Did you know that in Toronto alone, 1 in 4 children live in a low income household? How about the fact that 32% of children aged 0-5 are living in complete poverty? I bet you also didn’t know that 40% of these families are headed by a single mother.

If you’re sitting there in complete awe over these statistics, don’t worry, you aren’t the only one! These statistics were the basis of my drive and motivation to create my own charity back in 2013, as well as my chosen platform as Miss Teenage Ontario. I can proudly say that for the past few years, I’ve helped to relieve parents of their financial burdens regarding an unplanned or unexpected pregnancy and have helped to eliminate the stigma surrounding single parenting. 

What is my charity? 

My charity is called Diapers 4 Smiles; a non-profit organization that put’s members of the community at ease when experiencing financial hardships. This is done through offering an open closet service full of bottles, clothes, diapers, toiletries and more and are available to them at all times. As a charity, we believe in not asking these parents why they need the assistance, but rather, what else can we do to improve their current quality of life.

My collection of diapers & I last year

My collection of diapers & I last fall

I’ve also partnered up with the Vita Centre; an organization committed to providing for pregnant and parenting woman in Peel, to broaden my horizons a little bit more. The Vita Centre is the lucky recipient of 90% of my donations and I am honoured to announce that I have become apart of their family. A few months ago, I became aware of the centre’s dire need for diapers and wipes and decided that I was going to be the person to change that. So, I put my planning skills to good use and hosted a few events amoungst my family and friends. Next thing I knew, I had people from all over the GTA offering me diapers, wipes and other children’s items. It was humbling to see how much other people were willing to help. Thanks to everyone’s assistance, I managed to collect over 100 boxes of diapers, which filled an entire school bus, and was able to personally deliver them to the Centre.

My Motivation

My wonderful & loving family

My wonderful & loving family

Growing up in a family with 2 parents who were always able to give me far beyond my basic essentials, I am not able to tell you that I know first hand what it is like to experience these types of hardships. I can however, tell you that I have grown up in a family that has taught me to always give to others who have less than I do. From a very young age, I was found giving away gifts rather than receiving them at Christmas, or visiting local shelters on a rainy day instead of watching TV. I’ve seen and learned how difficult life can be for some people, and have vowed to change that.

In this given situation, my heart breaks for the children with diaper rashes and infections simply because of their parents financial standings. It is crucial to remember that children are not in these situations by choice, but by birth; thus, I have taken on the responsibility of ensuring that they receive the same kind of care and opportunities as I had as a child.

Giving The Crown a Voice

Some of the ambassadorship program participants and I

Some of the ambassadorship program participants & I

You’ll probably hear me talk about how I wish to “give my crown it’s own voice” quite often. No, I’m not crazy and don’t literally mean that I wish to have it speak. But rather, I intend on using the crown to advocate for the causes that I feel the most passionate about. So of course, I have used my Miss Teenage Ontario title to do just that. However, my goal was not so much to start a huge collection this time. Instead, I wanted to share the significance of the cause with younger generations and empower them to want to make a difference. As discussed in a previous blog called “Role Model Status“, you can see that I participated in an ambassadorship program that encouraged girls to find creative means of collecting diapers. From online photo contests to lemonade stands, these girls did a fantastic job! At the end of the program, I crowned one girl the “Charity Ambassador” and will be bringing her on board to help me and my endeavours for the next year. In doing so, I will teach her what it takes to run a charity, who we can help and how she too can be a change maker. I’ve also attended several Vita Centre events including the Trivia Night that I blogged about and have visited the centre a few times. By visiting the centre, I am given the opportunity to see exactly who my donations are going to and get a sneak peak at what they need the most without asking. This way, I can gear my next collection in the right direction.

At an event hosted by The Vita Centre

At an event hosted by The Vita Centre

I can only dream of being Miss Teenage Canada and giving a voice to that crown as well. I would again, like to continue to advocate for the cause and with my collections. More specifically, as Miss Teenage Canada, I feel as though I will have the opportunity to carry my charity’s mission across the country. Rather than just helping those of my community, I want to be able to learn about what kind of financial burdens people of other provinces are experiences, and help them as well. By hosting more ambassadorship programs and learning about other people’s needs, I’ll be able to assist a wider range of individuals and have more hands to help me do so.

Moving Forward

Who know’s what this upcoming week will bring, but what I do know is that I’ve been able to make a huge impact on my community thus far, and will continue to do so even after my reign is over. I would LOVE to be able to share my mission with more people and can only hope that I’ll be given the opportunity to do so. Everyone experiences hardship at some point in their lives, so be sure to support them because you never know when you’ll need it too!

Thinking Positively,

Michela P. <3

 

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Hey everyone, it’s THURSDAY!

How was everyone’s week? Mine has been insanely busy as i’ve been babysitting my cousins, preparing for my upcoming trip to Nova Scotia, some photo shoots, and of course, preparing for Nationals!

We went to the Drive-In to watch Minons! It was so much fun!

We went to the Drive-In to watch Minons! It was so much fun!

There’s only 9 more days and my excitement has reached new heights. There’s still so much for me to prepare, but I’m sure I’ll get it all done with plenty of time to spare (hey, that rhymed)!

I’ve officially began my pre-pageant rituals and so, I am focused, determined and completely in the zone. Now you must be wondering, what is this crazy girl talking about when she says “pre-pageant rituals”? Well, it’s my way of ensuring i’m not only 100% prepared physically, but I also have my objectives, morals and intentions in tact. Rather than allowing my anxiety to spike, I prefer to stay calm and remind myself what it is I would like to achieve from this experience. In this case, I am striving to reach top 5! Of course winning would mean the world to me, I believe in staying realistic, yet challenging myself. Anything beyond top 5 would simply be a privilege. I also am hoping to learn from this experience. Weather it be runway tips, hair tips or even an over all life lesson, I am hoping that I walk away knowing something I didn’t know before. Lastly, I am going to make new friends and memories. I’ve got my polaroid camera and journal ready to go, and I can’t wait to see what kind of adventures I will fill it with!

The week before a pageant you will most definitely catch me listening to A LOT of music (preferably Ed Sheeran, The Weekend or Megan Trainer), probably talking to myself (I like to practice EVERYWHERE I go, oops), and reading; I find that it calms me down.

I have a ton of more updates involving my Nationals preparation, but I’m going to save them for next week! For now, I just want to say that I am EXTRA-emly excited and cannot wait for these next 10 days to pass!

One last event to share…

11709624_953256741361149_9196459808217730419_nOn July 1st, 2015, I was fortunate enough to be apart of the annual Canada Day parade in Niagara Falls, ON. Although this wasn’t my last event, it was one of the last, as I decided to leave the last two weeks leading up to Nationals free for my preparations. So, I alongside some other pageant queens from other systems took our places in the stunning convertibles, plastered our smiles on our faces and prepared for a fun parade!

What was my favourite part? Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces when I would give them eye contact or compliment their amazing Canada Day spirit was by far my favourite part! Being referred to as a princess is one of the most fulfilling moments as a title holder. It reminds me of my 4 year-old self ouing and awing at the princesses in the parades that I would watch; thus, knowing that I can be that princess for another little girl is quite honestly, the most amazing feeling in the world.

It was also amazing to see how spirited everyone was! What great Canadian pride everyone had, weather it be through face paint or them constantly chanting the national anthem! It is the moments such as these that make me so proud to call myself a Canadian.

Extra special bonus…

Hannah & I after the parade

Hannah & I after the parade

Over the past few years, I have met a ton of pageant people! Some, however, stick out more than others. I’ve been lucky enough to become an older pageant-sister to an amazing girl by the name of Hannah-Mae. There is not a single thing that I would not do for Hannah and she knows that. Although we live pretty far apart, we can always look forward to seeing each other at pageant related events and even have matching sister bracelets to remind us of each other every day. Knowing that I would see her at the parade made this an even more exciting experience.

BUT WAIT… There’s more…

Hannah,Kate & I waiting for the parade to start

Hannah,Kate & I waiting for the parade to start

Just as Hannah looks up to me, I have recently met someone who I look up to just as much. After seeing her name and picture floating around Facebook over the past few years, I finally met Kate just a few months ago at a pageant that we both judged. She is a very kind, intelligent and motivated young woman who completely won me over. Although I haven’t known Kate for an extensive period of time, I already find myself trusting her expertise and quite honestly, viewing her as a big sister too.So you can only imagine how much fun it was to have three generations of role-models sharing a convertible! The laughs, memories and amount of lipgloss that we shared was absolutely priceless. I would re-live this day 100 times over if I could, but I suppose I can just look forward to many more day’s like that in the future!

A special thanks to Miss Joanne for allowing me to join the parade and of course, to Hannah and Kate for always being so amazing.

That’s all for this week, I’m off to the park with my cousins!

Thinking positively,

Michela P. <3

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Happy Thursday everyone!

I feel like the summer has messed up my blogging schedule a little bit, but with only a few weeks left I’m back at it every Thursday!

Carabram

Taking a picture with some other title holders before getting started!

Taking a picture with some other title holders before getting started!

Every year, my home town of Brampton, Ontario celebrates the diversity in our community by hosting what’s called “Carabram”. Everyone is welcome to purchase a passport and travel to the different pavilions set up across the city to experience the entertainment, food and crafts of a dozen different cultures!

This year, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Canadian pavilion, where I got to greet the guests and invite them to enjoy the many great attractions being offered. My favourite part was playing with the little children at the craft station and seeing how happy they were to be digging their fist into paint! Another one of my favourite parts included watching the clog dancers. They were all so talented and happy to be there, creating a very positive atmosphere!

With a mini hand-crafter totem pole

With a mini hand-crafted totem pole

It was great to see so many people of different ethnicities come together to celebrate eachothers cultures. Such an accepting environment, everyone was willing to try something new and embrace everyone else’s differences. This level of acceptance is yet another reason why Canada is such a special place to live!

A big thank you goes out to those who invited me to join in on such an amazing event, I had a great time!

All Around the World Pageant
Lucky for me, I got to celebrate diversity twice in such a short period of time! This time, it was at a Glass Slipper Princess Pageant! Over 30 girls gathered together to compete for the Ultimate Mega Supreme title, but also took the time to celebrate and share their culture with everyone!

From Indian and Egyptian, to Italian and French, I enjoyed my day as a judge and learning all about what other countries around the world have to offer. All of the girls sparkled on stage and did a fantastic job.

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With my favourite little girl Skye, who took home the overall title for the day!

My favourite part about this event was the fact that the contestants participated in the charity component; collecting canned food items for the local food bank! Eliminating the negative pageant stereotypes one pageant at a time, these girls proved to care about their community and helping the less fortunate.
It was also precious to see the way some of the girls have matured over the past few months and years. I remember competing with many of the younger girls when they were just toddlers! The most incredible part however, is to see how much confidence these girls have gained. As a girl who’s dealt with quite the amount of insecurities over the years, I know first hand what pageants can do for you. These girls are now able to speak in front of an audience, keep their poise and truly love themselves!

I would like to thank Stephanie; director of Glass Slipper Princess Pageants, for the opportunity to be a judge and of course, a huge congratulations to all of the girls on yet another great success!
Look out for an update on my Nationals preparation sometime soon! Maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll get a sneak peak of my gown! But it’s a goodbye for now, speak to you all soon!

Thinking positively,

Michela P.

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Our beautiful Canadian flags at the Canadian Pavilion in Brampton, Ontario

That very cold, accepting, notorious, accommodating, diverse, ascending country located north of America, where freedom is available to anyone who wants it and pride is written across each man’s chest everyday is none other than the great white north, Canada. Home to over 35 million people of mixed ethnicities, Canada continues to impress me every day with it’s evolvement, various initiatives, and distinct characteristics. As a proud Canadian myself, I feel privileged to wake up every day knowing that I am safe, have access to an education and health care, and of course, have an endless supply of maple syrup at my fingertips. With endless opportunities available to all of it’s citizens, it is my (slightly bias opinion) that Canada is quite honestly, the most amazing place to live.

Written in our national anthem as “strong and free”, Canada’s main asset is in fact the freedom that you are gifted with. Yet, some fail to understand the true capacity of the term “free”. As a Canadian, you are free to think, feel, speak and react how you feel is appropriate. This is a privilege that people living in many other countries do not have. The information you receive and opinions that you formulate are in no sense, censored or tampered with. If there is a cause that you feel passionately about, you are free to stand up and protest. You are free to love who you choose to love. You are free to worship the God of your choice. You are free to choose who will govern your country, and you are free to be who you want to be. Freedom is so important to Canadians, they are detailed along with an extensive list of rights in what is called the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is a nation that leaves decisions up to it’s citizens and never fails to give them an abundance of opportunities. So now I must ask you this, what freedom have you over looked while being a Canadian? For me, it’s my freedom of speech.

My favourite Mexican dish from a restaurant in Woodbridge, Ontario

My favourite Mexican dish from a restaurant in Woodbridge, Ontario

As an evolving nation, Canada has proved to keep up with more than just the latest iPhone. It has in fact, become a melting pot of cultures and has proved that there is more than one type of Canadian. Originally  seen as an aboriginal nation, the country is now thriving off of it’s immigrants and diversity. By simply walking down a busy street anywhere in Canada, you will hear more than just our native tongue of English and French being spoken. You will also notice an array of  foods available within walking distance from each other. From (my favourite) hummus and pita, to lasagna and tiramisu, Canada offers a wide variety of cuisine. Over the years, many cultures have even created their own communities such as China Town or Little Italy, which contribute to the multiculturalism. I absolutely love seeing the beautiful traditional clothes of India and celebrating wonderful holiday’s such as the Chinese NewYear with the people of my community. The fact that they can bring these types of traditions to Canada and have it be accepted is incredible and I am so thankful to live in a country where people can embrace their heritage. Next question: What’s your favourite cultural food? Besides hummus and pita, I definitely have a soft spot for mexican rice!

Typical Tim Hortans order after a drama rehearsal

Typical Tim Hortans order after a drama rehearsal

Don’t get me wrong, despite our diversity, we are also unique and possess many of our own great Canadian qualities. I mean who else lives in an igloo, drives a polar bear, owns 53 pairs of snow shoes, ice-fishes for every meal and put’s maple syrup on their steak? Oh wait, we don’t even do that… We do however, love a good game of hockey, eat french fries with gravy (and call it a poutine), enjoy cold winter seasons with a cup of Tim’s coffee in our hand, say “Eh” quite frequently and are known to be extremely polite. These are only a few of the things that make Canada so unique and such a great place to be. But of course, every individual is unique! Thus, their likes and dislikes may vary, creating an even more diverse atmosphere. So now i’m wondering, what’s the craziest Canadian stereotype you’ve ever heard? I still can’t get over the fact that some people think we ride polar bears to school!

Our somewhat “free” access to health care and education also allows us to stand out from other nations. Funded through taxes, Canadians can feel at ease when their child has a cold or an elderly person needs a medication. They also don’t have to worry about weather or not they can send their child to school. In ninth grade, I met an immigrant from Kenya who spent every waking moment he had in the library while I complained about being given too much homework. I distinctly remember him looking at me and asking me why I was so upset to be given homework. His question stunned me. Here I was, complaining about having ‘too much homework’, when all he could ever dream of was having any at all. This young man made me see things in a whole new light. He taught me to be thankful for the opportunities that I am given, because somewhere across the world, is a child wishing they can be in your shoes. Since then, I’ve used my freedom of speech and life lesson learned from this young man to empower others. I now value my education and health care, and am careful not to abuse it. I hope to one day be able to give the gift of education and health care to others across the globe, so that they too can enjoy some of Canada’s many luxuries.

Fact: Canada has the most lakes out of all countries across the globe

Fact: Canada has the most lakes out of all countries across the globe

Home of the famous beaver tail and teen heart throb Justin Bieber, Canada is well known for far more than it’s war free zone, abundance of fresh-water and beautiful rural to urban landscapes. I look forward to visiting the iconic CN-Tower this August and adventuring through Nova Scotia in the fall. Small, but mighty, Canada has so much to offer and I am proud to call myself a Canadian.

Cold, accepting, notorious, accommodating, diverse, ascending.

CANADA. 

Thinking positively,

Michela P.

Ps. 18 MORE DAYS UNTIL NATIONALS!! Who’s excited??? I’M EXCITED!!!

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Like a lot of other people my age, I’m beginning to say goodbye to everything that I know and am starting a new chapter in my life. Despite the excitement that this may bring, it is also instilling a lot of sadness, nostalgia and fear in my heart.

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What’s grade 12 without PROM?! My friend Andrew and I at one of the two prom’s I attended this year

High school was quite honestly the best 4 years of my life. I remember shaking my head and throwing out sarcastic remarks whenever someone would tell me that four years go by faster than you would ever imagine and most definitely forgot to appreciate a lot of the little things as they passed me by. Sitting her now, as a 2015 high school graduate, I realize how good I really did have it. From all of the shows I was fortunate enough to be apart of, to the amazing teachers who took the time to get to know me and all of those friendships I formed from day one, high school could not have been any more perfect for me.

So without further adieu, I introduce to you, “Michela’s most memorable high school experiences”

  1. Grade 11 Environmental Science:

This class is the reason that I’m perusing a post-secondary education in Environmental Studies. My teacher was incredibly engaging and really made me find a true passion for the environment. Since taking this class, I’m much more aware of world issues and have changed some aspects of my life.

  1. The Inside Ride
Team Mean Girls

Team Mean Girls

Every year, my school would host a fundraiser called The Inside Ride; which is an indoor biking event that both raises money and advocates for childhood cancer. One year, my team mimicked the popular movie Mean Girls and won top team fundraiser! I also won top female fundraiser two years in a row!

  1. Cafe Cookies/ Pie Shop

Let me explain this to you….

In grade 9, my high school was located in the middle of nowhere. If you wanted to go out for lunch, your only option was the pie shop and apple orchard a few km down the road, or you were forced to satisfy your craving through buying cafe cookies that some how looked awful, but tasted amazing!! This meant you and your friends would literally buy an entire pie, grab a couple forks and share it on the walk back to school (because if you sit to eat it, there is NO way you’re making it back on time). These younger generations are lucky because there has been quite the amount of urbanization over the past 4 years, but I’m content with the experiences my middle-of-no-where school gave me and wouldn’t have wanted to have it any other way.

  1. Hurry Up Music

As a member of the announcements team from grades 10-12, I had the pleasure of taking requests and watching people jam out in the mornings when hearing their favorite songs. But prior to being on the team, I remember how amazing it felt to have the school blast music before classes. If you were tired, frustrated or ready for the day to be over, the hurry up music had a way of energizing you and making you want to be there. Being a regional arts school, we even got to celebrate some of our many talented students by hearing original songs. No one judges your dancing or lip-synching, because, well, everyone’s doing it!

  1. The People
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Alessandra & I at Graduation

Entering a school full of brand new faces, I thought it would be impossible to make new friends. Afraid to even sit in the cafeteria for the first two weeks of school, making friends didn’t seem to be going too well. But surprise, surprise, because high school is where I met some of my greatest supporters! Alessandra D. is someone I met within the first month and has stuck with me ever since. We know each other inside and out and I’m so grateful to have her. More like a sister, I don’t know what I would have done without her. It was also amazing to have such great teachers. One teacher stuck out the most… Mrs. Freitas. Often confused as a student herself, TreyFrey truly got to know me and was there through my highs and lows. Weather it be a last minute photocopy or a social issue, Mrs. Freitas was always there. She truly did make an impact on my life and I know for a fact that I will be visiting her in the future.

  1. The Drama Program
My drama family & I in NYC! One of my favourite memories!

My drama family & I in NYC! One of my favourite memories!

I get emotional even bringing this up. Being apart of the Regional Art’s Drama Program for 4 years means more to me than words will ever be able to describe. Over the years, we pulled together as a family countless times and proved that despite our differences, we all shared a love for the theatre and for each other. This year was the year of lasts. Out last drama night, last monologue, last drama trip, last everything. I’m honored to have shared the stage for the last time alongside my best friend, Alessandra. I’m thankful for the roles I was given in our last drama night. I’m saddened to know that at graduation, I braced the stage for the last time. The drama program is what shaped me into the person that I am today. I wouldn’t for a second doubt the choice I made to attend this school, and will hold these memories close to my heart forever. Once a drama kid, always a drama kid.

Mrs Frietas; my life changing drama teacher

Mrs Frietas; my life changing drama teacher & I at my own prom

In September, I’m moving on to a new adventure. I will be studying Environmental Studies and Theatre at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. My goal is to create just as many amazing memories, but not leave these ones behind. I hope to join the cheerleading team, theatre performances and whatever social justices teams are available to me. It’ll be a very unfamiliar place to be, but I intend on making it home and can’t wait to experience it.

Thinking Positively,

Michela P. <3

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55 thousand countries have been given programming and building projects, 16 hundred thousand schools and school rooms have been built, 1 hundred thousand women are now economically self-sufficient, and over 2 hundred thousand people have experienced We Day!

Since 1995, Free The Children has been able to accomplish all of this, plus more. They’ve found a way to encourage a new generation of change makers, while directly making a positive impact on our world at the same time.

Thanks to Olan at Studio 11 Photography, I got to take some pictures prior to the event.

Thanks to Olan at Studio 11 Photography, I got to take some pictures prior to the event.

Good morning my beautiful friends, how have you been? I know I haven’t posted a blog in a while, but I’m here now and excited to share the results of my gala in support of Free The Children with you. As you are aware, throughout my reign, it is my responsibility to build a platform for myself involving causes that I feel passionately about. Thankfully, this came naturally to me considering I’ve been working on my platform since I was able to walk and talk. Free The Children has become one of the organizations that have inspired me to be the change I wished to see in the world and made me believe that you are never too young to make a difference.

At only 17 years old, I am privileged to say that I’ve participated in multiple We Bake for Change events, Vows of Silence and have experienced We Day 4 times. Yet, despite all that i have done, I still feel like I haven’t done enough. My goals will not yet be 100% achieved until I am physically in Kenya, Ecuador or India, putting in the work myself and forming relationships with locals to better understand their daily struggles. This has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember, and I hope that one day, I’ll be able to make it a reality.

Welcoming my wonderful guests at the beginning of the night

Welcoming my wonderful guests at the beginning of the night

Everyone attended this event for a different reason; however it was my hope that they would all leave with a greater sense of knowledge on the organization and some desire to better our world. All it takes is one person to make a difference, and so I encouraged everyone to let that person be them. One of Free The Children’s founders Craig Keilburger once said,

“The change starts within each one of us. And ends only when all children are free to be children”

I asked my audience to think about this for a moment. I wanted them to realize that there are so many places where our help is needed, and yet we stand back. Here in Canada, in our fast pace, tech savvy world, we fail to think of the greater picture. We don’t see the point in doing something if it won’t directly benefit us, but it CANT be that way. There’s far more to life than our first world problems and it’s crucial for us to take action NOW!

Photo booth Fun!

Photo booth Fun!

Attending my event that night meant that they had all taken their first step towards being a change maker, their next responsibility is to ensure that they never stop walking.

I’ve been supporting Free The Children for about 8 years now and by taking a look at me on a regular day, you would know that. From my branded water bottles and note books, to the Rafiki on my wrist and t-shirt on my back, I support this organization. I support them in this way for two main reasons:

  1. 50% of the proceeds go directly towards fundraising all of their amazing initiatives
  2. I wear, carry and use these items because I am an advocate, and a true advocate doesn’t take any day’s off.
Having fun on the dance floor!

Having fun on the dance floor!

All in all, this event was an absolute success! We began the evening with an amazing dinner, welcoming speech by myself and a presentation by Free The Children representative Caro. After some great entertainment and fun in the photo booth, we ended it off with a live auction, silent auction, games and some awesome raffles. A huge thank you goes out to everyone who helped make this event so successful, a list of some of the sponsors can be found on a past blog post here and of course, my family & friends for their constant support.

I’m not going to announce how much was raised for now, as I want to save that for another time! But let me tell you, we absolutely did make a difference that night!

Thank you for coming <3

Thank you for coming <3

Never forget to Be The Change!

Check out Free The Children’s website to see how you can make a difference or donate through me on my Go Fund Me page.

Thinking Positively,

Michela P. <3 

 

 

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Maintaining a role-model status is very important to me. Partially because I find that this helps me better myself, but also because it is so important for the younger generations to have someone to look up to. Growing up, I was always fortunate enough to have a number of people in whom I could confide in and look up to. Thus, I take pride in being that person for other children.

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Posing with 2014’s Elite Miss Brampton, Stephanie H.

As you probably already know, I created my own charity a few years ago to help relieve parents of their financial burdens. I call my charity Diapers4Smiles. I achieve my mission by collecting new and gently used baby items; specifically, diapers and wipes as well as host various events to eliminate the stigma surrounding single parenting. Over the duration of the past few months, I was fortunate enough to share my vision with a group of other girls wanting to make a difference in their community and become a role model. This was done through a charity ambassadorship program, which is a chain of the annual Flower City Pageant. The Flower City Pageant is a local competition that picks a mini, junior, teen, miss and elite miss to represent the city for an entire year. The selected girls attend community events and essentially become the city celebrities for the year.

Crowing Sara as the official 2015 Charity Ambassador

Crowing Sara as the official 2015 Charity Ambassador

The participants were asked to collect diapers and wipes, which would be evaluated based on a point system. The person who had the highest score by the end of the collection would be awarded the title of Charity Ambassador 2015 and reign until next year. I was honored to crown Sara H. the Diapers 4 Smiles Charity Ambassador 2015 and am really looking forward to bringing her on board to help me with my mission over the next year. Sarah is a genuine, compassionate and sincere 17 year old who truly put her all into her collection and overwhelmed me with a substantial amount of donations.

It was so incredible to see all of the girls get so involved and think of such creative fundraising methods. From setting aside a portion of every paycheck, to hosting an online photo pageant, all of the girls involved worked tirelessly to collect the most diapers and wipes that they could.

Some of the participants and I post-crowning

Some of the participants and I post-crowning

I would like the thank Michelle, the director of MM Pageants for allowing me to be apart of such a memorable day and to all of the participants of helping me collect over 50 boxes of diapers and wipes. 15 boxes have already been sent out to a family in need, and the others have been sent to a local woman’s shelter.

Bringing other people on board and teaching them the importance of aiding their community from such a young age is so important; therefore, participating in this event was extremely meaningful to me.

Once again, congratulations Sara!

Thinking Positively,

Michela P. <3

 

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As a grade 12 student, I’ve been busy planning my schools prom, visiting universities and of course, enjoying what I have left of my senior year. I’ve missed talking to you all, but am so glad to have found some time to share an exciting announcement with you.

I am the official first ever JG Girl! JG is a sweatshirt brand created in 2006 in an attempt to help people, old and young, be different, look good and feel good about themselves (be young at heart). Their quality, brand, elegance/style, colour and sweatshirt boutique niche helps them stand apart from their competitors. As the first ever JG girl, I’m honored to have been able to model some of their apparel and be a guest at their grand opening in two weeks.

Listen out for radio advertisements on Flow Radio Station and join the JG Club for an opportunity to win Katy Perry tickets! Also, don’t forget to come to the grand opening from 1-3 to check out their awesome apparel and say hello to me!

I will be sure to share some pictures of the grand opening with you all and keep you posted on my most recent endeavors as a JG Girl. Thank you JG Athletica for this opportunity, I am very excited to see what will come next!

Another reminder that tickets for the Miss Teenage Ontario Gala in support of Free The Children are still on sale! Send me an email at missteenageontario@gmail.com to reserve your tickets. Can’t attend the gala? That’s ok, you can leave a donation on my GoFundMe page! Remember that every little bit counts.

Free The Children is an international charity and educational partner that works locally and internationally to enable younger generations to be agents of change. They use a series of initiatives such as We Bake For Change, We Scare Hunger, and We Are Silent to help achieve their goals and create a better world for everyone to live in. As noted in my introduction blog post, I am very passionate about working for Free The Children and so I hope that through my fundraising efforts, I will be seen as a strong advocate and be able to bring other people on board.

I will be back next week, but until then, keep smiling!

 Thinking positively,

Michela P. <3

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Hello my beautiful readers,

With a stamp of accomplishment on my back and a jar full of fulfilment in my heart, I am beyond happy to say that I spent last Thursday inspiring school-aged children at two different events!

To begin my day, I went to Guardian Angels Catholic Elementary School to speak with the “Gifted Girls” club. This is a group run by student teachers to emphasize the importance of self respect and teaches girls how to embrace their inner beauty. What made this event even more special was that I am a former Guardian Angels graduate, which means that I have been in the exact same position as many of the children I was talking to. I shared a very personal story with these girls, involving my experience with bullying in my younger years:

Participating in the Vow of Silence at Guardian Angels. I am the third from the left in the third row!

Growing up, I participated in a series of activities that made me feel good about myself. Weather it be the eco-team, Christian leadership club or reading buddies, I was always working on a new project! Eventually, I started to realize that the other people my age weren’t interested in the same types of activities that I was. I also realized that what I was doing wasn’t considered ‘cool’ amongst my group of friends. Because of this, I was constantly being put down for the work that I was doing. It seemed as though the more I took on, the more I would be made fun of. Imagine being told that the activity that makes you the happiest, isn’t socially acceptable. Well, that’s exactly how I felt! Eventually, people started to make harsh comments and drove me to a point where I didn’t even want to go to school anymore. I remember asking my mom if the teasing would stop if I just quit all of my extra curricular’s. This meant no book club, no gymnastics, no pageants, and no fundraising initiatives… I was willing to give all of this up, just to ‘fit in’ with the kids at school. Thankfully, I had a very supportive mom who was able to remind me that things get better. She taught me that I should continue to reach for my stars and not allow anyone to hold me back. But of course, the teasing still continued. Finally, I decided to take this problem to my teacher. My caring, loving and devoted teacher instantly became a person that I could trust with my feelings. To this day, I can honestly say that Mrs. Bedford changed my life for the better. Besides my supportive family, she was one of the only people I felt like I could open up to. Not only did she listen to my troubles, but she also provided me with techniques on how to block the negative energy and focus on the positives in life. Through talking to Mrs. Bedford, I learned that things will always get better and that I should never get lost in a field of lambs, but rather be my own little lamb and stand out.  Mrs. Bedford proved to me that there is absolutely no shame in speaking to an adult when you are being impacted negatively by the actions of others. Think of it this way, are you getting someone in trouble or helping someone get out of trouble?

If I managed to inspire just one student that day, I will consider myself to have been successful! Hopefully, I not only reached the hearts of the victims, but the bullies as well. With all of the physical and emotional changes happening to a child between grades 6 and 8, I understand that school can be a very challenging place to be. With that being said, bullying should never be tolerated; therefore, I strongly believe that it is crucial for every child to have a positive role model in their life. Luckily for me, mine was just a desk away! After speaking to the group of gifted girls, the teachers invited me into three other intermediate classrooms to touch upon the topic of bullying and respect. It was a pleasure sharing my story with these children, and of course, seeing all of my favourite teachers again (including Mrs. Bedford). Thank you Guardian Angels for having me, I hope to visit again soon!

Author Susan & I

My second event of the day focused on the importance of literacy. Along side children’s author Susan Aguilo, I opened Our Lady of Fatima’s celebration of Catholic Education Week with a speech regarding my views on literacy. I discussed ways in which I have managed to incorporate daily doses of literacy into my busy schedule and how fortunate we are to be provided with an education here in Canada. After the opening ceremony was complete, I was eager to circulate around the school and read all of the wonderful short stories each of the children had been working so hard on. Susan had been working with the students over a duration of 3 months to teach them how to create their own stories. Clearly the hard work had paid off, because each of the stories were professional and fun to read! With over 100 to choose from, I didn’t get a chance to read them all, but I’m sure that they were all great!

How cool are these picture book illustrations?

Thank you to Susan for inviting me and Our Lady of Fatima for hosting such a wonderful event. Congradulations to all of the successful authors of the night.

A bit longer then normal, but I had so much fun speaking to these audiences I just couldn’t wait to share it with you all! Once again, thank you for all of the constant support, I would not be where I am today without each and everyone one of you (and yes, I’m addressing both my haters & my motivators here).

Quick little side note: ONLY 2 MONTHS AND 17 DAYS UNTIL NATIONALS ! I AM SO  EXCITED !!!!!!!!!

Thinking Positively,

Michela P. <3

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Hey Friends!

After an insanely busy weekend that left me with an actual dent in my head from my crown, I am FINALLY recuperating and gaining back some of that lost energy.  

On that note, I suppose I should provide you with a few details regarding the events that I attended last weekend…

OutGrow OutPlay Mississauga 

Day 1 with my good friends Elmo & Olaf

OutGrow OutPlay is a children’s consignment sale located in Mississauga, Ontario. The primary focus of this sale is to help families make money off of what their children have quite literally ‘outgrown’ and ‘outplayed’. As you can imagine, children grow and change their interests extremely quickly; therefore, costing their caregivers thousands of dollars a year just to upgrade these items. OutGrow OutPlay allows people to drop off new and used items to be sold in a large arena at reasonable prices. Think of it like a giant garage sale, except you don’t have to do any of the work! 

I chose to affiliate myself with this event for two main reasons. One: They really encourage first time moms to come and shop! I think that this is fantastic for all first time parents because it gives them an opportunity to save money at a very crucial time in their lives. Not only is this event a place to shop, but they also offer vendor tables where they can learn about things like RSP’s for their children. Two:The entry fee is either a box of diapers or non-perishable food item! I love the idea of incorporating a charity into events like these simply because it teaches people how to give to others and become a little more selfless. 

Day 2 with Gabriella, owner of OutGrow OutPlay

I spent both my Saturday morning and entire Sunday helping greet, survey and assist shoppers, as well as collect some of the donations. It was wonderful to have been able to participate in this event for a second year, and I look forward to teaming up with the staff at OutGrow OutPlay to find other means of incorporating diaper collections into their fall event. 

Oshawa Recreational Italian Club

I am proud to say that my family is of Italian decent and that we strive to incorporate our culture into our daily lives as much as possible. Whether it be what we ate for dinner, or through having a loud family gathering on a Tuesday night, we make sure that old Italian traditions are passed down from generation to generation. 

Miss Italia 2015 & I after crowning

In an attempt to keep these traditions alive, a lot of communities have been formed based on people’s  heritage. The Oshawa Italian Club is a place where the Italian community can come together and celebrate their culture through recreational activities and events. Every year, the club chooses one Miss and one Mini-Miss to represent their culture at what is called Fiesta Week. Fiesta Week is when all of the clubs across Oshawa come together to celebrate their diversity. Each club is responsible for their own pavilion where they may choose to sell cultural food or products and perform cultural dances. I had the privilege of choosing this years Miss Italia and MCing the actual crowning ceremony. 

The night was full of live entertainment, great food and most importantly, wonderful company. I loved seeing the younger generations embrace their families culture and truly become ambassador’s of their heritage. After attending such an amazing event like this, there is no way that I wouldn’t raise my future children in an atmosphere like that. 

…And that my friends, is what kept me busy last weekend! Although I hardly had a second to breathe, I made a ton of great memories and am now looking forward to many more busy weekends like these! 

Thinking Positively,

Michela P. <3

 

 

Written by: Michela P.
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Posted On: Categories:Events, Miss Teenage Ontario