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- Cardiac Kids is a volunteer group who raise much-needed funds for children who are suffering from congenital heart disease.
- Free The Children is an international charity and educational partner, working both domestically and internationally to empower and enable youth to be agents of change.
My platform is the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association. CanTRA is a registered charity that promotes challenge, achievement and empowerment for children and adults with disabilities through use of the horse.
I chose this as my platform because it’s very close to my heart. I fell in love with horses at a very young age and to find a program like this, where I could help other people and watch them fall in love with riding the way I did was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I have been volunteering with the Gait Equestrian Centre in Moose Jaw for three years, and I was asked to speak at the 2015 Saskatchewan Healthcare Excellence Awards next March with Jineen, the young woman I have been assisting, on behalf of the program.
If I am crowned Miss Teenage Canada 2015 I would start by using the money to purchase a lift. This would open so many doors for people with immobility. I would also like to travel to some of the centres across Canada to raise awareness and help enlighten people on this amazing form of therapy that can truly changes the lives of the disabled.
I can’t express how excited I am to be leaving for Nationals tomorrow (even if that means getting up at 3:30am lol) Thank you so much to everyone who has helped and supported me on this journey. I value each and every one of you immensely!
Why do I think Canada is so great? I could honestly go on forever about why I’m lucky to call Canada home but I’ll keep it short and sweet by listing my top three reasons. Our freedom. It even states this in our National anthem. “The true north strong and free” The freedom that we have is our right and it cannot be taken away from us. Our hockey. Canada is home to some of the world’s most talented NHL players. Hockey and Canada go together just like Tim Horton’s and outdoor rinks. Our Love and Support. Whether it be a struggle within our own country or one of our military allies needs a little back up we never come up with excuses, we go and we help.
When I think about the word “Freedom” in Canada I think of two things.
The freedom we have to express ourselves, to express how we act, think, speak and feel about certain topics and subjects. We can travel freely in and out of Canada as we please. We can practice any religion or have no religion at all. These are not only choices but also a right we have as Canadian Citizens. We have a publicly funded healthcare and education system that is available to everyone (basically saying we have free healthcare, primary education so that’s awesome.)
When I think of talent in Canada I think of hockey. I know that this isn’t our national sport but it’s one I’ve grown up around, whether it be watching playoffs on television, going to my older brothers games or those few years when we billeted junior hockey players. I’ve always loved hockey and even though I never played (mostly because my mom said I was too fragile which was probably true) I always enjoyed skating on the outdoor rinks that my dad would make for my brother every winter. In my opinion hockey brings us together as Canadians. I think back to the start of the regular season this year when Cpl. Nathan Cirillo lost his life while standing guard at the National War Monument in Ottawa. This brought a great sadness all over Canada and I thought what they organized for the three Canadian teams playing a few days later was beautiful and made me realize how strong we are when we come together as a country. The games that took place in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal all co-coordinated the singing of the national anthems where the players from each team stood shoulder to shoulder around the faceoff circle at centre ice. I also remember the countless times we’ve brought home medals from the Olympics and the IIHF Junior Championships!
Canada is so diverse in cultural. Today immigrants represent 20% of the total Canadian population. There are over 200 different ethnic backgrounds in Canada (I can’t blame people for wanting to come here, it’s pretty great!). Over 80% of people living in Canada speak a language other than English, French or an Aboriginal language. We accept anyone that comes to Canada and we don’t judge anyone on his or her background.
So in closing, these are my top three reasons I love Canada. The freedom we have is a true blessing and I couldn’t imagine living without it; our love for the game of hockey that promotes a little healthy competition whether it be in the junior leagues, national hockey league or the Olympics is always fun to enjoy; and the diversity and cultural we have throughout the provinces and territories is why I would never change my homeland. I have been lucky enough to call Canada home for 19 years and I hope to call it home for many, many more!
I am a proud Canadian. Canada Strong.
I also wanted to say with Nationals fast approaching I realize everyday how truly lucky and blessed I am to have been given this opportunity. I appreciate all the love and support from everyone and I want you to know that it means a great deal to me.
Thanks for reading,
These past few months have been a tad bit stressful but extremely rewarding. As the time before Nationals is drawing to a close I would like to thank my incredibly generous sponsors for all their help and support. Raising money to send myself to nationals on my own would have been extremely challenging and I can’t thank everyone enough for believing in me and helping me chase my dream of becoming Miss Teenage Canada 2015. Without the help of these people I would not be in the position I am.
I would like to thank my clothing sponsor Gaynor the owner of Bib and Tucker for giving me all the clothes I will possibly need for Toronto!
I can now feel confident that no matter where we visit while in Toronto, no matter what the weather; I will be feeling stylish, comfortable and confident.
I would also like to thank the following people for their generous cash donations: Chad Taylor from Moose Jaw Toyota, Kara Viczko, Lee and Shannon Sluser and Dr. Roberta Mackay and Mr. Elmer Brenner.
I’m beyond blessed to have this opportunity and I can promise that I will make not only everyone who has believed in me, but myself proud as well.
Last weekend I had the pleasure of volunteering at the Prairie Mentoring Centre booth at Frontier Days held in Swift Current. I spent a day and a half talking to new people about the benefits of therapeutic riding in hopes that a barn will be willing to host a program there, as well as spark an interest in hopes that someone may want to become an instructor.
While volunteering I realized a few things:
- I have a tendency to talk with my hands and it’s rare that you’d find a picture of me where I don’t have my hands gesturing to something.
- No matter where you go when wearing a crown, children and parents will call you a princess and want to get a picture with you!
- I definitely picked the right platform. CanTra is something I’m so passionate about and I want to help make a difference. I know that it’s affected others and myself so positively and I can’t wait to watch it flourish and touch the lives of others!
I would also like to tell you a little story that brightened up my whole day. It was extremely hot when I was volunteering at Frontier Days! With heat on my mind and what seemed like an unquenchable thirst for any cold beverage I could find, I headed over to the lemonade stand. As I was waiting in line an older couple and a nice man in a cowboy hat chatted me up. They congratulated me on my title and asked what I was doing at frontier days. I explained to them about my platform and how it’s so important that we have more barns in Saskatchewan that support the CanTRA program and they seemed very impressed! The couple said to me how nice it was to see a young girl taking time out of her day to help such a great cause and gave me 10$ to by myself a lemonade. It may not seem like much but it made me smile and it reminded me of how important it is to help out whenever you can. I would also like to say that was the best lemonade I have ever tasted.
Times are changing for the better. The new and improved Caitlyn Jenner is gracing the latest cover of Vanity Fair. This may not seem like important news to some people, but it is. Transgender people have always existed but have had to hide who they are because they live in fear of death threats and bullying from a close-minded society. With a huge celebrity such a Caitlyn Jenner (formerly known as Bruce Jenner) one of the stars of reality TV show “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” coming out to the world, it’s making huge waves all over social media and the tabloids. Many big name celebrities are showing their love and support through the use social media.
The reason I’ve decided to write a blog post about this is because I think it’s very important to be able to live your life how you were meant to, regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation. It’s 2015 and I think this is a beautiful way to start it. People are realizing that it’s okay to be transgender, and it’s not something that needs to be shunned or looked down upon. Celebrities are role models and are people that are looked up to. I personally think that the positive responses from this announcement will help a lot more people learn to be more accepting and open minded.
It’s not just Caitlyn. There are many more transgender celebrities that deserve recognition as well. Laverne Cox, a LGBT advocate and actress who stars in Netflix’s hit series “Orange Is The New Black”. Chaz Bono, son of Cher and Sonny Bono is a female to male transgender. Jenna Talackova, a Canadian model and TV personality. As well as Janet Mock who is a writer, transgender activist and former staff editor at people.com. That’s just scratching the surface. Transgender celebrities are becoming more common because they aren’t afraid anymore. You shouldn’t be either, embrace you, and be your own beautiful!
Thanks for reading,