Lily Riley, Miss Willis Harper
Lily Riley loves chemistry and math.
A soccer player, she’s dabbled in the clarinet, cello, theatre and everyday make-up and sewing. “Growing up,” says Lily, “my mom pushed me into doing anything I wanted… I was kind of everywhere.”
When she’s older, she hopes to become a psychiatric nurse or psychiatrist. “When I was younger, my sister struggled a little bit with self-image and I watched her go through that,” says Lily. “I think it’s super important to make sure we have enough people to help others when they’re in that dark of a place.”
Through the Miss Quesnel Self Development Program, Lily says she learned so much about Quesnel that hadn’t known she didn’t know.
She’s also had a chance to perfect her public speaking skills. Lily says she thinks people tend to see her as a quiet person without loud opinions, but she’s hoping the pageant will give her an opportunity to let them know where she stands on things.
In the pageant, each of the girls will give a speech on the topic of their choice.
“Instead of a funny speech, I chose a more serious stand. I chose women’s rights. I hope they see and remember that. I hope they remember not necessarily me – just, what I say.”
Branda Eggert, Miss Butterfly Kisses by Nicki/Paradise Salon & Spa
Branda Eggert wants to explore the unknown.
She’s intrigued by both space and the earth’s oceans. She says we know a lot about both, but there is still so much more to learn.
Branda wants to take that curiosity and use it to become either an astrophysicist or a marine biologist.
She’s in Girl Guides, and she likes to ski, snowboard and curl in the winter. In the warmer months, she plays soccer and does track and field. She also loves to write, saying that while she likes math, English is her favourite subject in school.
For Branda, the best part of the Miss Quesnel Self Development Program has been getting out in the community and showing her love for Quesnel.
Branda is one of the youngest girls participating in the pageant, and she says she encourages other people to sign up.
“Even though there’s a lot of public speaking, you learn how to do it properly. If you’re nervous about it, I still think it would be a good idea to join,” she says.
Her speech will be on demographics and the impact of overpopulation on the earth.
Gracie Combs, Miss Hub International
Gracie Combs recently started team roping.
Roping is a sport that was started to bring in cows from fields to brand them. Two people on horses chase a steer (a cow with horns) out of a chute, then use rope to catch it by its horns and legs.
Gracie lives on a friend’s ranch, and loves being outdoors. She likes to write, hike, fish and hunt and she wants to eventually become a veterinary technician.
She says that the best part about the Miss Quesnel Self Development Program has been forming friendships with the other candidates and learning more about the community.
Gracie has especially enjoyed learning about the painted fire hydrants around Quesnel. “I didn’t know there were so many of them,” says Gracie. “There’s 23 – that’s a lot.”
Her speech will be based on a photo she found of a flower growing in a crack on the sidewalk. Gracie says the speech “is about flowers, and being strong.”
She originally wrote the speech for public speaking practice within the program, but felt confident presenting it to the other girls and wanted to perform it for the show as well.
Terrah Peters, Miss Cariboo Ford
For Terrah Peters, the Miss Quesnel Self Development Program has largely been about overcoming her anxiety.
“I find it amazing,” says Terrah.
Between the girls and the events they attend, she says “you just feel so welcome and the anxiety just goes away.”
Public speaking still doesn’t come easy for Terrah, but she says the program has helped her a lot.
She loves art and learning mechanics. Art is a way to express yourself, she says, while learning how to do things like change a tire or check your oil is hands on – and important skills to have.
Normally, she enjoys playing sports, but she’s recovering from an injury so she spends most of her time helping out her mom. She babysits and helps out on the farm. She also enjoys volunteering, something she’s had the opportunity to do more of since taking part in the program.
Terrah isn’t sure what she wants to do when she finishes high school, but she’s leaning toward forestry.
“I just want to better the environment, better the world,” she says.
Her speech is about self acceptance, and learning to love yourself regardless of what other people think.
Savannah Audet, Miss Bliss
Savannah Audet is passionate about linguistics.
She wants to learn several languages and study either French language and literature in university, or linguistics. She’s not fluent in French yet, but she’d like to be.
When she’s done her bachelors, she’d like to work for the government or go back to school to get her masters in library and information sciences.
“I spent most of my summers in the summer reading program down by the library when I was young,” says Savannah, adding that it inspired her love of books.
She also loves musical theatre, and acting.
Savannah decided to take part in the Miss Quesnel Self Development Program after watching the pageant as a child. She wanted to take part in something that had become a part of Quesnel’s history. Through the program, she’s been able to do some things she never would have done otherwise, like volunteering at the Foam Fun Run.
Her speech is about linguistics. “I wanted to write a speech about something I’m passionate about.” In her speech, she discusses how many languages, aboriginal languages in particular, are dying. “Take Carrier, for example,” says Savannah, “[it isn’t] seen as often as it was 100 years ago, and I believe that’s a big problem, and we should do something to keep those languages alive.”
Alaura Jaggernath, Miss AC&D Insurance
Alaura Jaggernath took one and a half times the regular course load at school this year.
She chose a few subjects she is good at – English, social studies, pre-calculus and the like – to take online, so that she could beef up her in-school schedule with courses like auto-shop and metal work.
Her favourite subjects in school are the maths and sciences, and she hopes to one day become a heavy duty auto-mechanic.
“It’s just something that I love,” Alaura says, “taking apart engines and putting them back together, taking apart cars, putting them back together and figuring out how they work and where the problem is and how to fix it.”
But she doesn’t want to stop there. Also passionate about animals, after she earns her heavy duty auto-mechanic certificate she wants to return to school to become a veterinary technician.
She says she loves working with cars and engines, and animals. “I can’t choose.
So I just decided I’m going to do both.”
The Miss Quesnel Self Development Program has helped her to learn to express her opinions, rather than shying away.
Her speech will cover the Armed Forces. In particular, she plans to examine what happens to them after they return home from war.
Hannah Pomeroy, Miss Interior Silvi Services
Hannah Pomeroy was a flower girl for the Miss Quesnel pageant when she was younger.
“I looked up to the girls and how brave they were and how much courage they had to get on stage and do all the speeches. I really wanted to do that when I was older,” she says.
Hannah spends much of her free time volunteering at the hospital, where she visits with patients and helps out the nurses whenever they need it. When she’s not volunteering, she’s probably singing, painting or taking care of her younger cousins.
One of her goals is to become a social worker and work with children in foster care.
Hannah says she’s made “a lot of friendships” in the Miss Quesnel Self Development Program, and gotten better at talking to strangers.
For her speech, she plans to discuss how much money is spent on the beauty industry and what it means to be influenced by social media and other people. “I want to get the message across that you don’t need plastic surgery or make-up to be beautiful, but if you like using it, like I do, then that’s OK.”
Sierra Moore, Miss Canadian Tire
Sierra Moore wants to be a graphic designer.
She’d like to start out by designing patterns and prints for shirts with companies like Vans or Volcom, when she finishes school. Eventually, she wants to design shoes and start her own company.
English is her favourite subject in school. She says this year she had a teacher who opened her eyes to writing, and how fun it can be to read the novels and short stories, and then compare the movies to the books at the end.
Between the Miss Quesnel Self-Development Program, school, work and her gymnastics practice, Sierra doesn’t have a lot of time on her hands.
She says she feels more confident speaking up in groups now that she’s in the program. “I was a little shy back in the day,” she says.
Sierra is doing her speech on sisterhood. More specifically, she’ll be talking about her own relationship with her sister.
“I’m not really a sentimental person, but I kind of open up in my speech and say what a sister really is to me,” she says.
The Miss Quesnel Speech and Talent night takes place July 4, and the 2018 Miss Quesnel Pageant July 6 at Chuck Mobley Theatre. Tickets are available at the Visitors’ Centre.