Over the past few months I have been making an Inspirational Queens Video, featuring 12 inspirational Pageant Queens and Ambassadors from around the globe. Along with the Video (which is featured below) I have created a Inspirational Queens Calendar, where each queen is featured for a month along side an inspirational quote. I am selling these calendars for $15.99+shipping, if you would like to order one please leave your email in the comments below or email firstname.lastname@example.org, to place your order. All funds made will go to Live Out Loud Charity.
I had been given an amazing opportunity. As all of my followers know I have suffered from speech impediments and intense bullying in my lifetime. And this is why I compete in pageantry, to create awareness for such issues. So I had an amazing opportunity presented to me in September, to be a worldwide title holder with Live Out Loud Charity (LOLC), or at least to apply to be one. So I did, I wrote an essay about my struggles and my dream of living in a world where no matter what struggles you may face, everyone is an equal. And soon after my phone interview with LOLC founder Sherrie, I received a congratulatory email stating that I have been awarded the national title of Miss Worldwide Teen Canada. One of the reasons I was interested in going to LOLC was because they focus on spreading awareness to Anti-bullying though community participation and fashion. Holding this title gives me the opportunity to continue spreading awareness and hope to all those, who like me, have been told they can’t do something. With LOLC I can share my story with an international crowd. And that international crowd is already making itself known, I will be (on November 18th) be appearing on International Talk radio with YouEffect talking about my story, I will also be in the upcoming YouEffect publication with other “inspirational” youth’s stories. If you follow me on Facebook, and I encourage you too, you will know that I am already working on my first LOLC awareness event/fundraiser. I have made a video (that will be released on November 13th), this video shows 12 girls and ladies, including myself, sharing their story’s with bullying, I am very excited for you ALL to see it.
Though I have only been with LOLC for little over a month, I always feel welcomed and at home. The other LOLC title holders welcomed me with open arms and took the time (on Snapchat and Facebook chat) to understand my speech, which I continue to struggle with. One Worldwide titleholder made my day by saying “you have a speech impediment,
I never would have guessed”. For one of the first times in my life during an interview the director, Sherrie, said nothing about my speech (which means more than you may think). I did not have to explain that I did not have an accent, it’s a speech impediment, nor did I have to argue that I WAS born in Canada, and I do not have a foreign accent. My new LOLC family has already changed my life. For me taking the time to understand me means the world, I only shared my story publicly a year ago, and now so much is happening because of it. Thank you to everyone, to my new LOLC family, to my community, and to my actual family, I look forward to this years as Miss Worldwide Teen Canada!
A huge thank you to Castanet for the beautiful article, I leave for Orlando tomorrow morning. Then let the pageant feed begin!!
To read the Castanet article click here.
After being bullied for most of my life I decided to take a stand against it. I had begun to volunteer in the VSS Resource room and quickly realized that they were constantly being bullied. I began to stand up for the students in that class and while doing so I felt more inclined to stand up for myself as well. In my grade 11 year it was suggested to me that I would make a good candidate for pageantry. While looking into the requirements I was struck by the term “Platform” and what this meant. To me it has meant the ability to have an audience and therefore the potential to change lives. Immediately I knew that my platform would be anti bullying and inclusion for all, and so my pageant journey began. Fortunately I have had a wonderful opportunity for the past two years and have been able to share my story with thousands of people around the world via the internet and also through speaking engagements. It has been an incredible experience to be telling my story and become emotional while speaking and to look up and see that people in the audience have been so moved they are also in tears. I was not prepared for the overwhelming positive response I have gotten from sharing my story. I have had people write to me saying that my struggles have inspired them to go on, and that they now can see an end to their own pain. This in return gives me the desire to continue spreading the message that everyone needs to be someone’s hero and not a bystander. If you see someone being bullied and are afraid to do something then get someone who will. If you see someone that’s different then you say hello. Everyone needs the same thing and that’s to be included and to have a friend. Don’t be nasty to people that may be weaker just because you can, what that says about you is way worse then what you may think it says about the weaker person. It takes way more courage and strength to lift someone up then it does to push someone down.
I was born with a severe speech impediment; no one could understand what I was saying. My parents were told that I may never speak like everyone else, and may never be understood by most people. On my first day of school I was looked at oddly when I struggled to speak and be understood. I had to learn some Sign Language and carry a large picture book around with me so when someone spoke to me I could open my book and point at the picture that was the answer to a question. For those answers I couldn’t just point at the picture for, I would say the answer while signing and hope that somehow they would understand me. I’m sure you can imagine I was teased and called names because of this. People thought that just because I could not talk normally that I could not HEAR or UNDERSTAND them, but they were wrong and still to this day the words they would call me haunt me. Because of my speech I had to learn the alphabet by sight not sound I had to learn how words were spelled because I could not sound them out. I had to work twice as hard in school, so therefore I was always behind. As my speech improved I thought the bullying would stop but was I ever wrong I would go to school and there would be notes written on the bathroom stall about me. There would be whole games about not playing with me. I spent almost every recess and lunch sitting alone praying for the bell to ring. Then in high school it got even worse. I would go to school and someone would have broken my lock on my locker, and there would be obscene words written on my locker. I would walk down the halls and hear whispers say “that’s that retarded girl who can’t talk”. This is part of the reason I am so involved it the “spread the Word to end the word” campaign, because I know what it feel like to have the “R” word used to describe you. The sad thing is that eventually I started to believe them and think I was a worthless loser who would never do anything with my life. In grade 9 it reached the worst level of bullying and I would phone home begging to go home and beg my mom to let me skip school. Fortunately thanks to one French Teacher and a group of grade 11 girls I was able to move my locker so I was right beside the older girls who befriended me and between my mom talking to the principle and the French teacher the bullying eased off . This teacher is one of the only reasons I stayed in school. Now I still to this day have a speech impediment and I always will, but I now accept it as a part of me. It has gotten much, much better and people often think I sound like I am from New York. Due to all of the bullying I endured and because I’ve had to fight all my life I started working with my platform of Anti-Bullying and Inclusion for all.
The inclusion portion of my platform started to form at the start of grade 10. I was in a class with my school’s Resource Room (class for Students with various special needs) I witnessed one girl being bullied and I knew I had to do something, because I knew how awful it was to be bullied for being different. So I went up and started walking with the girl who was being bullied. Soon after that she invited me to come eat in the Resource room. I have to admit my first reaction was stereotypical and I was scared and was going to say no, but I knew what it was like to have no one to eat with you so I went. That day changed my life. I walked into the Resource Room and all the kids looked at me and they looked scared. They didn’t know what I was going to do or say, and they were afraid of me. The moment I sat down the talking started and I noticed they were no different then everyone else. I began going into the resource room almost daily and I still do, now I am even starting my education to work with different people with special needs. I know all to well the frustration and the anger they and everyone who has ever been bullied faces. To this day I continue to be bullied and insulted but I now tell myself that it is not me who has the issue, its the bully. I want to put the end on this note, one out of three children will be bullied. For every person who reads this who either has or plans on having three children one of them will/are getting bullied, if you have two children chances are one of them is getting bullied. But the good news is WE can change it, you may not be able to change the Bully, there will always be bullies but we have the power to stand up for those who are being bullied, “Be Someone’s Hero Not A Bystander”. I also want to help educate people to use “person first” Language, which is saying the person before the special needs for example “a Person with Special needs” not “A Special needs person”. We shouldn’t be defined by our faults but rather by our attempts to reach our full potential!
The moment I learned I was Miss Teen Galaxy Canada: At that moment I was so happy it was like a dream that wouldn’t end. It is such an honor to be selected to represent the whole Country! My wonderful high school and community has been so supportive on this journey.
I live in Vernon British Columbia, which is located in the beautiful Okanagan, where some of the world’s best wine comes from. I live on a hobby farm we don’t have farm animals but we have a huge vegetable garden. We also grow berries, fruit and lots of flowers. I have always lived in the country, never in a city.
In my house we have 6 dogs Bo, Ruby, and Lilly who is the mother of Buster, Sassy, and Yogi. We also have 3 cats which were all rescued; their names are Gabby, Pete and Bandit. I am an honor roll student at my high school. I am also an active member in several clubs, such as Service club, Leadership, and Student Voice, but my favorite thing to do is volunteering in my school resource room, this is a room for children with special needs.
They are the reason why my platform is anti-bullying and equality for all, I have been bullied and I have seen kids with special needs be bullied and I feel strongly that changes need to happen and that I can help with this. When I was young I had a speech impediment and had to work hard to learn how to talk normally, and to read and write. I got bullied because of this, I know how it feels and I don’t want anyone else to feel that way.
I believe that you can not change the bully but that you can change the bystanders to stand up for the victim or to get help for the victim. I plan to spread my message around Canadian schools and communities and to help put an end to victims
feeling alone. It is such an honor to represent Canada at the Miss Teen Galaxy pageant (a top 5 international pageant) this coming August! I promise to do mu best to make Canada proud. I would like to give a special thank you to my first sponsor Kelsey Raber Photography.
The New Miss Teen Galaxy Canada is Samantha Sewell of Vernon British Columbia. This website will feature Posts from Samantha!! Samantha is compassionate and truly cares about people. She volunteers many hours with Service Club, Student voice and with her schools class for special kids. She is currently working towards her Duke of Edinburgh award. Sam’s passion is working with kids and youth with special needs. She plans on following her heart down this path by becoming a Special Education Teacher. Sam created and writes a fashion blog and loves to share her style with the world. Samantha has won awards for photography, citizenship, honor roll, and roll of distinction.
Sponsored by Kelsey Raber Photography