow!) and at the end of the pageant the new Miss Teenage Canada (www.missteenagecanada.com) will go on a Me to We trip to Kenya along with the highest fundraiser as well.
From the moment I walked across the stage at provincials to be crowned my confidence level shot up! Being a titleholder comes with many responsibilities yet every step of the way is worth it. You feel as though you truly make a difference in the lives of others around you and I feel like a true role model for other young women. I love having the opportunity to speak in front of others and feel as though I am making a difference. For my platform I want to raise awareness of the importance of the 4-H Canada Association in our communities and as a member of my local 4-H society I am able to support an amazing cause that is near and dear to my heart. Through the pageant I have also had the chance to raise funds for Cardiac Kids and Free the Children, two organizations that do so much good for the individuals they help. These upcoming weeks are going to be life changing and I cannot wait to share all of my experiences!
Miss Teenage Essex County 2014
Hello beauties! This past month has been such a busy month with so many exciting events and I cannot wait to share them with all of you! Earlier in April I was lucky enough to partake in my local Run for Rocky. Run for Rocky is a 5km charity run/walk that supports local GSA’s (Gay Straight Alliance) in local high schools and post-secondary school systems and also carries forward the legacy of Windsor local Rocky Campana.
Who is Rocky Campana?
Rocky was a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Richard Ivey School of Business graduate program. He was an honors student who also worked 30 to 40 hours per week while volunteering daily. Rocky, actively involved with the Pride Library, The Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Alzheimer’s Society, and local soccer leagues, made a difference and touched the lives of so many. Unfortunately, after struggling with bouts of clinical depression, Rocky passed away after attempting to take his own life in 2012. Rocky was openly gay and after years of ridicule from others, despite the endless support from his family, he could no longer take the pain. One of his biggest passions in life was to help and support others in the LGBTQ community and just weeks before his passing, he had begun his dream job at Proctor and Gamble. Part of his job included community service and his ambition was to go into high schools to speak with the students about accepting others for who they are. Even though Rocky may be gone, his family is persistent in continuing his legacy. In a statement put out by his mother, “Rocky was a shining star, an achiever, and proud to be gay. He had everything in life to live for including a high profile new job and a family he adored and whom supported him endlessly with great pride. It is now apparent that Rocky suffered from depression. We understood that if this scenario is possible in our family it is a risk for any family with an LGBTQ youth. Rocky made a difference in life and as a family we are determined his message continues to be delivered and makes a difference in others lives.”
To carry on his legacy his family started the Run for Rocky and I am honored to say that I was a part of the 2nd Annual run this year. The work that Rocky started and that his family continues to carry on to break the stigmas of the LGBTQ community is incredible and I cannot wait to support them again next year!
~~~Miss Teenage Essex-County 2014
I am so excited and honoured to be your new Miss Teenage Essex County 2014! These next few months are going to be filled with amazing experiences, amazing people, and amazing opportunities.
In January, I had the chance of a lifetime to compete at the Miss Teenage Ontario Pageant. I never realized how I could become so close to a group of amazing girls in just two days! Crowning was probably one of the most emotional experiences I have had thus far in my life. So many different emotions running through my mind and even with a crown being placed on my head, it really had yet to sink in that I was moving onto nationals.
Now, a little more about my self. I am 17 years old, soon to be 18 (Yay!), and have been born and raised in Essex County all my life. I attend grade 12 at Essex District High School, which is underway of a rebuild. Go Red Raiders!
Post secondary, I wish to pursue a career as a pharmacist. My interest and love for pharmacy has only grown stronger since I began working at my local Shoppers Drug Mart in the Pharmacy. Our whole pharmacy team has been so supportive of my journey and has been by my side every step of the way.
When I am not in school or working at the pharmacy, I also operate my own home based business; Hannah’s Closet Emporium of Fine Bath Products. In the summer of 2012 I applied to be a part of the Summer Company Ontario program. This program is run and funded by the government of Ontario and allows young entrepreneurs the opportunity to start up their own business. After an application process and an interview with the directors of the Windsor-Essex County program I was accepted, along with 8 others from my region. We all received startup money along with formal business training which was an amazing experience. For my business I design, formulate, manufacture, and sell natural bath and body products including soap, body butter, bath bomb cupcakes, and dead sea salts. I felt that there was a need for products that not only smelt and felt good for your skin but was also beneficial to your skin, and I believe that I have filled this void!
I have now entered my third year of business and even auditioned for Dragon’s Den this year! Even if I am not called for this season the experience gained by talking with the executives was like no other, and I will defiantly audition again next year!
Another really big part of my life is my love for animals. I have an Old English Sheepdog (Maggie May), two cats (Zoe & Talking Tom), and a dwarf rabbit (Willa). One of the reasons that I have such a strong love for animals is the way they look at you. Their eyes are filled with love and affection and they do not care about material possessions, they are just happy to be with you. They are the best listeners – sworn to secrecy :), and always greet me when I come home each day like I have been gone for years and we are just then being reunited for the first time. In my house love truly is a four-legged word!
Lastly, to finish off my first blog post (still can’t believe how exciting this is! Eeep!) I would like to thank all those who have supported me so far and continue to support me. To my mother and father, thank you for all you have done for me. Without your support I could not even begin to imagine where my dreams could take me. To my family, feeling the warmth of your love and support kept me motivated through this whole journey and will continue to do so. To my best friends Adriana, Taylor, and Jessica, you three are the sisters that I never had and I cannot wait for you all to be at nationals this July. To all of my sponsors, thank you for your generosity and kindness. To everyone that has congratulated me and supported me – you all have touched my life, my heart, and my soul. I will make you proud at Nationals this July!