(Miss Teen Southern BC Shelby LePage from Osoyoos will represent BC at the national Miss Teen Canada World in Toronto on July 20. The following is an interview with the Chronicle).
Q: Why did you get involved in this endeavour?
A: At 15 I was very shy and wanted to step out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. I got involved in the royalty/ambassador program and I am a 2010 former Osoyoos princess. From that I gained a lot of confidence and life-long skills.
Q: What does the Miss Teen Canada World pageant offer?
A: It offers youth the opportunity to act as role models for other girls and bring awareness to many worthy causes. I have chosen to bring more awareness to “children in care” as my family has fostered most of my life. I want to give children a voice and to break stereotypes; most importantly I want them to know they matter and to encourage other families to consider fostering.
Q: What do you want to accomplish?
A: I really just want to be a positive role model for other youth. Miss Teen Canada World would allow me to do this at a national level. I am also interested in pursuing a career in modelling or the fashion industry.
Q: Why have you chosen “Free the Children” as your national charity, and why is it important to you?
A: I really believe that youth and children can make a difference in the world. Free the Children gives youth the opportunity to bring awareness to causes that they find meaningful. They help bring education, clean water, food and proper medical care to children in third world countries.
Q: What are you doing to prepare for Miss Teen Canada World?
A: I primarily have been focusing on fundraising for Free the Children. I have held a hot dog sale sponsored by Buy-Low Foods. I did a bike run on June 8, and I’m hosting a dinner and gala at the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre on June 15, where I’m hoping people will attend and support Free the Children. There will be lots of entertainment and food. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m also looking for sponsorship from any businesses and individuals to help cover my entrance and travel costs to attend the national pageant. I also do a weekly blog to bring awareness to my platform, issues, my journey and charity fundraising.
Q: What difference do you want to make in this world?
A: For youth to have more of a voice and be able to empower other youth to be themselves. I wish to inspire other young women to have the courage to follow their dreams and believe in themselves. There is nothing more beautiful then believing in yourself.