On April 27th I and other finalists from Miss Teen Canada-World BC 2013 were honored with invitation to participate at Teen Expo 2013 in Victoria, B.C, which was also first in Canada. We were all invited as special guests who will have an amazing opportunity meet and greet people as well as speak to them during our 15 min on stage time.
It was a great opportunity for us to see people, talk to them about pageant in general, about our support of Free the Children Foundation, about our personal goals and missions. And, of course, we had a chance to see each other one more time after BC finals and before going to Toronto. It was so cool to see Miss Teen Richmond-World 2013, Danica Tan; Miss Teen Fraser Valley-World 2013, Brittany Clough; Miss Teen Victoria Island-World 2013, Christina Scheurle; and Miss Teen Burnaby-World 2013, Herleen Sethi.
Anastasiya Toropova, Herleen Sethi, Brittany Clough, and Christina Scheurle (from left to right).
Lots of pictures were done with people who attended the event.
But I want to put everything in order…
The day when I’ve got my invitation got even better when my family decided to go with me to Victoria Island…. They were so proud and excited that the decision of mini family vacation came almost instantaneously. We’ve decided to leave Vancouver day before the event…We had so much fun together… Trip on BC Ferry is always fun, sightseeing of Victoria was amazing – we even tried new Hippo Tour (trip around Victoria on the bus which can ride on the road and go in the water as a boat)! :) The day was perfect… even weather was cooperating with us! Our hotel was located in Downtown area, so, we were able to go for a walk along the seawall and see Victoria at night time – absolutely spectacular! Although at the end of the day I could not think about anything else besides tomorrow’s event.
Getting ready for Hippo Tour
I felt huge responsibility in general and especially for my own 15 min on stage time. The dilemma of what will be the best on stage followed me for quite a long time. I was torn between two options: just giving the speech about my platform or do a short presentation of my platform framed with the song (because as you probably already know, singing is my other greatest passion). As you all probably can guess that speech framed by songs option has won! :) But that decision brought another dilemma (OMG…so many dilemmas) – what songs to choose? The winners were “It’s my Life” by Bon Jovi and “Always” by Arash & AySel (sorry guys, you probably don’t know those artists, they are from Azerbaijan). I choose “It’s my Life” by Bon Jovi because I love the main idea of that song. That song sends strong message that you are the only one who is in charge of your life, never give up, learn how to speak up for yourself, and ” …better stand tall when they’re calling you out, don’t bend, don’t break, … , don’t back down…”. My other song was about “love”, beautiful feeling that happens to people, which most of us, teenagers already have experienced. So, as a final product of my on stage time was a brief speech about my platform and two songs. Hope everybody enjoyed it.
Of course, it was not only us who were performing on stage; they had other guests who were talking about various topics related to teenagers. Victoria Teen Expo was the event that gave teenagers tons of useful information and suggestions which were brought to audience in a very fun but at the same time informative way. It was a great idea of managers to let teenagers participate and, to some extent, lead the event. Lots of different companies came to support the event: Victoria Youth Musical Theater Company, Camp Qwanoes, ICBC and Saanich police, BC Extrication Society, Girl Guides of Canada-S.V.I., Eaton Arrowsmith School, P.A.R.T.Y Program (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth Program), The power of Hope, Restorative Justice Victoria, Childsplay 101, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Victoria and Area, Victoria Pride Society, and others…
As a “Meet and Greet” people we were privileged to speak with people of different ages – it was an amazing experience. I hope we all sent our messages well and people have learned something from us. Although, I know for sure that I’ve learned a lot from that event. For example, it was very inspiring to talk with Anabel Wind (Larsen School of Music) who encouraged me to follow my singing passion; Geroy Simon amazed me with his beautiful speech where he emphasizes the importance of personal attitude awareness, with his own examples he illustrated how wrong attitude towards things around you and towards life as whole may affect and sometimes even destroy your life. During the event everybody had a chance to go and see/try different stations – lots of amazing information was represented there. Station which was represented by members of MADD Canada (Mothers against Drunk Driving) and P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth) made huge impression on me. With the support from local police department they’ve created the scene of the car accident happened while young driver was texting and driving. At that station everybody also had a chance to try “drunk glasses” in which your vision was alternated to the same extent as you were drunk. They had 3 levels of such glasses. The experiment that they did was easy but results were shocking… Each participant was asked to catch the golf ball without glasses and then try to catch the same ball wearing those glasses… As for me, who is non-drinker, the results were horrifying – I couldn’t catch the ball, it was hard to keep the balance and focus on things around me, my movements were awkward and funny. Funny… as I was wearing those glasses, but it is not fun to be that impaired while you driving. Hope all teens that tried those glasses and saw that station have learned a lot.
Geroy Simon and Anastasiya Toropova
Organizers of that event did a good job. I think that everybody is looking forward for the Teen Expo next year. Maybe in Vancouver?