My first day at Miss Teenage Canada was absolutely incredible. I arrived into Toronto around 5:30 after a beautiful train ride. I made my way over to the hotel to finally meet all the delegates and get into my hotel room. Driving through the big city is a lot different from the small town that I live in. Instead of seeing plenty of trees and lakes there was buildings after buildings. Seeing the extravagant architecture and diverse culture was definitely amazing! When I arrived I was taken up to my room by Samantha Pierre, Miss Teenage Canada 2016. I was introduced to my roommate Madison, she is a lovely, soft-spoken girl, just like myself. I know we will have lots of fun this week.

Today was Day 2 of this wonderful adventure! All the delegates had their official photoshoots done with an amazing photographer, interview with the judges, shot their intro videos, and also shot their Top 20 videos. It was great fun and made for a wonderful second day! Tomorrow will be a little different than the past two day but all of us delegates are sure to have even more fun. I will keep you updated on our next adventure when the time comes.

I would like to tell you how happy I am be experiencing this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity but I can not believe I am actually here, it all feels like a dream. All the delegates are very unique and beautiful girls. Their genuine hearts and outgoing personalities make them an amazing group of people. I feel at home and at ease knowing I have constant support around me. Day 1 was definitely one I’ll never forget, from the overwhelming excitement to just getting into my hotel room. If this is exciting, I cant wait for pageant day! Stay tuned for updates every day until the big day day!

Talk to you soon!

Olivia

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It all started on August 15th, 2013. My mother was at work and suddenly felt an unusual sensation in her head. Not overthinking the situation, she decided to talk to her boss. A decision was made that it was probably best to go to the Emergency Department instead of going home to nap. Fear began to set into my mother as she waited because at age 63, my mother’s father died of a ruptured brain aneurysm. Following this wait, my mother was given the devastating news that she had a ruptured brain aneurysm in the centre of her brain. If you are unaware, a brain aneurysm is an abnormal bubble in a brain artery that develops where a blood vessel wall becomes weak. In my mother’s case, hers had bursted.

The doctors at the hospital treated my mother immediately. This case was especially hard for my mother and the staff because she was so close to them all. She was the Director of the Acute Psychiatric Unit for 12 years so she knew just about everybody around. Setting aside the fear, the doctors acted proficiently and quickly. While all of this was transpiring, I was at my friends house enjoying my summer day. I got a call from a family friend saying I was getting picked up to go to the hospital because my mother had a headache. I wasn’t too sure why my mom had gone into the Emergency Room for a headache because it’s not normally something we worry about. I thought nothing more of it and went along to the hospital to check up on my mom. I will never forget the look on my mother’s face when I walked into that room. Her pale, sick face drooped down, with her eyes hardly open. Immediately I knew it was more than just a headache and reacting the way any 12 year old would, I was beyond terrified. My heart sank and I became fearful that I was going to lose my mother. Something a child should never have to think about was my only thought and seemed to take over my life for the next couple of months.

My mother became progressively worse rather quickly. My sister, family friends, and I were asked to leave the room because my mother was being sent to the Resuscitation Room. Her symptoms got worse and the doctors made the call that she needed emergency surgery. She was rushed out by air ambulance to Ottawa, about an hour and a half away from our hometown. We got to say goodbye even though my mother was hardly visibly with all the tubes and machines attached to her. I kissed her arm and said what I thought would be my final goodbye.

There was a 40% chance of survival for my mother and a 67% of living with a serious impairment if she came out of surgery alive. Thankfully the surgery went extremely well and they were able to coil her aneurysm. Coiling is where a metal spring-like contraption is placed onto the neck of the aneurysm to prevent it from bursting. They went up my mothers femoral artery, which is in her leg, all the way up to the brain. Immediately after waking up, my mother was told more heartbreaking news. She came out with absolutely no impairments. But not even being awake for an hour and she was already dealing with everything once again. Her neurosurgeon informed her that they had found another aneurysm, this time only larger. She was scheduled to have another operation in December. This time would be slightly different as the surgery would be more invasive and involved a craniotomy. My mother had part of her skull taken out to reach the brain and had a clip placed onto the neck of the aneurysm. Her skull was sealed with a titanium plate and then 30 sutures were placed to keep the incision closed, plus another 30 staples on top. Just home in time for Christmas, my family and I celebrated the successful surgeries and road to recovery. The next few months would be different for my sister and I as we had to take care of my mother, what a role reversal! We all made it through and my mother made a full recovery.

After the incident, my mother noticed her moods were not as they were before. She was often very sad and found herself crying often. She had difficulty sleeping and lost interest in her previous hobbies. Our family doctor was helpful with the situation and referred her to a psychiatrist. Being diagnosed with depression and anxiety my mom began another journey to recovery. This all takes us to where we are today.

This is one instance where I have personally dealt with mental health issues. But by my mother getting the right treatment and help she required, she is the happy, beyond healthy, and beautiful woman she is today. For the past year she hasn’t required antidepressants. If you were to meet my mother now you would not focus on the scar on her head but her big heart and her outgoing soul!

Mental illness is not something that plagues an individual, it just becomes an outlet to let their true beauty show. When faced with a mental health issue we have 2 choices: define the mental illness and prove you are stronger or let it overpower you. We can all choose to beat the stigma and mental illness itself and show the world what power we have in store.

Thank you for reading my mother’s story and I hope you gained some insight on brain aneurysms and my journey with mental illness!

 

Olivia

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Welcome to Renfrew County, where my hometown of Pembroke is located. Renfrew County is the largest county in Ontario with a population of approximately 102,000. What makes this place so special you may ask?  It is the sense of community and the amazing people that make up this county. When coming into Renfrew County you will immediately notice how welcoming and outgoing each individual here really is. You will definitely feel at home and like you are a part of our one big family!

We have a great deal of attractions to offer from our Provincial Parks to the Ottawa River and our lively downtown core with many unique shops and restaurants.  You should consider visiting if you pass through the area or find yourself staying around Pembroke. In my opinion, my favourite attraction to visit is Wilderness Tours.  It is a beautiful resort located in Foresters Falls.  It is approximately 40 minutes from where I live and roughly 1 hour West of Ottawa, our Nation’s Capital.

Wilderness Tours was founded in 1975 by Joe Kowalski (owner) and 5 others. It all started when they decided to take rafts down a section of the Ottawa River knows as “Rocher-Fendu”. Since then the beautiful resort has bloomed and turned into a fun adventure for families and tourists alike.

At the Resort they offer 3 main adventures: rafting, kayaking, and bungee jumping. You can learn to raft down the picturesque Ottawa River with the best raft guides in the county. Their staff is highly skilled and will assist you so that you arrive down river safely and have fun while doing it! You can pick through different packages, ranging from Gentle (ages 5-12), Adventurous (ages 13+), and Extreme (ages 13+). Various family packages are available as well.

If you enjoy the surrounding scenery and the water, you should definitely give kayaking a try! Wilderness Tours offers sea kayaking (flatwater) and whitewater kayaking (rapids). Pick from Beginner, Intermediate, or Premier classes and a range of courses. You can choose 2-5 day courses, week camps, and adult courses. Join a class and learn to become a skilled kayaker and then test your ability on the whitewater rapids.

If you’d prefer to try an activity on dry land, Wilderness Tours has an adventure for you! If you’re a thrill-seeker and want to experience the rush of a lifetime, test out the bungee jump. You will be safely harnessed in and then jump 150 feet above the gorgeous Ottawa River! You can also enjoy many other activities such as mountain biking, fishing, horseback riding, and team building exercises!

If you are looking to create a great vacation memory, try out horseback riding. Wilderness Tours has teamed up with Horse Country Campground and now offers the unique opportunity to experience horsemanship! The “Learn to Horseback Ride Experience” allows families and individuals to learn all about horses.  It teaches you how to groom and care for the horses, practice groundwork, ride in the ring with an experienced trainer, and allows you to horseback ride along the the pristine Ottawa Valley countryside.

The building “Rafters” is the heart of the Wilderness Tours site! This building features a licensed restaurant, reception desk, River Shop, sun deck, a campfire pit, and an amphitheatre.  You can also enjoy movies and some dancing at Rafters!

After spending the day out on the river, this resort will have all the accommodations you could ever want. Wilderness Tours is also an extraordinary place to camp out with friends or family! Enjoy a warm and cozy stay in a cabin that houses up to 12 people. Beach houses, farm houses, and lake houses are also available to rent.

Not only is this resort a place to get out on the water and into the wilderness but a place where the fun never ends and lifetime memories are made. If you are thinking about making a trip to Wilderness Tours with friends or family, visit the website to read about the adventures they offer and book your events!

Official Website:  http://www.wildernesstours.com/

Thanks for reading, until next time!

Olivia

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Children. Energetic, bright souls that are filled with light. Do you remember playing outside as a kid with not a care in the world, running around with your friends, getting away with everything because we were “just kids”? Teenagers. Often categorized as lazy. Most are far from lazy, changing the world with their intelligence and big hearts. Busy being the face of the future. Imagine these children’s bright days turning into dark days because of the presence of a mental illness. Imagine the faces of our future afraid to change the world because of the stigma around mental illness. We don’t always see what hides behind these young eyes and that’s why we need to bring light and knowledge to this pressing issue, child and youth mental illness.

 

Maintaining mental health and wellbeing can be a rather hard task. On top of the struggles of keeping a healthy mental state, the problems associated with mental illness can very well be extremely debilitating. Mental illness can affect your overall health and also certain areas of your life, some including relationships, school, and physical health. The 3 most important aspects in a child’s and adolescent’s life. The prevalence of mental illness in youth and children seems to be vast and growing. As of 2015, data shows that a staggering 10-20% of children and youth in Canada will be develop a mental disorder before adulthood, that is an overwhelming 1.2 million children and youth within our country.

Image result for mental illness quotes

With the rising percentages of mental illness among children and youth, the awareness of the topic is still lacking. This is where I want to come in and help. Teaching children and youth about the importance of maintaining mental health and how crucial it is to get the help they need. In Canada, only approximately 1 in 5 children who need mental health services will actually receive the treatment they need. These results could possibly be from factors such as finance issues, the fear of the stigma around mental illness, or they are simply unaware of the resources they have around them. 28% of youth say they did not know where to go when faced with a mental illness issue. That is how important it is to let children and youth know there is help waiting for them. There are resources available that are capable of giving them the treatment they need. My goal is to be a mental health advocate for children and youth in Canada. I would like to inform not only children and youth, but parents on how significant it is to know the signs of mental illness in their child and how beneficial it is to seek help for their loved ones.

 

Just talking about suicide is hard but nothing comparable to being affected by it. Centre for Addiction and Mental Health provided me with some statistics that are absolutely mind-blowing, take a look:

  • Almost 4,000 Canadians die of suicide each year, that’s about 11 per day
  • In 2012, suicide accounted for deaths 17% of children ages 10-14 and 28% among 15-19 year olds
  • 2012 data shows that in Ontario alone 12% of students reported having seriously contemplated suicide within the past year

This is heartbreaking to read for anyone. It makes us wonder how we can help so devastations like this can be prevented. Another reason why I would like to speak out for children and youth who are afraid to because of the stigma surrounding mental illness.

 

 

My ultimate goal is to not only make a difference in my own life where mental illness is a big issue but in countless lives of others around me. By getting involved after this pageant, I hope I can become a light in the lives of the people affected by mental illness, I wish to provide hope, support, knowledge, and most of all to provide love.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post about my platform, Child and Youth Mental Illness.

Image result for mental illness quotes

Goodbye for now!

 

Olivia

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Hello! My name is Olivia and I am honoured to say that I was crowned Miss Teenage Renfrew County 2017 in May! I am 16 years of age and just completed grade 11. I live in the beautiful little city of Pembroke, Ontario! I live with just my beautiful mother, Catherine, and my 14 year old sister, Sofia. My mother, being a single mom, has an extremely hard responsibility raising us two teenagers by herself but she does an incredibly amazing job and never fails to bring happiness to our lives and support us with everything we need. My mother suffered 2 brain aneurysms a few years back and it was a big setback for my family but she remained the positive woman she is and overcame the illness with more power and optimism than before. My sister, Sofia, is an intelligent, kind hearted, outgoing little woman. She has a lot of energy and can always bring life to the party! Im lucky to have been blessed with these two incredible women I call my best friends.

I am going into my 5th year of high school so from grade 8 to grade 11 I have done many sports, joined many clubs, and made many friends over the years. I am part of the Student Athletic Council at my school, Student Secretary for student council and play on many sport teams. Over the years I have played volleyball, badminton, soccer, track and field, and did cross country. My favourites would have to be soccer and badminton for sure! I placed 2nd and 4th out of the 3 years I played badminton and made it to EOSSAA with my team as well. I qualified for EOSSAA for hurdles in track and have received many awards for my skills in sports at athletic banquets. I have also complete over 70 hours of community service hours, whether it has been through helping at banquets, cooking for special occasions, or planning events with the staff. I enjoy being involved within the school community because you do spend many years there and it becomes a temporary home, so make it fun and worthwhile!

Senior Girls Soccer Team 2016-17

Art, especially photography, has been my passion for as long as I can remember! As a kid I was very artistic and creative. Constantly painting and creating pictures in my head is what I remember vividly. As I grew up, art became more present in my life. In grade 7 my teacher was a professional artist and did many illustrations for kids shows and was extremely talented. I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge and talent in painting and sketching. I practiced for a few years then in grades 9-11 I took art courses and photography as well. I began to focus on photography more than drawing but I still tried to incorporate sketching into my everyday life. I began to sketch out my dream photographs. I began to take my camera everywhere and took thousands of photos. I excelled in the arts and ended up where I am today, school photographer and had my art on display for the community. As school photographer I attend the sporting events and take pictures for the players and yearbook. It is lots of fun and something I can enjoy for the rest of my life. Photography allows me to see the world, adventure, meet people, and put my creative twist on what I see through my own eyes.

“Photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” -Elliott Erwitt

I like to go with the flow as much as possible but I do have a few goals I strive for and dreams I wish to come true some day. In the future I would love to have my own family and live somewhere away from my hometown. Not too far though because I will always be homebody. After highschool I hope to go away to school to become a Forensic Psychologist or a position in the police field. I think the mind is a complicated but interesting thing and incorporating it into criminology would make a fun and fascinating career.

Now before I wrap this up, I would like to speak about my friends. After all, I spend almost every minute of the day with them and they are an extremely important part of my life. These people have been my rock for a long time now and w

Just a fraction of the beautiful friends I have, but thank you to these girls who have supported me along this exciting journey!

e have been through just about everything. When the days are dark or the days are as bright as the sun, we are there for each other no matter what. We share laughs, smiles, and make memories everyday. They have lead me up to this point where I stand today. I am forever thankful that they push me to greatness and bring such joy into my life. They have all accomplished such great things themselves and are going to do even more great things for our world. So a big thank you goes out to my beautiful friends!

So there you have it, the basics about myself! I hope you were able to gain a bit more knowledge about me, Miss Teenage Renfrew County 2017, and I hope you join me on this wonderful journey to the Miss Teenage Canada pageant! Thanks for reading!

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MTC logoMy dreams have finally come true. Ever since I was little I have always wanted to do something along the lines of  competing in a pageant, being on TV, or some form of entertainment. So the Miss Teenage Canada pageant was the perfect opportunity to fulfill my dream.  I remember as a little girl watching pageants such as Miss Universe, and Miss USA. In my head I was always use to imagine myself in a big glamorous pageant like that. Then, my sister showed me a Youtube video to the Miss Teen Canada-World 2012 pageant. I thought to myself “wow this looks like so much fun, I wish I could do something like that!” but I didn’t think I could. With all theses fears in mind of me not getting the chance to do something as amazing as a Miss Teenage Canada pageant I decided to just take the plunge and click on that little APPLY NOW button, and that’s where it all started, I got accepted! At that moment I could not even contain my excitement! I only had a few shorts days to prepare myself for my first ever pageant. At moments I felt like it might have been impossible for me to compete but with my hard work and dedication I was able to make it to the provincial Miss Teenage Ontario pageant. And needless to say I did pretty well 🙂 , I was very happy with how that weekend went. It was a weekend I will never forget and I met so many amazing girls across Ontario.

Katie S.

Katie MTC-W 2008

MTC-W logo Now a little bit about the history of this pageant, The Miss Teenage Canada pageant is the largest teen pageant in Canada and in my opinion the best pageant. I say this because of all the research I have done on the pageant. I have watched over 4 hours of video on the pageant and read numerous articles about the pageant. This pageant had helped tons a girls across Canada become confident, beautiful, etiquette, young women. This pageant is owned by MTC-W Inc. and is produced by the wonderful Michelle Weswaldi. The original Miss Teen Canada Pageant was actually named Miss Teenage Canada for the first three years! The Miss Teenage Canada started in 1969 and was televised by CTV and was called Miss Teenage Canada till 1971 and in 1972 the name of the pageant was changed to Miss Teen Canada until it was shut down in 1990 due to financial concerns. Finally in 2008 Miss Teen Canada-World started which was and still is produced by Michelle, the first Miss Teen Canada-World 2008 was Katie Starke. MTC-W is the largest pageant in Canada with the most delegates, largest prizes, and the only pageant to hold a provincial level pageant before nationals. Plus the winner of the pageant gets to compete in Miss Teen Universe, which former MTC-W delegate Mattea Henderson competed in this year and won 1strunner-up at the

Mattea H.

Mattea H.

Miss Teen Universe 2014 pageant. The Miss Teen Canada-World pageant has changed their name this year to Miss Teenage Canada, and the title of Miss Teen Canada-World, no longer exist. This year the winner will be crowned and titled as Miss Teenage Canada 2014.

I believe that this pageant will give me a huge confident boost mostly because it already has. I already feel like a winner. Plus, all the amazing things I have gotten to do far really make me feel grateful for the opportunity given to me through this pageant.  This pageant will also help me become a better public speaker, and more involved in my community, it also gives me the skills I need for the future such as interview skills, and communication skills. I’ve been able to attend many events in my community and raise money for free the children as well.  On top of all of that, my journey as Miss Teenage Renfrew County isn’t over yet; I still get one whole fabulous year of helping out in community.

MTC-W 2011

MTC-W 2011

On that note, it would be the world to me to be able to become Miss Teenage Canada 2014. If I win the title, my number one main goal would just to make people happy and make them smile. My ultimate goal in life is just to make people happy. I would be most excited to win the trip to Kenya because I would be able to work with children and I absolutely love children and working with kids. That is what I plan to do for a future career, to be a children’s nurse. I would want to help my country as much as possible. My ideas are endless for the plans I have to follow my platform, to promote children’s self-esteem and a positive body image for themselves, as Miss Teenage Canada. I would want to try my best to attend as many mental illness awareness events to future educate myself on Mental Health and then visit as many elementary schools that I can to promote positive mental health. I would want to do this because I believe you have to stop mental illness before it can even begin and most time that is when we are young. Children need to know they are beautiful the way they are and no one can tell them differently. And that would be my goal as Miss Teenage Canada 2014.

 

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tmscAre you interested in a career in modelling, but have no idea where to start? Well lucky for you MTC-W Inc. has launched and new competition called, Top Model Search Canada! It is an exciting new competition to help aspiring young models of Canada. Not only does this competition help jump start a modelling career but it also a glamorous pageant competition, so its a two in one! Pretty amazing, I know. TMSC is a 5 day competition that takes place in Toronto with tons of modelling workshops and training.

Now a little about how to apply for this competition and what it takes to be the Top Top ModelModel of Canada. To apply there is no modelling or pageant experience needed, and no professional photos are needed to apply. The only requirement is that you must be between the ages of 17-26 and a Winnersminimum height of 5’7& over. TMSC are looking for the kind of girls that show, a positive personality, drive (no, not driving a car lol) what drive means to be able to strive towards your goals, and work hard with determination, they are also looking for intelligence, inner and outer beauty, and lastly, you must enjoy performing on stage and strutting on the runway.

So, what does it mean to be the winner of Top Model Search Canada? Well where do I savanaghbegin? First of all she will receive a prize package valued at over $15 000, she will get the opportunity to represent Canada at international competitions in places like Thailand, Europe, and North America, she will receive photoshoots with various photographers, featured in magazines, TV, and be an honorary guest at red carpet events, more modelling training and development, and finally travel across Canada and be featured on TMSC website and blog. So I guess you could say its every future models dream competition!

The workshops and training you receive will surely get you ready for the model lifestlye. You will learn all the skills and tricks to walk the runway like an angel, how to pose for the camera, how to apply your makeup like a goddess, how to style your hair like a true model, learn the skills of public speaking, learn to be etiquette , and lastly but most importantly you will be able to build your confidence, because you are you’re own kind of beautiful.

After hearing about this wonderful competition, I’m guessing your last question is, how applynowdo I apply? We don’t worry I got you covered. All you have to do to apply for Top Model Search Canada is fill out the application form and email it back to apply@missteencanadaworld.com and from there will be contacted for a webcam interview. All applicant that meet the standard requirements will be contacted for the webcam interview. And lastly you need to send in 4 required photos (again, these do not need to be professional taken photos). In the 4 photos, wear a tank top and shorts or skinny jeans with NO makeup and put your hair into a ponytail. Take one full length photo straight on, one photo standing sideways, then a close up of your face, smiling :), and lastly a photo of your choice, you can wear makeup if you would like and it can be a professional photo. And that is it! That is all the information you will need to start your journey in being the next Top Model for Canada! I can’t wait to see all the girls compete and I wish them the best of luck and the most fun!

 

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Good Morning everyone! And Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful Fathers out there today! :). I have some exciting news today! I am very excited to say that I have been accepted into the Link Crew Program for the school year of 2014/2015, I was chosen to be a link crew leader for the second year in a row. I am super excited for this coming up school year and all the new coming grade nine students into our new super school. It will be a new experience for the grade nine and the other link crew leaders and I, being in the new school but I cannot wait! Its really a great privilege to be a link crew leader this coming up school year.  Here is a copy of the letter I got that explain what a Link Crew Leader is and why certain students were chosen for the program. 🙂

Link Crew Letter

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Toblerone chocolate cheesecake

Toblerone chocolate cheesecake

This past weekend my mom had a really

Chocolate cookie dough topping

Chocolate cookie dough topping

great idea of having a Yard Sale/Cheesecake sale. I thought it was a great idea, and we started planning that day. The next day, Friday night, my mom made the cheesecakes. The coolest thing about having the cheesecake sale was that we actually sold most of the cheesecakes she made the night before the sale! So early Saturday morning my mom and I were running around like crazy because

White Kit-Kat cheesecake

White Kit-Kat cheesecake

we only had two and half cheesecakes left and had to quickly make more. They sold out like crazy! Tons of people came in to buy our cheesecakes; they sold out in less than two hours. Huge thank you to my mom and Christina I don’t think it would have been the huge success as it was if wasn’t for these two hard working ladies. And thank you to everyone who came and bought the cheesecake, I did hear feedback from some of the costumers and heard good things; I really hope you enjoyed them. And I can’t wait to have another sale because it was so much fun the first time. 🙂

Cherry Cheesecake

Cherry Cheesecake

Unfortunately, I was so busy with the yard sale and trying to help my mom I didn’t have enough time to take any pictures :(, but hopefully next time ill be able to take some pictures. On the plus side I have theses pictures that my mom took of the different cheesecakes she made! 😀  I also forgot to mention that I was able to raise almost $400 with this sale. So once again, giant thank you to everyone who came a bought a cheesecake!

 

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