As you all know, this past Wednesday was International Women’s Day. A day that here in Canada often passes by fairly unrecognized. Aside from the fancy google logo (which was beautiful this year and featured 13 influential women from this century ) in recognition of the day and the trending hashtag on twitter, not much is really said about it. Either way, as I was frantically scoping the internet for a meaningful picture to post (before deciding to take my own) I came across this gem.

This quote perfectly captures the essence of female empowerment. Women helping women, striving for excellence as a team. We are fortunate here in Canada to live in an environment where women and men are very close to equal. Although problems do still exist, we are in a good place here. We have the right to vote, we see tons of women in the workforce, and we have laws in place that protect women and men from gender discrimination. Although all this progress has been made, one obstacle we have yet to overcome is female bullying.

I remember being bullied in elementary school. Taunts, manipulation, hurtful words, all at the hands of female peers. Even today, as a grade 12 student in high school, it happens all the time. These days, it often comes in the form of subtweets and rumors but, in elementary school, I faced a lot of exclusion and trickery too. Most girls who have been bullied share a similar story. The bullying take place at the hands of other girls. But why does this happen?

Perhaps the most legendary example of female bullying is immortalized in the 2004 movie “Mean Girls”

Girls bond differently than boys do. We bond verbally by sharing stories, thoughts, and secrets. Our bonds with each other are very much cognitive. Since we’re connected this way, it makes sense then that the way girls bully would be different than the way boys do. While boys are often more physically aggressive, girls really get into each others heads. They know what to say to hurt each other but, they’re also more subtle in their bullying. So much so that it often goes unnoticed by parents and teachers which can have devastating consequences. We hear stories of framing, backstabbing, sabotage among girls even depicting it in movies and television.

A “me/us vs. them” mentality is incredibly toxic and not very productive. We make hashtags and YouTube videos and tumblr posts about all of the women’s issues we want resolved but, without the proper frame of mind, not much is going to change. By moving as a unit and ensuring the success of all instead of one or a few, we could make the world just a little more bearable for everyone.

With that being said, the crown I was awarded is not just mine. I was chosen to represent South Eastern Ontario therefore, this crown belongs to every woman and girl in my region. The gallery below is a representation of just some of the queens in my local community. We will share victories and struggles but, if we work as a team, we can achieve greatness together.

Written by: Adanna
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Hey, ladies!! I was recently honored with the title of Miss Teenage South Eastern Ontario and I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to be a title holder. I never thought I would ever participate in a pageant let alone come in 3rd place. I remember being there and seeing all the other girls and wondering why I thought I even had a chance but, something magical happened when they called my name during the crowning ceremony. Allow me to introduce myself and to give you some insight on what my blog is going to be about.

Group Photo! Miss Teenage Canada provincial competition.

Group Photo! Miss Teenage Canada provincial competition.

A Little Bit About Me…

I’m from Ajax, Ontario, a beautiful suburb about 30 minutes from downtown Toronto. Home to about 109, 600 people, Ajax is brimming with opportunities to grow, help, and connect with the diverse members of the community. At my high school, I’m part of an all-female a capella group called the Femtones. We sing at school and community events and went on to win gold at the MusicFest Canada National Competition.  I am also an active member of the theatre community at PHS. Just this year, I directed two comedy sketches, acted in one play, and am currently rehearsing for my school’s musical.  I’ve accepted my offer from York University and will be going there to study Theatre in the fall. At home, I’m the fourth of 6 girls in my family. My three older sisters have 8 kids between them and my younger sisters are twins who just turned 13. My older sisters all live on their own which is probably for the best. A house of 3 teenage girls is a full house indeed. We often argue and I wouldn’t say that sharing the bathroom is something we’re too good at but, we love each other all the same.  Sometimes, me and my sisters will sing and play guitar or ukulele together which is always fun. Another fun fact, my first name is hyphenated. Now most people don’t believe me at first but, since my great-great- grandmother on my father’s side was named Princess, my parents named me Princess-Adanna. My friends all like to joke that I truly live up to my name.

Me and three of my cast mates performing as Dynamites in our high school's 2016 production of "Hairspray"

Me and three of my cast mates performing as Dynamites in our high school’s 2016 production of “Hairspray”

A few of the femetones and our director after our performance at a Caribbean festival last summer

A few of the femetones and our director after our performance at a Caribbean festival last summer

I Love Helping People

I know that this has become a bit of a cliché but, I really do consider it to be an integral part of my character. As soon as I turned 16, I became an organ donor. Knowing that if something were to happen to me that I could help save someone’s life is very important to me. In the summer of 2015, I participated in a Me to We build trip to Tanzania which was absolutely incredible (more on that in a later post). Lastly, in grade 11, I completed a co-op placement at my local hospital in the Maternal/Newborn Unit and learned a lot about women’s health as well as the nursing profession. It was this co-op placement that inspired me to become a nurse and to start my non-profit organization, Crimson Wings.

The people who I went to Tanzania with all became great friends after the trip

The people who I went to Tanzania with all became great friends after the trip

While doing my co-op, I got to wear scrubs like all the other nurses. They were suuuper comfy.

While doing my co-op, I got to wear scrubs like all the other nurses. They were suuuper comfy.

Crimson Wings

Every year, people run food drives, gather old clothes, and collect toys to send to homeless shelters and food banks. However, on thing that people don’t often think to donate is menstrual products. This crossed my mind a few months ago and I knew that I had to do something about it. I decided to start Crimson Wings as a club at my school. It’s taken a while but, the wheels are slowly beginning to turn. We’ll be running our first “pad drive” next week and I’m so excited for us to eventually grow into a non-profit organization with chapters across Canada.

The Crimson Wings logo designed by my little sister

The Crimson Wings logo designed by my little sister

I’m so excited to share more about myself and to learn about you in the comment section. Communication is really important to me so feel free to tell me anything! Thank you all for following me on this incredible journey. I’ll be sure to write as often as I can.

Much love,

Adanna

Miss Teenage South Eastern Ontario

 

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To say that this past week has been incredible at MTC is an understatement. There are so many genuine and beautiful girls inside out that I’ve met here in Toronto this week. It’s amazing to know these girls from all over Canada have come together to make a difference, make memories and friends for a lifetime.  I am forever grateful for this experience.

Yesterday, we went to the Eaton Centre for lunch and stopped at this gorgeous little blue vintage van from Richtree Market.  This Volkswagen van from the sixties is just so much fun, we had to take pictures! The Staff there were so friendly and welcoming as each of us took pictures beside them in front of the volkswagen. We also received these cute vintage bottles with sprite and coke. These bottles are fun to collect so make your way over and grab yours when you have the chance!

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If you are into the ever growing vintage fad and a healthy lifestyle than Richtree Market is a must for you. There are hundreds of Vintage Clubs now across the world with people actually trying to live the vintage life, so our little Richtree Market with the vintage Taco van and all natural food is a perfect setting place to have your very unique and valuable meal. Prices were excellent and knowing that your meal is healthy and all natural makes out for a happy shopper at the Eaton Centre! 

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Thanks for reading everyone, Preliminary’s are tonight! It’s not too late to vote so if you have time please vote for me for the peoples choice award, you have until Sunday and here’s the link 🙂

http://www.missteenagecanada.com/vip-signup

Amanda Jordan <3

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As I’m sure you all know, my platform is mental health. Although it is a very common platform this year in the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant it is also a very important cause that needs a light shawn on it in terms of ending the negative stigma associated with mental illnesses. Some of my friends in high school were diagnosed with depression and had a really hard time dealing with their illness and other peers in school. They didn’t want anyone to know about their mental illness and as a result, no one understood why they were acting different at certain times. Some say depression is an excuse to avoid dealing with responsibility in life, but they think this only because they are uneducated on the illness and don’t understand. Creating awareness about what it is like to have depression, giving people something to relate to, and spreading the word that there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of is the first step towards changing the negative stigma.

As a musician, I express myself and my beliefs through my music and song writing. I wrote a song and created a music video called Breathe Easy to support those with mental illness. The lyrics in the song describe how a person with depression feels and how it is so important to support our friends when they are going through hard times. Creating awareness is the first step towards finding support.

I believe that people respond to music. Music is a way to storytelling that holds people’s attention and if you get the right lyrics and melody people will feel a connection to your message. I once performed Breathe Easy for a competition in Nashville and the judges started to cry. They heard the message loud and clear and they could relate to person in the song. One out of five people will suffer from mental illness sometime in their life.

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I had the very fortunate experience of meeting a very kind veteran named Major Nick Nicolas who at the age of 70 was doing a 13 day walk through the Rideau Trail from Kingston to Ottawa to raise money to train service dogs for Veterans with PTSD. I was so inspired by Major Nick that I wrote a song to help create awareness about PTSD, called Carry You. Major Nicolas invited me to sing the song at his kick off in Kingston and then on Canada Day as he arrived at the Aviation Center in Ottawa. I was so honored to do so. In a blog that Major Nicolas was writing he referred to me as a humanitarian and he could not have given me a greater compliment.

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If I was chosen as Miss Teenage Canada I would continue doing humanitarian work using my music to tell the stories that need to be heard. I would use my music to help the less fortunate and use my music to teach the more difficult messages that need to be taught.

Thanks for reading <3

Amanda Jordan

 

 

 

 

 

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As I grew up over the years, every time I met my Great Uncle John Gendron, who was a war Veteran, he always ended our conversation with ‘We live in the best country in the world’. This brave soldier had a very unique story to tell, and he was always eager to tell it. He was a bomber in WWII and flew many flights over Germany in the Halifax 11. His crew was the only Canadian crew known to have been shot down, where all crew members survigendronjohn_001ved the crash. They were all taken prisoner of war, and lived to be released at the end of the war. So when my Great uncle said ‘We live in the best country in the world’ I think his experiences during the war gave him the right to make that disclaimer,  and I agree with him completely. He and all the other soldiers from WWI and WWII risked their lives so that we could continue to live in the best country in the world.

Our beautiful nation was definitely worth fighting for. From the colourful maritime fishing villages through the great Canadian shield, the golden plaines of the prairies, to the breath taking mountains of the Rocky’s, Canada is rich in natural resources. During the 1920’s and 30’s, Emily Carr and the famous Group of Seven painters recorded the beauty of our nation with their paint brushes and bold colours.

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Because of those brave soldiers our Country was allowed to continue to develop all the while protecting the rights and freedoms of its’ people. With the development of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms our forefathers recognize the importance of protecting our freedom of speech, religion, peaceful assembly and association. Canada was a leader in the acceptance of gay and lesbian marriages by making it legal 9 years ago while other countries are still debating the subject. As well, Canada is a leader in terms of human rights and equalities by not allowing discrimination based on age, sex, race, or disability. All these things make me extremely proud to be Canadian and very grateful for the wisdom of our forefathers.

Canada has made incredible contributions to the world. One of the most important contributions was standard time, which was invented by Sir Sanford Fleming. The second major invention is the invention of insulin by Frederick Banting. This invention has saved the lives of many diabetics, including my dad who has type 1 diabetes. Another huge invention was basketball created by Naismith in 1891 who lived only half an hour away from my house in Almonte.

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When I think about why my Great Uncle finished every conversation with a statement ‘We live in the best country in the world’ I realize that he wanted to make sure that we appreciated this great Country. It was his gently reminder that many lives were lost so that we could enjoy this beautiful land and our freedoms. With this freedom and safety, our people are allowed to create, solve problems and contribute great accomplishments to the world. I am very proud to be Canadian and so grateful to live in this land, the true north, strong and free.

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thanks for reading,

Love, Amanda

Miss Teenage Southeastern Ontario

 

 

 

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Making a Difference by Meeting Miss Teen Canada’s Challenges

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Well, finals are just around the corner, only three and half weeks to go! Everyone’s getting excited, planning their fundraiser events, stressing about gowns and booking their plane tickets! First off, I’d like to say that I am truly looking forward to meeting all of you in the near future. We all have something in common and I think it’s very special- we’re trying to make a positive difference in our society. Whether it’s through sharing on social media, giving speeches at schools, raising funds for a good cause or being kind to others as a role model- we are all trying to make a difference. So congratulations. Everyone should be so proud of their hard work. I say it’s time to step back and acknowledge how far we’ve come. As well I think we should acknowledge the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant, as without it we would not be having the great experiences we are having now. They challenged us to make a difference and we responded and reached for the goal.

 

If you’re wondering what I’ve been up to, my days have been fairly eventful and busy just like the rest of yours. I’ve been planning my Charity Youth Talent Concert for Free The Children, Open Doors Mental Health for Youth and Neil Doef, a local hockey player who suffered a spinal injury. I really see the benefits of Open Doors in my community as they provide counselling for the youth on a moment’s notice. They have saved the lives of many students by providing support and I just thought it was time that someone recognize how valuable this service is. Neil, a local teen hockey player who had a university scholarship to play hockey before his accident this winter is making remarkable progress and I admire his courage and his strength is an inspiration. Last night I had a 12 minute radio interview about the Charity Youth Talent Concert of Lake 88.1 radio station in Perth Ontario and I sang my new song “Carry You” live on air. Thanks so Brian Perkins and the Lake 88.1 for donating so much air time to my event.

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I was absolutely thrilled to be invited to perform at the Pan Am Games Torch Relay in my home town, Smiths Falls. Athlete Neil Doef, was one of the Pan Am Torch Relay flame bearers and everyone welcomed him as the flame arrived. Games were set up for children and one of the first acts was teaching the audience Zumba so everyone was dancing, and grooving right from the start. It was a fun time and we all wish all the athletes the best of luck at the Pan Am games in Toronto.

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I am so proud of Major Nick Nicolas, the 70 year old veteran who I had the great fortune of meeting by accident only a few weeks ago. He wanted to do something special for his 70th birthday so instead of getting an ice cream cake he decided to walk 350 kilometers, an 11 day walk through the Rideau Trail from Kingston to the Aviation Museum in Ottawa. He wanted to raise $15,000.00 to train service dogs to help soldiers with PTSD. He completed the walk faster than anyone had ever done and we celebrated July 1 at the Aviation Museum in Ottawa. He invited me to sing “Carry You”, a song I had written when I heard about his amazing expedition. I performed it with my friend Matt and its written to support and create awareness of soldiers suffering from PTSD.

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All of these experiences I have had over the last few months have come about because of the humanitarian challenges set out for us by Miss Teenage Canada. So in response to Kacey Musgrave’s new album entitled Pageant Material, which I am in LOVE with, by the way, we say Yes, We are pageant material, and yes we are proud of it, because we are making a difference in our communities

thanks so much for reading everyone it means a lot <3

love,

Amanda Jordan

Miss Teenage Southeastern Ontario

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Meeting Superheroes Who Overcome Giant Obstacles While Providing Inspiration To All

Well it has been a busy couple of weeks for sure with pageant duties. When I am invited to perform at a charity fundraising event the people I meet there never cease to amaze me.  Most recently I performed at the CTV CHEO Telethon and there I met a wonderful women who offered to help me see if I would be able to sing in the hospital for some of the children. I am really looking forward to hearing back from her as this is the least I could do for these little Superheroes. As I listened to the incredible stories of survival of those very brave little children who have gone through so much it made me realize that one of the best outcomes of the CHEO CTV telethon is not just the funds raised which was an incredible 7.8 million dollars but it is the awareness created when the children’s stories are shared.  The theme of the CTV CHEO Telethon was Superheroes which I think is a very accurate theme.  We heard the story of Justin, who at age nine found out he had cancer in his leg . This young hero had his ankle removed and attached to his knee so that he could have a prosthetic that would function well.  He has been an inspiration and emotional leader for his parents over the last several years.  With a smile on his face he stated to his Mom and Dad over and over  “We do what we have to do.” What a courageous little man, mature far beyond his years and a true inspiration.

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Last Saturday I was the entertainment for the Curvy Girls which is a support group for youth that suffer from scoliosis. Two to three percent of our teen population suffer from scoliosis. Some of these teens have to wear a very hard plastic corset around their whole torso for up to 24 hours a day and they deal with a lot of back pain and many surgeries. I wrote a song for this group a few years ago called “Got Your Back” as I found these teens so inspirational.  If you know anyone with scoliosis this support group is amazing and can be contacted at  http://www.curvygirlsottawa.ca/     .

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It is always surprising to me how sometimes a simple coincidence can turn out to be such a wonderful opportunity and learning experience.  Recently I was asked to be a guest host on a new Rogers Daytime TV Series on Organization and Recycling. While at the Daytime TV studio in Ottawa watching the producer do a show I was waiting there in the waiting room I had the wonderful experience of meeting Retired Major Nick Nicolas of The Canadian Armed Forces. Nick, a  36 year veteran who is turning 70 this year wanted to do something special for his birthday so he decided to fundraise for The Citadel Canine society in Ottawa which is an organization that trains service dogs to help soldiers who suffer from PTSD- Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.  Often times when our soldiers return from the battlefields they suffer sever flashbacks, night sweats, nightmares, anxiety and depression.  They never know what might trigger a flashback. It could be a crowd in a mall, fireworks, or even an ambulance siren.  The dogs are trained to put their paws on the soldiers lap if the soldier begins to cry or starts to experience an anxiety attach or is having a nightmare.  The interaction from the dog brings the soldier back from his nightmare and into present reality. Nick created a fundraiser called Boots 4 Pups and he is going to raise funds for this program by walking 350 kilometers through the Rideau Trail from Kingston to Ottawa on an 11 day hike starting on Sunday June 21. I was so inspired by Nick and the service dog organization that I offered to write a song about this special program. I’ve been working hard on it for the past few days. I’ll be performing the song Sunday June 21 in Kingston at the open ceremony of the 350 kilometer walk by Nick on the Rideau Trail. If you would like to read more about this amazing story or donate you can go to the following website. http://www.gofundme.com/Boots4Pups.

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Well those were my Miss Teenage Southeastern Ontario adventures for the last week or so. I wonder what the next superheroes I will meet and be inspired by next on this exciting journey.

Thanks for reading everyone <3

Miss Teenage Southeastern Ontario

Amanda

 

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Sorry it’s been a minute since I’ve written a blog, but I promise I have a lot to catch all of you up on! Finally, Summer is here, a time to sit back and watch the beautiful sunsets on the Rideau Lake and reflect on my year at Bishops U where I study music and psychology. I’m extremely happy to be home with family and friends, and very grateful for the wonderful opportunities and very special people in my life. Rideau Lakes

Finding a summer job was definitely a priority and was a focus for the last few weeks. Luck was on my side in this field as I now have two part-time jobs and one full time job. I am singing and playing guitar at two establishments in Smiths Falls. Check out my youtube clip of this here

At Players Sports Bar and at Fort Hemlock Restaurant, I play four hour sets a night and I’m loving it. When you love your job it really doesn’t feel like work and I’m so grateful to the local owners for inviting me to perform. I also am a waitress at another restaurant called King Star Buffet where I work with my twin brother Thomas. Most recently I have just accepted a full time position with Parks Canada at the World Heritage Rideau Canal Locks. I will be locking tourists and their boats through the Rideau Canal locks at Edmonds Lock Station near Smiths Falls.

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There should definitely be more  history of the Rideau Canal in the school curriculum because studying for my interview for this position was eye opening. It’s crazy how much we don’t know about our own local town’s history.  The Rideau Canal design is considered a feat of genius designed by Colonel John Bye. It consists of 24 lock stations and 47 locks and was designed to move boats inland in case the Americans took control of the St. Lawrence. It was built in 1926 in only six years and extends from Ottawa to Kingston with 1000 people losing their lives during its construction. I feel so proud and honoured to be selected as one of the student workers at this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Well, it’s official now, I have been busy working with the Smiths Falls Station Theatre committee and they have approved me using this site to produce a Youth Talent Concert with all proceeds going to Free the Children and Open Doors. We have so many talented youth in the Smiths Falls and surrounding areas and I am hoping this will give them an authentic venue to perform in. I’ve invited Brea Lawrenson, the Canadian Music Association of Ontario’s nominee for Female Artist of the year to join the show.  Stay Tuned for more details!

Brea Lawrenson at CMAO's

If you’ve read this far, it means a lot. Thank you for following my adventure

x0x0

Amanda

Miss Teenage Southeastern Ontario

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Hey girls, I hope everyone’s having a great Easter enjoying time with your families   having egg hunts and turkey Dinners. I’m sure everyone’s more than excited for the big contest coming up in August.  I came across this quote and thought I should share it. Lets empower one another as we move towards the competition.

I’ve been feeling really sick for a couple of weeks with a bad cold but I’m now ready to start some healthy routines once again. I thought I would share some of my health tips with you. I try to work out three to four times a week but university has me really bogged down with exams and assignments coming up. I’m sure all of you are feeling the same and we’re all in the same boat but it’s really important to get exercise in whenever you have a bit of free time. It boosts your serotonin levels making you feel more energized, happy and you’ll feel more accomplished.  I’ve been with Angies models In Ottawa for several years now and over that time have developed some healthy eating tips that I thought I would share. Some of my favorite things to eat when I’m watching my weight are egg white omelets with cheese, homemade chicken casadeas with lettuce and cheese on a wrap with low fat Italian dressing.  When I’m craving chips or salty foods at night, pickles are a great low cal snack. Just make sure you don’t eat too many as the sodium levels are high. I dunno about you guys but I always wanna snack at night cause I’m either bored, stressed or into a good show on Netflix. I like to eat sugar free Jell-O cups. They only have five calories so sometimes I eat like 10 a night lol.  Just kidding I don’t recommend that. They have a lot of chemicals in them. You shouldn’t be starving yourself, if there’s one thing I learned you should be eating every two hours. Eating small portions consistently throughout the day is much healthier and better for your body than eating three big meals a day so keep that in mind. I’ve also been drinking a lot of water lately. It’s really easy to forget to drink water throughout the day but it’s the most important thing for your body.

Here’s a quick link to an  ab workout called 8 min abs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkKCVCZe474

It literally takes 8 minutes out of your day and if you do this every day you should be looking pretty good in your bikini when finals come.

I hope you’re all doing well, I’m really enjoying reading all your posts and can’t wait to see you in a few months

 

Thanks for reading,

Xo

Amanda

Miss Teenage Southeastern Ontario

 

 

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