The day has finally come to leave my hometown of Tecumseh and head to the Miss Teenage Canada 2020 National Pageant!!

 

I have been getting ready for months: picking out outfits, figuring out what snacks to bring, practicing walks, being healthy and working out, getting to know myself better, getting gifts ready for the girls, and fundraising for the pageant.

 

 

This year, due to COVID, I changed the way I fundraised from previous years. I have seniors who live in my neighborhood and as they knew that I was home, they asked me if I could help them by picking up groceries so they didn’t have to leave the house, washing siding of houses, going shopping for them, cleaning out garages, cutting lawns, and doing yard work as well as baking birthday cakes. Any money that was given to me went toward the Children Wish Foundation which is a Canadian nonprofit organization that grants wishes to children who have life-threatening illnesses.

Interestingly enough, before people asked me to help them, I had been working on a business idea for the last couple of months that involves offering services to people who need baking or chores done. People call me “Sunshine” because of my bubbly personality and that I am always ready to help anyone that needs help. My catchphrase is “Be the Sunshine in someone’s day” which is something I try to do every day. Although, sometimes or often, I can be overly helpful. Oops. There are so many elderly people as well as busy people who need chores or tasks done that they can’t do or don’t have time to do it.

 

 

The other part to “Be the Sunshine in someone’s day” is that once my business starts, I want to set aside part of the profit to donate to Children’s Aid Society to help fund various programs as well as using my website to raise awareness of fostering and adopting by blogging and posting quotes on positive living and sharing stories of fostering and adopting. Foster parents can be the “sunshine” in a child’s life. So far I have designed the logo and I am working on other product ideas as well as working on setting up my social media. My gifts to the girls was a “Sunshine package” to brighten up their week.

After packing the car, I drove from my home town of Tecumseh, Ontario down to Barrie, Ontario to the Horseshoe Resort! The resort is amazing and beautiful. There are so many fun and amazing things to do here!

I am really excited to be doing this pageant for the 3rd time. I have grown so much over the last 3 years and I would not be who I am today and more confident in myself without having participated in this pageant. I believe in the organization and love this pageant so much.

I would love to win because I would use my title to raise awareness of fostering and adopting across Canada. In the Windsor Essex County, we have 470 children in the foster care system. We have 165 homes while 5 years ago we had 243 foster homes. This decrease in homes is not just in my community, but this has been seen in communities across Canada. Another reason why I would like to win is that I can bring skills that I have learned through my volunteer work with the recruitment department of the Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society. I have learned about marketing, talking to the public, and promoting fostering and adopting, skills I can use to help market Miss Teenage Canada organization. I also want to use my title to impact youth around the country to show them that second chances are possible and that where they came from doesn’t define who they will become.

As much as I would love to win as every other girl participating would, I will be happy in participating and continuing to expand outside my comfort zone and growing and gaining more skills and self-confidence.

The adventure begins….Once I arrived I checked in and headed up to my room to meet my roommate Kassidy Stewart from Vancouver Island.

 

 

We started the week off with a PJ and pizza dinner party.  At this party, we got to meet all of the ladies and get to know them. We had cake and homemade pizza. Some of the girls made little gift baggies for all the girls from different sponsors and homemade gifts.

   

 

We ended the day in our room and had a little spa night and then we watched the Princess and the Frog then headed off to bed.

Written by: Tia-Lynne