Hello from Tia McCann
Hi, my name is Tia-Lynn McCann and I am 17 years old. In 2018, I competed for the first time in the Miss Teenage Canada pageant. At first, I decided to compete to distract myself from a painful situation, never thinking that what I would get back would be so much more than I could have ever imagined. 2020, will be my third time competing, and every time I have competed, I have stretched myself more and more out of my comfort zone; I have learned new things about myself and the world around me; and grew as a young women. In 2019 I came top half and moved on to compete in the final night of Miss Teenage Canada. In February 2020 at the provincial pageant of Miss Teenage Ontario, I came 1st runner up and will be representing Ontario at the national pageant for Miss Teenage Canada 2020 at the end of August. It is not winning that is important but it is what happens during the journey and how in the end you become a better person.
I have had many experiences being involved with Miss Teenage Canada pageant organization:
- Created a partnership with Windsor-Essex Children Aid Society. As a titleholder, you have the choice to get involved with your local community and make a difference where you live. I chose WECAS because I once was a child in the foster care system from the age of 6 months to 3.5 years when I was adopted by a loving family; along with my sister who was 2.5 years old and my brother who was 6 years old. In the new family, we gained an older brother who was 11 years old and who I love to the moon and back. I was given a second chance at a better life. My goal in working with WECAS is to raise the awareness of the desperate need for foster and adoptive homes in my community, in Ontario and in Canada so that other children can receive a second chance at a better life. I always say that it is not blood that makes your family but love does. I have had the opportunity to get involved with many different activities to help WECAS raise awareness and hand out information to the community on what it means to be a foster or adoptive parent. I have attended training sessions, helped at recruitment booths, interviews on CTV, been a guest speaker at Foster Appreciation day and written articles on fostering and adopting.
- Attended open houses and special events. Through attending various events in my community, I have learned about different issues that are important for us as citizens to understand and to try to help change. In attending an open house for Spiritual Soldiers Cafe, I learned about the issues of addiction and recovery from addiction. The cafe was created to give recovering addicts a safe, non-judgmental place to go and socialize and make friends who help each other out. In attending the celebration of Chief Tecumseh 250th birthday, I learned about how the native culture has affected my town and Canada and how important it is to celebrate our rich history including native Indian contributions to our society. One of my favorite events was attending the open house for Bride’s Choice & Yours which is a bridal store that was started by Judy Brown who is the Director of the Sunparlour Pregnancy Resource Center. The wedding dresses that the store carries are either gently used or new donated by wedding dress boutiques. The proceeds of the sale of the dresses go to fund programs at the Sunparlour Pregnancy Resource Center. The Center helps teenagers and woman who are expecting and who need advice on options as well as prenatal care. They also offer parenting courses. I also had the pleasure of making a culinary stop along this amazing journey and congratulate my cousins who own Zazza’s Pizza in Brantford, Ontario on their 10th year in business. What can I say, I am part Italian after all. Pizza and Nutella are my weaknesses.
- Attended fashion shows and photoshoots. I participated in a couple of fashion shows and photoshoots. I am an outgoing person but I do have a shy side to me as well. The fashion shows and photoshoots helped me to become more confident in front of the camera and on stage. Being in front of people requires you to always look your best. Adopting a routine of self-care and loving ourselves and our bodies become important. It is about loving ourselves, both the flaws and the perfections.
- Attended parades. I think this is one of the most fun activities in pageantry. Being involved in your community and meeting new people. As well as, riding in beautiful cars. I have ridden in beautiful convertible cars like Mercedez Benz but my favorite cars are Jeeps. For the 2019 Windsor Canada Day Parade, I got to ride in a Jeep Rubicon Gladiator before it was on the market.
- Guest speaker at charity events. I have to admit that out of all the things I have done,public speaking was the skill that I didn’t realize I had. The biggest crowd I spoke in front of was 600 people. I received so many compliments on my speech and how natural I looked on stage. My parents were shocked as well. If I had never entered the pageant world, I would have never discovered that I could do public speaking.
There are many reasons why girls enter pageants. Unfortunately, our society sometimes sees pageant girls as superficial and self-centered. The truth is that I have met some of the most amazing girls who are beautiful outside as well as inside and who want to change the world through their words and actions. For me, I want to share my story of adoption so that I can make a difference in another child’s life so they can get a second chance too. I also want to make a difference in my community by participating in various events for other organizations. By participating in pageants, it has also changed me: I am more confident, I learned to step out of my comfort zone, passionate to impact other people’s lives, taught me to take risks and accept the opportunities given me, improved communication skills, discovered my ability for public speaking, taught me the importance of loving and taking care of myself and my body, and most of all, taught me to dream big and go after my goals with enthusiasm and passion.