This week I donated blood for the first time. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, but up until now I have never been able to due to health reasons. But last Monday, with the support of the many amazing volunteers at the blood clinic, I was able to give blood.

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Giving blood was an amazing experience and as soon as I am eligible, I will be donating again!

 

 

When we give blood, we are giving someone a second chance at life. A single car crash victim can need up to 50 units of blood. A patient battling leukaemia can need 8 units a week during treatment. Giving blood takes less than half an hour for the entire process. That’s less than the time it takes to watch an episode of television, and believe me when I say, it is much more rewarding.

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Even a pint of blood down, I felt empowered after my donation!

At the young age of 18, my oldest brother’s best friend passed away due to vasculitis.  While in the hospital, he needed countless transfusions of blood. To know that my donation could help someone like my brother’s friend Paul, warms my heart and makes being poked with a needle seem like a small price to pay.

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When we give blood, we are all heroes. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff and volunteers of the Canadian Blood Services, who day in and day out play a major role in saving the lives of people all across the country!

All it takes is one donation to help save a life. Check the Canadian Blood Services website to find a clinic near you today. Like they say, it’s in you to give!

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They were impressed by the crown, but I was impressed by their selflessness and their dedication to making a difference. Oh, and of course, by their stances!

Canadian Blood Services: http://www.blood.ca

 

Written by: Olivia
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The Syrian children not only sang their national anthem, but they also learned the Canadian national anthem as well. It was heart-warming to see how excited they were to be in Canada.

On February 20th at the Caboto club in Windsor, the community that I am proud to be a part of welcomed Syrian refugees to their new home. The refugees were able to come, meet their neighbours, and hopefully start to feel more comfortable in their new community.

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It was an honour to meet two of the amazing people who dedicate their lives to keeping Canada safe.

We were able to show the refugees a few of the perks of being in Canada, like fresh maple syrup!

We were able to show the refugees a few of the perks of being in Canada, like fresh maple syrup!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meeting all of the families humbled me and made me truly appreciate what these families have gone through. I can never imagine how it feels to have to leave your home, but I will try my hardest to make the transition to their new home as comfortable as possible. We can all do our part. Whether it be something as simple as saying “Hello” and smiling, or going as far as to organize a charity dinner or sponsoring a family, we can all do something to help!

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Though they may not be fluent in english just yet, I will never forget the little boy who came up to me, saw the crown, looked at me and said “Cinderella?”. I may not be a real princess, but I will do my best to be a role model for these amazing children.

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I met some of the most amazing families. They reminded me that love is all that you need to be happy in life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My high-school volleyball coach, Bronwen Wood, is an amazing woman. She is strong, independent and is always looking for ways to help others. When she heard about the Syrian Refugees in Windsor-Essex county, she went ahead and coordinated local artists to create a colouring book for the refugees. This colouring book demonstrates all of the wonderful aspects of life in our community and serves as an amazing welcome gift to the children of these families. I am proud to have such an amazing role model in my life.

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One of my amazing role models in life! She has taught me so much and even though she is no longer my coach, I am still learning from her.

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Some of the beautiful pages of the colouring book created by local artists, and of course a Roll-up-the-Rim cup because you can’t get more Canadian than that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This night reminded me that love and happiness are synonymous. You cannot have one without the other. And though I may be writing this post 4 hours away from my home and my family, home is where the heart is, and love knows no boundaries.

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Welcome to Canada!

 

 

 

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Family Day at the Tecumseh mall was Superhero and Princess Day! I had the pleasure of meeting some truly amazing people.

Family Day at the Tecumseh mall was Superhero and Princess Day!

This Family Day was one that I will never forget. I spent the day at the Tecumseh mall helping to promote the upcoming Ronald McDonald House in Windsor, Ontario. This event was extremely important to me because I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for the Ronald McDonald House and all of the amazing people who turn that house into a home.

I had the honour of meeting Miss Teen United Nations, Miss Canada Galaxy, and two amazing volunteers from the Ronald McDonald House.

I had the honour of meeting some truly amazing people who don’t need a crown or a cape to save the day.

While I was in London receiving treatment for my eating disorder, my Mom stayed at the Ronald McDonald house. For months she was able to be near me and support me, while at the same time being supported herself by the staff, volunteers, and other families staying in the house. We met so many kind and caring people during our stay. We ate together, laughed together, and when needed, cried together.

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Never underestimate the healing power of a hug.

The Ronald McDonald House supported me during my recovery in a way that no doctor ever could. Whether I needed someone to talk to, someone to take my mind off of things with a craft or a movie, or whether I simply needed someone to help me with my homework, the people in the house were there for me. They truly became a second family to me and I am so excited for the new house to open up this year in Windsor so more families can find healing in this home away from home.

The Ronald McDonald House will forever be my second home. I can never repay them for all they have done for me, but I can promise that I will never stop trying.

The Ronald McDonald House will forever be my second home. I can never repay them for all they have done for me, but I can promise that I will never stop trying.

Thank you to the Ronald McDonald House for helping to shape me into the woman that I am today.

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Hello everyone! My name is Olivia and I am ecstatic to announce that on January 24th in Toronto, I was crowned Miss Teenage South Western Ontario.. Through this blog, I invite you to follow me on my journey to the Miss Teenage Canada competition. The next few months are going to be filled with fundraisers, public appearances, charity events and potentially a fancy dress or two. I am so excited to share this experience with each and every one of you.

Winning the title of Miss Teenage South Western Ontario is a dream come true for me. I cannot wait to use my title to make a difference in this world.

Winning the title of Miss Teenage South Western Ontario is a dream come true for me. I cannot wait to use my title to make a difference in this world.

Now a little bit about me. I am currently 18 years old. I was born and raised in Kingsville, Ontario and am proud to call such a charming, little town my home. Found on the North Shore of Lake Erie, Kingsville is Canada’s southernmost town. Growing up with two older brothers, left no room for boredom. Whether it be spending time at the beach, exploring the forest near our house, or taking our sleds down the big hill, we were always finding something to do outdoors. So it should come as no surprise that protecting our environment is something that is important to me.

Me and my brothers have always loved exploring nature.

My brothers and I have always been close and exploring the beauty of nature together has always been something that we cherish.

Plans for the future. I am currently attending the University of Guelph in the hopes of one day becoming a dietician. Having personally struggled with an eating disorder, I know how important proper nutrition is to overall well being. I want to help others to achieve their dreams and reach their full potential and I know that the first step to that is having good health.

They say that rubbing the beak of the Gryphon at the beginning of the school year brings academic success. But in order for it to work, you have to attend all of your classes and do all of your homework.

They say that rubbing the beak of the Gryphon at the beginning of the school year brings academic success. But in order for it to work, you have to attend all of your classes and do all of your homework.

Hobbies and interests. At the beginning of the school year, I joined a sorority here in Guelph called Pi Beta Phi. Overnight, I went from having two brothers, to having 30 new sisters. The sorority values integrity, lifelong commitment, honesty and respect, philanthropic service to others, personal and intellectual growth, and sincere friendship. These values are all things that I identify with which is why this sorority is such a good fit for me. I have met so many strong and independent women and made so many memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. The main philanthropy of Pi Beta Phi is called Read>Lead>Achieve, and it supports a lifelong love of reading which leads to success and productivity in the future. As  a bookworm myself, getting to share my love of reading with others really puts the icing on the cake for me.

A little bit sassy, but oh so classy.

A little bit sassy, but oh so classy.

Sports. Growing up, I was always a very active child and I have played almost every sport.  I have danced, done competitive swimming, done gymnastics, been the goalie of a hockey team, been the captain/MVP of my high school’s soccer team, played volleyball, done track-and-field, played tennis, and finally, played basketball. Now that I am in University, my studies take priority over my love for sports, but I still find time to go to the gym. Lifting weights and doing yoga empowers me. It shows me what my body is capable of and that is something that I believe everyone should experience at some point in their lives.

Dance allows us to use our bodies to express what words cannot.

Dance allows us to use our bodies to express what words cannot.

Volunteering. Giving back to the community is something that I believe in the importance of. I have always loved getting involved in as many ways as possible. I have participated in the local Relay for Life several times, I have helped run volleyball clinics for local youth, I have choreographed for my high-schools Glee club, I have worked at produce stands that support charity, I have participated in a car wash to raise money for my school, I spent one summer volunteering at a Day camp for kids, I organized a yard sale to raise money for cancer, and last summer I volunteered at an animal rehabilitation centre. I love volunteering because I believe in the power of kindness. One good dead can start a chain reaction and before we know it, we are making a difference in the lives of many.

Relay for Life is always an amazing night!

Relay for Life is always an amazing night!

My platform. As Miss Teenage South Western Ontario, I plan to use my title to inspire youth through promoting self-love. Self-love can be achieved in many ways. Through learning to love your body through the power of sport, connecting with nature, nourishing your mind through reading, enhancing your soul through volunteerism, or simply learning to accept yourself for everything that makes you you! When we love ourselves, we can accomplish anything that we put our minds to. One of the reasons I decided to compete in the Miss Teenage Ontario competition in the first place was the pageant’s motto “Be your own kind of beautiful”. We are all beautiful, we all have things that make us special and unique, and if we grow up learning that, then it will be harder to forget.

It's not what you are that holds you back, it's what you think you are not.

It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not.

So now that you know a little bit about me, I hope that you will join me over the next few months as I travel to the Miss Teenage Canada competition. I promise that there will never be a dull moment.

Ta ta for now,

Olivia

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What a day today! We got to see so many places today! 7am wake up call today but it was all worth it. Today we went to the bowmanville zoo and we had the opportunity of playing with cubs and baby tigers!! It was such an amazing experience and I am so happy I got to share it today with everyone. After the zoo we went to lunch at The Eaton center in Toronto where we had amazing tacos at a resturaunt/market called RichTree! The owner and employees were very kind and they made sure everyone was satisfied!

At Richtree market I ordered 3 tacos at the taco and burrito truck, and let me just say they were the best tacos I have ever had! I highly suggest this market as there was also tons of other selections to choose from! A lot of the other girls ordered smoothies and I tried some of them and they were delicious! I got tons of pictures but I unfortunately do not have my laptop with me so I am unable to post pictures to my blog! If you would like to see photos of me at the taco and burrito truck, and overall pictures of the location and my experience feel free to check out my Facebook page and twitter! @missteensouthwesternontario #missSWOntario

Xoxoxo,
Miss teen Southwestern Ontario

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Good evening everyone!

I’m so excited to experience this journey as Miss Teenage Southwestern Ontario. During my reign I have chosen a platform that hits very close to home and that I am very passionate about. This topic is very sensitive to me and it is not something I have personally endured but it is something that I have witnessed, experienced and definitely something I would like to bring attention to.

My platform is domestic abuse. I chose this topic mainly because I feel I can be the voice for the young girls who are affected by this. People think that this happens just in adult relationships but this is not the case. Statistics and experiences of my own have proven that domestic abuse often occurs and starts at a young age. In teenage years girls and even teenage boys in some cases are in a vulnerable state and sometimes don’t know others intentions. Teenagers can be so oblivious to something so serious and harmful which is why domestic abuse is becoming more common and this is why less than 10% of Canadians report domestic violence each day.

So why is there such a rise in domestic abuse cases? Why are over 3,300 canadian woman affected by it each day and only an average of 300 woman report it. These are facts that are very devastating and are the reason why I want to help. I may not be able to help everyone, or even a fraction of all the woman affected by it, but I can try.

With my platform I am trying and willing to do what I can to help woman affected by this and to also help local woman’s shelters. This year I will be doing a jean drive to raise funds for a local Woman’s shelter in London, ontario. Currently my bestfriend is staying in a woman’s shelter due to an abusive relationship. At the age of 19 it shocks me that someone so young as she is has to resort to a shelter due to another persons actions. During my fundraising I will be donating specifically to the shelter she is in, and after this I will continue to donate to other shelters.

Aside from fundraising, I want to personally get involved and be able to listen and try my best to give girls the confidence they need to get through this. Sometimes the best advice is from
those who view situations from the outside. I am currently looking into more avenues in which I can learn more and help with this cause. I am so thankful to MTC for the opportunity to learn and grow as a person and showcase all the knowledge that I have gained and have yet to learn about my platform.

If I win Miss Teenage Canada 2015 this will continue to be my platform. This is a topic I am passionate about and I will be getting involved with as much as I can to make a change. I will continue to update everyone in any events and fundraisers I take part of during my riegn as Miss Teen Southwestern Ontario and any other fundraisers and organizations I get involved with if I win the title of Miss Teen Canada 2015.
Thank you everyone and have a great night!

Yours truly,
Miss Teenage Southwestern Ontario 2015
Xoxo

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AHHHHHH,I am SO excited for this pageant! Only days away and i’m preparing myself every single day. This has been a crazy journey but it is the best experience and it is hands down the best choice I have ever made. I truly think every girl needs to fulfill this dream if they even have the slightest liking to it. It will change your view on everything, it will change your lifestyle, your friends, your behavior.. everything! I mean this in the best way possible as well, this experience changes you for the better. You meet new people, you get comfortable with your body, you gain confidence and you feel like a model! I have always been into going to the gym and eating healthy, but this pageant is motivation to stay fit and make the right eating choices, you learn to socialize with everyone, you learn to handle yourself professionally and how to get what want -lol.

So as I prepare myself for the most exciting moment of my life I am doing everything I can to make sure I take home the crown! I am working out, eating healthy, staying hydrated, volunteering and/or fundraising on average once every 12 days, getting my title out to the public and SO much more. I never thought I could fund raise so much but when you set your mind to something you can really conquer anything. Between pageant fees and charity I have raised $3,250, just in 5 months! I really am proud of myself and everyone else that has helped me along the way!

Today, I took a visit to my beauty sponsor STUDIO H for my last hair appointment and consultation. I got awesome highlights and they provided me with a beautiful hair piece for the pageant! Heather Wenman, the owner of Studio H is absolutely amazing and I am so thankful I met her and had the honor of getting sponsored by her. Thanks to her I also have the honor of modelling at the Little Black Tie event here in London, ON this September! How exciting!

Now, tomorrow is a new day and am I ever busy. I received AWESOME news that I am being sponsored by Jordan Stewart, a FABULOUS clothing store and also the name of the owner. She is sponsoring me all of my outfits for the pageant and I will be rocking them the entire week of the pageant. This being said, tomorrow I will be meeting with the manager to get styled and have all my outfits ready. After that, I have a dentist appointment to make sure I have those pearly white teeth on stage AND I have an interview with CTV London!

Stay posted as I will be posting more in detail about my new sponsor, my interview with CTV & MORE!

All the best,
Miss Teen Southwestern Ontario
XOXO

Written by: Jerica
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I almost forgot to fill you guys in. Thursday, June 4th at 6pm I was in a car accident . My brand new car that I worked so hard for was hit due to someone running a red light. Everyone was okay thankfully, but by car was totaled. I had been driving my best friends mom and grandma to bingo, also on my way to ask the bingo manager for a sponsorship when I was turning left and got struck but a car who was speeding and ran a red light. No one was severely hurt but I was rushed to the hospital due to carbon monoxide levels being high because of the airbag smoke I was breathing in. Besides some bumps and bruises and being completely in shock due to what had just happened I am thankful nothing worse had happened.

Aftermath of the accident.

Aftermath of the accident.

My insurance adjuster let me know that it was in fact a write off and that I could start the search for a new vehicle. Last week I spent all day looking for a new car that I could afford and because my credit was so good from paying off all my bills I was actually able to afford the exact same car but brand new! That was amazing news to hear especially because insurance did not give me extra money for a new car so I had to start back at the beginning.  Accidents like this suck, and take a toll on you mentally and of course financially but everything happens for a reason and I will always stay positive. Now I have a an even better version of my old car !

The past week I have been working on making it into my own and “JERIFYING” it! I always try to look at the brighter side of things and although it caused a small bump in the road especially with the pageant being right around the corner, Ill always learn from my mistakes and be positive.

XOXO
Miss Teen Southwestern Ontario

Written by: Jerica
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11659495_1000841756601529_8237331248793780592_nGood evening bloggers!

Most of you guys are SO lucky to be on summer break right now. Unfortunately for me I work full time so “summer vacay” isn’t too much of a vacation for me. I cannot complain about the weather though, summer is my favorite season. My first fundraiser to kick off the summer heat was spending my time at East Parks grand opening in London! During the grand opening I had the honor of handing out great coupons to families, as well as greeting at the front gates. I got to walk around with East Parks very own mascot as well and the kids loved it! Who wouldn’t want to walk around with a big T-REX!

Funny story actually, after walking around with the mascot for some time we realized we actually knew each other and had each other on facebook! That was a funny ice breaker for us, it made it that much more fun that we actually knew each other… what a small world. Regardless, I love meeting knew people and just like the mascot the rest of the management team and staff were awesome and SO welcoming! I really did have a great time, and going to east park all the time as a kid brought back a lot of memories. Hopefully I will be back soon enjoying the water park and go karts!

East Park's mascot and I snapping a selfie!

East Park’s mascot and I snapping a selfie!

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