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“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” ~ Harold R. McAlindon

This quote couldn’t describe the lives better of the 4 guest speakers I was fortunate enough to meet Sunday evening. I can honestly say from the point I left the room I gained useful knowledge from their wisdom and the experiences they have shared with us. Our guest speakers Dr. Natalie Archer, Melani Chong, Katrina Hadden and Alexandra Orlando are prime examples of strong Canadian women I am proud to look up to!

Brief Biographies

Dr. Natalie Archer has committed over a decade of her dental career. Her innovation approach to oral health care, and aging is making Runnymede Dental Centre a national leader in geriatric dental care. Her success and volunteer work is well recognized within her profession for her leadership role to young women. She is thrilled to be a motivational speaker and finalist judge in Miss Teen Canada- World.

Melani Chong developed a personalized natural skin care line called ‘Soya Boutique‘ after working in fashion and beauty for over 15 years. As a certified skin care technician and chemist, Melani achieves professional results, high performance skin care with authentic origins while focusing on critical environmental concerns especially with the health of water.

 

Katrina Hadden is a  health and wellness specialist and author of the best selling self-help book, Making It In High Heels. Katrina is committed to many charities and an advocate for positive body image and self esteem in the media such as Dove Self Esteem Campaign workshops in the Ottawa and Toronto area.

 

Alexandra Orlando is a highly decorated world-class athlete in Rhythmic Gymnastics being a Novice, Junior and a 5 time Senior Canadian Champion including earning a reputation as one of the few non-Europeans at the sports highest level. In 2006, Alexandra co-authored a book about her life and sport titled, “Alexandra Orlando in Pursuit of Victory.” Alexandra has also just published her second motivational book, Breaking Through My Limits: An Olympian Uncovered. Retiring form the sport in 2009, Alexandra has the ability to demonstrate, inspire, and teach. Her love of and support for the athletes moment across Canada and the World is unwavering.

Highlights of the Evening

Success does not come without hard work and dedication. But the most challenging concept, but most well known is sacrifice. What I learnt most from these amazing women was that sacrifice shouldn’t be viewed as negative, but viewed as a chance to make your number one goal become a reality; to just go for it! It doesn’t mean giving up everything but to find a healthy balance between ‘work and play’ while letting no one tell you that you can’t accomplish your dreams!

I find it comforting to know these women, like many before them, experienced the same sort of uncertain times and like me, they were full of questions and naturally worries about their futures. But in the end if you do what you got to do, and as cheesy as it sounds, the universe will guide you to where you’re supposed to be! So go ahead and chase after your dreams, don’t be afraid to hit rock bottom; everyone does at some point! But most importantly I was reminded to embrace everyone possibility and opportunity  open to me and I hope you will to! And remember that so by the time your old and grey, you will be able to look back at the ‘trail’ you created and never be able to say the words, “I wish I did…”, I wish I could’ve…” ~ Nichelle Thomson (a quote I invented)

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With Tamara Said- Canadaian Zumba Education Specialist

Final night at MNORC Pageant

To think this all happened because of Zumba! Without my knowledge the President of the Miss North Ontario Regional Canada Pageant, attended many of my Zumba classes I both lead and helped teach when I was first hired this year. After a total of seven classes, she asked if I would consider looking at participating in the MNORCP. Ironically, I just seen the Miss Teen Canada-World ad on Facebook and was looking into that beforehand. So naturally I jumped at the chance. After a half hour telephone interview, I was awarded the title of Miss Nickel Centre. A new journey began mid May when I was fortunate enough to be crowned Miss North Ontario Regional Canada 2012, and was selected as one of the 8 delegates to enter Miss Teen Canada-World in Toronto.

Standing in front of the Canadian Mental Health Association Building in Sudbury

I’m very honored to be representing Northern Ontario in Miss Teen Canada – World, this year! When I inform people that pageants are not just about ‘beauty’, they are very surprised to hear of the huge commitment pageants actually are. I’m not going to lie, I was guilty as well for perceiving pageants to be only what is shown on TV; ‘all about beauty’. In fact, pageants are more than looking good in a swimsuit or evening gown! To only name a few, it’s about self-confidence, inner beauty and above all, your involvement in the community and abroad. In the past 6 months, I organized two very successful fundraisers for Northern Ontario Families Children with Cancer, and for Free The Children. I have also taken part and supported many other great causes.  Pageants also challenge you to promote what is important to you, like Mental Health Awareness. I presented my platform of bringing awareness to Mental Health at my school a couple weeks ago in honor of our teacher who lost his life to suicide. Only days after my assembly, a teacher that is currently organizing a new Mental Health committee, asked if I would be interested in joining his team. I gladly accepted the role as student representative and I am very excited to be a part of the new committee come next year! I’m very honored to have been considered for this position and to spread the word to other youth across Sudbury and hopefully beyond!

You never know who is watching you! What a snowball effect!!!

 

I want to thank everyone who has been supporting me by reading my blogs the past couple months. All the best to you! **Stay tuned for my next post when I will be at Miss Teen Canada- World! Thanks again, it has been a pleasure!

 

 

 

 

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As you can imagine, the final few days preparing to leave for the pageant can be quite stressful for everyone! Yesterday, in between trying to finish all the requirements that we have to complete come arrival time on the 14th, I had an interview with the Northern Life. The Northern Life is one of the most popular newspapers in Sudbury so it was a perfect opportunity to showcase MTC-W, myself and of course to try to set the record straight about what pageants are really all about! You need more than looks to win a crown! Click here to read the article. Enjoy!

 

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(Zumbatomic ® is a program geared towards kids- all rights reserved to ZUMBA FITNESS®. Logos were designed to designate products and services developed by Zumba Fitness, LLC and may be used by licensees in their exact form and only to advertise and promote Zumba Fitness programs and products. Under no circumstances is this poster to be used outside of this assignment. This is an interpretation of a “Dream T.V. Show” and will at know point be used beyond the idea of the assignment. Zumba Fitness, LLC)

A journey of a thousand kilometres begins with a single step.  

One of the biggest problems is our society today is we don’t get enough exercise. But we hear it so often I really don’t have to tell you that, do I? The real problem is there are a lot of programs, like television commercials, that bring awareness to this issue yet they don’t tell us how to solve it! Quite frankly, things aren’t what they used be and I get that. We all seem to be consistently running from place to place and find ourselves living in a world that runs on “what is most convenient”.

Quiz Time!

Do you think a child living in a family with a higher than average income will more likely be a healthy weight or overweight?

**Don’t just read the answer, think about it……

If you answered ‘more likely to be a healthy weight’ than you’re correct! For a child to be able to participate in extracurricular activities two major factors are considered by the parents/ guardians: the expense and the time. Most often, one or both of these factors don’t work in favor of the parents/ guardians, as a result playing an impact on the child’s lack of daily exercise.

My dream T.V. show is to bring Zumba® to the homes of children because I realize not everyone has the time or can afford to put their kids in after school activities. “Zumba® for Kids” (Zumbatomic®) would be a five-day-a-week, half hour program that encourages children of all ages to get up and move to Latin and kid-friendly music. Zumba® is an upbeat, easy to follow dance workout making it a fun and exciting new way for kids to get fit without even knowing its exercise!

Brought to you By:

Me to We Style is an amazing social enterprise that inspires youth to help other children through education around the world! What better way to spread the word of getting young children involved then to promote Me to We on a regular bases in my T.V. show. Raising children’s awareness and getting them to expand their community bubble to take care of ‘a global community’ at a young age, will help to insure a better world for the future!

The Toronto Academy of Acting presents you with a challenging, friendly atmosphere and the best opportunity to acquire the skills necessary for success in the film industry. That is why I would like to team up with one of the most well known film producers in the industry as a first time media public figure and fitness role model.

Written by: Nichelle Thomson
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They say ‘try to travel to a new place every year’. Personally I have never been outside of North America. But travelling around the world to visit different countries has always been one of my goals and something that I believe is very important to experience. Yet having a chance to experience my goal with S-Trip has made my ‘dream’ suddenly become much more realistic!

Great Wall of China

Of all the great places and tourist attractions, it’s hard to narrow it down to just one absolute place I would like to go for my first time out of North America. Looking back at only a few, I have always dreamed of visiting the great pyramids of Egypt, to stand under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, to walk the entire stretch of the Great Wall of China, and to scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef. I would love to visit a new country every year to see it with my own eyes and not just what appears on a post card.

Mackenzie Castle

But if I had to pick one destination I would pick Scotland, England. Being able to visit Scotland actually has more of a meaning to me than one would think. Scotland happens to be the home land of my family’s descents, the Mackenzie’s and the Eilean Donan Castle, or as we refer to it as, the Mackenzie Castle. Although my family has not had possession of the castle in centuries, I want to walk the grounds of my ancestors and hand-paint a portrait of the castle myself as like my great-great-great grandmother once did. Since this is a trip more so family related, it would without question make this dream vacation even more special to experience a part of my heritage with family and a couple close friends.

At the end of the day, any vacation is meant to act like a get-away to forget about any worries or to just slow down to take a breather and recharge. Being able to live one of my life’s goals with my family and friends would be completely fulfilling and that is exactly why I want to experience my dream vacation with 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 www.s-trip.com.

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Since Christmas in July is coming up in a few weeks, I felt it was appropriate to share with you the public events I participated in during the holiday season last year with my Zumba Vibe Team:

Lighting of the Tree:

After Lighting of the Tree ceremony

During the annual Lighting of the Tree ceremony, I had the pleasure of experiencing some of Capreol’s community spirit. The event started off with Christmas carols out front of the Northern Ontario Railway Museum and Heritage Centre. And from there my  ZVibe ladies and I lead the festive public procession to the cenotaph, with Latin-tinged Christmas music pumping! Which by the way, trying to do zumba while “walking” and leading a parade is not easy!

 

Christmas Telethon:

Before the stage performance (back stage)

December 3, 2011 was the first time that I performed on the Sudbury Christmas Telethon! Backstage everyone was great and we took loads of pictures! When it was finally time for us to perform the closing number of all the dances, we performed to the song “El Amour” which is Spanish for ‘love’. Are members and participants at zumba sure showed us their love! Altogether we raised a total of $1070 for the local Children’s Hospital!

There’s nothing like getting involved with festive community events to fill your heart with the joyful spirit of Christmas!

 

 

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Sudbury Memorial Park Wall of History

Considering the amount of great historical events and reminiscences Canada actually has, it’s amazing that our great country has only ‘been around’ for 145 years! Whether you are a descent from First Nations or a descent from immigrants, nothing says CANADIAN like our multicultural country I’m proud to call home!

The Sudbury Canada Day Parade took place yesterday morning, where myself, and many other public figures within our community, such as the Mayor of Sudbury Marianne Matichuk and the M.P.P. Rick Bartolucci, marched from the Memorial Park to the Sudbury Arena led by the Police Services Pipe Band and Irish Regiment.

Now that's what I call a birthday cake!

Inside the Sudbury Arena, the place was packed with people! Festivities and special features included a variety of multi-ethnic food and craft booths, door prizes,  the community awards and ceremony, the GIANT Canada Day Birthday Cake, continuous live cultural entertainment and of course the ‘kid zone’ which consisted of face painting, cotton candy, popcorn and more!

Canada Day Celebration- 145 years!!

My favourite parts to the day was walking in the parade into the huge crowd of people, handing out the cupcakes,  taking ‘fan pictures’ with people and of course trying out the food. All the food was very delicious, but if you ever happen to be in Sudbury during Canada Day, try the pierogoes!

I’m very honored to have been a part of one of the most important days of the year and it wouldn’t have been possible without all the amazing organizers! I want to give thanks to all the SMFAA Board members for putting together such a great day like you have so many years before. I can only image what you have planned for next year!

Canada Day Parade

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Yesterday I was lucky enough to be a part of the Celebrity ball hockey game in the Hockey Night in Canada Play On! tournament. I got to meet and play with ex-NHLers and a few of the Sudbury Wolves OHL players. Despite not having a background in hockey outside of floor hockey during school, I wasn’t afraid to get in there with all the action and I actually had a lot of fun with all the boyz!

Pass in front of the net

At first no one could get anything past the goalies! But then four quick goals were scored bringing the game to a tie of 2 all. Running out of time on the clock to break the tie, the game ended with a nail-biting shootout. Unfortunately, my team ended up losing, however in our defence, their goalie must have been a professional! (LOL)

Defensive Play

After the game ended, I drove back to the store to continue fundraising for Free The Children, however I didn’t return without a souvenir. And I’m not just talking about the T-shirt I got to keep. At some point in the game, I received a slash to the hand that left behind a small and bloody gouge to my finger which is now appropriately covered with a Team Canada hockey band-aid. Courtesy of my concerned little brother.

I would like to thank all the organizers of the tournament for having me and for running such a great event! I encourage anyone who likes hockey to throw a team together and I promise you won’t be disappointed. I just might have to make a team up next year! Click here to watch a bit of the game!

BREAK AWAY

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The poster I made and drew to promote FTC

Today was my second fundraiser for Free The Children held at Neil’s Independent Grocer. By fundraising at both ends of the city (south end Wal-Mart in Sudbury then Neil’s north of Sudbury), it allows me to reach a new crowd.

From 9-5pm, we asked for donation. I also had a ‘little helper’ stand by the exit to ask the people I missed on their way in. Teamwork at its finest! While not everyone gave donations, I still handed out my ‘business cards’ (refer to figure 1) to take the opportunity to inform 2000+ people of my title, Free The Children and MTC-W.  For the most part, people were very generous, especially those who recognized me from my last pageant’s fundraiser, Northern Ontario Families Children with Cancer.

Tomorrow it will be a busy day as I will be raising money at Neil’s Independent as well as participating in the Hockey Night in Canada Play On ball hockey tournament.  It was a very successful day; I hope tomorrow is just as good!

Figure 1

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