I was lucky to get a chance to interview this year’s Miss BC, Ava Vanderstarren. I wanted to talk to her about her experience at the Miss BC pageant and her plans moving forward, as she is on her way to compete for the title of Miss Canada. Ava is a bright young lady with many goals set for her future. Ava will raise awareness for her platform “Women’s Rights and Rehabilitation of Child Soldiers” during her reign. She also plans to start a non-profit dedicated to the cause.
“I’d never participated in a pageant before, so when I saw a posting online accepting applications I looked into it and found out that instead of a beauty pageant, Miss BC is a personal development and self-esteem program. This was something that made me very happy- to know that we wouldn’t be judged on our bodies or looks. It was a great way for me to volunteer and become more involved in my community, which is something that I was looking for.”
2. What did you do to prepare for the pageant?
“I held a fundraiser for Cops for Cancer. I chose to put together a fashion show and organized that event. It was a lot of fun!”
3. How did you choose your evening gown?
I’m very lucky that my mom is a seamstress so I wore a dress that she made me!
4. What did you get out of your pageant experience?
“I had a lovely weekend with like minded women, made lasting friendships and received workshop training in public speaking, interview skills, modelling, self-esteem and assertiveness, etiquette and self defense.
The great thing is that all the young women who were there are interested in volunteering so we still get together and do events and fundraisers.”
5. Would you have done anything differently in preparing for the pageant?
“I don’t think so.. I had a very good experience!”
6. How are you getting ready for the Miss Canada pageant?
“In a similar way. Right now I am looking for sponsors to help me get to Montreal, and then I will finalize my dress choice and work on my platform.”
7. Do you think your pageant experience will have an effect on your future?
“Yes I think so! My partner and I are in the start-up process of a non-profit called “Innocence Lost Foundation” that aims to build rehabilitation and resource centers for former child soldiers. This is life long humanitarian work that we plan to do. So in that way it has propelled me to take the next step! Also the experience itself builds up your confidence and is a great way to grow and meet people.”
8. What advice do you have for any future Miss BC contestants?
“Be yourself! Honestly, you can only be you, so let your personality shine through. Don’t be afraid of who you are and embrace it! No one in the Miss BC pageant judges you, so relax and have fun!”
Thank you very much to the lovely Ava for taking the time to talk pageants with me! You can find Ava at @MissBC2013 and https://www.facebook.com/AvaVanderstarrenforMissBC2013?fref=ts