Georgia never planned on becoming a pageant contestant.
She didn’t grow up dreaming of a tiara being placed atop her head. But now that she’s been crowned Miss Teen Fraser Valley, she can’t stop reaching up to feel the bejeweled adornment.
“I’ve got to touch it,” she says, reaching her fingers to the sparkly tiara atop her head. “It’s very heavy, very sturdy.”
She earned the title at the Miss Fraser Valley Pageant at the end of March, at a weekend long event in Richmond. She’ll keep the title for a year, before it’s passed onto the next winner. In a sit-down interview at a downtown Chilliwack eatery, she explains the significance of the title, and what she hopes to do with it.
“I want to raise awareness for women helping women,” she says.
Being chosen means she’s one of 60 young women from across Canada who can move on to compete for Miss Teen Canada this summer. She’s still in shock over winning Miss Teen Fraser Valley.
“Just actually winning was a really big shock,” she says. “It was my first pageant and I didn’t know what I was doing.”
But the weekend wasn’t just about competing. It was also a chance to learn. The first day, the contestants were walked through everything they’d need to know about how to compete. On Sunday, they ran through a rehearsal before the big show.
It was a great learning experience for Georgia, who has a love of cosplay, theatre and is already working on her acting career. Still, walking into a pageant full of “beautiful, smart young women” was overwhelming.
“I was really nervous,” she says. “It was kind of intimidating.”
But it turned out that the competition was encouraging and friendly. The veteran pageant girls helped out the newbies, and everyone was very supportive, she says. While Georgia would fall into the newbie camp, she has experience on stage and as a cheerleader.
“For a lot of the girls it was their first time competing,” she says. “All the girls are bright young women who want to make the world a better place.”
While it was Georgia’s first time, too, it wasn’t her first exposure to the world of pageantry. Her aunt was crowned Miss Canada in the early ’80s, and went to compete in a Miss Universe competition. She gave her niece some words of advice.
“She told me to be myself and just have fun and that if I didn’t win to remember that it was an amazing experience, and try again next year if I want to.”
Georgia lives in Chilliwack, but graduated from high school in Abbotsford. She is currently working as an actress, and hopes to take classes toward her degree in psychology. Eventually, she wants to turn that into a Masters. And her dream job? A psychologist with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
“I love science,” she says.
While there are no requirements placed upon the winners, she is hoping to use her title in a positive way over the coming year. She wants to inspire other young women to reach for their goals, and support programs that support women.
And eventually, she’ll be asking for the support of her community. The Miss Teen Canada competition has an online voting component that will go active in early August. The women with the most votes get automatically into the competition.
To learn more about Miss Teen Fraser Valley, visit missteenfraservalley.com.