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Welcome to the blog of Livia, Miss Teenage Comox Valley 2016. I am very excited to share my road to nationals with all of you!
First we’ll get to know a bit more about me.
I am currently 15 years old and enrolled at GP Vanier Secondary School. Also enrolled at Ilha Ballet Academy & Eclat Dance Youth Company where you can find me most of the time. If I am not dancing you can find me spending time with friends or family, volunteering at the local seniors home, or volunteering with community events.
Now my platform. My platform is Child Poverty, I am very honoured that I get to help a topic I feel strongly about. Throughout my year of reign I would like to get the word out to help children in poverty and or donate to an organization that can help.
For more updates on what Miss Teenage Comox Valley 2016 is up to follow me on:
For inquiries you can contact me at: MissTeenageComoxValley@outlook.com
Livia, Miss Teenage Comox Valley 2016
For those of you who were asking to read the essay I wrote for the Miss Teen Canada Pageant, I`m posting it here for you. I couldn`t include the footnote but it`s
1 MatonWilliam F., . “Canadian Constitutional Documents.” Constitution act 1982. A Legal History, 1994. Web. 13 Jul 2012. <http://www.solon.org/Constitutions/Canada/English/ca_1982.html>.
All the deleagtes were given the option to write an essay on the Canadian Education System for the chance to win a scholarship and the title Miss Teen Scholastic Achievement 2012. We also had to include our most recent report card, letters of reference, and any awards we recieved.
The Canadian Education System: Flaws and Conquests
I am a 2011 graduate from Highland Secondary school in the Comox Valley, British Columbia. With fourteen years as a student under my belt, I can assert my opinion of the Canadian Education System; the flaws and the conquests. Prior to my conviction of the system, I would like to state that I hold the Canadian Education System (CES) and its methods in high esteem. The learning system has fully prepared me for a future in academics, in addition to training in discipline, creativity, and morality. Although the system has not reached perfection, it strives to make improvements for students and educators.
The CES is funded and overseen my federal, provincial, and local governments. Funding and distribution is overseen at the federal level, while education and curriculum are under provincial jurisdiction and the local government, respectively. I think the fact that the curriculum is collected and prescribed by each province is terrific in its individuality. The curriculum and work load is specified to each provinces needs as opposed to distributing the same lesson plans throughout the country. This gives the students the ability to learn about local events as well as avoid over congested materials whilst still maintaining variety. For example, in Quebec, students must attend a French school up until the end of high school (unless one of their parents previously attended an English-Language school somewhere in Canada). The fact that curriculum falls under province rule allows Quebec students to learn in-depth about their local language and culture, without obliging the rest of Canada to do the same. Our country is so vast and multicultural that individual province curriculum is a mandatory feature in the CES. With wide varieties of landscapes, history, climate, and culture, specifying the curriculum increases the level of learning. On the other hand, regulations involving mandatory French classes have expanded nationwide as of recent years. By the year 2016, minor French classes will be mandatory from grade seven to ten in all provinces. As it stands, those “…who have received their primary school instruction in Canada in English or French and reside in a province where the language in which they received that instruction is the language of the English or French linguistic minority population of the province, have the right to have their children receive primary and secondary school instruction in that language in that province.” 1 This mandate is under the Constitution Act, section 23, 1982 and is in my opinion, an excellent way to bring the strong French and English backgrounds of Canada together. It creates a better cultural understanding and maintains a national respect. I was in the French-Immersion program for eight years and although I’m not officially bilingual, I do speak the language fluently. Learning another language opened up a learning style for me that I use to this day. The ability to quickly comprehend new concepts and understandings is borne from learning a new language at a young age. Not only does it improve learning patterns, but learning a new language also unites our countries’ cultures in peace and understanding. The CES has provided an ideal balance of individuality and unity.
The current issues facing the Canadian Education system generally revolve around funding. Many provincial wide strikes have been in action this school year because only 7% of Canada’s GDP is now spent on education. Due to this funding reduction, many educators are facing dismissal. For example, in BC, there will be 700 fewer special needs teachers in the classroom. In September, 8 more children will be in each classroom because of fewer teachers, and seniority has been partially eroded under Bill 22-Education Improvement Act. Education is the foundation of our future and the future progression of our species. To disregard it or to place other things in positions of higher importance is foolish and short-sighted. There will be many educational cuts due to less funding that will negatively impact the students. Even in allowing an open mind towards the situation at hand, I still remain of the opinion that education should take precedent over most government funded organizations. Until now, I was under the impression that education was highly valued in our country because it provides children and young adults with the tools they need to succeed in our society. With larger classrooms, students won’t receive the careful attention they need. Special needs teachers will now have three to four students to care for. This will increase classroom disruption for the other students. In summation, I disagree with the government’s decision to reduce educational funding.
Although the CES has provided students with a highly renowned system of learning, there are a few changes that I would make if given the chance. First, I would change the compulsory age to eighteen in all provinces. Currently, only Manitoba, Ontario, and New Brunswick have the compulsory age at eighteen, while the rest of Canada sits at sixteen. I believe that a high school diploma should be mandatory for all Canadians. This will provide everyone with equal opportunities in careers, academia, and life. Currently one out of every ten Canadians does not have a high school diploma. I would like to change those statistics to zero out of every ten Canadians. Another aspect of the CES that needs to change involves the new Native Studies initiatives. Most schools in Canada have recently introduced programs in Native Studies, antiracism, and Aboriginal cultures and crafts. These programs include visits from elders and other community members, content in indigenous languages, aboriginal spirituality, indigenous knowledge of nature, and tours to indigenous heritage sites. The variety of new initiatives in non-assessed subject is an excellent way to bring students closer to the history and cultures of Canada. However, although these classes are offered, most are very limited by the area or region in which students reside. I would increase the amount of government funding to allow students to travel around Canada to participate in these classes. The knowledge they would gain from this experience out competes any in-school assessment-based course. Finally, I would implement drastic changes involving the educational/religious sector of the CES. I don’t agree with separate schools revolving around religious beliefs. All the provinces had educational systems divided by religion, but most have abolished these. Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, and the Northwest Territories are exceptions to this as they still maintain publicly-funded separate district school boards (mostly Catholic or Protestant). I would eliminate all government funded separate religion schools. In our modern day, religion and education should be kept separate, and therefore promote equality in learning. Although I have nothing against private schools revolving around religion, I wouldn’t have the government fund public religious schools anymore. These minor changes that I would implement if given the chance would not impact the CES to the extent of notability, but would, in my opinion, improve education for students nationwide.
In conclusion, the CES has accumulated global respect over the past two decades. In spite of cuts in government funding, the CES has maintained a reputation for providing its students and educators with optimal learning and teaching environments. However this being said, there is always room for improvement, and it would be irresponsible of us as a nation to neglect our duty to provide the best possible future for all of our citizens. The fact that Canada is able to offer free, public education to all children is exceptional in itself when compared to the many countries around the world that do not have these options. I consider myself very fortunate to have been borne into a nation where education is a right, and not a privilege
Tonight, the Miss Teen Canada-World delegates were fortunate enough to be visited by 4 amazing and successful women. We had the opportunity to here their incredible stories; we learned a lot from them.
Our first mentor was none other then Ford Canada model, Melani Chong. She shared with us her journey in modeling, and several career changes.
When Melani was in high school, she was very athletic. She had no intentions of becoming a model. One day, Ford was having model try outs at Melani’s local mall. Knowing she wouldn’t be interested in going, Melani’s dad tricked her into auditioning. Surprisingly, she achieved a call back, and was signed on with Ford Modeling. She then decided to embrace the modeling career, even though it meant losing focus in her sports. Melani became the face of MAC cosmetics, and dedicated 18 years of her life to modeling. “Don’t forget your dreams” Melani reminded us over and over. And she didn’t. Melani became a stylist in many fashion shows and a variety of big events.
When Melani became pregnant with her first son, she realized she may never be able to model again. But instead of of looking at the situation negativly, she decided that “health [was] as important as looks” and began her own organic cosmetic line, Soya Boutique. In order to do this, she went back to school to gain the technicians degree necessary to begin her cosmetic line. Soya Boutique is all about longevity and beauty in simplicity. Melani uses organic, local products in her line to guarantee health and beauty.
Melani warned us that as young beautiful women, we may not always be taken seriously, and that we can’t always rely on our looks. “Have integrity in your ambitions” was the advice she gave, “and you will go far.” This is a quote she shared:
Wisest is he who knows what he does not know.
“Sometimes when you don’t know everything, more oppurtunities are made known to you,” Melani told us. Her equation to life is passion=drive=core actions. Grasp the oppurtunities that are made know to you, and along the way, you will find your core values, and live them to the fullest.
Mentor #2: Katrina Hadden
Katrina is a size 12 model, “and proud of it.” But it wasn’t always like this; Katrina struggled with an eating disorder because she “didn’t fit into any category.” She wasn’t a petite model, but she wasn’t a plus size model either. Growing up, Katrina was always the “tall one” in school and suffered a lot of bullying. This also contributed to her lowered self esteem later in life. But she overcame her eating disorder and learned to love her body, and herself. She became a trainer and gained back her health.
After much deliberation, Katrina decided to try modeling again; she took a leap of faith and moved to Toronto. She’d set a new goal and was going to conquer anything in her path to reach it. After going to different auditions, Katrina was discovered by Ben Barry Modeling; they hire on diverse groups of people to give a more accurate portrayal to viewers. Why did they choose Katrina out of a room full of other beautiful women? Because of “the energy [she] brought to the room.” It’s not always the thinest or the most beautiful that get chosen. It’s the one who has confidence and light in her or himself.
Katrina hit her big break when Sunny Fong from Project Runway desinged a dress for her to wear in Toronto fashion week. So even though Katrina was teased and bullied in school, she used what she had to build herself up. “Everyone has a place in this world,” so be confident in who you are. This is a poem that Katrina’s mom used to say to her and has helped her counter many obstacles:
Don’t quit when the tide is lowest,
For it’s just about to turn;
Don’t quit over doubts and questions,
For there’s something you may learn.
Don’t quit when the night is darkest,
For it’s just a while ’til dawn;
Don’t quit when you’ve run the farthest,
For the race is almost won.
Don’t quit when the hill is steepest,
For your goal is almost nigh;
Don’t quit, for you’re not a failure
Until you fail to try.
I learned from Katrina that confidence can overcome almost anything. Having confidence, and the courage to let it shine
Mentor #3: Alex Orlando
Alex is a highly decorated, world class rhythmic gymnast. This young Canadian athlete told us her story of growing up and facing the struggles of youth, while at the same time, maintaining intense gymnast training.A widely spread notion is that Olympic athletes are very strong and put-together people, but Alex told us she was just like every other teenager.
Alex`s main message was “you are not alone.” Everyone faces the challenge of teenage hood and all of its firsts; “first love, first
failure, first heartbreak…” they all make us stronger in the end. Alex is a very strong person today, but she had to hit rock bottom first: When Alex didn’t make it to the Olympics with gymnastics she felt like her whole world was gone. Gymnastics was her identity, and it was gone. After a time, Alex realized that gymnastics didn’t have to be her identity;
even though she didn’t qualify, she did gain a lot of knowledge over her years of training. “It`s the journey, not the destination; not making one did not take away 12 years of her life! So Alex surrounded herself with positive people, began training in rhythmic gymnastics. Today, she is an Olympian in her sport, but her life isn’t consumed by it.
“Make sure you stay a well rounded person. But don`t hold back, give life your all. Just go for it!”
Mentor #4: Dr. Natalie Archer
The first thing this “proud dentist” said to us was “you are not fully dressed without a smile.”
Natalie is a dentist as well us the mother of two children; these are both full time jobs! She is an outstanding woman and we were very fortunate to have her speak to us. She started off by reassuring us that if we didn’t know what we wanted to do for the rest of our lives, that ok; it is normal. In fact, not knowing allows you to embrace more opportunities as they come your way! And this doesn’t mean you’ll be wasting precious years of your life because “no one can ever take away your education.” Natalie gave us an analogy in how we should look at our career life:
“Spiders select specific locations to build there webs. They build them with intricacy and precision; angled and strong because you never know where you’re going to catch that fly.”
As women, our society makes it difficult for us to pursue professional careers. But society needs women make high risk business decisions. Women are predisposed to excel in certain areas of technology but not many women enter the field. This is because some women let
stereotype or expectation hold them back. Only 38% of women are the money earners in the family. Before you settle down, Natalie told us, make sure you know it is with a partner who will support you in all your endeavours, but also know how to put themselves on the back burner.
Whether having a family is important to you or not, “make having children a priority before it is too late.” Women can succeed in family and business life if they choose do to so.
Natalie’s words were very encouraging and inspiring. As were all the women we heard from on sunday. I will treasure their advice because they have all lived full, well-rounded, and happy lives. I hope to lead a similar life as I grow out of teenagehood. Thank you ladies for taking the time to speak to us.
So we just finished our third day at the pageant! Yesterday was sooo busy that I didn’t even get a chance to write! We woke up and went straight into hair and make up after breakfast. It took a long time to finish 62 girls, but we managed. Next was the photo shoot; we posed in front Miss Teen Canada-World’s official photographer. It was a lot of fun, but we haven’t seen the pictures yet. 4 girls who have the most photogenic photos will be selected to compete in a high fashion photo shoot. Next was the video interview which was live on the MTC-W website! The video shoot director asked us some personal questions such as most embaressing moments or about our home town. And I fnished off the day with my personal interview infront of a panel of judges. This interview will be scored towards our priliminary scores. I was nervous, but Lauren Howe helped me feel a little better.
Today was a lot of fun because we got to go to Extreme Fitness to have a workout session with Stephanie Joanne! It was one of the hardest workouts that I’ve ever done! 4 girls were selected to workout on cityline on wednesday; Danica Cox, Savanagh Walker, Janick Chartrand, and Hailey Kloot. When we got back
to our hotel, we had a long dance rehearsal with our choreographer, Shawn. My feet hurt a lot from the high heels! We also got fitted for our competition swimsuit, dress, and heels! It was a very busy day, but very fun. We finally get to go to bed early tonight!
Today was the first day of the Miss Teen Canada-World 2012 pageant competition! I arrived at the Westin Hotel in Toronto around 2:30 (with my entire wardrobe) 😉 and checked into my hotel room. My roomate for the week is none other then Angie Mellen, Miss Teen
Edmonton! We had a lot of fun unpacking and getting the room set up. At 4, we went downstairs and recieved our new sashes and numbers. Here, I’m competing as Miss Teen BC, and my number is 18.This evening, we were lucky enough to meet some of the MTC-W sponsors:
They all had awsome gifts to give us! After that we had a pizza dinner
and had an unofficial opening ceremony where we met Miss Teen Canada-World 2011, Lauren Howe. It’s not going to be easy to find someone to fill this amazing young lady’s shoes. All in all a terrific first day!
Today I’m about to start an incredible week in Toronto while competing for the title, Miss Teen Canada World-2012. But before I begin, I want tgive some special thank you’s to my family and friends.
First, thank you mom and Joni for supporting me in my financial preparation for the pageant. I wouldn’t have made it this far without you. And thanks for helping me plan and execute some of my events! Aka thanks for the pizza mom 🙂 Thanks to everyone on the Island who is wishing me good luck this week! Thank you to John Carroll who has been very encouraging over the past few weeks, even though you tried to ruin my diet 😉
I’d also like to thank my Auntie Jean and my cousin Christine. Thank you having me over these past few days! You two totally spoiled me, and have really made my time here in Toronto amazing thus far.
Thank you to Colleen Hartwell who filmed my Look Good Do Look Feel Good Video, and watched me try on like 40 dresses!
Thank you to my family you have supported me in more ways then one. Thank you Grammy for donating to Free the Children, and Uncle Chuck and Auntie Carroll and my stepmother Christine for donating to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Thank you to my Great Aunt, Mary Ruth, and everyone else in Cape Breton who is cheering for me. Thank you to everyone in Alberta and Virgina and… (I think I covered everyone) 😉
But I want to give a very special thank you to my boyfriend Jonathan. You have supported me since the moment that I first applied for the pageant. Thank you for coming to provincials, thank you for helping me prepare for the national competition (and putting chocolates in my suitcase) 🙂 Thank you for going to all my events with me, and going around town finding sponsors (I think I dragged you to at least 200 places!). Thank you for going cocktail dress shopping with me! And thank you for telling me I’m beautiful no matter how I place in the competition. <3
I love you guys!
My dream vacation would be to travel to India for a couple weeks with three of my closest friends; Jonathan, Connor, and Shaleena! We would all fly over there together and stay at a really awesome resort. I chose India because I am very interested in learning about the ancient Indus
Valley Civilization. It is located west and northwest India and takes up most of west, South Asia. It was first excavated in the 1920’s but was first described by Charles Masson in 1842. This region is was also home to historic trade routes and vast empires. I’m very interested in the history of ancient India but also the art and architecture of its modern day. I would definitely drag my friend Shaleena
to the Taj Mahal ( I’d have to drag her because she’s not really into architecture). India’s blend of Mughal and South Indian architecture have created a mix of local traditions and
imported styles. Even though Shaleena wouldn’t be interested in that, she would be interested in the beautiful beaches! On my dream vacation, I would definitely want to hit the beach capitol of India, Goa Beach in southern India. Shaleena and I would probably tan and check out any cute guys, and Connor and Jon would go for a dip in the warm waters. After a hard day’s work sitting around on the beach,
we’d all had back to Victor Exotica Beach Resort that’s right on Goa Beach! I would definitely want to try out the spa with Shaleena, although Connor likes the occasional facial as well. 🙂 They have a pool and a swim up bar as well! My friends and I would all hang out there in the evenings for some pool parties!
And of course, the most important part of any vacation, the food! Jon and I absolutely adore India food, so we’d probably try to eat out and locally every night! And try something new every night!
I think it would be a super fun vacation, but mostly because my friends would be with me. We could hang out while exploring the cities and chill together at the resort. It would also make a 15 hour plane ride more enjoyable 🙂
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