My love for helping others all started when I was eight years old, I attended my first volunteering event for an organization that raised money for breast cancer equipment called “Angels in Pink”.

My beautiful mom and I at my first volunteer event!

Ever since then I fell in love and started getting involved with even more organizations such as the Maison MCulloch Hospice, Northern Cancer Foundation, NOFCC, Tomorrow’s Hope for Mental Health and even founded my own Stomach Cancer Fund alongside my family. I also volunteer for many of my school events such as Regals Fight Cancer, Regals Fight MS, Being a “big sister” for the newcomers at my school, open houses and many more!

Regals Fight MS 2019
Radiothon-Of-Hope 2018

Volunteering is something that I love to do because as a youth with a strong mindset to helping others, it gives me a way to make a difference in every way possible. I like to believe that any small change is just as a good as a big change, no matter what you are doing its still one step forward in the right direction! Volunteering gives me the voice for people who don’t have one, saving a program for kids who love it, the chance to change someone’s life who can’t do it themselves, the possibility of a cure for someone to live longer who has a whole lifetime ahead of them.

This past year, as a part of my last pageant; I started my own business where I make and sell hair scrunchies for $2 each, so far in the past month and a half of starting this business I have raised over $2000 for kids with cancer. That pageant night I was able to see how the charity uses the money and the kids it helps – it made me very emotional and yet very proud of myself. My 125 hours of sewing hair scrunchies certainly has made a difference!! I am definitely going to continue to sell the hair scrunchies and use the money for my other charity projects.

I am a very energetic person and if I am not in school or volunteering – I like to be busy with extra- curricular activities.

Since I was in eighth grade I was in my school musical play. I remember seeing my name on the cast list for The Jungle Book Jr and feeling absolutely filled with joy; I was cast as an elephant and a monkey! I have also been in the following productions with various roles: Into the woods, Beauty and The Beast and soon Frozen!

Participating in school play taught me- time management skills as I spent every Sunday at practices – in addition to after school, lunches and many more hours from September to April, on top of my other activities. I improved my teamwork skills, leadership skills, confidence, and stage presence. School play has built my love for performing and has opened my eyes to a whole new world.

During the year, along with play practices, I also spend many hours practicing for our school Gymnastics team. I started on our school team in grade 9 -as I wanted to be on a sports team and represent my school in public. Gymnastics taught me so much about dedication and having to work hard for good results; I rarely missed a practice and gave it my all at competition. Practice paid off, I placed 6th on vault and went on to provincials where I represented my school for all of Ontario! This past year I stayed on the team and worked very hard, at my competition, I performed like I never did before and placed 5th on floor! Sadly, there were no provincials but it was still an amazing feeling to have when I saw that my hard work paid off.

5th place at NOSSA 2019

Gymnastics wasn’t the first sport I have ever done. At nine years old I laced up my first pair of figure skates and got on the ice! I became a figure skater! I was very dedicated to my craft spending up to 8 hours a week on the ice for 4 years straight, I wanted to be the figure skater that stood out in competitions and boy, did I ever!

I was the figure skater that would do splits on the ice, get into full character and I made sure it was the best performance I could give.. Competitions made me so proud of myself, I was happy to be there and have the opportunity to perform for everyone in the crowds. Whether I walked away with gold or nothing, I loved it all!

Figure Skating showed me how fortunate I was, when I was 14 years old I had to leave figure skating due to a fractured foot that never healed properly. Later on I was asked at the Miss Greater Sudbury pageant how I overcame this difficulty in my life – leaving something I loved because of something uncontrollable. This question made me realize how fortunate I was, how lucky I was to be able to experience skating in the first place! My family could afford new skates and dresses and I had legs that worked properly for me to skate. Many people don’t have the money or even the ability to walk, this is something I will forever take away from skating – being appreciative of what I have no matter how long it lasts.

I have challenged myself both mentally and physically and have learned so much about myself. I am strong, focussed and determined!

“If I go, there’s no telling how far ill go” -Moana

Written by: Milena