“Never underestimate the power of a woman.”  -Nellie McClung

These words have never been more true since I, alongside so many intelligent and passionate young women who were crowned at Miss Teenage Alberta 2017. I am incredibly honoured to have been selected to represent Western Alberta, and beyond excited to get started with this job! Representing my province really is a privilege that I do not take for granted. I’m quite shocked to say the least! I intend to share with all of you the beauty within Alberta that I have the pleasure of experiencing everyday. However, before I get into what life is like in Canada’s wild west, how about I share a little bit about myself?

My name is Mackenzie! Aside from being your new Miss Teenage Western Alberta, I am a highschool student, passionate advocate, motivational speaker, and a goofy and adventurous 17 year old from Airdrie, Alberta. I absolutely love learning! Although waking up for school in the morning is typically a battle within itself, once I am in the classroom learning—especially if I am in Social Studies class, I am all ears. I credit my excellence in Social class to spending the past 4 years being closely involved in local politics after I began advocating for anti-bullying, and working to provide accessible mental health resources in Alberta. Being an advocate and motivational speaker is not just a hobby of mine, it’s my life.

Photo credit: Joseph Leung

After struggling with bullying for several years in elementary and middle school, I hit a breaking point. In December of 2012, I attempted to take my life. Although this was a dark moment in my life, it gave me the motivation and drive to look beyond myself and take my cause into my community. I approached Airdrie’s City Council about an anti-bullying bylaw, and after 8 long and hard months of working with the community to ensure this bylaw would benefit a variety of people in our city, it was passed! Ever since, I have been a vocal advocate, sharing my story of failure and triumph on an international scale. I’ve spoken at Pink Shirt Day events for several years across Alberta, schools, and even Alberta’s own WeDay! Which funny enough, is the same organization (Free The Children) I will be raising money for in the months to come in preparation for Miss Teenage Canada 2017 this August.

 

Having the opportunity to compete for the chance to represent Canada internationally is a dream come true. I am extremely patriotic when it comes to my country and will always stand behind it and for the individuals that have served to make Canada the wonderful place it is today. Kim Campbell said it best when she explained that Canada is the homeland of equality, justice and tolerance. I believe a responsibility that comes with the honour of being crowned Miss Teenage Canada, is representing something larger than yourself. Miss Teenage Canada represents the powerful young women that reside here. Being apart of this pageant is much more than being given a crown. You are given an unbelievable opportunity to fundraise for an incredible cause, meet girls that have made impressive strides to better their communities, and showcase to the world what it means to be a Canadian from all walks of life. And may I add what a perfect year to be crowned Miss Teenage Canada as it’s Canada’s 150th birthday!

I have already gotten started with my preparation for the big send off to Toronto on August 7th! I’ve been taking advantage of Alberta’s beautiful rocky mountains by participating in hikes all around Banff to clear my mind and maintain a healthy lifestyle among all the chaos of balancing school, pageant duties and this crazy ol’ teenage life. As overwhelming as it seems when I look at everything at once, after you break it down and take it one step at a time it’s quite easy to manage! I’m extremely excited to get out into my community this April as I attend my first of many appearances this year. On April 1st, you’ll be seeing me at Airdrie’s Just For Her! trade show supporting local women in our community. Aside from appearances, I’ll be spending my days planning my fundraisers for Free the Children! I absolutely love fundraising and feel that fundraising is an example of one’s determination and dedication to their community. In May of 2016, 72 hours after the tragic forest fires in Fort McMurray began, I alongside a friend of mine and fellow pageant sister hosted a pancake breakfast in support of the Alberta Red Cross. We ended up raising $10,000.00 for the Red Cross in just 3 hours!! My first ever fundraiser was a huge success and supported an incredibly deserving community that has been the heart of Alberta for many years. Being apart of the Free the Children family for just over 4 years now, attending WeDay every year since 2013 and even having the opportunity to appear on stage in Toronto and Alberta, I’ve learned so much about the work they do and aspire to head off on a Free the Children trip in the upcoming years to take my support to the next level. For now, I’ll be devoting my time to this organization and raise funds to support their mission.

I am extremely honoured and excited to be your Miss Teenage Western Alberta 2017. This year will be nothing short of amazing. Thank you to all those who helped make this possible. From my family, friends, supporters and my sponsors Davis Chevrolet GMC Buick LTD, AirdrieHassett & Reid LLPFiander Marr Chartered Professional Accountants, Bronze Baxx Tanning, and Photography by Courtney Borgford, you all are the reason I am able to partake in such unbelievable experiences like this one. I hope to make you all proud as I begin my journey to become Miss Teenage Canada.

You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter simply by clicking the links in my bio to get updates on all my latest activities and newest blog posts!

Mackenzie, Miss Teenage Western Alberta 2017

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