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They always tell you that ‘all good things come to an end’ or that ‘life is greener on the other side.’ But to be completely honest, I’m not too sure if this is an end that I am ready for or a bridge I’m willing to cross.
Just one year ago, I earned myself the title of Miss Teenage Ontario and a spot to compete for the title of Miss Teenage Canada the following summer. Little did I know, the next year of my life would be the most challenging, different, and life changing years yet.
I’ve repetitively expressed my sincere gratitude but haven’t exactly touched on what I’ve taken away from this entire experience (which is probably enough to keep me writing for another year)!
Inevitably, the friendships that I made are what I cherish the most. From a room of timid strangers, to a group of sisters who require a blow horn to be silenced, we have created a community of loving girls who are there to support one another regardless of the circumstance. Naturally, you would expect a lot of competition amongst us girls; yet, you didn’t see that at all. Instead, we helped each other through our lows and cheered each other on through our highs. To this day, we have a group chat of over 50 girls that never stops. I’d be lying if I told you that I haven’t envisioned these girls being at my wedding one day or traveling the world with them. This is truly a one of a kind sisterhood that I will always be apart of.
Aside from the incredible friends, I’ve been given a chance to define who I want to be and where I intend on going in the future. Miss Teenage Canada’s saying, “be your own kind of beautiful” speaks to me on a completely different level than it ever did before. It takes a lot to speak in front of an audience, let alone brace the stage in a bikini, and with that being said, I’m proud of myself for finally being able to feel comfortable doing so. It’s one thing to, shall I say, “suck it up” and do something. However, it’s completely different when a person comes to terms with the given situation and truly embraces it… something that I have learned to do a lot this past year. Societal pressures will always be present, but it’s what you choose to do with those pressures that will define who you are as a person. You can either decide to wake up with a smile on your face, or lay in bed hating the day away. I’ve learned that if you don’t wake up with a smile on your face, you’ll never know how many opportunities are out there waiting for you.
I am more confident. I am more accepting of others differences. I am more driven to succeed. I have gained 90 new sisters. I am Michela P. and I am proud of that.
And, yes. I did learn and gain all of those things from a ‘beauty pageant’.
To the next titleholder,
I hope that you take on your reign with an open mind and heart just as I did. I encourage you to immerse yourself into your community and learn from them. No matter how smart you may be, never forget that there is always more to be learned. You are a beautiful young woman with a bright future, so don’t allow the comments or pressures from others add a single wrinkle to your face. Above all, be a role model for the young girls who have no one else to look up to. Trust me, that is the most rewarding feeling you will ever feel.
I look forward to being at the Miss Teenage Ontario competition this weekend to meet every single one of the delegates who have already accomplished a lot by being selected to be there. Breathe and be you, that’s all the judges are looking for.
As much as I dislike the word goodbye, I suppose this is it.
Being Miss Teenage Ontario 2015 has brought such happiness to my life and it was a pleasure to represent such a wonderful province for an entire year. Thank you for supporting and loving me throughout this entire journey, I promise to continue doing great things.
So for the last time,
Michela P. – Miss Teenage Ontario 2015♥
Amongst all of the fun thing’s we’ve been doing here in Toronto, eating has been one of the girls favourite… especially when being fed taco’s and burrito’s at Richtree’s NEW taco bus at the Eaton Centre!
I wish I took a picture of the actual taco bus, because it was just way too cute, but I suppose you’ll have to go visit for yourself to understand. It was set up as an open top food truck style where they took your order at one end and you would pick it up on the other. With 90 girls swarming them all at once, I was so surprised to see how quickly they attended to us!
Next, I was forced to deal with all of my food restrictions: no dairy, gluten, egg yolk or meat. Expecting this to be a major set back, surprisingly, they ended up being super accommodating and fed me the most delicious meal. As a huge health nut, I thought it was great to see all of their food being made fresh and prepared with wholesome ingredients. Nothing is better than a freshly prepared meal, that’s for sure.
I would like to thank everyone at Ricktree’s taco bus for sponsoring us and welcoming us into your facility. It was just a warm and welcoming environment, I will be sure to come back with my family soon!
There’s been so much going on, I haven’t had much other time to post, so please be patient and I will share EVERYTHING with you once I get home!
Michela P. <3
Just when you think you know everything there is to know, life surprises you and becomes one of your biggest learning experiences yet.
You know that feeling you get before you go on a really big roller coaster? You know, a little nervous, yet super excited? You’ve spent all day, or week even, talking about how you were going to conquer this coaster and now you’ve finally been given the opportunity to do so! So now here you are, standing in line, and your nerves hit you full force. You can’t understand why because you’ve spent all day on the smaller coasters to work yourself up to this one. Finally, it’s your turn. You go onto it still afraid, but hoping to create one really good story out of it.
Well, that’s exactly how I feel right now. As you know, I’ve been participating in pageants for a really long time, and so, I do feel as though I have prepared myself for this moment. But for some reason, I am feeling a whirlwind of emotions like no other. I’m known to never get nervous, and so this is a totally new feeling to me. Here I am, after years of preparation and 6 months as Miss Teenage Ontario, packed and ready to head out to Toronto this afternoon. I’m about to embark on the most exciting adventure of my life, and am without a doubt, nervous.
I suppose it’s good to be nervous. It’ll keep me humbled and on my toes at all times. It also proves that I’m human. Just like you, I too am anxious when embarking on a new journey. But here’s a few things that I’ve told myself or have done to keep me grounded and calm:
- I am more than my crown. The judges and contestants do not know me beyond what they see, and so it is my responsibility to let my true personality shine through. Stay true to yourself, and don’t let your excitement (or nerves) get in the way of showing everyone what you as an individual has to offer.
- Stop to smell the roses. With such a busy and exciting week ahead of me, it can be easy to get caught up in the moment and picture taking, that i’ll forget to simply enjoy the moment. Yes, pictures are great, but experiences are even better.
- Make a new friend. With so many new people surrounding me, I can only hope to make at least one really good new friend. But of course, I already know that I’m about to gain over 80 new sisters. Embrace everyone’s differences, and be sure to help out whoever needs it.
- Don’t compare. Everyone is different, weather it be their body shape, hair colour, clothing or nail polish colour. Yes, everyone is beautiful, but don’t forget that you are too. Comparing will only lead to insecurities. Embrace yourself for who are and let that confidence shine through.
- Family is #1. After spending my night yesterday with all of my aunts, uncles and cousins, I am feeling much more relaxed and ready for this. They were all encouraging and yet, made me forget about all of my pressures. When in doubt at all during the week, don’t forget that they are only 1 text away.
- Breathe. Breathe. Music. Push up. Sit up. Jump. My pre-pageant routine. Don’t forget it. It has helped 100 times before and will be sure to help this time too. If you have to plug in those headphones while getting your makeup done, do it. There’s no shame in focusing on yourself for a little while.
I am confidant, I am prepared, I am ready for this.
I have a lot of people to thank, beginning with my family and friends. They all know how much I appreciate their support and am so thankful to have them around. Believe me, they all will receive personal thank you’s once this week comes to an end.
I would also like to thank all of my corporate sponsors or supporters. Kimberly from Thirty-One provided me with the most amazing packing essentials that I am so grateful for! Kimberly is so generous and kind, she offered to provide me with these things without even asking. I am beyond excited to have her come and watch me at prelims this upcoming Friday!
As well as my personal trainer Alex, from Bodies By Design. He has been incredible!! He pushes me to do my best and I can already see the improvements. Like I said in my Fitness Adventure blog, working out has always been about feeling confidant to me and I can without a doubt say that I have accomplished that. I may not be a size triple 0, but I am proud of my progress and comfortable in my own skin.
Lastly, I would like to thank No. 1 Boutique for all of the amazing clothes for pageant week! Thanks to them, I’ll be looking super fashionable every day! Just what I need, right?
So what now? Well, now I hope for the best. I dive into this with an open mind and vow to do be the best Michela that I can be.
Of course, goals are important to have too. Without them, there is nothing to steer you in the right direction. With that being said, my goal is make the top 5. A little ambitious of myself, but I know I can do it. Winning would simply be a privilege that I would be honoured to have, but for now, I am content with simply placing in the top 5.
I know that this is going to be a life changing event and I promise that I will share every last piece of it with you when I get back, or if you’re lucky, throughout the week! Don’t forget to check out my social media pages to see what I’ve been up to during the day.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Michela P. <3
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
Michela P. <3
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!
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…
On 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…
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…
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!
Michela P. <3
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Ps. 18 MORE DAYS UNTIL NATIONALS!! Who’s excited??? I’M EXCITED!!!
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.
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”
- 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.
- The Inside Ride
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!
- 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.
- 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!
- The People
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.
- The Drama Program
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.
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.
Michela P. <3
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.
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.
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!
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:
- 50% of the proceeds go directly towards fundraising all of their amazing initiatives
- I wear, carry and use these items because I am an advocate, and a true advocate doesn’t take any day’s off.
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!
Never forget to Be The Change!
Michela P. <3