The first time I had the honor of meeting Darren and Gloria was through Top Teen of Canada in 2008. I saw an advertisement online and on a whim decided to take a chance and do something very much out of my comfort zone. I had no idea the impact that weekend would have on my life, but I was instantly inspired by the other teens as they told their stories and got to know many of the other organization’s helpers such as Christy and Brett. There were so many youth from across the country who were making meaningful differences in their community and who were genuinely beautiful people inside and out. I am so lucky to remain friends with many of them 10 years later.
On the flight back home I knew I needed to come back….so I did. In 2009 I entered the Miss BC pageant and placed as Miss Northern BC. While the title was exciting, it was the things I learned during my weekend and the people I met who hold such importance in my life. I found the self-esteem I had been lacking and learned how powerful my voice could be.
I now live in Northern Alberta with my husband Jamie, our 3 year old Charleigh, and Abby the Great Dane. Life is a little hectic right now as I run a full-time real estate business, work two part-time jobs, sit on Parent Council for my little one’s school, volunteer with multiple organizations, and currently follow my heart studying full-time, with the end goal being a lawyer practicing Indigenous Law. I have always been a passionate advocate for Indigenous and other minorities, LGBQT2+, feminism, and now with Charleigh being diagnosed with Autism a lot of my free time is dedicated to advocating on her behalf and working towards a more inclusive society.
It is because of Top Teen and Miss BC that I am able to do so – my voice was always there but this organization is the reason why I am able to use it. There will never be enough words to describe how thankful I am for the opportunity to participate in this life-changing program and I cannot recommend it to others enough.