Greetings everyone! MTC-WWith the first set of     MTC-W 2013 delegates being crowned this past weekend, I wanted to take this time and send my warmest wishes to all those reading my blog. 2012 was an amazing year, and I am blessed for many of the things that have occurred in it.

 Europe Trip

Over Spring Break I had the opportunity to travel to Europe with my school; visiting everywhere from London, England to Paris, France. I rode the World’s Largest Ferris Wheel (the London Eye),Europe saw the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at Buckingham Palace, ate gelato in a Parisian Cafe, toured through the Louvre and saw the Mona Lisa, among many other activities. Touring Vimy Ridge, Normandy Beach (where D-Day occurred) and visiting Flanders Fields were all eye-opening experiences as well. Knowing that landmarks such as Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower are only seen on postcards for many in our country, I do feel lucky that I’ve experienced them first hand, and at a young age as well. I hope to go back soon, as Europe Trip was a vacation that I’ll never forget!

Calgary Trip

2012 brought me many other amazing times, such as going on a road trip with my cousins to Calgary so we could visit my Aunt’s newborn baby Kyla! Being only a month old at the time, it was great to cuddle with the latest newborn in the famiCalgaryly. As the last bundle of joy before Kyla was my cousin Cassidy eight years ago, we were all so happy to hear that my Auntie Rene was expecting! Having been my mom and my mom’s twin’s  best friend since grade eight, it’s difficult not to imagine my Auntie Rene as part of the family. Although I only get to see her once or twice a year, we share an extremely close bond. During my trip I truly enjoyed spending time with her, looking after Kyla and going shopping at Tiffany’s in the Chinook Center, as we don’t have one in Manitoba!

 Summer in Gimli

Working in Gimli all summer was a plus as well, as right after work I could walk down the street a hundred feetGimli and be on the beach. From the middle of June until September long weekend, I worked a full time position at Beach Boy Restaurant. The Greek eatery has some of the best food you could find in town! With it being my second summer there, when I walk through the patio doors it truly feels as if I’m right at home. Although sometimes we fought as families do, I always knew I could depend on the people there for a good laugh, great friends and a home-cooked meal. When I wasn’t at work, I spent the days in Gimli with my family and friends on the beach, often taking out the boat and heading off to “Seashell Island”, a hidden away escape that my family came across last year. I love summer, and times in Gimli gave me some of the best memories of 2012!

Swish Model Management

In the beginning of October, I was notified that I had been accepted inSwish Modeling Agencyto a modeling competition put on by Swish Model Management that I had entered a week beforehand. Many people had been turned away, however I and around fifteen other gorgeous guys and girls had been accepted in what turned out to be one of my most favorite memories of 2012! The hopefuls and I went through rigorous training session in order to get us ready for the final show. We took head-shots, learned how to “model walk” among many other things. The final show occurred at Kildonan Place Mall. I didn’t maSwish Modelling Agencyke the top three, but I made so many friends in the process! A grade ten girl Carlee came in first. She was so sweet and said she was simply coming for the experience. Seeing the surprised, jovial look upon her face when her name was called was priceless, and I can truly say that she deserved to win! I hope to maintain the relationship I made with her, the first runner-up Vanessa and many of the other models I met during this delightful time.

Florida Trip

In November, my family and I flew down to Florida and vacationed in a DisnFloridaey World resort. Having never been before, I truly was able to experience “The most magical place on Earth”! I thought I died and went to heaven after visiting Harry Potter’s “Hogwarts” at Universal Studios, which has been a dream of mine since it opened. One of my deepest, darkest secrets being that I’m a crazed Harry Potter fan who collects memorabilia and the works, this was an amazing experience for me. The following day we headed to Disney World’s Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom. After one twelve hour day, we still hadn’t seen eveFloridarything in the parks! As I love thrilling rides, my favorite one at Disney World was Expedition Everest. It was a wooden roller coaster that took you through the Yeti’s cavernous lair. You traveled up a mountain to the edge of a cliff. Seeing the jagged, broken tracks at the end I though we were all going to fly off the cFloridaoaster until it screeched to a halt, and went through the whole ride backwards! Other than that amazing ride, I enjoyed going on an animal safari where I saw elephants, rhinos, zebras, lions and giraffes (My long lost relative) roam throughout their natural habitat that had been created for them! To end off an amazing day, a fireworks show erupted behind the glittering Disney castle at Magic Kingdom around 11pm. It was truly one of the most spectacular sights I’ve ever seen.

Miss Teen Canada-World 2012

And how could I forget my experience at the Miss Teen Canada-World pageant this summMTC-Wer? I feel as I’ve almost exhausted the topic, blogging about this amazing experience so much. My title has brought me so many things. Without it, I never would’ve been allowed to travel across Canada by myself. I wouldn’t have had the motivation to become a healthier “me”.  I’d never meet sMTC-Wtars such as Luke Bilyk, Lights, Jesse Giddings, Victoria Duffield and All-Star Weekend. Sit down and talk with Craig and Mark Kielburger for fifteen minutes about Free the Children, my platform, what more I can do to help change the community and simply, life. Without being crowned Miss Teen Southern Manitoba-World, I wouldn’t have met 62 other beautiful ladies who live from coast-to-coast, or made the friends there that I still keep in touch with every week.

2012 truly treated me well. I feel blessed for the opportunities that’ve come my way, and I will cherish them forever. Since 2012 brought their “A-Game” the question I’m asking is “2013…Did you”?

Written by: Devon Shewchuk
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Hello everyone, it’s good to be back on here! Due to a broken laptop that had all my pictures on it, I was forced to take a two month hiatus. Now that I’m back on here, I’m looking forward to blogging again. Finally, I’m happy to share my We Day experience with you!

 On October 30th, I had the pleasure of attending We Day Winnipeg 2012! It was an amazing experience, and one that I will not forget for years to come. Having attended We Day last year as a Crowd Pumper, this time I enjoyed being the one getting pumped up, sitting back, and enjoying the show.

What Is We Day?

Before I get into how phenomenal my day was, I thought it’d be bWe DAy 2012est to educate those who aren’t familiar with We Day on what it is. We Day is the call that brings a generation together. We Day is the movement of our time, inspiring a generation to act. Fuelled by the desire for change, and the hope that the world can be a better place, We Day is inspiring. Having only begun in 2007 with one province, over the past five years We Day has snowballed into a nationwide event for elementary, primary and secondary students of all ages. This October 30th, over 18 000 teachers and students gathered in the MTS Centre to mark the second aWe Day 2012nniversary of Winnipeg We Day. This day was full of inspiring speakers and performers such as Spencer West, Molly Burke, All-Star Weekend, Mikhail Goborachev, Victoria Duffield, Massai Warriors, Lights, Hannah Taylor, Shawn Desmond Robb Nash and of course, Mark and Craig Kielburger who are founders of Free The Children, as well as We Day.

The Event

The day started with me getting up at the crack of dawn, in order to get ready for the show. As I’ve been so busy with school, this was the first appearance I had done since the begining of September! One of the perks of being a titleholderWe Day 2012 is that you get special treatment at almost any event you attend. Since the other Manitoban delegates and I all raised money for Free The Children as requirements for the National pageant, we were treated with Honoured Guest seating in a suite close to the stage! There, we received gift bags, a catered lunch and the opportunity to bump into a few of the speakers after the show.

My Favorite Speaker

Although hard to choose, my favorite speaker of the day was Molly Burke. As she began her speech, you realized it was going to be good. With her powerful voice there was no way you could not listen. As she walked around the stage, she told a story of how she was once bullied to a horrible exteWe Day 2012nt. She had broken her ankle weeks before, and was still on crutches. One day, the “popular kids” asked if she wanted to go on a walk with them. Giddy with excitement, Molly agreed. Once they reached the top of a hill, someone pushed Molly. She tumbled down the hill and lost her crutches. As she lay in the bushes below, the kids laughed. One girl even thought it’d be funny to break her crutches and throw them away! Molly was found later, feeling miserable and abandoned. At this point in her story, Molly stopped. She said, “Imagine feeling all the emotion, pain, (etc..) that I did. Now imagine if on top of that, you were blind”. I was shocked. By the way she walked around the stage and connected with the audience, I never would’ve guessed that Molly was blind! You heard everyone in the audience gasp at this revelation. She continued to tell her story, and spoke of how in the end the experience only made her stronger. She’s an amazing person, and I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to hear her speak.

My Favorite Performance

My favorite performance of the day was by All-Star Weekend. Previous to them coming on stage, a We Day Coordinator came up to our suite and asked us if wWe Day 2012e’d like to come sit front row for the final performance. Of course, we said yes! After bringing us down through a maze of people. we were able to get seats right by the stage. The most magical moment occured when Zach the lead singer, stepped down from the stage and proceeded to walk through the audience. I reached out my hand, and he took it! I thought I had died and gone to heaven. After singing there for about five seconds he (regretfully I know), let go of my hand. He jumped up onto a large box that was directly to my left, and sang there for more than a minute! Me and the other girls were almost in tears… Although I didn’t want to be a creep, he was so close that I could touch him if I wanted to! Needless to say, All-Star Weekend’s performance capped off a great end to an already amazing show. 

The End of We Day?

Before leaving, one of the We Day attendants informed us that we had been invited to the After Party! This exclusive, invite-only event was one thaWe Day 2012t definitely could not be missed. On our way out the door, someone tapped me on the shoulder and said “Thank you so much for coming today”! Thinking it was one of the volunteers, I turned around to thank them for helping put on such an inspiring show. To my most utter surprise, it was Craig Kielburger himself! I was so starstruck, I could barely speak. He went on to thank the delegates, sayinWe Day 2012g he heard how much we helped out Free the Children. Even though there were so many other awesome times during that day, meeting Craig (and Mark who came up soon afterwards) was definitely my favorite. Inside I was laughing, amused at the fact that someone as important and influential as them were thanking us.  Needless to say, I was honored. On our way out of the building, we also bumped into Wilson and Jackson, the two Massai Warriors who spoke earlier in the day. After chatting for a while and asking them to autograph their book The Last Massai Warriors for us, we were off.

The After Party!

The After Party took place at The Keg on Garry. In order to escapeWe Day After Party masses of fans, someone had told the crowd it was occurring at the Moxie’s attached to the MTS Centre. I found that hilarious, as we were situated only two blocks down the road! Courtney, Gabriella, her parents and I were the one of the first groups to arrive. As only the speakers, performers and sponsors were there, I have to admit I felt awkward at first! I was in the room with people who many only dream of meeting. Whether they were T.V senWe DAy 2012sations, performers or influential role models, these people were of importance. At first I was worried they wouldn’t want to talk to someone less significant than themselves. As I became more comfortable with my environment however, I began speaking with those present. Until you experience it first-hand, it’s hard to believe that these figureheads are as regular as anyone else! As servers walked around serving sliders, kabobs, bruschetta, cocktails and chilled shrimp on cucumbers (That last one didn’t sit well with me), I was able to mingle with thWe Day After Partyose in attendance at We Day. I truly enjoyed talking to Maya, who played the bass for Robb Nash’s band. After dealing with tumultuous times in her life, Maya ended up in a group home.  Robb happened to perform there one time, and Maya had the opportunity to meet with him. After she performed for Robb a piece she had written, Maya was asked to come on tour with him. Although only a year older that me, she seemed wise in her years. I truly enjoyed talking with her at the after party. Craig and Mark Kielburger were extremely easy to talk to as well, speaking about everything We Day 2012from my favorite TV show, to pageants, to what we wanted to do to change the world. I felt so inspired after speaking with them for ten short minutes, and I’m extremely grateful to have had that opportunity.

Like every day from July 14th-22nd, October 30th, 2012 will be a day I’ll never forget for the rest of my life. I had an amazing time, and can only dream that I get to experience something like this again.

Written by: Devon Shewchuk
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Greetings folks… Although this is two days late, I’d like to wish everyone a Haloween 2012very happy Halloween! I hope your day was as fabulous as your night, and that you didn’t all wake up with a sore stomach the next day. Being as Halloween is my favourite holiday next to Christmas, I though it’d be suitable for me to make a short blog post today!

Halloween Traditions

My family is extremely tight knit, as well as traditional. With nine cousins all within nine years of each other, we tend to spend all of our time together! Having celebrated Halloween for sixteen years and counting, I thought it’d be a great idea to spread out a few collages of costumes we’ve been in the past! Although this was one of the first years the four oldest cousins didn’t go trick or treating together, I still had an awesome night going with my brother, his friends, and a few of mine. As a tradition, every year since we’ve moved into our current house, my dad hooks up the snowmobile trailer to our quad, decks it out with lights, blankets and a stereo system! Since we’re in West St. Paul, the houses are far and few in between. A trailer is oHalloweenne of the best modes of transportation there is for Halloween night! As the stereo blasts Halloween tunes we roll down the streets, collecting candy with my cousins as we run door to door, filling our bags as much as we can. Being in Grade Twelve, I have gotten the questions about whether I’m to old to go out or not. To me, as long as you take the effort to dress up you deserve the reward! The Halloween Trailer Tradition is something that I’ve grown to adore… I couldn’t imagine Halloween without it!

A Highschool Halloween

My highschool West Kildonan Collegiate is extremely festive, and we love to celebrate any chance we get. To end off a great Halloween Spirit Week this year, Phys Ed. Leadership planned a Halloween 2012pep rally that lasted the whole afternoon. It was packed with entertainment, relays, costume contests and more. One of the things I love most about pep rallys is that I get to spend time with my friends! With all the different courses you have the option of taking in Grade Twelve, other than lunch we barely ever  get to see each other. By far though, my favourite part of the day was the teacher costume contest. After being judged by the Clap-O-Metre, the final four teachers competed in a Dance-Off in order to determine the overall winner.

Here were the final four costumes:

  • Wayne & Garth from Wayne’s World
  • Katniss from The Hunger Games
  • Elliot on his flying bike from E.T.
  • Red Foo, the lead singer from LMFAO

To me, the dance off was hilarious. It was a hard fought battle but once Red Foo (A.K.A. Mr Boughen) broke out the worm, all was over. He took home the prize!

I absolutely love the holidays. Although I may have not done so well on my Pre-Cal test the following morning, the nHalloweenight was definitely worth it! (What did I go as you may ask)? In the evening, a scarecrow. At school however, after the nagging of many peers, I went none other than Miss Teen Southern Manitoba-World herself… It was so much fun! With many kids today growing up much too fast, I just decided to life in the moment and be a kid. We have 50+ years to be an adult, yet only 18 to be a child. I’ve decided to make the most out of those moments, and cherish every memory I make!

Happy Halloween,


Written by: Devon Shewchuk

Well, it’s finally here! Today marks the first bi-weekly update of my Healthy Eating Challenge. Just under a month  ago IMy Healthy Eating Challenge made a commitment to myself, and promised that in two months I would be a “brand new” me. Fifteen days ago I started the challenge. If I cut back on the sodium, fatty foods and takeout that I so dearly love, it would be half of the battle right there. Dedicate myself to the Insanity Workout series on top of that? I’d be set. Some days were tough, but I’m willing to share my journey with you every step of the way!

A Little More Incentive…

Three days into my challenge, I was ready to give up. After leaving a late hockey game of my brother’s, my family and I were all exhausted and decided to pick something up on the way home. When we got home around 10:30pm, I decided to check my eHealthy Eating Challengemail. About a week beforehand I had signed up for a Model Search in my area, and I was hoping to hear a response. To my suprise (I guess I should’ve had more faith in myself), out of just under  100 applicants I was one of the fifteen selected! The next day right after school they wanted me to come down for a test shoot… How I wish I didn’t eat those chili fries a couple hours previous! This acceptance letter was just the boost of incentive I needed. By 10:45pm I was downstairs, water bottle in hand, ready to burn off those calories. From there, my week only progressed.

Swish Model Management

I’m extremely excited to be working with the team at Swish Model MaModelingnagement. On October 20th, all of the succesful applicants and I headed down to Kildonan Place Mall for the Final Show, where agencies from New York, Toronto, Tokyo and Paris were waiting to scout a lucky few of us! Up until then, every Tuesday and Thursday we had workshops at the agency that taught us the ropes, things to expect and how to power down the runway. (The walk and Modelstyle is EXTREMELY different from pageant training, I may add)! I’ve had the pleasure of working with Sara Jordan, who four years ago was the face of Ambercrombie & Fitch. She has also graced numerous magazine covers, some of the most prestigious being Elle and Vogue. The final show was amazing. In five short days, we had 16 hours of practices and runway shows to do! Although I didn’t win the overall prize, in the end I was given the opportunity to meet scouts from Tokyo & New York.

One thing is ceWeek Twortain… If I want to further pursue modeling, I’ll definitely have to keep working on my healthy eating challenge! I’ve pic-stiched the following photo, so Week 2 is on the right. This way you’re able to see the transformation I’ve made in two short weeks! Although the results aren’t drastic, I do notice slight changes that in the end will result in a healthier me. These next two weeks will be tough, but I can do it!

Stay healthy,


Written by: Devon Shewchuk
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Over the past few weeks I’ve really been thinking about workouts, diets and what the true meaning of healthy is. During Nationals we had the opportunity to MTC-W 12work out with pro-fitness trainer Stephanie Joanne, as well as have an amazing meal sponsored by Fuel Foods. When I first started high school, I remember barely ever eating, afraid of what others might think of me. Having been teased about being overweight in middle years, I wanted to make a good impression at my new school. Although I looked lean for a month or two, I was always exhausted, my skin was dry and mainly, I wasn’t happy. Now in Grade Twelve, I’ve come into myself and have learned to accept I’ll never be a size double zero. Guess what? That’s fine with me. To me, healthy is having a naturally toned body, leading a clean lifestyle, and never forgetting to indulge once in a while! In the words of Tyra Banks, “Being born naturally skinny, standard or fiercely real doesn’t matter. In the end, it’s your personality that people remember”.

Constructive Criticism

Now that Nationals is over, I occasionally look back and give myself coMTC-W 12nstructive criticism. If I could do it over again, the one thing I would tweak would be my swimsuit body. Although I embraced how I looked for Nationals, in the back of my mind I always knew that I could’ve been more dedicated to toning my body before pageant week came. (I place a large portion of the blame, however, on the ice cream store I was working at full time in order to earn money for Nationals)! Regardless of the final night’s results though, I still had an amazing time! The MTC-W pageant will be a memory that I cherish for years to come.

My Inspiration

Since I’m graduating this year, I’ve decided to take the initiative to get the Senior Yearbest body I’ve ever had. Now just feels like the right time to make a healthy change in my life! My inspiration comes from fitness model, Jamie Eason. In her early twenties Jamie was a pro-cheerleader in Houston, Texas. Going out with friends every night, having fun… Jamie was basically living the dream. That is, until she found out she had breast cancer. Jamie fought cancer and won, but her life still went in a downward spiral. She became depressed after getting fired from the squad because of too many missed practices, gaining thirty pounds, and having to take a boring Jamie Easonjob at a corporate office as a computer tech. After four years of this, Jamie decided it was time for a change in her life. Her goal was to look better and feel better than ever before. After two months of eating healthy and working with a personal trainer, Jamie felt a change in her body. A month after that, Jamie won her first fitness competiton. As of today, Jamie has graced the covers of countless fiMy Inspirationtness magazines, and become a role model for women across the globe. She went through hell and back (pardon the term), but still managed to find faith, set a goal and see it through to the end. I feel like we both have that same fighting spirit. If she could make a healthy change in her life, I definitely know I can. It’ll be hard (for those of you close to me, you know that poutine and I have a long lasting relationship), but with my determination I know, like Jamie, that I’ll be able to do anything I set my mind to!

An INSANE Challenge

During Spring Break this past year, one night my mom and I stayed up watching infoBonding Timemercials (only God knows why) until 3:00 in the morning. During that time we both saw a program that sparked our interest, called Insanity. Insanity is a high powered workout system that uses max interval training. The only tool needed? Your body. Dubbed “The hardest workout ever to be sold on T.V.,” we decided to try it out. Although we’re not a family that gets sucked into the world of infomercials, this seemed like an opportunity we couldn’t resist. When it came in the mail three weeks later, my mom and I ripped the DVD out of it’s package, ready to give it a go. Although I see myself as an extremely tough cookie, halfway through the workout on the first day I sat down, started crying and claimed defeat. I had never done a harder workout in my life. Boy, I thoHealthy Livingught they were kidding when they called it Insanity… They weren’t. The next day I tried it again and although extremely hard, I made it through the workout. After three weeks of doing the workout 6 days a week for forty five minuites I looked and felt amazing. Eventually life caught up with me though, and I stopped doing it. I believe now is the right time to try it again!

After much tHealthy Living Challengehought, I’ve decided to post a “Before” picture on my blog. This way I’ll be able to show bi-weekly updates of my transformation, and how I’m feeling! Knowing that I’ll have shown many people what I currently look like will give all the more motivation to prove to them that I can do anything I put my mind to. I’m ready to challenge myself, and can’t wait to see the results.


Written by: Devon Shewchuk
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MTC-W 12Two months ago, I was immersed into the Miss Teen Canada-World experience. July 14th to 22nd, 2012 will be a week of my life that I never forget. During that time I met a multiple number of ladies from across the country, many of whom I will keep in touch with for years to come. Going into the provincial pageant I was looking for something to fill my time, just an activity to sustain my need for adventure. Coming out of the National pageant however, I realized that I’ve accomplished much more than my initial goal of MTC-W 12just having fun”.  I’ve learned about myself. My passions, disikes, beliefs, ability to interact with others… You name it. The Miss Teen Canada-World pageant provided me with the avenue to explore more about myself, my community, people’s interests while throughout it all, the opportunity to just have fun.

Memories to Last a Lifetime

After the pageant, my summer flew by way too fast. Between a full-time job and a rare day at the beach, it was over before I could blink my eyes. Now that I’m back to school, hitting Senior Senior Yearyear full-force, I look back on those busy summer days and long for them. No  stress, deadlines or pre-cal! My most fond memory of the summer by far was the Miss Teen Canada-World pageant. My first time taking a plane without family was a journey in itsMTC-W 12elf. Luckily, I had Gabby (Miss Teen Winnipeg) along for the ride. Over the week the other 62 delegates and I did an interview with the judges, had a photoshoot (SO much fun), visited tourist attractions such as The Eaton Center and the CN Tower as well as television appearances on stations such as New Music Live, Breakfast Television and Cityline! For anyone looking to enter the pageant stream, I suggest you only do so if you have a lot of energy. They truly keep you busy!

Relationships I’ve Made

With the number of amazing people I met during that week, it’ll be hard to keep in touch with them all. Although I bonded with some more than others, each woman therMTC-W 12e had something special about her. It’ll be hard to forget Hayleigh from Newfoundland, who just so happened to get stuck beside me in the number line up. We traveled the Toronto Distillery District together, participating in the crazy scavenger hunt they had planned for the delegates. Her accent was awesome, and we always enjoyed goofing off whenever we had the chance! Jasmine, for her love of cats. Courtney J, for her weird obsession with long haired boys. Marlene and Millie, for their amazing personalities. Shelby, for being the best roomie ever.

The list could go on forever. I’d love to thank Shawn Cuffie for his amazing choreography. Michelle WeMTC-W 12swaldi, Christi Woolard and Chris Fry for all the hard work and dedication they put into organizing the pageant.  Because of them, I also got to meet stars such as Luke Bilyk from Degrassi, Jesse Giddings of New Music Live and singer Karl Wolfe! To me Luke was a shock, yet he cemented my faith in humanity. His down-to-Earth nature was only one of the awesome things about him. Besides that? We share the exact same birthday!

Do It!

If you’ve ever wondered what a pageant would be like, give it a shot! For any haters… Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. This will be an expExperienceserience you cherish for the rest of your life. I know I will. The Miss Teen Canada-World Organization provides an avenue for growth, opportunity, fun, and the abilities to create a lifetime of memories. Don’t ever be one of those people who said, “What if?”… If you jump at every opportunity you recieve, I know you won’t regret it!

Without fail, I’ve been asked at least once per day about the pageant since school began. Always my first response? “Where do I begin“.

Written by: Devon Shewchuk
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HasMTCW 2012 it ever been a busy  five days! Saturday, July 14th marked the beginning of the 2012 Miss Teen Canada-World pageant! As each day has been go, go, go; I’ve barely had time to blog. Today, I’m writing about a very inspirational evening all the MTC-W delegates attended this past Sunday, July 15th. Our experience was called the Miss Teen Canada-World Mentorship night. Four successful women of various professions came to talk about how they faced adversity, achieved their goals and became who they are today.

As a teenager, I’ve found myself in situations where I’ve been influenced by friends, family, media and gossip. When looking up to the successful young women of today, I’ve always wondered how they got to that point in their life. During Mentorship Night, four successful women taught me that achieving is believing, and that with great power comes great responsibility. (Okay, never mind… That last quote was actually from Spiderman)! Although a superhero may have said it, I still believe in that quote 100%.  As each of the women from Mentor Night were inspirational for different reasons, I feel as it is my job to tell you their stories!

Melani Chong

Melani was our first speaker of the night. Today she is the successful developer of a personalized skincare line called Soya Boutique, which believes in all-natural materials to mainMelani Chong Linetain a healthy, glowing face. (Sounds like a line Miss Teen Canada would use)! Originally though, this was never her career plan. Melani described how many times in her life, she had taken the “path of opportunity”. Although she wasn’t sure where it’d take her, she believed in herself and hoped that good would always come out of it!

Her  story began at seventeen years of age. Going into high school though, she had branded herself as a “jock”. The name she had given herself had deterred her from ever pursuing modeling although most of her family urged it. Her dad took her on a Mentor Night Speakertrip to the mall one day, and “just so happened” to stumble upon a model casting! Before you knew it, a month later Melani was signed with Ford Supermodels… One of the biggest modeling agencies of her time! Although Mel enjoyed her time as a model, she didn’t feel fulfilled. Hungry for more, she decided to test the waters of styling for photo shoots and runway! For years, she enjoyed her job. Melani described modeling as something that “fell into her lap” and once she became more comfortable with it, she parlayed into something else. After being pregnant with her first son, she began to think of bigger and better opportunities. When combining her knowledge of styling and the model’s need for a “quick-fix” product that was all-natural and healthy, Melani was finally able to take the next step in her career and develop Soya Boutique. To me, Melani’s presentation was very inspiring. It was the epitome of the message to maintain your passion, follow your heart and believe in your dreams. An interesting Socrates quote that Melani read was “wisest is he who knows what he doesn’t know”. To me, this means the quicker you realize you don’t know everything, the sooner you’ll be able absorb and learn more about yourself! What does it mean to you?

Katrina Hadden

Size twelve model, author of self-help book “Making it in High Heels” and life coach Katrina Hadden was our second speaker of the night. She talked of her struggles with body image, ecspecially in the cut-throat world of modeling.

6’1″ Katrina Hadden always dreamed of playing top-notch women’s basketball. Despite being teasMentor Night Speakered for her size and height during school years, basketball was the one sport where nobody could deny she excelled in. Sadly in her Senior year, Katrina had a career-ending injury. Although her dreams of being a WNBA All-Star were crushed, she didn’t let it get her down. What Katrina decided to do was make a new dream. MAny of her friends suggested modeling… With doubts, Katrina went to an agency. She was thrilled as well as suprised when they took her on! Being a size twelve, Katrina didn’t fit in with the pus size models, nor the “regular” ones. It was a few months into her modeling career that Katrina succumbed to the peer pressure of the modeling world, and developed an eating disorder. Although she struggled for a period of time, she overcame it by putting herself into a group of others involved in nutrition and physical fitness. AfteKAtrina Haddenr taking a leap of faith, Katrina moved to downtown Toronto to sign with “Ben Barry Models”, an agency that prides itself taking on a very diverse selection of models. Soon after signing, she auditioned for a Panasonic commercial and got the part, although all the other applicants were tiny, flawless everything elses a “regular” model should look like. When she asked the director why she got the part afterwards, he said it was because of the “energy she brought into the room”. This is a perfect example of something I believe every teen girl should learn… Sometimes it’s important to be more beautiful on the inside than out. 2 years later, she also got the chance to walk in Toronto Fashion Week when Sonny, a designer from Project Runway made a stunning size twelve dress for her! As soon as she hit the runway, people started clapping. This showed that she wasn’t the only person who thought the fashion industry needed a change!

Katrina ended her speech with four tips on how to be a good role model:

1) Take care of your body and yourself

2) Find a way to forget about the world… Find a passion!

3) Carry an attitude of gratitude

4) Learn forgiveness… Life is short, so don’t hold onto the negative energy!

Remember… “Just be yourself, because nobody does it better”!

Alex Orlando

Canadian Olympic Medalist, author and motovational speaker Alex Orlando was our third speaker of the night. Halfway through her speech I had to leave for my interview but I still enjoyed listening to her talk about her core values, beliefs and adventures of a gymnast. From a young age, Alex was involved in gymnastics. As a little girl she knew she wanted to compete in the Olympics. What I found inspiring was how hard she worked to stay on Mentor Night Speakertrack and achieve her goal. Being an indecisive person who changes my mind twenty times on a subject, I saw Alex’s faith and focus as an admirable quality. She talked about the public’s view of Olympians, and how many of them are described as “Superheros”. Alex wanted to raise the point that that although they’re the ones winning the medal, Olympians have hundreds of dollars, families, friends and supporters that help them along the way. Alex seemed very gracious for all the opportunities she was given in life. Although training was extremely hard work and consumed a lot of time, it was something she loved to do. She used a quote in her sppech that really made an impression on me as well. Like Alex, I have a Never Give Up type of attitude. In the words of Alex, something that everyone should always remember is “you’re a lot stronger than you think you are“!

 Natalie Archer 

Dedicated Toronto dentist Natale Archer was unlike all other speakers of tMentor Night Speakerhe night. She was never athletic, but like the others, determined on education. As a dentist, Natalie’s phrase to live by is “You’re never truly dressed without a smile”! As I believe your smile shows your true beauty and personality, I love this quote! Realizing she wasn’t where she wanted to be in life, in 2001 Natalie Archer became a dentist by taking a calculated business risk and pursuing a dream.

All women were absolutely inspirational. I enjoyed hearing each of them talk and hope to take many things away from this wonderful experience!

Written by: Devon Shewchuk
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There is much speculation regarding the world of dance. Many are confused by what it takes to be a dancer and more than that; a performer. “Pointed: A Dance Revolution”, hosted by Devon Shewchuk takes you inside the dramatic world of dance, while incorporating a reality game show twist!

After much speculated hype regarding the reasons J. Lo is leaving “AmMTCW Assignmenterican Idol”, the answer has now become clear. Tune in to ABC Spark this Saturday, July 14th for the premiere of “Pointed: A Dance Revolution”! If the theme song “Get on the Floor” by J. Lo doesn’t draw you in, then the contestants will! Watch twelve of the best ballet dancers from across Canada compete for the title of Canada’s most on point En Pointe dancer! Among other prizes, the winner will be able to soak her swollen feet in the smooth sands of a tropical island suMTCW Assignmentch as Hawaii, Fiji or other marvelous destinations, thoughtfully supplied by S-Trip! With co-hosts Devon Shewchuk, pro dancer, and Jennifer Lopez; performer extraordinaire, there will doubtfully be a dull moment. The twelve contenders for the title were born good dancers. But can they handle the challenges Shewchuk and Lopez throw at them? Tune in this Saturday to find out who will be the first to hang up their ballet slippers!

With each episode of “Pointed: A Dance Revolution” comes a new challenge. Over her fifteen years of dancing, Shewchuk learned many things. The most important? Be prepared for anything. The dancers live together every day for twelve weeks. Besides the usual girl drama that unfolds during the time in the house, they have Devon Shewchuk, dubbed the Simon Cowell of Pointed, throDream TV Assignmentwing challenges at them every corner. Without revealing too much, in the first episode Shewchuk sets off their fire alarm at 3:00am. The catch? On their first day of training camp they were told to jeté their way out of any emergency. Those who didn’t follow her orders were eliminated immediately. With J Lo there as a musical support, she consoles each girl as they walk out of the studio, singing “Dance Again”. Along with a new and harder routine to learn, each week the contestant take part in a dance-related challenge. To give you a taste of what you’ll experience this Saturday, here are some photos from our “Bunhead” challenge!

Dancer who used Goody Products:

Professional Ballet Hair

Dancer who used the competitive brand:

Inappropriate Ballet HairIf you like drama, dance and everything in between, “Pointed: A Dance Revolution” is for you! Turn that station to ABC Spark this Saturday, July 14th at 7:00 Central time!


“Pointed: A Dance Revolution” has five main sponsors. Each sponsor was chosen carefully, as they would all benefit various different aspects of the show!


Being en pointMTCW Sponsore is hard! When the dancers take a break from their pointe shoes, they’ll need to train in dance slippers that will feel comfortable and light with every move they make. As every portion of the contestants training is caught on tape, Sallazzo is sure to have their slippers represented by some of Canada’s most elite dancers!


From bobby pins to elastics, brushes to barrettes… Goody has got it all! Their arMTCW Sponsorray of products will definitely keep contestant’s hair sleek and in place, ready for any jeté, sauter or tombé they try to tackle. After the dismal “Bunhead” challenge (for some), the contestants will use Goody constantly thereafter, realizing Goody is the only way to go!


These prima ballerinas are just like any other young adult… They love to have fun! After a stressful competitiMTCW Sponsor!on, the winner will definitely want to soak her feet in clear, ocean water and hear the sounds of a tropical vacation! After her safe, fun-filled vacation, Canada’s most on pointe En Pointe dancer will be sure to tell all friends, family and fans about her amazing experience. By having a reality star go on one of their trips, S-Trip! will be sure to gain more media exposure.


No one wants to know what pointe dancer’s feet look like. After endMTCW Sponsorless pedicures, treatments and tricks, dancers have realized that there’s only one cream out there to heal their pained feet… Jergens. J Lo; who looks after the girls styling and promotions; makes sure that their house is stocked with the Jergens line, as she wants only the best for their feet.


Every ballerina has to look her best. With over a hundred shades for face, lips and eye makeup, “MTCW SponsorMAC supplies everything a makeup addict can’t live without.” With all the lights shining down on our dancers, we would never want them to look washed out. MAC would love to sponsor “Pointed: A Dance Revolution” as daily, professional MAC artists would be able to display their best products and work on our fine, lovely dancers!

Written by: Devon Shewchuk

Dream Greece TripAll my life I have been adventurous. I’ve never been one of those people who let negative thoughts get in the way of their dreams. In preschool, my dream was to go for a sleepover at a friend’s house. Although it may seem silly now, I was enveloped by that idea until I finally got invited! In the early years, I dreamed perpetually of traveling to Disneyland to meet Scooby-Doo and the gang. As I got older though, my tastes changed. After years of dreaming to go on a plane, it finally came true when I was whisked away to Mexico in grade nine as a surprise Christmas present. That week was one of the best of my life. Seven days of tanning, swimming in the ocean, spending time with my family (yes, even my brother) and learning some SEurope Trip 2012panish along the way…Wonderful. After having dabbled in the world of traveling I knew I wanted to do it again, and soon. After finishing the Harry Potter series while in Mexico, I knew the next place I dreamed of going was England. How could someone my age achieve that though? Over the next summer I worked full time at Beach Boy in Gimli and earned three grand. I am proud to say that I was able to afford the Europe Trip our school was offering. This past March I traveled to London, France and everywhere in between with some of my closest friends for a week that was beyond imaginable! No matter how big or small, I now realize that the one thing that remains constant in all of my dreams is… my need to travel!

Last week we were notified that S-Trip, a student travel company was extremely impressed with the high quality level of blogging that has been taking place on the MTC-W Blog Network for the past few months. As an added bonus to the already wonderful prizes supplied for the Miss TeenDream VAcation Canada-World delegates, S-Trip declared that they would award a free Grad Trip  to the Social Media Queen of MTCW 2012! S-Trip will determine the award winner by their first-class blogging on the S-Trip post, as well judge their previous blogs. Our S-Trip assignment is to write about our DREAM vacation. Where would I go? What would I do? Who would I take? Along with that, the number of  hits on this website and how well I promote S-Trip through Facebook and Twitter will be taken into account for their Grand Prize… This is a marvelous opportunity. Personally, I don’t know whether I’m more excited to write this post, or just to find out who the winner is! But realistically, at the end of the day, I definitely want you to read on and comment on my post! Happy reading.

Greece, baby!

When we were give this assignment, I really had to put my thinking cap on. There’s so many wonderful places that I’d love to visit, I had a hard timeMy Workplace picking just one! In the end, I decided to pick Greece. For the past two summers, I’ve worked at Beach Boy Restaurant in Gimli. The owners Lucy, Savvas and Peter came from Greece and built the restaurant I from the ground up. There’s many days when they talk fondly of their time in Greece, how beautiful it was and all the experiences they had there. Ever since seeing The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Take Greece, I have been interested in the country. Their good words about it just cemented my want to go there!

Who would I take?

I definitely need to introduce you to the girls I’d take to Greece with me. I love each of them for a different reason, and would totally enjoy sharing my dream vacation with them!

Emily Burns is the first “friend” I’d take. Realistically we are cousins, but act more like sisters. As our moms are twins, we have spent A LOT of time together over the past sixteen yearsBest Cousins for Life. She is currently going into grade eleven, has a wonderful sense of humor and balances out that sometimes serious side in me. If I am the yin, she is the yang… You get the idea! Emily knows my friends, and I know all of hers. Working together at Beach Boy has been quite an experience these past two years. Our boss must want to strangle us sometimes, as we’re always goofing around! If I went on my dream vacation without her, I don’t know what I’d do! But since she’s coming, let me tell you what we would do. First of all, since Emily is my kindred spirit; Sorry Anne, I know Green Gables is a long way from Greece; and the most easy going person I know, she’ll agree to anything! Whether it be climbing Mount Athos or having a latte in Santorini, she’ll be all for it!

Danielle Dolyniuk is the kind of friend who will get you a Rent-A-Car in a smMy friends!all town of a foreign country where no one speaks the language… And probably for free! She is that head-strong, outgoing, fiercely independent young lady who will always have your back, is good for a laugh and has a way of putting everyone around her at ease. Forget Athena, because Danielle will be taking Greece by storm!

Lisa Kowalyshyn wouldMy Friends be the third friend I take. She is that level-headed, calm minded young lady that still knows how to have great time! She’s the one who would sign us up for the Grecian Olympics as soon as we landed… And be the driving force as to why we won! The competitive spirit and keen ability in ALL sports never ceases to amaze me. Rhodes beach volleyball, here we come!

Ever since taking a course on Greek Ancient History, I have been fascinated by the subject. Visiting attractions that the Gods of ancient Greece represent would be an awesome way to determinDream Greece Tripe the handful of many attractions we would visit during our stay in Greece! With so many wonderful places to visit, where would we begin? I believe Myrtos Beach would be one of the first places to visit. I’m sure Poseidon, the God of Water would be pleased. Myrtos beach is world-famous for the mystical colors of the water. The clear, turquoise-blue ocean water deeply contrasts with the smooth white sand of the beach. Towering miles above are beautiful cliffs (which I’m sure Lisa would start climbing)! Myrtos beach has actually been voted 12 times in a row as the most beautiful beach in Greece. After a hectic year of tests, studying, exams and preparing for university, I’m sure that a nice relaxing visit to a Grecian beach would be the perfect way to kick off summer!

After bronzing in the sun, us four girls will hit the town of Santorini My Dream Greece Trip!which isn’t that far from Myrtos beach. Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love would be proud of our decision to visit the most romantic city in Greece. You never know, we might meet some lovely Grecian heir in our travels! The bustling cobblestone streets that are packed to the brim with cafés, hotels and clothing stores will be the perfect place to get some shopping done. Almost as busy as New York City, Santorini would be the best place to travel if we were looking to shop and have a great time!

Ares, the God of War would definitely want us to visit the Parthenon on top of the Acropolis. The construction of this landmark started in 447 BCE, replacing an older temple that wMy Dream Greece Trip!as destroyed by the Persians. It has been through many battles and has served as a fortress, a temple, and a mosque among many other things! Known as the most famous attraction in Athens Greece, we definitely wouldn’t want to miss seeing this. As we are all very active, we wouldn’t have trouble climbing up the many steps to the top of the Parthenon. Besides, we’d have to work off all the gyros, avgolemono (soup… We serve it at Beach Boy) baklavas and souvlaki we’d be eating! This historical site would be gorgeous, the perfect place for a pageant queen and her closest friends to visit!

The last activity I’d want to do while in Greece would be hang gliding. ThMy Dream Greece Vacation!is sport would give me an adrenaline rush for days! This activity would definitely take a little coaxing if I wanted all three girls to do it with me but I believe Athena, Goddess of Courage and Wisdom (among other things) would approve of this activity. Imagine flying over island of Crete seeing the bustling population down below, the warm colored buildings and the beautiful sandy beaches. Up in the sky you wouldn’t have a care in the world. Well… besides falling and meeting a tragic end! Just kidding. We’d only partake in this activity after having practiced with a trained professional!

After this we’d head home, tired from a long 16 hour plane ride. (The flight to Toronto doesn’t seem so bad now)! Although we may head back to our usual summer activities, I’m sure we’d never forget our magical, mystical time in Greece!

I truly enjoyed writing this blog. I feel the need to call Em, Danielle and Lisa up right now and scream “LET’S GO My Dream Greece Trip!TO GREECE”! because of how excited planning out my dream vacation has made me. Make sure to comment on this blog and pass it on to your friends, as I’d love it if the girls and I could receive a vacation together! I appreciate every person who reads this blog, as I’m writing it for you. Without any readers, there’d be no point in writing! If you like traveling, make sure to check out S-Trip!’s official website. With over 40 destinations, you’ll definitely be able to find the right one for you!

The blogging award is graciously sponsored by S-Trip!:

S-Trip! takes student travellers on unforgettable adventures around the world. Celebrate the exciting conclusion of high school in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Cuba, Costa Rica or Bahamas with all your friends on Grad Trip. Spend a weekend skiing or snowboarding at one of Canada’s premier mountain resorts on Ski Trip. Experience culture, sightseeing and events in Montreal or Quebec City on Busaway. Make a difference in an underdeveloped country on an impactful student Volunteer Trip. Explore the culture and history of Europe on Euro Adventure. For more information visit

Photo Credit: S-Trip, TouropiaPanoramio, Go Greece

Written by: Devon Shewchuk

These past feMy Busy Life!w months have been a whirlwind for me! I’ve been attending events left, right and center, as well as developing my platform. My platform is a topic that has affected my family every day since I was six years old. As it will always be with me, I decided raising awareness about disorders such as ADHD and Tourettes Syndrome would be the most meaningful platform I could promote.

Yesterday was a very exciting day for me. Besides finally finding my evening gown, I also had the pleasure of meeting with Wanda Grift, a head advisor at the Winnipeg Tourettes Clinic. It was such a wonderful experience, as she was able to answer all oTourettes Interviewf my questions that I had always wondered about, but just didn’t know the answer to. Although having family members with Tourettes has helped me learn a lot about what the disorder is, I was unsure of how to present to a classroom, what exact age level I should target and how in depth I should talk about the disorder. As I have already scheduled a few appearances this coming September in classrooms to speak about Tourettes Syndrome, I decided to seek professional advice on the most efficient way to do a presentation!

How did I schedule my meeting?

For all of those who’ve ever been in a pageant, I’m sure you could agree with me when I say you have to be very outspoken and even pushy when it comes to contacting media, booking events or requesting sponsors. For example a Sponsor!wonderful store Stella’s Bridal Galleria agreed to sponsor with evening gowns for the week of the pageant. It definitely didn’t come easy. When I first called they weren’t sure, so I decided to drop off an elegantly written letter. After a month and a half of discussing, phoning and convincing them why I’d be a good candidate for sponsorship, they finally agreed to sponsor me! I heard that one of the other girls got Vitamin Water to sponsor them for an event… Amazing! I never realized what a salesman I had inside of me. I believe that throughout this pageant experience, many other girls are realizing this about themselves as well! To arrange my meeting, I knew it was either go big or go home. I decided to send off a letter to the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada explaining my situation and asking if there was any volunteer opportunities available or someone I could discuss TS My Interview with Wanda Griftwith. To my amazement, they got back to me the next day saying they were very excited for my accomplishment, and would read my letter at their board meeting the next day. After they directed my news to the Winnipeg Chapter, Wanda from the St. Boniface Tourettes Clinic contacted me saying she’d love to meet with me. She went on to say how she actually has appointments with one of the members in my family and although it was a long time ago, about 4 years ago I met her through one of the meetings! I was very excited about my meeting with Wanda, and quickly made up a list of all the questions I could ask her.

The Interview

Wanda was a mBook by Holly Ninerarvelous person to meet with. We discussed many ideas on how to go about putting together a presentation. I was happy to see that she suggested reading a book to younger aged children (she suggested the target age for presentations are children in grade three) as that is what I had originally planned on doing. “I Can’t Stop” by Holly Niner is a wonderful child-friendly book that will educate children all about Tourettes. The interview lasted an hour long!

Here are some interesting facts you may have never known about Tourettes:

(The asterisked items I just learned yesterday)!

1) One in every 100 people are diagnosed with Tourettes Syndrome.*

2) The noises and movements made by people with TS are called tics.

3) 1885 was the first time Tourettes was studied, making TS a fairly new disorder!*

4) TS is named after the doctor who first studied it, Giles de la Tourette.

5) The medical name for the swearing aspect of TS is called Coprolalia.*

I was very curious about the swearing aspect of Tourettes Syndrome. It is often popularized in television and movies, and portrayed as the main tic thaA Bad Potrayalt is associated with Tourettes. We discussed how shows such as South Park have given Tourettes a bad name. Although I wasn’t familiar with the show, Wanda mentioned how an episode based on Tourettes was so vile it aired once, then was banned from television because of all the negative feedback the network received. The most mild part of the whole episode can be viewed here, pale in comparison to the rest of the episode! Wanda and I discussed this topic for a while, as I asked if she had ever encountered a child with this tic. You can listen to that part of her response right here: Discussing Coprolalia. (I hope the link works, it took me 25 min to get it there)!

It was great to learn more about Tourettes Syndrome. With Wanda’s help, I now feel fully prepareThe Shewchuk Cland to present to children within the Winnipeg schooling system! Although dealing with Tourettes is extremely tough at times, it has brought my family closer together. I’m so happy that by educating ourselves about TS, my relatives and I have been able to become a happier and closer family! If I win Miss Teen Canada-World, it will absolutely be a blessing. Along with many other great experiences, it will provide the avenue for me to raise Tourettes awareness across Canada, instead of just throughout my province. I’m very grateful for the time I had with Wanda, and can’t wait for the weeks to come!


Written by: Devon Shewchuk
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