Kennedy G. is passionate about her community, Chilliwack.
Whether she’s working with youth at a local gymnastics club, volunteering at Cyrus Centre, or exploring the area’s golf courses and ski hills, she is always making the most of living in the Fraser Valley. She’s not sure if that makes her the “stereotypical pageant girl,” but she’s hoping to earn the Miss Teen BC crown in the upcoming pageant in Fort Langley, July 1 to 3.
“I’m just me,” Kennedy says. “I value patience, kindness and honesty.”
She puts patience to work with the kids and the cognitively-challenged people she works with at the gymnastics club, and has learned to understand the difficulties of others.
“I keep my composure when they cannot do something that might be easy for some,” she says.
And kindness comes naturally to the effervescent teen. She puts that into practice by helping her family prepare a meal once a month at the Cyrus Centre youth outreach, as well as helping out at her family’s church and with the elderly.
“I have been a group leader for the past three years at a local kids camp during spring break,” she says, and has volunteered at The Waverly.
“I try to be kind to the people who would not always receive kindness from others,” she explains. “I am aware of those who sit by themselves or appear to need a friend. In all situations my goal is to be honest and genuine.”
She offers an example.
“If someone were asking advice, I would tell them my honest opinion, but I would want it to come out nicely,” she says. “I want to build people up with truth and integrity. This past year I have learned to not be so concerned about what others think of me, but more so to be true to myself.”
And being true to herself means constantly improving herself. She has been teaching herself American Sign Language, finding resources online and with phone apps. But she hopes to learn more, she says, and one day hopes to teach primary students with hearing impairment.
“It’s a beautiful way to communicate,” she adds.
She is among a short list of pageant contestants who are competing for the Miss Teen BC title, and for the second year in a row Black Press is partnering with the Miss BC, Miss Teen BC and Mrs. BC Pageant. During the three-day event in July all of the participants are provided professional training in areas like public speaking, community development, health, fitness and nutrition, choreography, assertiveness training, media relations, self defence and more.
Black Press will cover and report on the pageant, where three women will be named Miss BC, Miss Teen BC and Mrs. BC.
Creator and producer Darren Storsley says this is no typical beauty pageant, it’s about women empowerment.
“This is our 15th anniversary show this year, so it is really exciting for us,” adds Storsley. “I call it 15 years of women empowerment. I am a man, I am a feminist, I am a teacher, I developed this program years ago to begin self-esteem development in girls.”
Unlike many of the tradition beauty pageants, this one invites women and teens of all ages, heights and weights.
“Our pageant has a mandate to provide learning and growth opportunities to women and girls across the province,” says Storsley.
Remember, you can vote for your Miss Teen BC pick in the People’s Choice Awards. The contest ends June 23 at midnight.
On that site, you can also learn more about Chilliwack’s contestant, Kennedy G.