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Monday Evening at the Westin Bristol Place, four amazing and inspiring woman came to visit us. Each and every single one had a story to tell. About their life, their journey, and what they had to go through to become the incredible woman they are today.
The first speech was delivered to us by Melani Chong, who now runs a natural skin care company. Melani was originally very interested in sports. She was very athletic, and participated in various high school sports. She was a strong believer in giving it your all, and going for your dreams. When she was 17 years old, her father came to her with an idea. He had heard on the radio that Ford modeling agency was having a model search in a local mall. Originally Melani had laughed at the idea, and told her father he was being ridiculous. All of her role models were track stars. She was an athlete! And not by any means a model. She had doubted herself. So her dad had to trick her into going to the mall anyway. Once Melani knew what was happening, there was no backing out. She decided it couldn’t hurt to just take one photo, and once it was over she left. Expecting nothing to come from the experience. Two weeks later, she received a phone call. Melani’s picture had been chosen for the top 100 girls to become a Ford model, out of the thousands that had auditioned. She was shocked by this, as she believed nothing would happen, but eventually she signed with Ford. Melani began her professional modeling career at the age of 18, and used her love for make-up and clothes as a way into the world of modeling. Eventually she decided that maybe modeling wasn’t her thing. She wasn’t completely 100% sold on the idea. So she branched out, to try new things in the industry. After modeling, she tried her hand at being a hair stylist, and then a make-up artist, a designer, and then decided to go back to school. Melani visited many skin care laboratories, and did her research. As a model, she was always looking for a quick fix, or some natural solutions. Using her passions for health, beauty, and fashion she decided to create her own soy boutique. She liked demonstrating the beauty in simplicity within her products. Her life was on the move, always developing into something new. As long as she kept dreaming; she kept achieving. In her mind, persistence is key. Melani also believed that “As long as you can maintain your integrity in what your dream is, you can achieve longevity in your health, beauty, and success.”
Our next speaker was very motivational, and encouraging. Her name is Katrina Hadden. Always believing that “Beauty is from the inside out.” She is an inspiration to many young woman. As a child, she was bullied for being the tallest. In grade three she couldn’t be seen without one of the kids yelling “BIG BIRD!” or “GREEN GIANT!” Katrina did her best to ignore the nasty comments, and instead of breaking down she embraced her height and joined the basketball team. Her dream was to become a basketball star, but in her senior year she wrecked her knee. Her friends had always suggested she try her hand in the world of modeling; after all, she was certainly tall enough! However Katrina just thought thought to herself “Modeling is not for me.” She had never been one of those toothpick thin girls growing up, and still was a size 12. Maybe she could be a plus sized model? But she couldn’t meet the specifications for that either. She wasn’t big enough. Katrina tried to lose weight, and eventually developed an eating disorder, but nothing worked. Suddenly a thought dawned on Katrina; why not have an in-between category? For models not quite small enough, and not quite big enough. So, she came to a few modeling agencies with this idea, and decided upon Ben Berry. An agency that excepts diversity, and all different sizes! She realized it was okay to have other dreams, than just pursuing the career of a basketball star. Katrina surrounded herself with friends that chose to eat healthy, and were interested in proper nutrition. Resulting from this, Katrina then began to lose weight, the healthy way. Her perseverance in chasing her dreams is a huge inspiration to me. She left us with some very powerful words, and a quoted poem by Jill Wolf:
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.
Following the wonderful Katrina, our next speaker was Alexandra Orlando. Alex is an olympian in rythmic gymnastics, and is the author of two very motivational books. Growing up, Alex had a very limited social life. She was very interested in her gymnastics, and thats all her busy schedule would allow. Alex trained very hard, and a lot of the training was very tough and strenuous. When you win an award in the olympics, everything looks goon on paper, but what people don’t see is the grit. The giving it your all, the injuries, the sweat, the practice, and the skill. When you fall; you better remember to pick yourself right back up. She believed that you should benefit from all of your experiences, and learn from every mistake. Alex has always been very gracious, and surrounded herself with good people. People that won’t get you down, or take you down the wrong path. She contradicted the statement “These are the years [your teens] where you find out who you are.” by stating “These are the years where you discover who you want to be, what you want to do, and how strong you are.” Alex talked about life and all that it has to offer. The challenges you will be sure to face, and the wonderful outcomes appearing after these struggles. She stated that “People categorize you. They put you in a box, and keep you there. Life isn’t like that, there are many opportunities to change and be who you want to be.” Instead of fading away, she encouraged us to try something else that would work for us. To hone our crafts. Alex chose gym as her craft, because she got the best out of herself. She was constantly challenged to do better, and keep striving forward. She told us that “Rejection makes you stronger. Your not going to put up that fight, and push yourself to continuously do better unless its what your passionate about.” Alex encouraged us to give it our all, because in the end, picking yourself back up tastes so much sweeter than defeat.
Our last speaker was Natalie Archer. As a Toronto dentist since the year 2001, she had a lot of career and life management advice. Today she is a hospital dentist at the Runnymede dental center. She encouraged us to pursue careers which appealed to us, yet at the same time warned we should always make time for our children.
When life throws you a hard ball, Natalie wishes for us to embrace the experience. Take all that life has to offer, and make something beautiful out of it. There is beauty that can be found anywhere, and in all situations. Look at the bright side, but don’t plan to far ahead. Teens often don’t know how the future will turn out, and it can sometimes be quite scary if your unsure of which path you’d like to pursue. However, we must still embrace every opportunity. Always make the positives in life outweigh the negatives, otherwise you’ll live your life unhappy. Make sure you get a good education, it is KEY. Nobody can ever take away your education. Getting a good education leads to a good career, which means you will be able to support yourself in the future, and not be dependent upon someone else. Natalie wishes for us all to THINK BIG, and left us with a few tips:
1) Woman need to take calculated business risks. Believe in business, leadership, and success will come your way.
2) 38% of woman are the breadwinners of the family. She hopes for us to not shy away from taking on this role.
3) Family is very important. Having children is THE most enriching part of life, but it us important that you wait until you are sure you can support your family.
4) Join Boards. Get involved. PLAN PLAN PLAN.
These woman were all very inspirational to me, and I am pleased I had the opportunity to meet these wonderful ladies. Each and every one had a story to tell, and by the end of night myself and all the girls felt very motivated. It was an absolute honor to participate in the mentorship night.
Recently, MTCW challenged myself and the girls to create a 10 seconds silent video of us delegates dressed to the nines, while in the process of an outrageously good deed, and feeling good about it.
little of an act one can do, and make such an impact on the world. It`s crucial that people know that the littlest thing can make a huge difference. This issue is very close to my heart, as I have had family members requiring such generous donations, and I hope that by posting this video, I can raise awareness for the cause.
If I could travel absolutely anywhere in the world with S-trip with my friends, it would be Paris. My friends and I have wanted to experience the culture and life in France for a very long time. In my opinion, Paris is basically the fashion capital of the world. Their trends are
so far ahead of what we find trendy on a day-to-day basis. Clothing in Paris has that extra edge, its chic, its tough, its in your face. It’s fashion. And as clothing and trends is one of my passions, I have always aspired to travel to Paris.
If I had the opportunity to experience the city, I would first take advantage of all the site-seeing. Places such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, the River Seine, Notre Dame Cathedral and
other incredible architecture, would surely receive a visit from moi. I would easily be kept busy by Paris’s rich history, amazing culture and of course the unique artwork. Besides, the cuisine in Paris is not to missed, and is beyond comparable to many other dishes in the world. Not to mention, it would be almost impossible to not enjoy yourself, as you’d be constantly keeping up with the pulse and tempo of the city.
Assuming I was blessed with the chance to visit this city, I would choose to bring along with many incredible people. I would bring Nickie, Mckenna, Brittney, and Shawna so they could wear cute outfits from Paris with me, while we talked and ate bon bons! Lucas,
because he promises to let me have the aisle seat on the plane. Ross and Alia, because I know they would just love to go. My Auntie Connie to supervise me(; and Chris so that he can visit Jim Morrisons grave! There are als many others, but these fantastic people just specifically requested I bring them.(:
I would just like to thank S-trip for allowing me this opportunity to win a free trip! And thank-you so much for sponsoring my pageant!
Each year, thousands of teens suffer from insecurities. We think to ourselves “I am not good enough. I’m not pretty enough. I’ll never BE enough.” When we feel this way about ourselves, it means that we have a low self esteem. We have a poor self image, and think low about ourselves, and we need to be shown that we can in fact “SHINE.(:”
My dream TV show will be a talk show discussing problems among teens such as anorexia, bulimia, and others. Teens will be invited to the stage to talk about insecurities they had, and what they did to overcome it; while other times teens will be invited to talk about current issues they have, and the audience may step in to aid. Teens HELPING teens. targeting low self esteem, and demonstrating how we can all “SHINE.(:” The perfect way to show that we are not alone, and that we can overcome anything.
For my talk show “SHINE.(:” I would like my two sponsors to be M.A.C and BURMAN BOOKS. I selected these two because
BURMAN BOOKS are publishers of ‘motivational and self help books’ which works quite well with the theme of the show. I chose M.A.C because although we don’t require cosmetics to LOOK beautiful, some us like to use these products to help us FEEL beautiful.
It would be a fantastic business move for these two companies to assist in funding for my dream TV show because of our definitive edge which places us in advantage to competitors; Teens. There’s no question that teens enjoy kicking back on the couch, and watching some good TV, and “SHINE.(:” is a program specifically broadcast-ed to teens, everywhere. And as the world knows, teens like to buy. 95% of teens tune into retail trends, and as “SHINE.(:” would be promoting M.A.C they would very likely receive an incline in business. As for BURMAN BOOKS; since self-help books are generally sought after by adults, they would benefit by having their merchandise broadcast-ed to a wider audience, as
opposed to just appealing to the older generations. Clearly, everyone would benefit from “SHINE.(:”
Lastly, here is an idea of what the poster for “SHINE.(:” would look like:
Yesterday (May 28th) I got to celebrate my 15th birthday hiking in the mountains with my best friends. Waking up early is usually a problem for me, but on school trips I practically jump out of bed to get ready. Having an early start to the day at 3:30am, I was bouncing around the house doing last minute packing, and when I was done my bag practically weighed 123435752476524 lbs.
Arriving at the school is the trouble. EVERYONE wants the back of the charter bus. So as expected, I wasn’t the only one 15 minutes early. After a few hours on the bus we stop at Edson. Where 30 starving jr. highs pack into a timmies at high demand. After FINALLY arriving at the mountains, we split up into our groups, and began our 4km trek uphill.
The mountains were beautiful! As we all took frequent stops to take pictures and enjoy the scenery (honestly we were exhausted.) on the benches provided. The view was breathtaking, and the crisp mountain air was refreshing. There were the occasional spots of snow that our sore aching muscles welcomed. And then, we FINALLY reached the top.
I can’t even begin to describe the glorious view. We ate our lunch literally on the peak of the mountain we had just scaled. Hundreds of adoring chipmunks came to great us, and they were so friendly that we were literally sitting right in the middle of them. If you weren’t eating, or chipmunk
watching; you were having photo ops. You would be crazy to miss that opportunity, as we were literally amongst the mountains. We could see the shadows cast on the tips of the surrounding giants, and we stood taller then any tree. It was absolutely beautiful, and unforgettable.
and hitting trees. (Honestly, only one of my friends fell into a tree, but I strongly believe he deserves an honourable mention for being a champion.) However painful it was, me managed to hike(fall) down the mountain, awaitingthe hot springs, and was that EVER a treat! A fantastic way to end a good 8km hike.
The soak in the springs ended all too soon, but we had a tight schedule, and it was time to leave. It seemed the animals weren’t ready to say goodbye to us Namaoins, as we were
greeted by quite a few elk surrounding our bus. Once we boarded, almost everyone slept. So of course, we brought out the eyeliner.. Great end to the day, and a fantastic way to celebrate with all of my friends! Love ’em all!<3
-Hey diddle diddle.
Hi! My name is Aspen Dudzic, and this March 18th I was crowned with the title Miss Teen Sturgeon County-World 2012. My pageant experience was absolutely amazing, and I met MANY wonderful people. It has been an unforgettable experience, and many memories and friendships were made within my two short days in Calgary
As March passed, and April fades away I find myself looking forward to other things. My grade nine farewell is coming up June 8th, where myself and my peers say goodbye to Namao and all our memories there (and we have lots. trust me.), and look forward to going to High School together this fall. Also exciting is the National pageant this July, and then SUMMER. My favourite six letter word. Tubing, hiking with the family, camping, or just being outdoors in general! And of course nothing is better then the warm sun shining on your face, lying in the hot sand, and the cool lake water licking at your feet. The only downside to summer, however,is the end of dance season.
I began dance at the age of six, and sported my red jazz leotard daily. I loved the music, and even at six; I loved being on stage. As the year ended, i found myself wanting to try other exciting things such as gymnastics. That fad ended after two years, and I then tried swimming, and then I joined choir. Next up was soccer, and then horseback riding, until finally, in the fourth grade I discovered the world of modelling. This is it I thought, and it was. I was instantly captivated by the worlds most wondrous activity to offer. For me, modelling was love at first strut. Nothing was more adventurous, and exciting as walking the runway. The music blasting, and cameras flashing. Yes, this is where I was meant to be. You practically had to drag me off the stage to keep me away, and from that day on I decided I needed to perform. This new insight brought me to acting, and at the Citadel I took two and a half years of acting lessons. With my group, we performed a few plays in Musical Theatre, where I again was engrossed by the music. Musical theatre was a wonderful combination of my passions, acting, dance, and being on stage. From my experiences at the Citadel, I was brought back into dance. The coming year will be my third straight. Last year my performances in jazz and hip-hop earned both myself, and my group gold medals, and as my first competition of this year is tomorrow, I hope to achieve the same. Next year I plan to pursue either lyrical or modern, and try my hand at a duet with one of my best friends. Performing has always been a big part of my life, and along with my moms assistance, it brought me to MTCW.
Basically, my mom is my best friend. She has supported me through absolutely everything, and makes sure that I get to live my dreams. We’re extremely close, and we often have ‘girls days’ where we just hang out all day long. We do pretty much everything together, and I don’t know where I would be without her. She was so much help during the pageant, and I think she enjoyed it almost as much as I did! So to my mom; THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU a million times over. For everything you’ve done for me.
I am absolutely ecstatic to become part of the MTCW family, and have already met tons of wonderful people. Lasts years’ ladies are absolutely fantastic, and have helped me immensely throughout my experience so far. I could only hope to be as wonderful as they are!
So cheers to all those girls out there with big dreams and high hopes! Never stop chasing your dreams, for I wouldn’t be here, taking over the position of Chelsea Vezina (Miss Teen Sturgeon County-World 2011) had I not. Everyone should have a chance to shine! keep dreaming!