Hello Everyone! My name is Grace, and I am happy to announce I am Miss Teen South Central Saskatchewan 2015.  I’m nervous but also extremely excited to begin this new journey and share it with all of you. I will fill you in on how this all started. I applied to compete for Miss Teenage Canada Pageant in April: I had a phone interview and then was left to wait. A few days later I received an email telling me I was a finalist! I was happy and relieved! Provincials were held on May 2nd and 3rd in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. On the night of May 3rd, 2015 I was crowned first runner up to Miss Teen Saskatchewan, and so begins the startof my journey to Nationals.

Graduation with friends

 

 

I am nineteen years old from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. I have lived here for almost nine years. I was born in Pembroke, Ontario, but I am proud to call Moose Jaw my hometown. I love the prairies!  Moose Jaw is a great town: not too big and not too small. Everybody knows everybody, and if they haven’t met you, they know someone who has. There is a strong sense of community in this town whether it be helping out someone in need of financial aid, or cheering on our WHL team as they make a playoff push. We all come together to help.

 

Education plays a key roll in my dreams. I wasn’t as academically strong as I could have been during my years in high school. As teens, we deal with a lot of issues including self esteem, peer pressure, and bullying. These issues proved to be a distraction from my studies. If I could do it all over, I would not let these issues be an excuse to let grades slip in school, and to study hard no matter what the circumstances. I graduated from Vanier Colligate Institute in the spring of 2014. I had decided to take a year off before going to university to be 100% sure about the path I wanted to take with my future. During my time off I was offered a position as a working student with Olympic dressage rider, Gina Smith. I have always enjoyed horses, and I felt this would give me time to discover my path. I left for Brockville, Ontario in November and returned to Moose Jaw at the end of February. It was truly a life changing experience. I had never been that far from home for that long. While I was away I learned a lot about horses, but even more about myself. I learned inner courage, organizational skills, and self-discipline, and to never take family and friends for granted. During my time away I was able to discover what I really wanted to do as a profession. I knew through and through that I wanted to get my Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and work in the field of fashion and design. I began modelling in Grade 10, and I have always been in love with the fashion industry. PR will give me the opportunity to continue doing what I love such as writing, organizing and planning events in the field that I enjoy so much!

 

All about me…

 

  • I’ve been modelling for three and a half years. My modelling career has given me the chance to travel though out Western Canada, and my personal favourite, Paris, France! I believe that the fashion industry is changing, and often the most successful models are unique. They are not like anyone else. Models, like any woman can be strong, smart and empowering!
  • I love singing. I’ve competed on singing shows such as The Next Star and Karaoke Star Junior. I sang in my high school’s choir all four years.
  • I come from a military family. My dad has been on four tours. (Bosnia, Cypress, and Afghanistan twice) My mother was also in the military as a dentist but has been in private practice for 25 years. I have an older brother named Scott. He’s my confidante, and very own personal trainer!

 

My Platform is something I feel very passionate about.   I have chosen the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association.    What is CanTRA anyway? CanTRA is a non-profit organization that promotes challenge, achievement and empowerment for children and adults with disabilities through use of the horse. I have volunteered with CanTRA for over two years and it has changed my life. It has been wonderful to see the positive affects it has on its’ participants, but just as importantly, volunteering has a positive affect on us all.

Afternoon naps with a gentle giant

 

I want to inspire. I am running for the title of Miss Teenage Canada because I truly want to make a difference. I want young girls in today’s society to help bury the idea that you have to be pretty and popular. We are all beautiful in our own way. Be your own beautiful.

 

 

            “Be kind to one another” – Ellen Degeneres

xoxo,

Gracie 

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This summer has been a whirlwind.

It feels comforting to finally be back at the keyboard!  Every little detail of the Pageant Week deserves every extravagant poetic description in the world, I almost wish everyone back home could have been there living each moment with me.  Then again, there is something untouchable about the bond all of us delegates fell into throughout our time in Toronto.  When our very own Miss Teen Saskatchewan World 2013 was crowned Miss Teen Canada World 2013 I thought I might just burst with excitement! Jill is a down to earth, wonderful young woman who will own every moment of her reign with the grace and beauty her personality is filled with.  If you have not yet, like her Facebook Page to follow the amazing year she will have! Congratulations, Jill!!

A very big, from way deep down in my heart to way out into the whole world THANK YOU goes out to all of my sponsors! Without their help, my journey to the Miss Teen Canada Pageant would not have been possible.

Thank You to:

Fifth Avenue Collection

Bewitched Hair Salon

Fabutan

Exquisite Fashions and Bridal

Judi’s Wedding World

First Chiropractic & Wellness

Double Shift Sports Conditioning

Aspen Dental

L. B. Beattie Autobody

MJ Electric Ltd.

The Hibiscus

Henderson Insurance

After returning home from Toronto, I set out on a camping trip at Echo Lake Provincial Park as a spur of the moment event with a few of my closest friends before they recently departed on a  three week missions trip to the Philippines. Since then I have spent close to a week at Fishing Lake with the familiar friend Shailynn at her family cabin.  Both were loosely planned and exactly what I needed.  It has truly been the greatest summer of my life so far! Soon I am heading up to Saskatoon to visit family as well as celebrate the Fringe Festival.

August is Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness month in Canada! Synchronized balloon releases, major fundraisers and candle lighting ceremonies will be taking place from coast to coast. Now is the time to simply think of an SMA angel as well as be open to any opportunity you get to be a supporter of the Families of SMA Canada.  Shailynn and I have a very exciting event this month!  Not only will we hold our own mini candle lighting ceremony and volunteer on August 17th at our local Safeway barbecue fundraiser, but our partnership with the Muscular Dystrophy community in Canada has opened the door of opportunity for us to meet with our mayor and declare September as Muscular Dystrophy Awareness month in the south central region of Saskatchewan!!  It is beautiful to be able to be a part of this step towards a greater future for  something so close to both of us. It is yet another rewarding experience due to the baby steps of work we dedicated ourselves to in the past months.

Anything is possible! I’m looking forward to everything the rest of this year as title holder will bring and what foundations we will continue to create for our futures.  Thank you again for being with me throughout this journey, enjoy your summer!!

Justine

Written by: Justine Farago
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WOW! 

Day 1 & 2:

Our welcome party was held after each of us had a chance to chat with our roommates and we were absolutely spoiled!  Personalized cookies from PS by Pretty Sweets, HiTec runners, Schwarkopf Pro Osis hair products, and finally the opportunity to book a spray tan with the Golden Glamour Goddesses!  Meeting all of the girls was amazing because each of us have worked incredibly hard to be here and well, HERE WE ARE! I feel  that all of us have a unique bond. Megha, Miss Teen Canada World 2012 also joined us and has been with us on all of the excursions this week, it is great to have her around and she is definitely a remarked young woman.

Yesterday was spent completing all of our interviews, photo shoots, video shoots, and even a little practice walking in our heels! It was a long day spent in the hotel but well worth it as I’m sure all of our photos and video clips will be so fun to watch!

Day 3:

Here is where the major WOW factor comes in!! Our day was packed full but flew by almost too fast.  Beginning on Breakfast Television this morning just after six, it was many of ours first times being on a live TV Show! We were very generously welcomed in and were on our way to break fast very quickly.  Our day then continued on with a trip to the CN Tower. Here our large glamorous group stole the show and cameras were flashing all around us!  The view from the tower was spectacular and my walk on the glass floor is something to check off the bucket list.  Next we hit up the Distillery Districtan adorable little stone road, cafe speckled area– and set out on a scavenger hunt for prizes, I won two free oysters from the oyster bar, another first to add to the day that I surprisingly enjoyed! Here we indulged in burgers and flavourful fries from Cafe Uno. After that we made our way over the Yorkdale mall and received $50 gift cards from Costa Blanca! I immediately fell in love with an edgy dress and quickly bought it with my mind set to rock it once we made it to the set of Much Music’s New.Music.Live., yet another awesome adventure! Enjoying the show, we were part of the first day of the Unity week event of beat boxers and b-boys competing for a grand prize of $1 500!

The absolute most exciting part to the Unity group being there was that the founder just turns out to be Mike “Bboy Piecez” Prosserman whom I met back in Saskatoon in May at the Muscular Dystrophy Youth Conference!  Since that was such a small event him and I had a chance to chat and I was thrilled to run into him again like that. What a small world! He began his goal of creating Unity in high school and it has grown into a rather successful group, all from that one idea.  Mike is a very honest, relatable person that I can draw inspiration from and insight to the key qualities needed to be successful. I am forever grateful for this opportunity, as that was yet another unforgettable experience and person I have met in my life due to the Pageant.

I truly wish I could share photos but my tablet is being fussy.  I would like to thank you for  reading my blog and taking interest into this incredible week we are having! If you haven’t  already, like my Facebook Page and follow me on Twitter @missSCsask13 for updates as the days go on!

Every single moment has been like a dream. Thank you, thank you, thank you to every single one of my sponsors and family and friends- I would not be here without you!

xoxo

Justine

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If there is one thing I love, it is travelling.  Even though I am not certain as to what career I will pursue, I always have the mindset that whatever I chose must allow me the flexibility to travel.  Some beyond exciting news is that the best student travel company in our country, S-Trip! is awarding this years Social Media Queen with a Grad Trip!

For over 35 years S-Trip! has been a leader in student travel providing life-changing trips to over 40,000 students annually in over 40 destinations around the world. S-Trip! travelers are encouraged to become global citizens; opening their eyes to new cultures, languages, and experiences. Recently named Profit Magazine’s 25th fastest growing company in Canada, and recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies by Deloitte and CIBC, S-Trip! is a leader in student travel in North America. Find out more at www.s-trip.com.

Dreaming up my vision of the perfect Grad Trip, I picture myself boarding a plane to the exotic Costa Rica.  For as long as I can remember, I have been craving a vacation to this humid, wild, and vibrant country.  Packing my seven day vacation with the experiences of a lifetime to remember forever as the final farewell of our graduating class is the kind of magic the S-Trip! community creates.

Riding the Waves! (www.s-trip.com)

Excursion options on the Viva Costa Rica Grad Trip  include the one and only chance to take surfing lessons at Tamarindo Beach  followed by a whole day to master your skills.  I feel that S-Trip offers the perfect environment to try this thrilling sport I’m sure I wouldn’t be brave enough to try on my own.  With my best friends by my side and the adventurous staff of S-Trip! encouraging us, it would make a day we could never forget!

Into the Jungle (www.s-trip.com)

Another excursion I could not miss out on is the Borinquen Jungle Adventure!  We live in Canada, and we all know there is no chance of the word “jungle” to be used in description of our various temperate terrains. I can already hear the song of the rainbow feathered birds and the creaks of entangled branches as they give in to support the weight of swinging monkeys.  Sweet fragrance from bright leaved flowers and the cool drops of water dripping from leaf to leaf… ah, paradise.  The day begins with a mountain climb on horse back and continues with zip line after zip line to bring you back down to enjoy an original Costa Rican meal and tour of one of the most active volcanoes in the world!  Sounds like my kind of day!

Cloud Nine (www.s-trip.com)

Between adrenaline pumping treks, the beach will provide a safe haven to soak up the sun, toss around a frisbee and sink our toes into the salty sand.  Growing closer to the friends I spent the past four years with… years of embarrassing, self seeking, and proud moments,  I know S-Trip! would be something to reminisce on years later at our various reunions. Who knows?  There is a great chance that during my days and nights in Costa Rica I would meet many new extravagant people, and even pick up a little Central American styled spanish! There is no true predicting how amazing an S-Trip! Grad Trip would be, but I have a very, very strong intuitive feeling that it would be one free from any type of regret.

 

One final admiration I have towards the well put together S-Trip! Grad Trip is that I would have the opportunity to spend a day volunteering in a Costa Rican community.  Although I know I would love all of the wild excursions Viva Costa Rica has to offer, there is no greater feeling than that of being able to give back.  The S-Trip! travellers are welcomed into a local school where we can join a game of soccer, help with any repairs the school may need, and become fast friends the warm hearted children in this country far away from our home.

A well rounded vacation rewarded to a very deserving delegate, I look forward to the announcement of the lucky winner and will be shamelessly hoping, hoping, hoping it will be me!  Thank you to S-Trip! for this generous prize to be rewarded to this years Social Media Queen!

S-Trip! takes student travellers on unforgettable adventures around the world. Celebrate the exciting conclusion of high school in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica or Bahamas with all your friends on Grad Trip. Spend a weekend skiing or snowboarding at one of Canada’s premier mountain resorts on Ski Trip. Experience culture, sightseeing and events in Montreal or Quebec City on Busaway. Make a difference in an underdeveloped country on an impactful student Volunteer Trip. Explore the culture and history of Europe on Euro Adventure. For more information visit www.s-trip.com.

Justine

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Walking down Main Street Moose Jaw these past few days at the annual “Sidewalk Days” festival, I was cocooned into a realm of vibrant energy.

Welcome!

Dancing to the rhythm of the buskers, radios, jazz band, or on stage performers- consumers weaved through sale rack upon sale rack.  Tiny painted faces gazed in awe at the various  Superhero and Princess characters roaming the road.

I blushed as these same tiny faces stopped in their tracks at the sight of my crown and wondered if I was a real life Princess before them.  Adding to their sugary collection of cotton candy & mini donuts, I offered suckers and exchanged names and warm smiles with many future beauty queens of the South Central region.

The Hibiscus Boutique

My home base was at The Hibiscus Boutique, a  sponsor of mine whose fashionista-fueled staff and I have enjoyed countless games of dress up while finding the perfect outfits to flaunt during my time in Toronto.  With the duty to wander throughout the crowd and hand out coupons to draw attention in toward the store, I had a wonderful time visiting with the people of our city.  Much like my Canada Day adventures, I came across many who had seen my name in the paper and were excited to meet me in person.  Posing for multiple photos requested by my new acquaintances, it was odd to get used to others being excited enough to have met me that they wanted a picture to show it off!

I enjoyed taking the advantage of being able to share with more and more people the ins & outs to the Pageant, including the importance of a platform.  Spreading the word about the efforts I have made and the passion I have to bring awareness to Spinal Muscular Atrophy is what I believe to be the key ingredient into being someone they will not forget.  If even just one of the various persons I introduced my platform to joins the next SMA fundraiser they hear about- I will feel successful.

MJ Cyclists

One man I met whom I personally will not forget, goes by the name of Anas Cheema.  From Pakistan, he is currently a fourth year student at the University of Victoria.  On a very unique mission, he left the island 19 days ago and began his journey cycling across Canada in order to bring awareness and raise money for SOS Children’s Villages.  While speaking with him, I shared my platform and we discussed some fundraising techniques that soon led into a very humble conversation.  While I can not imagine the mental and physical strength it takes to cycle across a whole country, it was clear he was feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Explaining how I raised money for Free The Children and the Families of SMA Canada, he interrupted me by looking me straight in the eye and asking “Was it hard?”

A little shocked, I paused and looked back at him.  This man who I had been silently fan-girling over for his outstanding efforts was seeking advice from me.  Answering a simple “yes,” he released a heavy breathe and confided in me the mental battle he was going through.  Relating to his feeling that he wasn’t working hard enough, that there must be something he could do to bring in more money for the children he wanted to build better lives for, I felt at peace in our conversation and I hope he did to.  Closing with the comforting thought that if he simply meets a thousand people on his journey who each donate just one looney, he will have made $1000- I believe he once again felt that fiery motivation that led him to the open road to begin with.  On his Facebook Page, he posted a photo that reads: I am in love with cities I’ve never been to and people I’ve never met.  That phrase is so simple and so beautiful and so truthful.  Who knew I would have met that man and been able to relate so well?  Who knew that three minute conversation would re-ignite our drive to keep moving forward in our goals and be so soothing to the strained thoughts we each had towards our efforts?

In my very first blog post, I spoke about using this blog to be completely honest with my audience because I believe that is the best thing we as humans can be.  The honesty in my encounter with Anas created a moment I will never forget.  Yes, it is hard to jump out into the world and promote yourself as well as a cause you believe in, but it is absolutely worth it.  If neither of us had taken that risk, neither of us would have met each other or the thousands of others we have and will meet.

Leading a fearless existence with the dare to dream your dreams and create a life you love is the most challenging thing you can do, yet the most rewarding.

Loving life!

xoxo

Justine

 

Written by: Justine Farago Tagged with:, , , , , , , ,
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