Six Nations resident a finalist in Miss Teen Ontario

TORONTO – On Sunday, January 15th, 2015, Six Nations resident Aleria McKay was one of 15 finalists chosen out of 40 contestants for the Miss Teenage Ontario Pageant. The Two Row Times caught up with Aleria to find out more about her experience with the pageant. She explained that these pageants aren’t superficial shows like they are sometimes made out to be. In fact, she noted the positive difference this competeion has made in her life to be healthy, organized, focused, determined, and well rounded. “For me its always been something that I’ve wanted to do. I’ve always loved performing and being on stage. It wasn’t hard to be decicated to this, though a lot of my time went into it.”

Aleria became interested in competing in Miss Teenage Canada in September 2011, at age 11. Miss Teen Canada requires applicants to be at least 13 years old, so she decided to compete in the Miss All Canadian event to prepare. She also dedicated time and energy into Miss Pre-Teen Six Nations, receiving runner-up standing in 2011 and 2012, and winning in 2013. “I wasn’t going to give up”, Aleria says, when asked about her involvement and focus to win the contest.

Aleria also spoke about the general misconception about ‘beauty pageants’. “A lot of people think of beauty pageants as superficial, but they aren’t at all.” She went on to explain that the interview portion of the contest is in depth and examines your true character, regardless of external ‘beauty’. “During the evening gown and swimsuit contest, judges evaluate poise, confidence, and stage presence. Even judges say they are not looking for skinny people, but rather a good role model who is healthy and fit.” She also explained that each pageant requires participants to develop their fundraising and organizing skills, and must donate a portion of the funds they raise to charities.

Aleria was determined to get into Miss Teenage Canada, and last August at age 15 she applied and was accepted. Following the application process, participants are screened by an interview with the director. Aleria aced the interview and currently holds her delegate package with information about fundraising, contest details and regulations and any other relevant information about the contest.

For the Miss Teenage Ontario Pageant Aleria raised $1000 for the Cardiac Kids, and has chosen the ‘Feed the Children’ project for the upcoming national event. All participants are given a strict 6 weeks time frame to fundraise for their charity of choice, outfits and entry fee. Entry fee goes towards travel, food, accomodation, and different site seeing activities around Toronto. The participants also get the opportunity to be a guest on shows like Breakfast Television and eTalk.

Aleria says, “I can’t thank my family enough” for all their support, love and encouragement. Her family has helped her attend Michelle Farmer’s jazz, tap and ballet classes since she was 2, and have been cheering her on at competetions since she was 8 years old. “As soon as I started when I was 11, my Dad was always there and it was pretty funny that he got right into it.” She notes her Mom has always been really supportive as well, while still making sure she is growing in a good way and not comprimising anything that will make sure she becomes a healthy adult. “In the last few months I have been trying to eat healthier and trying to become a vegetarian, but my mom isn’t too keen at the moment in me doing that cause I’m still growing. My family is so supportive.”

When asked what advice she has for teens interested in getting involved in pageants or other hobbies she said, “If there is something you think you want to do but aren’t sure if you can do it, take the chance and work hard at it, because anything is possible.”

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