Pageants aren’t about having a pretty face or a “perfect body.” It’s about having a pretty mind, a pretty heart, and a pretty soul. Hi! My name is Shakthi and I was crowned Miss Teenage South Calgary 2018 two months ago.  Pageantry was always a part of my life as my own mother was Miss Madurai 1994 back in India. She would always gush about how she made amazing friends and heartwarming memories she could never forget.  Looking at how inspiring & successful the women were after receiving a title, I was inspired to do the same. The girls I met, the memories I made are truly unforgettable. I’m glad I got to meet all of them, every girl I met had their own way of showing their passions and values and that was the best part of the entire pageant.

                  

Something that’s very interesting and unique about me is that I’m an Indian classical Bharatanatyam dancer in Calgary. My mother and I had started our own dance school 13 years ago. I’ve been dancing since the young age of two and I don’t think I can ever stop. Starting this dance school not only showed the people of Calgary the diverse art form but it also was a chance for my dance students and I to contribute to society in a positive way. My mother and I have been organizing fundraisers for non-profit organizations for the past 12 years and we have raised over $3500 every time.  Organizations like the Leukemia society, Sadhana Sangama (orphanage in India), and the CHESS organization are just some of the non-profit organizations we fundraised for. My platform is Girls education and empowerment around the world.  Teaching young girls how to dance and be confident is really the best part in all of this. Not only am I supporting my platform but I’m also empowering young women around Calgary. Nearly 62 million girls dream of going to school. This leads to more poverty, early marriages and young deaths. Education is one of the most critical areas of empowerment for women in our society today.  62 million girls dream of going to school today and I believe that I will be the one to make those dreams become a reality.

This is a picture from one of our photoshoots. I’m on the left and my mom is on the right!!

On August 11, 2018 I will be organizing a fundraiser, here in Calgary, for Plan Internationals BECAUSE I AM A GIRL foundation. Different schools from Calgary, including mine, will be performing and showing off their talent. I’m very excited and I hope to see some familiar faces there. My dance girls and I have been practicing very hard for this show and cannot wait to fundraise for this event!

Other than my dreams of helping girls receive the education they deserve I also want to become a pediatric neurosurgeon when I grow up. I’m in the tenth grade in the senior high school Henry Wisewood in Calgary.  School is very important to me and I try to keep my average about a 90% so that I can go to the University of Toronto,  the University of Alberta, or the University of Calgary.

I can’t wait for Nationals this summer in Toronto and to meet all of the girls participating. They all seem fantastic and I can’t wait to meet them in real life.  I’ve been attending many events and preparing for Nationals in many ways, this experience is something I will never forget.

I’m sure the year to come will be filled with excitement and more experiences for me, I can’t wait to share all of them with you!!

I hope everyone has an amazing day!

Shakthi

 

Written by: Shakthi

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