I can’t believe that in three weeks, I will be in Toronto with some of the most inspiring, determined, and beautiful girls in the country competing for the title of Miss Teenage Canada. Time sure flies when you’re busy :D. Lately, I have been mainly focusing on organizing fundraisers (including a musical concert for Free the Children), practicing interview questions and walks, and planning the first meeting for my youth youth empowerment group, Maritime Futuremakers. When I first announced that I would be organizing a concert and founding a youth empowerment group throughout my reign, I wasn’t 100% confident that I would be able to carry out my plans. After all, I had never even done anything like this before! Now I understand that although it’s not always easy, the satisfaction that comes with helping a community and overcoming your obstacles will ALWAYS make it worth it!

I have also spent a fair amount of time going to events, and I have prepared several youth empowerment presentations that I will be giving in the span of the next couple days. This weekend, I went down to the town of Middleton, located in the center of the beautiful Annapolis Valley, to participate in the Grand Street Parade as part of the Heart of the Valley Festival. Surprisingly, I was the only princess in the parade, but that meant I got extra attention from the wide-eyed little boys and girls! Shout out to my grandparents for last minute organizing me a ride in a super cool convertible!! My original plan was to walk in the parade handing out candy, but having a car to ride in was even better! Although the parade was only one hour long, so many beautiful floats flooded the streets of Middleton, all decorated with the theme of Canada 150! Since it is the year of Canada’s 150th birthday, the event was re branded to the “Heart of Canada Festival”, to celebrate all the accomplishments we’ve earned and obstacles we’ve overcome as a country. It is great to see so many festivals and events popping up in my home province for Canada 150!  Some of the other activities and attractions included a children’s bouncy house, a fun run, a strong men and strong women challenge, and other things to delight the whole family. In the evening, they finished off the event with some beautiful fireworks, including some patterns shaped like hearts in the sky!!

I would also like to mention that I have colored my hair for the pageant! I decided to lighten up my blonde and to get more highlights near the top of my hair, while still maintaining some of my natural chocolate brown roots. I also got a minor trim. 🙂 Overall, I am super pleased with how my hair color turned out, I can’t wait to rock the blonde bombshell look when I go to Toronto :D. THANK YOU Victoria Court Hair Salon for doing an awesome job on my hair!

               

Now that there is only 19 more days until I leave to compete, I pretty much live and breathe pageant haha! There is still so much to do, yet I am very proud of myself for all that I have accomplished and  what I’ve done to conquer my fears throughout the past couple months I’ve been a titleholder. I plan to perfect my talent performance, finalize my wardrobe, continue to raise money for Free the Children, and get Maritime Futuremakers up and going! This summer has been truly amazing for me and it’s not even half way over! I can’t wait for the upcoming weeks, and the surprises they hold 🙂

Zoe, Miss Teenage Nova Scotia 2017

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Every summer, the town of Pictou organizes a three day long festival to celebrate the end of the fishing season, local music, and Nova Scotian heritage. The carnival weekend is jam-packed with activities for all ages, such as boat races, an antique car show, a mid-way fair, musical performances, a Run for the Lobster event, a parade, and more! It was even voted as one of the top 100 festivals in Canada!! The Pictou Lobster Carnival attracts thousands of festival goers from all regions of the province, and I loved having the opportunity to take part in the celebrations on Saturday.

The fishing industry is a very important part of Nova Scotian culture, and lobster remains a popular food choice for many people in our province. With the Atlantic Ocean right next to us, it is no wonder that we love everything that has to do with the sea! The Pictou Lobster Carnival celebrates the end of the busy fishing season in the maritime provinces.   The first event that I helped out with was the Children’s parade awards! This is also where I met Lindsey, Miss Teenage Northern Nova Scotia, and Makenna, the queen of the lobster carnival who was just crowned the day before! Both girls are such lovely people, and it was really a pleasure getting to know them. About an hour later, I hopped up on the main stage to crown the boys and girls taking part in the Little Mermaid and Prince Neptune Pageant! OMG… Are they ever adorable! They even gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers to thank me for helping with their pageant. 🙂

The next place I headed off to was Sobeys along with Miss Teenage Northern Nova Scotia and the Pictou Lobster Carnival Queen! We spent a couple hours greeting shoppers while helping with for Curl for Cancer fundraiser. You could pull a sucker for only $2.00, and the best part? You got a prize every time! (The prizes included frisbees, candy, and even some sidewalk paint!). Plus, free ice cream bars and ice water were being handed out! What a great time spent for a great cause!

 

And last of all, after a couple hours exploring the village of Pictou, I started to get ready for the evening parade! There was such an array of floats, they were all so beautiful! The car I was going in was stationed right behind the train of princesses from the Pictou Lobster Carnival Pageant the night before. I got to wave and blow kisses to parade viewers from a jeep, it was so nice to see the wide-eyed excited faces of all the little girls! I’m glad I got to brighten up their days a bit 🙂

This was the first time I went out of town for an event, but it certainly won’t be the last! Although Nova Scotia is a relatively small province, it sure does pack a punch, and there always seems to be new excitement and adventures at every corner of the peninsula. This weekend, I will be attending the Heart of the Valley annual Festival in Middleton, where I will walk in the parade and help with some of the children’s events. I also plan to get some fundraising done, which I will accomplish with a youth musical talent concert I’m in the process of organizing. I hope to raise as much money possible for this important cause, so children all over the world can feel inspired, valued, and empowered. Their voices DO matter, they deserve to be heard and listened to just as much as anyone else!! Free the Children is already doing so much to help families thrive, and it really feels great to help them out!

Zoe, Miss Teenage Nova Scotia 2017

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After a 10 days of volunteering, meeting senators, discussing our country’s future, and celebrating Canada 150 in the nation’s capital city of Ottawa, I am back in Nova Scotia! I  have many things planned for the next five weeks leading up to the pageant, including fundraisers, youth empowerment group meetings, events, and more!

For now, I am going to amalgamate all the fun activities and events I have taken part in Ottawa over the past week into one giant blog post! Canada 150th birthday is a time to reflect on the past, celebrate the present and create the future, and I am so honored to have been chosen as one of the 150 youth selected to partake in the celebrations and to attend the national youth forum as part of the Experiences Canada 150&Me program.

The day I arrived was the day it all started. I was already meeting so many interesting and inspiring people from regions all across Canada, and I loved listening to their stories and learning about their own unique cultures. After we got settled at Carleton University, where we would be staying the whole week, a group of us walked down to a powwow near the canal! After that, all 150 youth gathered for an opening dinner to celebrate Canada and discuss our plans for the coming week.

The next day, we were split into groups for our forum presentations that we would make in front of His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston at the National Gallery of Canada. The presentations were to be done in the form of a video, a speech, a song, or anyway we wanted to convey our ideas about the challenges and opportunities facing the next generation of youth in Canada.  Since many members of our group, including myself were dancers, we decided to do a presentation of spoken words and song, called 150 years of momentum. Our country is constantly evolving as new ideas, concepts, and technology are introduced into society, and no matter what, we will always be moving forward.

The presentations turned out to be pretty good! There were a lot of inspiring speakers at the National Canada 150&Me Youth Forum, and I left feeling hopeful for the future of our country. We finished off the day by heading to the Canadian History Museum across the Ottawa river in Gatineau.

On Tuesday, we volunteered at Gatineau Park to help clean up the pathways and to preserve the wildlife. Gatineau Park’s numerous lakes, trees, and heritage buildings attract 2.7 millions visitors per year, and the park is run almost fully on the efforts of volunteers. After cleaning up the walking path and going on an 8km hike, the 150 team enjoyed a nice picnic on the beach!

On Wednesday, we visited Aga Khan Foundation Canada on Sussex Drive, which serves as the Saudi Arabian embassy of the Ismaili Imamat. AKFC is an organization that works in developing countries to promote the 17 sustainable development goals, including the elimination of poverty, clean energy, and gender equality. The 150 youth attended workshops to learn about ways we can have a positive impact in the lives of impoverished children from around the world.

After touring and learning about the beautiful architecture of the embassy, we headed off to the Aga Khan community gardens to volunteer on the farms. 🙂 It was great to help out and learn about one of the most important industries in Canada, the agriculture industry.

On Thursday, we started off by touring the exhibits of the Canadian Museum of Nature, then we headed to the Rideau Shopping Centre! I was surprised to find a WE store there, and coming from a small town, I didn’t even know they existed! As member of the WE program at my school, I’m impressed on how much this organization is doing to help families and communities flourish, and they have many opportunities for youth to get involved in helping make our world a better place!

After a couple hours of shopping, we made a brief stop at Carleton to get ready for the 25th Governor General Performing Arts Awards. All 150 of us youth, as well as the youth ambassadors, were invited as special guests of the Governor General of Canada.  Performing arts is such an important element of our history and our culture, and I think it’s amazing that our country is acknowledging the contributions our people have made to the art world. Musical sensations such as Michael J. Fox, Martin Short, and Michael Bublé were among the nominees for the 2017 Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award. It was a great chance to hear some awesome music and to meet some of the most prominent Canadians!

On Friday, we returned to the National Gallery of Canada, where the youth presented speeches on the Canadian and Indigenous pieces of artwork. We then met up with the French-Canadian politician Mélanie Joly.

To finish off the day, we had a reception with senators in downtown Ottawa. It was truly inspiring to hear their stories as well as their words of wisdom. I am so thankful for all the cool things we get to do with Experiences Canada. I even got the opportunity to meet a couple senators! After the reception, we returned to Carleton to get a good night’s sleep before Canada day.

So… everyone was up bright and early to head down to Parliament Hill. Despite the pouring rain, the lines to get in were INSANE. Luckily, all 150 of us were performing in a number with singer-songwriter Marie-Mai, so we had backstage passes! Some of us were flag-bearers, some were in charge of shooting the colored smoke, and others were dancing in Canadian mascot masks. It was a great experience to perform onstage live on Canada Day.

We stayed on Parliament Hill for pretty much the whole day until midnight, where we watched the fireworks show. The rain even cleared up at some points! Regardless, I never would have thought that I would have have the chance to celebrate Canada Day in Ottawa, let alone Canada’s 150th birthday!

 

For the final day, we volunteered at the Picnic on the Bridge over the Ottawa River. My group had the clean-up shift, and even though we didn’t get to serve lunch to picnic goers, we got to enjoy the beautiful views of Ottawa and neighboring Gatineau. It was the perfect end for a perfect trip!

  

In my opinion, traveling is one of the best ways to learn more about culture and to become a more open-minded  person. My experiences in Montreal and Ottawa have shaped the way I am as a person and have inspired me to make change in my community. The last 150 years have been full of discovery, innovation, and contributions. Canada is one of the best countries in the world to live in, and it is time to learn from our past mistakes to make the next 150 years some of the best times in history!

Zoe, Miss Teenage Nova Scotia 2017

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Whew! Exams are finally  over! Personally, I actually like exam periods because as long as I study for them beforehand, I have a ton of free time during exam week to work on projects that I otherwise wouldn’t of been able to do.  Last semester, I did the filming and editing of a music video I created to promote cultural preservation in Nova Scotia. This was the video that sent me to Montreal (and now Ottawa!!) for the Experiences Canada 150&Me program. Going to forums, meeting new people, and discussing the future of our beautiful country in the multicultural city of Montreal is what empowered me to create change by giving youth in my community the same type inspiration to keep a more global, goal-oriented, and problem-solving mindset.

At Truro Elementary School, teachers cultivate something called a “growth mindset” in the classrooms. This perspective helps children overcome their problems and obstacles and view them as opportunities for change. Because of that reason, I thought that this local school would be the perfect place to go and promote my platform and my core message!

Over the course of the week, I gave 45 min long workshops and presentations to grade four and five classes. I helped them recognize their passions, goals, and obstacles preventing them from reaching their full potential. I also led a vision board making craft to get all those wonderful ideas and thoughts down on paper. We also discussed what they can do to start living their own desired lives, (thought is first, then comes action!), and I talked a bit about youth who are already making a difference, and how THEY can do it too, no matter their age.  I feel like it is an important message for younger children to hear, especially as many of these kids are progressing into junior high school next year. It is a busy exciting time in their lives, and I wanted to help guide them through it and teach them that everything IS truly possible!!

My passion for youth empowerment is what led me to create my own group with two other of my friends who have kindly agreed to help. There isn’t anything like it in my community yet, and I want to be a role model and mentor for those who do not have one. I have decided to name the group Maritime Futuremakers, as you can SHAPE your own path, your own future. I am not saying this to pressure, I am saying this to inspire. There are so many opportunities available to youth and it is important that we take advantage of them so we can learn and grow.

I plan to run this group in the summer and all throughout my remaining two years of high school. I will aim to empower local youth by the means of activities such as vision board making, school orientation sessions for incoming students, one-on-one peer mentoring, yoga and meditation workshops, and much more! I am super excited to get this started and I feel like it is a great way to promote my platform to youth in the community!

I will be catching a plane to Ottawa in less than two hours, where I will be discussing the past, present and future of Canada with government leaders and 150 other youth chosen to attend the nation’s capital for Canada Day for Experiences Canada 150&Me program. I know that when I get back, I will have a whole new set of ideas to bring back to my home province Nova Scotia, and to my new empowerment group! Experiences Canada has really changed my perspective on life and the world and grateful for all the wonderful opportunities available to me because of it!

 

Zoe, Miss Teenage Nova Scotia 2017

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On June 21st, the cultures of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit are celebrated in regions all across Canada. It’s a great opportunity to recognize the amazing contributions they have given to their local communities and to our country. Culture is one of the subjects that I am highly passionate about, and our multicultural diversity we have is one of the many  things that make me proud to be Canadian.

 

When I found out that the Mi’kmaq reserve of Millbrook, located approximately 10 minutes away from my home, was having their annual National Aboriginal Day at the Cultural Heritage Centre, I signed up right away to help out. What a great way to spend the afternoon of the first day of summer (after a morning of writing a math exam!).

When I arrived, there was already a ton of festivities going on for youth and adults alike! Some of the activities included a 50/50 raffle, traditional drumming and dancing, a barbecue, a giant teepee tent for children to play in, craft booths, music performances, and a reptile zoo! I had the pleasure of helping out with the barbecue, where we sold hot dogs, cheeseburgers, pop, and water. There was amazing turnout for not only the barbecue, but also for the entire event! It really is a great way to get everyone together to celebrate indigenous culture. I even got to meet this little guy, who was among the children and families dressed in a traditional Mi’kmaq ceremonial outfit.

On July 1st, Canada will be celebrating her 150th birthday. As this exciting time is approaching, it is important to recognize the culture and contributions of the aboriginal people. It is a perfect opportunity to reflect on the past and to learn from our mistakes, so we can create a brighter future for Canada. In fact, I am pleased to announce that I will be traveling to Ottawa for Canada Day with Experiences Canada and 150 other youth from around the country. We will be attending forums, visiting museums, volunteering, discussing the past, present, and future, and best of all, doing a group performance on Canada Day at Parliament Hill, broadcasted live on CBC Television! The details of the performance are TOP SECRET, even I don’t know them yet, haha! I am super pumped to be spending 10 entire days with some of the most inspiring youth and leaders in this country! I hope you will get a chance to watch the broadcast, or even the youth forum (which will also be streamed live!).

Anyway, happy first day of summer, and of course, happy National Aboriginal Day!

Zoe, Miss Teenage Nova Scotia 2017

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I can’t believe its been nearly a month since I earned my title! Time certainly flies when you are busy! A couple weeks ago I wrote a post summarizing the pageant-related activities I was doing throughout the week. And so, I have decided to do another post, where I will be focusing on my new article in the paper, gown-shopping, and attending the Johnny Miles Running Event!

On Tuesday, I had a local reporter come by to interview me about my new title. We discussed how I found out about the pageant, my plans to make the most of my platform, and the national Miss Teenage Canada competition I will be attending this summer in Toronto. A couple days later, the article was published in the Truro Daily News, and I have to say, it is really well-written and will hopefully raise more awareness on my title and the   pageant.

Another thing that I did during the week was search for the perfect evening gown for the final night! There is a lovely boutique in my town called Elegant Steps, it is where many local girls go to get their prom dresses. I spent Saturday morning trying on some of their selections, and of course, I just had to take some pictures!

         

I even chose an evening gown for Toronto, but alas, my dress selection will remain a secret until nationals 😉

After that, I did some more shopping for outfits and shoes to bring to Toronto. Below are some pictures of the outfits that I purchased!

      

Last of all, on Sunday I went out to attend the Johnny Miles Running Event in New Glasgow. It has become a tradition for our family and many other Nova Scotians alike. Participants can choose to run in a 5k race, a 10k, a half-marathon or a full-marathon. The reason the race is so important to many people is because “Johnny Miles” was a well-known local runner in the 1920s who won the Boston Marathon not once, but twice! As a former runner myself, I know that taking the initiative to signup for a race takes courage and guts, especially if it is something you have never done before. Many people  use races as an incentive to work hard and reach their fitness goals, some love the exhilaration they get from the sport, and others do it just for fun! Regardless of all that, I’m so proud of everyone who took part and came out for a day of fresh air, exercise, and Father’s Day fun!

           

I hope you enjoyed this blog post as much as I loved writing it! Ever since the moment I found out that I would be crowned Miss Teenage Nova Scotia, my life completely changed for the better. It’s only been one month, but already, the amazing memories made during that time period will stay with me forever. The national pageant is only 49 days away, and I can’t wait to see what new adventures I will discover as a Miss Teenage Canada delegate!

Zoe, Miss Teenage Nova Scotia 2017

 

 

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Good Evening 🙂

As we all know, community service and volunteer work is one of the easiest and most effective ways to make a difference in your region. There are already many organizations one can volunteer their time at, including food banks, nursing homes, big brothers big sisters, and the salvation army. They are definitely all worthy commitments to make, and the impact you have on the citizens of a community can create a butterfly effect, creating vibes of positive energy and empowerment.

On Saturday, I volunteered at the Truro Chapter Walk for Autism. It was a beautiful day to walk around town supporting a cause!  The goal of the event was to have participants raise money to donate to fund programs and support opportunities for families living with autism. Many individuals and teams where walking in support of a relative or a friend who has autism. As of now, 1 in 68 children will be born with an autism spectrum disorder, which means that it is important to raise awareness on the cause so autistic children can continue to live wonderful lives where they feel included and celebrated for their uniqueness!

 

We started off at the Victoria Park bandstand for registration, where there was an array of games for children to play, and colorful t-shirts were distributed to the walkers as well. There was even a small petting zoo! I was in charge of the frisbee throwing station, where children tried their hands at throwing disks into a hoop. After that, the other youth volunteers and I helped to lead a fun warm-up dance, to get everyone pumped up for the walk. And with that, we were off! There was two routes, a shorter one for younger children and families, and a longer one, which covered the perimeters of the town.

In the middle of the walk, both groups of walkers congregated at the town’s civic square to freshen up on some water and to put together a giant puzzle before heading off to return to the park.

   

Once we got back, the Atlantic Superstore was kind enough to have a free barbecue for the hungry walkers. To top it off, we enjoyed a delicious slice of cake before heading home.

Overall, I had a great time volunteering at the 2017 Truro Chapter Walk for Autism. It was a wonderful opportunity to not only get out and enjoy the sunny weather, but also to get involved in the community and make a difference in the lives of children and people living with autism. Everyone deserves equal love and respect, and when we recognize the strengths of those who are diagnosed with autism, ADHD, down syndrome, etc. and honor their contributions, we will have a society that celebrates the unique power of every single individual.

Zoe, Miss Teenage Nova Scotia 2017

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Hello again!

After dance classes finished for the year, I happened to have a lot more time on my hands. So, I thought, what a great opportunity to start doing more charitable activities, wearing my crown and sash in public, and bringing more awareness to my platform! In today’s post, I will be going over some of the activities I took part in this week and what I plan to do next 🙂

To start off the week, I performed in my school’s choir concert for the international day against homophobia and transphobia. We sung a large variety of songs to raise awareness on the issues that the LBGTQ community is faced with on a daily basis. Some of our pieces we performed included “Born this Way”, “Don’t Cry Out Loud”, and the “Rainbow Connection”. Overall we raise quite a bit of money and had a pretty good time.

The next day, Tuesday, was election day for my province! All day, I was working as an information officer to greet and offer any additional assistance. At the end of the night, we counted up all the votes for our specific polling station. It was great to see all kinds people getting out to vote and making an effort to have their voices heard!

On Wednesday, I attended the awards gala for my school. Hundreds of students were rewarded for their extra-curricular involvement, good citizenship, and academic standings. As for myself, I was awarded a math achievement award for placing in the top 25% in the school for the University of Waterloo Galois Contest, as well as a general achievement award for my participation in Student Council, Shared Reading Program, the French Oral Speaking Contest, Rotary Club Leadership Day, School Choir, and volunteering at the French Preschool. Last Sunday, I also earned the Grand Jeté Award, a prize that dance students who contribute significantly to the dance community as well as the local arts and theater communities.

On Thursday, I had musical practice and voice, so that was pretty regular day for me!

On Friday, I volunteered at my local veterinary clinic, which is not only a great opportunity to help out the hard-working vet doctors, but also to deepen my own understanding of the medical and veterinary fields. Since my platform is career and life coaching, I firmly believe that exposing yourself to a work environment in a field that interests you is one of the best ways one can find their perfect profession. All the vets in this clinic are just so friendly and fun to work with, and your furry friends will always be in good hands with them!!

On Saturday, it was not only the first day of the weekend, but also the day of our amazing farmer’s market. Dozens of vendors gather under the old fire hall to sell an array of desserts, fresh vegetables, and art! There is also some pretty good music there. Since the musical I am involved with will be opening in less than a week, we decided to seize the opportunity to advertise for our show right at the farmer’s market, only to then break out into a flash mob of 80s songs, dance, and rock and roll! This was also my first time wearing my crown and sash out in public, and I spent three hours walking around town, introducing myself to businesses, educating pedestrians and market goers about my platform, and in general just promoting my new title!

I also came across a charitable barbecue by a local church, and an Acadian music group performing some good songs! My friend actually had a booth set up to fundraise for a project to build a school in Ecuador for her school’s We-Act group. Of course, I just had to stop by and help her out for a little while!

And finally, on the last day of the week, Sunday, I got an opportunity to perform a dance at my church along with several other students of the Sunday School. It turned out to be a fun service of comedy, musical theater, piano music, and dancing! Best of all, the church was hosting an end of the year event and BBQ outside, and I got the pleasure of volunteering at the face painting booth, along with a couple of other lovely ladies! I finished off the weekend by singing a couple of songs in my studio’s annual voice recital.

Phew! I sure had a lot of fun this week, especially since I was just starting to make my first couple of appearances! This weekend, I plan to participate in the Walk for Autism, either as a walker or a volunteer. And in the next couple of weeks, I plan to continue to make appearances at places such as races and larger-scale festivals, including out of town events. In the future, I would also love to create a youth empowerment or a peer mentoring group, so youth can get together and harness their potential to make change! I have already started contacting event organizers, so I am eager to start marking my calendar with days of volunteering, festivals, and even more fun!

Zoe, Miss Teenage Nova Scotia 2017

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Wow!! After four days of nonstop dress rehearsals, tech runs and performances, dance recital has come to an end! Hundreds of dancers got to perform in the end of year show, to show off all the hard work they have been doing over the past couple of months. Each year, the recital is based on a different theme, and this year’s theme was “A Trip to the Art Gallery”. There is always so much excitement around recital weekend, and I am honored to have all these opportunities to do what I love.

In today’s post, I will talk a bit more about my own passions and the challenges I encountered pursuing them. I will also share some insights on what YOU can do to overcome these types of challenges. Enjoy!

So, in total, I performed in four shows and eleven dances over the course of the weekend, and I also helped out with the younger dancers. It was quite busy at times, but the joy I get from giving my gift of performance makes it all worth it! As a teaching assistant, I also enjoyed sharing the excitement of recital weekend with my pre-ballet class, who performed as an adorable group of black kittens!

I have been dancing ever since I was four years old, but it wasn’t always a walk in the park. There have been many times where I felt discouraged with my ability, times where I felt like I simply wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t very flexible and I felt like I didn’t fit in. I almost wanted to quit. Yet years later, here I am, still dancing proud with my head up high.

 

One year ago, I strained my voice while being involved in a theatre production. Having a sore throat and yelling on stage is not a good combination!! When this happened, I couldn’t sing properly for three weeks, and I was terrified of straining it again for many months after! I know it may sound like a trivial thing, but at the time, I thought it was the end of the world. Everyone of us has experienced some hardship in life, but hey, failure isn’t a roadblock, right? “Failure” is instead a crossroad of new opportunities!

It is during the hard times where I realized that I had two options. I could take the “easy” route and give up, or I could work my hardest until I became the dancer or the singer I dreamed to be. Of course, I chose the latter, and that turned out to be one of the best choices I have ever made. To get something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done. You must do it 100% full-out, with confidence, discipline, and conviction, and most importantly, you should NOT TURN BACK!  Do not let anyone ever tell you that you aren’t good enough, or that you will never achieve your goals in life. Keep moving forward, trying new things, and doing what you love, and you will be surprised at all the doors that open up once you start implementing this process.

Anyway, recital weekend 2017 is definitely one I will remember! I had so much fun and I enjoy watching little ballerinas grow up into confident young women over the years. And finally, my passion is performing, but what is yours? Whatever it is, never stop pursuing it and you will be able to make some great contributions to the world!

Zoe, Miss Teenage Nova Scotia 2017

 

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Spring has definitely sprung here in Nova Scotia! The leaves on the trees are coming out, the flowers are blossoming, and that exciting, busy time of the year is just around the corner. For me, the last couple of months have been full of surprises. As a freshman in high school, I am finally starting to discover who I am and what to think of the world around me. This year, I have been taking more risks than ever before. I have learned that each one of us has the power to shape our destiny, that the sky is truly the limit. Ever since I started taking advantage of the all the wonderful opportunities available to youth, I have seen a world of a difference in my life.

So, you can imagine the surprise I had after learning that I would represent my province at the Miss Teenage Canada national pageant in Toronto! For years I wanted to be someone, a role model, a change-maker, or a better version of myself, and finally, I got the opportunity to be exactly that! I knew that there would be a lot of responsibilities to take on as a titleholder, but nevertheless, I felt 100% ready to accomplish my goals and determined to make the most of my year as Miss Teenage Nova Scotia.

Sometimes, I like to call myself a dreamer. This type of perspective helps me keep an open mind, an open heart, and an open soul. Just think about it. . . We are only here for a short amount of time, and during that time, each one of our actions and choices has a profound impact on not only our own lives, but the lives of the ones around us. You do not need to solve world hunger, or become president of a major organization to be considered a leader (but if you want to, go ahead!). Leadership is already within us, and the small acts of kindness that build up over time are just as meaningful. Never underestimate the true power you have inside!

In April 2017, I traveled to Montreal for a week along with 37 other youth for a Canada 150&Me forum. During that week, I realized that young children and teens in our country already have everything they need to reach their goals in life, but yet many youth still feel like they are not capable of taking the big leap. I believe that passionate, hard-working and motivated youth are the key to a brighter future, and everyone has a talent just waiting to be uncovered. Thus, I have made it my mission to empower youth, to guide them through their passage from childhood to adulthood, to not only help them choose the right career, but to help them lead the life they want. My ultimate goal is to start a peer mentoring  organization community where youth in need of positive influence in their life can talk to people who will listen.

Now you know a bit more about my platform and why I choose it, I am going to tell you  more about myself! I consider myself a very musical person. I dance approximately ten hours per week, in the styles of ballet, contemporary, and jazz. This weekend happens to be our studio’s annual dance recital, which means I have a fun couple of days of performances ahead of me! I also really enjoy singing, I am a coloratura soprano and I have performed songs in German, French, Italian, and Spanish. I take weekly piano lessons to complement my singing training as well. And finally, I love to act in musicals whenever I can! Currently I am participating in a student-run musical, and there is only two weeks left until show time! How exciting!!

So to wrap it up, I already have many ideas on ways I can promote my platform, how I can give back to my province and my community, and how I can use my title to accomplish larger scale projects. I will be posting my adventures as a delegate for Miss Teenage Canada on my social media platforms and on this blog, so stay tuned! I am beyond grateful for this wonderful opportunity, and I hope you will all get the chance to head out to enjoy the beautiful weather. Have an amazing rest of the week! 🙂

Zoe, Miss Teenage Nova Scotia 2017

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