Some of you may be familiar with the Royal Canadian Legion Contest, which takes place annually before Remembrance Day. For those of you who are not, I’ll quickly fill you in. Across Canada, students in grades 4 and up are able to submit their own artistic expression of things related to Remembrance Day, or relative topics such as war or the personal lives of a soldier- fictional or real. The categories include colour and pencil posters, poems, essays and stories. I chose to do my entry on the story of a sixteen year old girl named Alex Sanchez who dreams of joining the armed forces, and aspires to by applying to a military school, but must prove herself because she is a girl. Since the limit of my story could only be two pages, I could not go into great detail, but I used this to my advantage. I did not specify Alex’s gender until the last possible minute of confrontation from the administration of the military school, showing the reader that a lot of the time, things like gender (or race, religion, social status,etc) really don’t make a difference in somebody’s character.

I ended up winning second place in my district, which made me quite happy. My school won a gold for our plaque, and we are proud to have all golds on ours. With my certificate, I won a cheque for $15.00. I figured that since there wasn’t anything in particular I wanted to put the money toward, that I’ll save it for next Remembrance Day when I’ll donate it to any charities supporting veterans.

With two incredible Canadian war veterans.

Does Remembrance Day have any special significance for you ? Do you attend any ceremonies or traditions? Aside from my award, I’m very excited about some more events I’ll be attending soon! Since mental illness is my platform, I’ll be attending the Kid’s Help Phone ‘Walk So Kids Can Talk’. Also, I’ll be working at the Calgary International Children’s Festival! It will be so exciting to see all the colourful themes, aswell as some very interesting performers, and of course the smiling children! When I was a young child, I never had a lot of free time to attend children’s festivals, so in a way it feels like I can be apart of the excitement, yet still work as a young adult.

 

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This weekend I volunteered for two days at the Calgary Comic Expo!

All of the funds for taking photos with the real Darth Vader were donated to the Make A Wish Foundation.

My first day I was assigned to be on the admissions team, which was pretty easy stuff- directing people, keeping lines orderly on the floor. I did, however, get to see the Weasley twins from the Harry Potter movies. However, little did I know how much more exciting my second day would be.

 

Two of the volunteers I worked with were dressed up as Power Rangers!

I was instructed to show up Sunday at whatever time I could, so I could just do small jobs, since there weren’t any big shows that day. When I arrived to the volunteer room, there was a woman asking for people to help her with autographs and photo ops (autograph signings and getting photos taken with media and creator guests). Since I wasn’t assigned to anything, I went with her.

A scene from my favourite Hayden movie- Bring It On !

I ended up sitting backstage waiting for Stan Lee, the brilliant man who created the Spider Man comics! While I was waiting, I heard a familiar voice, one that I had heard many times on Tv. A light, bubbly female voice- it was Hayden Panettiere. She was very humble, she didn’t act like a diva at all. She was reading ‘Catching Fire’, and smiled at everybody.

After I was finished working, the lady I was working with, Jeannine, took me backstage. A man in an LA Kings jersey stopped me. He said “You’re Miss Teen Okotoks? That’s very impressive, congratulations!”. I thanked him, although at first I couldn’t put my finger on who it was. I knew I had seen him before.

A photo of Wil Wheaton from his days on Star Trek.

Jeannine then turned to me when he was gone, and said “You know who that was, right?”, and I replied, “A Kings fan?”. She laughed and said “That was Wil Wheaton, he was an actor on Star Trek, people are paying a lot of money to meet him!”. It honestly made my whole weekend getting to meet him, I thought it was just so kind of him to take the time out of his day to approach me and make me feel special, even though he’s met so many prestigious people throughout his career. That weekend was something I’ll never forget.

It may sound very cliché, but this experience showed me that not all celebrities are necessarily snobby or act like they’re better than average people. I feel so lucky to have had such a unique experience, and it makes me wonder what other things I’ll encounter not only during my year as Miss Teen Okotoks- World, but after the crown as well. If I do happen to have anything happen during my year with the title, expect to read about it here!

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Here’s a photo from the badminton tournament that I promised!

My amazing best friend and doubles partner after a long day's hard work.

This was taken with one of my best friends, and also my doubles partner. Neither of us had ever played doubles badminton before, and it was her first time ever competing in a tournament all together. Although we didn’t place, our one victory was satisfactory enough for us to run to the bathroom and dance, then we realized we still had another game to play! Our school showed such spirit, which I always love. Two of the boys playing doubles decided to wear matching goggles and knee socks! They definitely had my approval. One of the teams we played really stuck out to us. The girls had such sportsmanship, and were so down to earth. They would laugh it off when they make a mistake, just like we do. We really enjoyed playing with them, and we all said good bye at the end of the day. I actually had an embarrassing slip-up which I now find quite hilarious. The gym we were playing in was extremely hot, and my hands were very sweaty. On one swing, my palm was so sweaty that the racquet flew out of my hand! Luckily nobody was hurt, although there were a few laughs from the crowd, but my teammate and I joined. There’s really nothing not to like about tournaments!

That’s all for now!

xo Justine

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Hi! My name is Justine Orban, the recently crowned Miss Teen Okotoks, from the town of Okotoks of course! It’s hard to believe it’s almost been an entire month since the pageant which has changed my life.

Just minutes after I was crowned Miss Teen Okotoks- World 2012 with my amazing mom.

I remember anxiously standing on the stage, waiting to hear the names of all the titleholders. So many thoughts went through my head. I imagined myself strutting and smiling in the swimsuit competition, floating across the stage in my evening gown, and trying to remain elegant and collective as I said my platform. After two names were called, I heard my own! My heart raced, and it felt like one of those moments in one of your favourite dreams when you can’t believe how seamlessly everything has come together. My hard work had payed off, and  I realized how much closer I was to achieving my dream of becoming Miss Teen Canada- World.

Backstage at the Miss Teen Alberta-World 2012 pageant with Miss Teen North Calgary 2011, and my new friend Mahi who was also a delegate.

 

I’m already so excited and motivated to attend the national pageant in July. My ultimate goal is to spread awareness of mental illnesses, even if I don’t win the title of Miss Teen Canada-World. I believe that all of my fellow national delegates are worthy and able of winning the crown. I’m really looking forward to meeting, and creating some friendships with other girls just like me.

It was such a new experience for me to win a pageant title, let alone enter a pageant. Okotoks is a very small town, although it is constantly expanding and growing, and becoming very diverse. The school I attend is even smaller, the entire high school has about 30 students. My grade 10 class is one of the larger classes with 12 students.

My school’s most popular and reputable sport is badminton. I’ve been playing for approximately one year, and I’ve grown a love for it. At first I looked like a bit of a dork, with my awful eye-hand coordination, but after practice I’ve improved significantly. In two days I’ll be competing in the divisions badminton tournament my school hosts annually. Last year I did it only for the fun of it really, but this year I think I have a chance at winning way more games – and by that I mean any 😉  I’ll be sure to touch back and post on how it went! I’ll try to snap a photo or two.

Aside from school and badminton, there’s a few little daily things that always brighten my day. Here’s my top five!

1) My darling cat.

My adorable feline friend and I !

At the age of 5, I decided to name her Pudding. She sleeps in my bed nearly every night,and she’s constantly with me. My cuddly tortoise shell persian is very affectionate, and never tells my secrets to anybody!

 

2) Tumblr.

A few of my close friends, (and by that I mean a decent fraction of my high school) have grown very fond of our Tumblr blogs. We post tons of funny pictures about things we can all relate to, and even send each other anonymous fan mail! Check out my blog if you like, justinecouture.tumblr.com ( I also have a link on my homepage). I’m proud to have the record out of my friends for having 225 followers!

My inspiration from the posh and classy Victoria Beckham.

 3) Jewelry!

Since my school has uniforms, we don’t get to choose different, unique outfits everyday. Although personally, I love the uniform, I know that the girls, and even  some boys really wish they could show off their sense of fashion. We like to express ourself through our jewelry! My must-have for everyday is my big gold watch- which I  channelled from the fabulous Victoria Beckham. I like to polish it off with a pair of big crystal stones, or pearls.

4)  Perfume.

My current favourite perfume, L'eau Ambree by Prada

I’m a total girlie- girl, and I’ll own up to it! When it comes to perfume, I love to smell a certain way.   Although over doing it is a total faux-pas, a quick spritz or two can brighten my mood for the day, and wake me up.  My current perfume I actually bought with one of my best friends, so whenever I smell it I get a few nice memories.

 

5) Old television shows from my childhood.

Although I get teased for this one, I absolutely love a few shows which I grew up with. Not only do I find them hilarious, it can be so nice to get a break from a lot of modern shows which emphasize on swearing, alcohol, sex and violence.

One of my favourite television shows ever since it first premiered when I was in grade 4.

Lucky for me, a few of my close friends also enjoy this habit, and we regularly quote some of our favourite characters! I’m certain that true Zoey 101 fans can agree; that regardless of our age, we would give anything to go to PCA.

What are your favourite 5 daily things?

That’s all for now!  Note from sponsors, the Miss Teen Canada Blog Network is sponsored by a Toronto roof company.

xo Justine

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