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Local ladies compete for Miss Achievement


Based solely on its name, it's safe to say the Miss Achievement Newfoundland and Labrador (MANL) Scholarship Program is not a typical beauty pageant.

With thousands of dollars offered in scholarships each year, organizers pride themselves on acknowledging the achievements, successes and talents of young women in Newfoundland and Labrador.

During the Nov. 13-16 weekend, 26 contestants between the ages of 14 and 18 from across the province will take part in what some have referred to as the event of a lifetime.

This year, six young women from the Trinity-Conception-Placentia region are stepping up to the challenge - Taylor Hutchings and Rebecca Bishop of Bay Roberts, Shauna Griffiths from Ship Harbour, Nicole Rexton of New Harbour, Heather Higdon of Green's Harbour and Caplin Cove's Carissa Garland.

Local ladies

The Compass contacted all six of the local contestants, and each had their own reason for signing up for the event.

Taylor, who is an avid army cadet and world traveller, loves the social aspect of the competition.

"I entered the pageant to meet some more new people and hopefully gain some new life skills," she explained.

At 18, Griffiths, the only Placentia Bay entrant, realized it was her last chance to take part in this competition .

"I think it's a great opportunity to move forward with schooling, and a great way to meet new people and make everlasting friendships," she said.

Nicole also wants to meet new friends, but had other reasons for signing up as well.

"I think it's an amazing opportunity for young women like myself to get involved in for the fact we can show all our accomplishments we created in life.

Taylor, Griffiths and Nicole have never participated in a pageant before, and are excited for the opportunity.

Heather, Rebecca and Carissa have experienced pageants before.

As Miss Teen Trinity Conception (MTTC) 2013-14, Heather had the opportunity to travel the region and participated in many events, speaking on her platform, bullying. This will be her third pageant.

"I decided to enter the Miss Achievement program because it truly is a great way to build up a lot of self confidence," she said.

Rebecca is a three-time finalist in the MTTC, earning third, second and first runner-up respectively in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

"I just can't get a enough of pageants," Rebecca exclaimed. "They are such a learning experience. The people I get to meet while participating are amazing."

Carissa, an aspiring surgeon, competed earlier this month in the Miss Teen Newfoundland and Labrador pageant, where she finished in the Top 10. Her reason for entering the pageant is a little more intricate than some others.

"I entered the Miss Achievement pageant to inspire our youth to follow their dreams, while helping them to raise the self-esteem and realize that it's okay to be yourself," she said.

The competition

The MANL event has a public speaking component, an interview worth half of the total preliminary score and an academic element involving an essay on a topic unseen by each contestant until the competition.

There is also a healthy living portion, which requires a fitness test and a short quiz on healthy living. A total of 95 per cent is completed before the stage gala Sunday, Nov. 16.

Each contestant is required to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House in St. John's, with the top fundraiser earning the Isabella Ashley Spirit of Giving Award. The late Isabella Ashley was the first Miss Newfoundland in 1936. She died in 2012.

Local contestants have created Facebook fan pages, where supporters can visit and stay updated on the progress of their fundraisers, which have already included bake sales and online auctions.

Another award is the community pride award, voted on by the general public.

For more details on this scholarship competition or to vote for the community pride award, visit www.missachievement.com.

Melissa.jenkins@tc.tc

With thousands of dollars offered in scholarships each year, organizers pride themselves on acknowledging the achievements, successes and talents of young women in Newfoundland and Labrador.

During the Nov. 13-16 weekend, 26 contestants between the ages of 14 and 18 from across the province will take part in what some have referred to as the event of a lifetime.

This year, six young women from the Trinity-Conception-Placentia region are stepping up to the challenge - Taylor Hutchings and Rebecca Bishop of Bay Roberts, Shauna Griffiths from Ship Harbour, Nicole Rexton of New Harbour, Heather Higdon of Green's Harbour and Caplin Cove's Carissa Garland.

Local ladies

The Compass contacted all six of the local contestants, and each had their own reason for signing up for the event.

Taylor, who is an avid army cadet and world traveller, loves the social aspect of the competition.

"I entered the pageant to meet some more new people and hopefully gain some new life skills," she explained.

At 18, Griffiths, the only Placentia Bay entrant, realized it was her last chance to take part in this competition .

"I think it's a great opportunity to move forward with schooling, and a great way to meet new people and make everlasting friendships," she said.

Nicole also wants to meet new friends, but had other reasons for signing up as well.

"I think it's an amazing opportunity for young women like myself to get involved in for the fact we can show all our accomplishments we created in life.

Taylor, Griffiths and Nicole have never participated in a pageant before, and are excited for the opportunity.

Heather, Rebecca and Carissa have experienced pageants before.

As Miss Teen Trinity Conception (MTTC) 2013-14, Heather had the opportunity to travel the region and participated in many events, speaking on her platform, bullying. This will be her third pageant.

"I decided to enter the Miss Achievement program because it truly is a great way to build up a lot of self confidence," she said.

Rebecca is a three-time finalist in the MTTC, earning third, second and first runner-up respectively in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

"I just can't get a enough of pageants," Rebecca exclaimed. "They are such a learning experience. The people I get to meet while participating are amazing."

Carissa, an aspiring surgeon, competed earlier this month in the Miss Teen Newfoundland and Labrador pageant, where she finished in the Top 10. Her reason for entering the pageant is a little more intricate than some others.

"I entered the Miss Achievement pageant to inspire our youth to follow their dreams, while helping them to raise the self-esteem and realize that it's okay to be yourself," she said.

The competition

The MANL event has a public speaking component, an interview worth half of the total preliminary score and an academic element involving an essay on a topic unseen by each contestant until the competition.

There is also a healthy living portion, which requires a fitness test and a short quiz on healthy living. A total of 95 per cent is completed before the stage gala Sunday, Nov. 16.

Each contestant is required to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House in St. John's, with the top fundraiser earning the Isabella Ashley Spirit of Giving Award. The late Isabella Ashley was the first Miss Newfoundland in 1936. She died in 2012.

Local contestants have created Facebook fan pages, where supporters can visit and stay updated on the progress of their fundraisers, which have already included bake sales and online auctions.

Another award is the community pride award, voted on by the general public.

For more details on this scholarship competition or to vote for the community pride award, visit www.missachievement.com.

Melissa.jenkins@tc.tc

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