A lot of people may think that my platform is cliche or ‘typical’ but it comes from a place that is near and dear to my heart. This is to explain to everyone why I chose poverty and where my platform comes from.

I am Canadian through and through but I have not spent my entire life in Canada. I was blessed to have been able to travel and grow up in places people can only dream of; Beautiful places like Thailand, Penang, Borneo, and Beijing! Travelling Asia has been so rewarding but eye opening at the same time. Being given the chance to see these places was incredible. I got to ride elephants in Thailand, ride horses on the beach in Brazil, hike up to the middle of the jungle to feed wild orangutans, and see the Great Wall of China (more than once).

My best friend and I on the Great Wall of China! (Yes we dressed to match when we went out)

Living and travelling these places was absolutely life changing but it was not all beauty. With every new city, or small town I came across, like any other place, had it’s under privileged.  It was nothing like the homeless you see downtown Vancouver. Children, who could not be more than 10, were begging for money at traffic lights; men who could not walk, did not have a home, food, or even spare change were lying in the street begging for someone to pity them enough to spare some money. Seeing such extreme poverty at such a young age really takes its toll.

At first I could pass by it and pity those who were less fortunate, hope for the best and move on. It was not until I got lost in a temple on the top of a mountain, with my best friend and brother. We got separated from my mom and had no idea what to do or where to go, this is when the a beautiful monk came and got our attention. We had met him before and shared bracelets but he must have seen the panic in our eyes. He was sworn to silence because of his religion so he just waved and led the way;

He took us to a room with all the other monks from the temple where they had made lunch. They must have thought we were hungry and saw we were totally beside ourselves. They had given us a bowl of food, (saying no was not an option) and let us wait with them until my mom realized we weren’t back down the mountain. I could not believe the kindness of these men who did not know us. It was their selflessness that was the first step to my platform.

After that I had the opportunity to attend We Day, hosted by Free the Children Foundation, which was surreal. Free the Children’s founder Craig Kielburger started a movement that has impacted youth all over the world. Their story to improve conditions for people at home and over seas was truly inspiring. They have been so successful in helping bring clean water, health care, sanitation to third world towns, and so many more success stories that I vowed to help. The entire experience was moving and sparked a need to make a difference like they have.

Parents were dying for a photo but the little boy was too scared!

So instead of hoping for better I strive to make a difference in their lives. Anything that will put a smile on the child in the street or help the man who had lost his hope is the most rewarding feeling I could have ever imagined. Even just the smallest gestures of kindness made a difference; like letting the little girls touch my lashes to see if they were real, taking photos with children who had never seen a blonde, or sparing the money I had when I could, while travelling.

 

Raising money for Salvation Army.

Most do not realize how lucky they are just having a roof over their head and some food in their belly, a lot seem to take that for granted these days. Travelling has made me see how much people need help. They are stuck in poverty while the world has plenty of money to take those who need it most out of it. I believe if we band together we can make a true difference in peoples lives and show that we are not a lost generation.

Written by: Sian Slingerland
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I may move around a lot but I never forget where I came from and where my home is. Seems they haven’t forgotten about me either! Thank you to the Coast Reporter and to the Local paper in my home town, Sechelt, for featuring me! I am so grateful to get some media attention and love being from such a great community! You can read Coast Reporter article  here!

sechelt Chief

http://www.coastreporter.net/article/20130215/SECHELT0604/302159992/0/sechelt/chat-grad-competes-for-title

Being in a new city getting some recognition has been a bit tough so I am very thankful for the article about me back home! I love all the support I have been getting and these articles only help with that 🙂

You can read the online version of the Local here!

Written by: Sian Slingerland
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I am starting a bottle drive on the sunshine coast, with my parents help and friend Vanessa Angus. I don’t know what I would do without you guys! It has been hard being in a new city, and not knowing anyone, so I really appreciate the help! This will be for Free the Children Foundation.

This will be starting today until May 25! If you wish to donate your bottles you are welcome to drop them off at 6265 Jasper Road or 6431 Sandpiper Road!

I will also be doing a small one in Edmonton! Let me know if you are in Edmonton and wish to donate!

Written by: Sian Slingerland
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This Saturday was the most fun I have had since I moved to Edmonton! I had an amazing photo shoot with Carla Dawes, make up courtesy of Ronda Perrin, and dress from Bridal Boutique . They were so much fun to work with!

Ronda did such a great job on my make up and hair I can’t wait to share the photos. Ronda is a freelance make up artist if you ever need your make up done, I recommend  her! I can give you more information just let me know!

 

Carla was so great at showing me what to do, because I was clueless! I am so thankful she opened up her home and studio to me, and very glad I got to work with such an a amazing woman. We had a great time! Minus me catching my pants on a trunk from Afghanistan, Whoops! Seriously if you need photos done get them done by Carla Dawes!

It wasn’t just make up and hair I wore though haha I also had a BEAUTIFUL dress sponsored to me from Lilian at Bridal Boutique! She will also be sponsoring me a dress for nationals! If you’re ever in West Ed go check them out! http://www.thebridal-boutique.com/

https://www.facebook.com/carladawesphotography?fref=ts
http://www.carladawes.com/

Written by: Sian Slingerland
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Cannot wait for my photo shoot tomorrow with Carla Dawes! I am very excited to get some professional photos done! Big thanks to Bridal Boutique for sponsoring me a dress for the shoot and my OFFICIAL nationals dress!!!

Written by: Sian Slingerland
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I signed up! Will you? Let’s stand up for what is right!

On April 18, our silence is their voice.

Stand up for children who are being denied their basic human rights and collect pledges for each hour that you’re silent. Go silent with us: www.freethechildren.com/wearesilent

Written by: Sian Slingerland
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Hello! I am the current Miss Teen Central Alberta, my name is Sian Slingerland! I am so excited to be apart of this community and can not wait for Nationals!! I am really looking forward to this entire experience and plan on soaking up every detail. Here is a little about me!

I was born in a small town called Sechelt on the west coast of BC, that is where I call home even when I am living somewhere else! My dads job takes him all over the world, so I have been very lucky to travel lots! I have lived in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and been to Brazil, South Africa and many more in between! I love to travel and see new places!

I have a small family, it’s just my mom, dad, brother, and me! Not to mention my animals. I love animals and am a sucker for them. I should probably own a zoo haha. My brother lives two floors above me and my parents are always on the go.

When I was 11 I got into dance and fell in love with it! I danced on and off for 6 years until school and getting into a good University became my number one priority. I have still kept active with working out, yoga, and most recently crossfit. Being healthy and active is not as easy as it seems and has taken a lot to stay on track keep active, coming from someone who loves to be a couch potato!
Psychology and business has always sparked my interest and I will be going to University of Victoria next year to study them. I hope that with these degrees they will get me where I want to go in life. I am hoping to work in business all over the world like my dad does!

Anyways that is enough about me and I hope this helps everyone with getting to know me a bit better 🙂

 

Written by: Sian Slingerland
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Written by: MTC Blog Team
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While in Toronto at our hotel we had a mentor night which was when we got to listen to four amazing, accomplished people talk about their journey’s to success and the road blocks that they had to over come in order to achieve their dreams. Models, an Olympic athlete and dentist were among the people that shared their stories. I will be sharing everything that I learned from these four incredible people in this next post. 🙂

Melani Chong

Melani Chong was the first speaker. She has been professionally modelling since the age of 18 and currently opened up her own all natural skin care line called Soya Botique made from organic products. She was first introduced to the idea of modeling when her dad insisted that she try out at a Ford model search at a mall near her house. After she waited for two days to hear back from the agency, they finally called and her career took off after that. She also said that once she did start modeling she was rejected by a lot of agencies and it was just something that she had to over come and get used to. “The modeling world is about a lot of rejection and you will hear NO more than YES, she said Melanie.” One of the main messages that I got from her speech was to never give up and to also be persistent, confident and focused, then you will achieve what you want. She also put a huge emphasis on passion. Without passion there can be no drive, and without drive you will not have core actions to lead you to your dreams!

Katrina Hadden

Katrina Hadden was the second speaker that delighted us with her presence. She is a size 12 model, motivational speaker, and author of a book called “Making it in High Heels”. She spoke about how she was once bullied in school for being a bigger size and was called names such as “Big Bird” or “The Green Giant” for being so tall. Basketball came into Katrina’s life at an early and she excelled at it due to her tremendous height and ability to rebound. After 13 years of playing Katrina’s basketball career and dreams of playing for a university team soon came to an end after a knee injury causing her to switch her career plans, never expecting that she would ever become a professional model.

Once Katrina decided that she would give modeling a try, she noticed the size difference between her and the other models and decided it was time to lose weight. She soon developed an eating disorder while trying to pursue her dreams but over came it by surrounding herself with people who loved to eat healthy, nutritious foods. When Katrina decided that she couldn’t lose the weight she began to notice that she was only focusing on her own imperfections, rather than all of her other perfect qualities. By building enough confidence and accepting rejection from modeling agencies she eventually found an agency that accepted many different sized models and selected Katrina and began to get her work. She soon was seen on commercials for companies like “Dove” and many others even as a size 12 model.

The main message that I obtained from her presentation was that even though one may have low self confidence for whatever reason or have been through rough times, it takes time to build confidence. Once you build confidence, you can accomplish anything. “You are unique in your own way.”(Katrina) She also read all of our blogs and learned things about us before coming to speak and wrote each and every one of us a letter about what she found interesting and what we had in common as well as a wish good luck! Thanks Katrina!

Alexandra Orlando

The third speaker was Alexandra Orlando who is a rhythmic gymnast who was one of the olympic athletes that competed in Beijing. The first time Alexandra tried out for the Olympics she did not qualify and was 1/10th of a point behind the girl in front of her who made the olympic team . SHe spoke about how disappointed and heart broken she was that she did not qualify but also spoke about how passionate she was about the olympics and wanted to make it. After she pushed herself beyond her limits, she qualified for the olympics. Her main message was that, “you cannot be afraid of failing, give it all you’ve got!”

Dr. Natalie Archer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, Dr. Archer spoke to us about her success as a Toronto dentist who began her career in 2001. She spoke about how difficult the journey to success had been for her and how fortunate she had been to have a supportive husband and friends while she made several crucial/life changing career decisions. She gave some excellent advice about how to always keep your opportunities open and ensure that you educate yourself. She spoke about how many women cannot support themselves and it is important to be educated. She said that, “approximately 38% of women are bread winners”. In other words, less than half the population of women bring home more money than their spouses which is why education is key, especially before you have children.

It was definitely a fun night listening to all the different speakers speak about their experiences, successes, up, downs and passions. Each and every one of them was unique in their own way and had found different ways of achieving their dreams, even through all of the rejection. Very interesting and inspirational! I hope to somehow follow in their foot steps by following/achieving my dreams.

 

Written by: Jennifer Robitaille
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Another assignment for the Miss Teen Canada delegates was for each girl to write a blog about her dream vacation. The title of social media queen will be awarded to the delegate with the best blog about their dream vacation as well as their previous blog posts. The winner will get to go on a trip sponsored by S-Trip!!

If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? For me, there are so many places in the world that I would absolutely love to visit! Places such as Ireland, New Zealand, Greece, Australia, The Galapagos Islands and Hawaii are among a few of the places I would love to visit in my lifetime. All of the castles in Ireland would definitely be something amazing to see and I would also love to visit all 7 wonders of the world especially the pyramids. Although I would love to visit all of these places, the place I would like to visit the most would have to be the Amazon rainforest. It would be so amazing to see the wet tropical forests and all of the animals that thrive among its ecosystem. The Amazon rainforest provides the earth with a large percentage of its natural resources, produces approximately 20% of the earths oxygen and is home to approximately 20-40 million different species of animals. 

I would love to be able to stay in a tree house in the rainforest and try living life from the perspective of some amazonian cultures. I would leave all technology at home and truly try to experience their lives first hand. To live under the canopy of the trees and hear the sounds of the forest would be unforgettable. I would also love to go zip lining either across the Amazon river or over the canopy of luscious trees. I have a love for animals, perhaps because I grew up on a farm and the biodiversity of the nature and animals in the rainforest greatly interests me. As part of my trip I would to go on a guided hike/nature walk through the forest and see what animals I would encounter.

The Amazon River

One of the many fish to catch in the Amazon!!

The Amazon River is the second longest river in the world with the largest water flow and contains over two thousand different species of fish which is what interests me about it the most. I absolutely love fishing with my family, it is one of my favourite hobbies and I would love the chance to fish in the gigantic, murky amazon river with the thrill of not knowing what might bite my hook . If any of you have ever seen the show “River Monsters” you might understand why I want to go fishing in the amazon. On this show, a man goes fishing in rivers all over the world in search of “river monsters” such as crocodiles, giant piranha’s, sharks etc. It makes me want to experience the river for myself and explore its unique, diverse, and sometimes dangerous ecosystem!

Since it is my dream vacation I would have to be able to bring tons of my friends and family. The more the merrier! We could all stay in tree houses or small huts, experience amazon food, go on guided tours, and experience a life changing trip in the heart of Brazil.

Would you want to travel to Brazil? Why or why not? Don’t say you wouldn’t go because of the bugs!

Wish me luck at the pageant this week!

 

 

Written by: Jennifer Robitaille
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