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My name is Ashlyin, from the small town of Hanmer, and I am representing the neighboring community of the Valley East! I have been greatly honored with this title after participating in the local Miss North Ontario 2016 Regional Canada Pageant where I placed Top 10. After MNO 2016, I fell in love and found a new passion for pageants. I have learned many valuable lessons and can say I have bettered myself as a person.
To introduce myself, I will start off by saying that I am 17 years of age. If you would like to know the basics, my favorite color is burgundy, I love Asian food, I am a complete nerd, and I don’t do sports, sing, dance, art or any talent (except for gaming if that counts). Also, I am as original as I can get! I recently graduated from Confederation Secondary School in June, and will be moving on to Nipissing University this fall to study Criminal Justice, as I aspire to work in the field of Law Enforcement. Hopefully, I can achieve my dreams to become a Police Officer or a member of CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligent Services). I came about this as I have always been active in my community! Volunteering is something I am very passionate about. It brings me joy to know that I can help the world one step at a time, and I will continue to do so throughout my life. Throughout my four years at Confederation, I have participated in abundant amounts of volunteering within the school, world and community. The one experience I will never forget is the humanitarian trip I went on. In March of 2015, 12 students from my school departed to Trinidad and Tobago with Habitat for Humanity. On the trip, we helped a very kind, poor family with the construction of a new home. Our group built the foundation of a bungalow in a weeks worth of time and effort (an American group finished the rest). Before their new home, a family of 5-6 lived in a shack no bigger than your bedroom, possibly even smaller. Despite their struggles, these amazing individuals lived life to the fullest. They always had a smile, they were friendly, and most of all, giving. Within our days of work, they provided us with many home grown watermelons and bananas and on our last day, gifted each volunteer with a key chain of Trinidad. It was absolutely amazing to see that people with almost nothing, were the most giving. Even their neighbors would stop by everyday to give a hand or to support the family and the building of their new home! Experiencing their generosity and seeing their state of life taught me a very invaluable lesson, to love life everyday and to appreciate everything that is given to me. I believe everyone should hear this message and think about it. We need to understand and realize all of our advantages that some may never even have, and we need to stop taking life and things for granted!
And this was only one experience. With my many other volunteering opportunities, I’ve gained so many important lesson. I’ve been to the soup kitchen, pet save, a coach for the Special Olympics swim team, fundraisers for the NOFCC, and many, many more. With volunteering, an individual can gain so much and can change positively as a person. In my opinion, I think it is important to help change a life, or give back to your community in any way. I believe that just making someone smile while serving them hot tea at the Blue Door Soup Kitchen on a cold day can better both of our days.
On another subject, I would like to discuss a topic that is important to me and contributes to who I am. I strongly believe in Animal Rights and spreading awareness about animals in captivity. I am a Vegetarian because of this, and am working on becoming Vegan again. I chose to make this change in my life because I realized how much suffering some harmless, living beings go through everyday for society’s own benefit. I will not go into detail, but I am touching upon this subject as it is going to be my platform! I love all animals with all my heart and it is extremely heartbreaking to have our world’s animals be our food, our entertainment, our clothes and disposable lab equipment. I believe that the world should know about these sufferings and to slowly make a change for them , that is more humane!
Make sure to stay tuned for my other blogs as I will be extensively explaining my platform on animals in captivity and my upcoming fundraisers for Free the Children and Fort McMurray!
All in all, this is my introduction! I have touched upon what I believe in, what I am passionate about, my platform and my aspirations. I hope this allows you to know a bit more about myself. Hope that helps.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog!
I can’t believe it’s been about 5 months since Miss Teenage Canada 2015. I would like to start off by saying congratulations to the winner Sarah Wojcik! MTC was such an amazing experience that I will never forget and I met so many amazing girls. Today I received the video of the final night and it made me miss everyone so much! Also a huge thank you to Christi and Michelle for making MTC one of the most memorable weeks of my life.
I’ve been very busy these past few months which is why I haven’t had time to write. When I came back from MTC it hit me hard coming home to see that my mother with Trigeminal Neuralgia wasn’t getting any better and was still suffering. For those of you who don’t know, Trigeminal Neuralgia is a rare, debilitating neuropathic disease which affects your Trigeminal Nerve (it carries sensation from your face to your brain).
What happens is, a vein or artery grows and presses on the Trigeminal Nerve which causes the worst pain known to man kind. The disease causes constant chronic pain but sets off attacks of violent pain which can be triggered by anything. Something as simple as walking, talking, noise, sunlight, kissing, eating, brushing your teeth…etc (almost anything you would do in your daily life). Imagine living a life where you were only able to sit in a dark room screaming and crying because the pain is so bad and unable to do anything to stop it.
” The human body can withstand 45 del units of pain before collapsing. During childbirth, 57 del units is suffered. That’s like 20 bones being broken at once. Trigeminal Neuralgia will inflict up to 90 del units of pain during an attack. This is why it’s called the most painful condition known to man kind.”- Wendy. B
My mother has lived like this for the past 3 years and it was time to do something about it. There is no cure for Trigeminal Neuralgia (A.K.A the suicide disease because people who are diagnosed often take their own lives because the pain is so horrific), however there are treatments, surgeries and medication that have controlled the pain. BUT! Each case is different, some are more severe than others. My mother has Trigeminal Neuralgia in 5 divisions and is a rare case… nothing helps to ease the pain. She has tried pretty much everything…One morning I woke up to the sound of her screaming and crying and I couldn’t keep watching her live like this. SOOOO, I jumped on my laptop and made a video to share her story with the world, hoping to help find a cure and raise awareness for TN. I posted it on YouTube without her even knowing and within a day she had over a 2,000 views!
The feedback from the video was incredible, people who are suffering as well got to contact my mother to share their story, also we got tons of support from people all over! CTV News saw the YouTube video I made “Trigeminal Neuralgia, Aprils Story” which was circling around social media and asked to interview me. It was such an awesome opportunity and I’m so grateful for being able to spread awareness for TN and my moms story. Google search CTV News Devastating Disease to see it!
On October 7th, it was Trigeminal Neuralgia Awareness day and social media blew up with pictures with the hashtags #trigeminalneuralgia #fightforapril #aprilsstory …etc. There were people from all over Canada wearing teal (the awareness color for TN)!! Check out the facebook page I made to see the mini video clip of everyone wearing teal that day & for fundraiser information. Facebook search: Trigeminal Neuralgia, Aprils Story
The following week family and friends from Killarney Ontario put on an amazing fundraiser for my mom! There were Indian tacos being sold, a penny sale table, yardsale, TN awareness bracelets and T-shirts & MORE! It was so touching to see an entire community get together to support her.
We then received the SUPER EXCITING news that a neuro surgeon in the United States could help my mom get her life back by doing another brain surgery! So I began fundraising……:) On November 15th I organized Valley Vendors Winter Edition with Julie Perreault and a couple of my friends. It turned out to be a huge success. We had over 35 vendors, Santa meet and greet, candy ka-bobs, pizza, drinks, popcorn, huge door prize, face painting, kids craft table and more!
My next fundraiser to help raise funds for my mom to go to the United States for her brain surgery is called Rally For April! On January 8th 2016 at the Caruso Club we will be having a buffet dinner, silent auction and a performance by our very own local country singer and song writer Larry Berrio! Check out the facebook event Rally For April if you’re interested in purchasing tickets to go.
During my spare time (which there isn’t a lot of) I’ve been doing a ton of homework, working at a beautiful dress shop ” Nelia’s Designer Fashions”, local fashion shows, photo-shoots….etc
I also participated in the Santa Clause Parade with my Miss North Ontario Gals and Today I applied for college and university for nursing (OMG)! I am so excited! I would like to become a pediatric nurse someday. Can’t wait to see what my future holds! Thanks for reading 🙂
-Chelsey, Miss Teenage Valley East xoxo
“Once you become fearless, life becomes limitless”
Yesterday, August 6th 2015 all 82 of the Miss Teenage Canada delegates went to the Eaton Center Rich Tree Market to enjoy a delicious Burrito! It was such a cool experience because it was our first time out in public, all together with our sashes and crowns. There were people crowding around us and taking photos. When I ordered my burrito from the taco truck i didn’t know what to expect, considering I’ve never eaten one. The second I took a bite my mouth was filled with flavor! It was so delicious and I enjoyed every single bite. I ordered the beef burrito and it was filled with rice, chipotle sauce, lettuce, beef, & so much more! It was a huge mouth watering burrito that I didn’t want to finish because it was that good! A huge thank you goes out to all of the staff in the little taco truck for serving all of us girls tacos and burritos. Everyone working was so friendly and I had a wonderful time. Rich Tree Natural Markets Inc operates four market-style, open kitchen restaurants across Ontario! The inspired menu items use all-natural, fresh, local and in-season ingredients, including antibiotic and hormone-free meats. Check out Rich Tree Markets on social media! Website: http://richtreenaturalmarket.com Facebook: /RichtreeMarket Twitter: @RichtreeMarket Instagram: RichtreeMarket Hashtag: #RichtreeFiesta THANK YOU RICH TREE TACO TRUCK FOR HAVING US! 🙂
On Sunday August 2nd I arrived in Toronto for Miss Teenage Canada 2015. I’ve had the opportunity to meet 82 amazing girls from all over Canada! I have the sweetest roommate named Tianna from Saskatchewan and I’ve have had so much fun with her throughout this week. The following night we had our welcome party and got to meet some of our sponsors. Thank you Angeline Mcdonald from Bells & Bows Bridal Center for the bracelet, earrings & necklace and thank you Golden Glamour Goddesses for the spray tans! Before I continue I would like to thank Michelle, Christi and all of the chaperons for all of your hard work and dedication to make this week possible.
On day #2 I woke up bright & early to get my makeup done by (Sheriff Cosmetics/ Modern Makeup Canada) and my hair done. I had the opportunity to be the very first delegate to do the photo shoot, video shoot and interview. Afterwards we enjoyed a nice buffet dinner at the hotel. Thank you Holiday Inn Staff & chefs! It was a jam packed full day with so much excitement.
On day #3 we had rehearsals all day with the very talented choreographer Sean Cuffie who has worked with many celebrities. Thank you Sean for all of your patience and for choreographing all 82 girls! The following night went out for dinner at Lone Star and had DELICIOUS fajitas, a huge thank you goes out to all the staff at Lone Star! Check out their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/lonestartexasgrilletobicoke
On day #4 we went out for a fabulous breakfast at Egglicious. We were served toast, eggs,bacon and potatoes! Thank you goes out to all of the cooks and waitresses at Egglicious for being so kind and serving an amazing breakfast http://egglicious.com We then headed out to the Mississauga Canoe Club for an awesome Dragon Boat Experience https://www.facebook.com/mississaugacanoeclub
It was SOOOO MUCH FUN! We practiced rowing, had people jumping off the boat, we raced other dragon boats…etc and we were given a great lunch. Thank You Mississauga Canoe Club for this incredible experience! In the evening we went to the Greg Frewin Theater https://www.facebook.com/gregfrewintheatre for a mind blowing show and amazing dinner. I have never been to a magic show so it was a really cool experience! All of the girls and I couldn’t wrap our heads around his tricks! It truly was mind boggling and I had such a fantastic time. Thank you Greg Frewin for the great show! Later that night we had the chance to go to Niagara Falls, it was breath taking, especially at night when the falls are lit up. I was so happy to be there and it was the perfect way to end off the night. https://www.facebook.com/CityOfNiagaraFallsCanada
On day #5 we went to the Bowmanville Zoo for a once in a lifetime cub experience https://www.facebook.com/BowmanvilleZoo
The Miss Teenage Canada 2015 delegates got the opportunity to pet & play with a lion and tiger cub! It was so much fun and I couldn’t get over how beautiful they are. The cubs we’re very friendly and I just wanted to thank Bowmanville Zoo for this crazy, incredible experience! Then we went out to the Eaton Center with our crowns and sashes for lunch at the Rich Tree Market. I was such a fun experience to be all dressed up in public and had people stop to take pictures of us. Thank Eatons Center for having us https://www.facebook.com/torontoeatoncentre and Richtree Markethttps://www.facebook.com/RichtreeMarket for the delicious burrito! Then we went to the Yorkdale mall to do a little bit of shopping! Thank you Yorkdale for the VIP Card & Gift card to the mall. https://www.facebook.com/Yorkdale To top off the night we went to Medieval Times which was super cool! I had never been and didn’t know what to expect. They put on a great show and served a delicious dinner. Thank you Medieval Times for having us! https://www.facebook.com/TorontoMedievalTimes
Lastly, I would just like to thank Christi, Michelle & all of the chaperons for making this journey so far incredible. Now it’s time to prepare for the Preliminary Show TONIGHT! Stay Tuned.
I am very passionate about my platform which is all about Volunteerism in Youth. I would like to inspire and help youth realize all of the great benefits of volunteering and how important it is to get involved in your community!
I chose this subject because it has personally changed my life in so many ways. I’ve had the opportunity to learn and volunteer for so many organizations & charities. It is so hard to just chose one topic to voice my opinion about, however by volunteering you can be raising awareness/funds for cancer, bullying awareness, mental health awareness, the heart & stroke foundation and the list goes on! I believe that if teens volunteer, they will become more aware of issues in and around their community which will lead to finding solutions. Volunteering helps create relationships, opens up job opportunities, improves your communication skills, makes you feel proud, and you learn so much about yourself, your community & organizations. Being involved in events/ fundraisers while your young will help you develop as a person and create views on the world.
If I were to become Miss Teenage Canada I would like to promote volunteerism in youth by speaking to schools all over the country about getting involved with their community and how they can make a difference! It is my dream to travel across Canada so why not inspire others along my journey?
I would also like to create an optional credited course available to high school students which would be all about project management. Project management is the process and activity of planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling resources, procedures and protocols to achieve specific goals in scientific or daily problems. The credit would require a minimum of 30 volunteer hours. The student would have experience volunteering and would have his/her own personal views on issues that affect their community. During the course they would learn all about the importance volunteerism, how to organize your own fundraiser, team work, how to motivate others, time management, how to communicate with others, and the students would be educated on societal/scientific/ daily problems and ways to find a solution. At the end of the course each student would have to organize their very own fundraiser for a charity of their choice. I believe that every teen would benefit from this course since they would be engaged with their community, have a chance to show leadership and learn so many amazing life skills! If I were to be the next Miss Teenage Canada I would have a voice that would be heard and the opportunity to make a difference!
Growing up I never had much self confidence and didn’t believe that I was ever going to be successful. Whenever there was an obstacle in my life all I would ever do was give up. All I ever thought about was am I good enough? am I pretty enough? am I smart enough? and I’m pretty sure many people out there can agree. Everything changed the year I turned 16. Throughout this year I’ve blown myself away with the things I’ve accomplished and I’m here today to talk about how you can do anything you set your mind to.
This past year I planned a bowling fundraiser for Northern Ontario Families of Children with Cancer, I planned Valley East Vendors & BBQ with Julie Perreault to help raise money for Northern Ontario Families of Children with Cancer, volunteered for over 10 events/fundraisers, raised over $1,500 for Northern Ontario Families of Children with Cancer, won 7 awards at the Miss North Ontario Regional Canada Pageant, participated in several fashion shows, auditioned for the lead role in a movie, I was a featured background actor in a movie & TV series, did a bottle drive for Free the Children, planned a fundraiser at Cousin Vinnys for Free the Children, hosted several fundraiser to help cover my entry fee for Miss Teenage Canada and had an on air radio interview with KICX 91.7. I have been so involved in my community and there have been so many amazing experiences & opportunities. Which is why my platform is all about Volunteerism in Youth.
I never would of thought that I would be able to accomplish so much in my entire life. I want to inspire people to never give up and that you can reach any dream or any goal as long as you work hard and believe in yourself! You have to put in 100% into everything you do and be the best you that you can be. Behind every success is effort, behind every effort is passion, behind every passion is someone with the courage to try. If there is something you’re passionate about or something you want to do in life, then DO IT! Everyone is capable of accomplishing amazing things. You have to be fearless, don’t let the thoughts of “am I good enough?” or “I cant do anything” get in the way of you following your dreams. There are people who watch things happen, wonder what happened and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN! No dream is too little or too big. Have courage, take risks and give it all you got.
There are only two days left until I will be heading to Toronto to participate in a week full of fun at Miss Teenage Canada 2015. I am over the top excited and can’t wait for the amazing memories too come. I would like to take a moment to thank every single person who supported me and helped me prepare for Miss Teenage Canada.
To start off I would like to thank Chelsee Taylor Photography for helping me with my very first fundraiser and for my professional pictures, her work is more than phenomenal!
Thank you Cheryl Kozlera, the director of Miss North Ontario for all of your training, time, support, advice and kind words. She has given me confidence and has well prepared me for Miss Teenage Canada. I am so thankful to have her in my life!
Thank you goes out to those who donated door prizes at my fundraiser Crown The Night; Ted Pitfield, Zona Belcourt, Lynn Kurkimaki, June Mclellan and Julie Perreault, they were a huge hit and we had some pretty lucky winners!:)
Thank you Chris from Cousin Vinnys & all of your staff for making my Crown the Night Fundraiser possible.
Thank you Gabe from Food Basics for allowing me to bag groceries with volunteers for donations!
Thank you Tara Williston for sponsoring me and doing my hair, you truly are the best and I appreciate all of your support. You did a fantastic job and I absolutely love my new doo!
Thank you goes out to all of the staff at The Pitfield’s General Store in Killarney, especially Deidra Roque, for helping me pay for my entry fee by setting up a donations box at the cash.
Special thanks goes out to my cousins Eric & Val who run the Killarney Treasures shop in Killarney for sponsoring me.
Thank you Blue Sky Insurance in North Bay for the generous donation for Free the Children.
Thank you Wes for your generous donation to help me with my entry fee.
Thank you goes out to all of my volunteers at my fundraisers; Denika Perreault, Crystal Trottier, Carter Pitfield, Isabel, Curtis, Skyler Savage- Perrault and Marissa Serre.
Thank you for those of you who came out to all of my fundraisers for Free the Children. Thank you Valley East for all of your support. Lastly, a HUGE thank you goes out to my family for being such great supporters and helping me achieve all of my goals!
Each and every one of you have helped me get to where I am today and I promise to make you all proud! All of your support has blown me away and I am so thankful to have such great friends, family & community!
Our youth is our future. Us teenagers will soon be the role models in our society. I believe that the best way to prepare us is too simply, volunteer. Why volunteer you may ask?
Volunteering is good for you physically and mentally. Whether you’re helping out a neighbor with yard work or helping out at a fundraiser, you are getting some physical activity. Volunteering is good for you mentally because all of your energy and focus is on helping others! It is also one of the best feelings at the end of the day knowing that you have helped others in need.
By volunteering you can also gain experience with a career in your interest. For example, individuals that are interested in going into the medical field should volunteer at the hospital to see what it’s really like and gain experience.
In addition, volunteering in your community gives you the opportunity to meet so many great people, create friendships and connections that will last a life time. Particularly, if you volunteer for a charity that you were personally affected by, you will meet many others who have had similar experiences.
It is so important that teens get out and volunteer because it opens so many doors for them. It improves your social skills, develops your views on issues in the community, gives you knowledge about different charities/ businesses, and gives you experience with different positions. Not only does it look good on a resume but it also makes you feel good to pay it forward.
Only 47% of Canadians volunteer and one of my goals is to promote volunteerism in youth to help make a difference in communities all over the world. I love the idea of paying it forward which is doing a favor for someone and not expecting anything in return. According to this chart, 58% of people between the ages of 15 to 24 volunteer and will hopefully increase over the years. We will be the generation of helping hands!
Without a doubt, volunteering improves your community in so many aspects. It improves you as an individual, supports families, schools, land, charities and so much more! When you volunteer you learn so much about yourself and your own community. You can discover talents that you never thought you had and gain knowledge of local resources available to solve community needs. It improves your independence and changes your view on the world. Most importantly, by volunteering you’re making a difference!