A big part of the reason that I joined pageantry is that it opens a door for me to be able to get behind some of the causes that are near and dear to me and lend my voice to their message. Aside from my platform: Promoting STEM-based Education, these are some of the causes that also resonate, and I have been working at promoting and help out towards.
Gender equality is a big, hot button issue these days. Growing up with the adage, “Anything boys can do, girls can do…” has often led me to push boundaries as a young girl, of “why can he do that, and I can’t,” especially when the majority of my friends growing up were boys. I have tried to buck many gender roles, some with great success (thanks to my amazing support system), others not so much. And as I have ventured out on my own in the world, I have noticed that it often takes more than grit and determination to achieve equality. Sometimes, you need a leg up from one of your girl friends when you are your lowest. That’s why through university and to this day, I continue to help with women’s shelters and recovery centres, from helping with clothing drives to assembling toiletries care package, every little bit helps to create the female powerhouses of tomorrow.
I was very blessed to have had a very liberal upbringing. I was taught Love is Love, one is not lesser than the other because of whom you love, and EVERYONE deserves to feel love and be loved. As a result of this upbringing, I have opened my heart, home and family to many amazing individuals, who I call my friends and adopted family, that have otherwise been turned out or criticized for whom they choose to love. Over the years, I have found that my support has evolved from being the non-judgemental friend that has a couch to crash on, an unending supply of hugs, and making us laugh until we have tears streaming down our face; to showing up and speaking at Pride events, to calling politicians for promoting anti-LGBTQ legislation. And through this, I have learned, one level support is not any less important. If you are only comfortable being a person’s support system, then help build them up in every way that you can. If you can lend your voice as an ally, then shout it out, never let them put out your fire.
I have always loved animals, I don’t think I can actually pinpoint when I started loving them. Whether it was when I was trying to show the baby calves how to drink from the bottle (at the age of 2), or pushing chickens around in my dolly stroller. All my pets have either been rescues or brought to our home as a part of a “retirement plan” (where they can live out the rest of their days). In fact, when I was growing up, I thought about becoming a veterinarian but changed my mind as I got older as I realized that seeing all those animals at their worst, outweighed all the success stories. That’s why if money was no object, one of the things I would do is run a wildlife rescue. But until that day, I have been planning some projects during my reign to help local animal shelters, including my much-anticipated blanket drive this coming Fall.
Promoting STEM-based Education
Last, but not least is my platform: Promoting STEM-based Education. While at university, I realized that I had learned more than just chemical reactions and anatomy terms. I had learned how to effectively communicate through a variety of mediums, how to build supporting arguments to my statements, and how to view problems from all sides and problem solve through experimentation, and trial and error, to name just a few of the things I learned. After graduating, I discovered that not as many people were given the opportunity to pursue an education in the science, whether they felt they “weren’t smart enough,” didn’t know that the area they were interested in was actually a field of science, or they were discouraged from pursuing sciences in favour of a “more practical” career. And as a result of this shift, and the increase of social media, pseudoscience and false narratives are allowed to spread and misinform many people before its caught (if it is). So that’s where I began my mission, to debunk pseudoscience and show people that science is more than chemistry, biology and math. I started with the science blog, Schrodinger’s Cat, and has evolved into this platform and my Beauty With A Purpose project, that I will be presenting at Miss World Canada.
These are just a few of the causes that I am passionate about. But I find that it is essential to highlight them as they are often overshadowed by my platform. If sure many of my pageant sisters can attest to that. And if you have a cause that you are passionate about, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Talk to some of your local organization that aligns with your passions and ask about how you can get involved. It doesn’t matter how big or small that first step is, as long as it is made.