Jade Steel, Miss Teen North Vancouver Island updated Parksville City Council on her progress representing the region and looking for support, which she found plenty of.
“I’m getting choked up, I’m a mother first and foremost,” said councillor Teresa Patterson, “we wish you the very best.”
The Qualicum Beach student won the title as one of 43 young women competing in the provincial Miss Teen Canada World competition in Richmond in March, earning a spot at the national pageant in Toronto in July.
She chose bullying as her platform because of her own experiences with it and she hopes to “inspire everyone to believe in themselves.”
“Bullying has always been a problem in public schools and with teenagers,” she said and she hopes to be, “a voice for all the teens, especially young girls who have suffered bullying in some form.”
Councillor Carrie Powell-Davidson, whose daughter competed in the Miss B.C. pageant two years ago, said she knows how costly and time consuming it can be and commended her on the choice of bullying, topical in light of a recent beating incident in Nanaimo.
Steel is very busy, preparing for grad and a Rotary exchange to Poland, but she is available to speak at service groups or public events and she is looking for any help she can get in getting to Toronto and covering the considerable costs, while also fundraising for Free the Children (www.freethechildren.com).
Coun. Al Greir was quick to take her up on the offer, suggesting several events including the Panters World Classic hockey tournament puck drop in September.
“You’re talking to a council of parents here,” said acting mayor Chris Burger, “so we’re very sympathetic.”
“And grandparents,” added councillor Marc Lefebvre. “Hearing from you I’m confident the future’s in good hands.”
Check www.missteencanadaworld.com for more on the contest or her Facebook page at jaderyansteelformissteencanadaworld2011 or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.