Why should we even bother to save the planet? It’s totally out of control that global warming is a problem right? WRONG. The climate is changing to the extreme, and the impacts on the planet could be substantial.  Due to burning fossil fuels (coal, gas and oil) and clearing forests we have increased the amount of carbon dioxide dramatically in the Earth’s atmosphere and the temperatures are rising! When we burn fossil fuels, we create two main kinds of pollution: greenhouse gases and smog-causing pollutants.  Smog has been linked to many health problems, from respiratory diseases to cancer. In addition, warmer and drier weather also increases the likelihood of forest fires which release carbon dioxide.

A large portion of deforestation in Brazil can be attributed to land clearing for pastureland by commercial and speculative interests, misguided government policies, inappropriate World Bank projects, and commercial exploitation of forest resources.

Trees are important because they act as carbon sinks and extract carbon dioxide from the air.
There are so many ways that cities like Guelph can start to become more “Green” and eco-friendly. More cities should start to use green buildings! What exactly is a green building? Well, there are many definitions of what a green building is and what it does. Definitions may range from a building that is “not as bad” as the average building in terms of its impact on the environment or one that is “notably better” than the average building. A green building is one whose construction and lifetime of operation assure the healthiest possible environment while representing the most efficient and least disruptive use of land, water, energy and resources.  While many green materials and technologies do cost more, it has been demonstrated that many green strategies and technologies actually cost the same and some even cost less than traditional “not-so-green” technologies. By blending the right mix of green technologies that cost less with green technologies that cost the same or slightly more, it is possible to have a very green building project that costs the same as a conventional one. Often the key to a cost effective green building and site design lies within the interrelationships and associated cost and performance trade-offs that exist between different building systems. I am so proud to say that my very own City Hall of Guelph is built to meet the LEED Silver Standard (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) set out by the Canada Green Building Council. Its use of local and eco-friendly building materials, efficient lighting, its green roof and its heating and cooling systems are just some of the ways to reduce the City’s use of water and energy and lower its environmental footprint. Compared to a typical office building, City Hall uses 30 – 40 per cent less water and energy.Bicycle storage and showers encourage City employees to walk or cycle to work, which can reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from cars driving to and from City Hall. City employees can exchange a parking pass for a transit pass. Taking transit to City Hall reduces traffic congestion, air pollution and fossil fuel consumption as Guelph Transit vehicles use biodiesel fuel. About half of City Hall’s roof is covered by a living, growing collection of plants.

What a green roof looks like!

The green roof provides excellent insulation and helps to keep the building warm during the winter and cool during the summer. The soil and plants absorb rain water and melted snow to reduce stormwater runoff and, like all plants, they convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, which reduces air pollution. Typical carpets, glues and paints contain toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that cause air pollution and potential health problems. Using low-VOC materials protects the health of the people building and working in City Hall. At least 10% of the materials used to build City Hall came from local suppliers. Using local sources lowers the fuel needed to deliver supplies, and supports local businesses.  TIO COAT flat roof is a great roof product for home owners who are looking for a new way to help improve the environment. TIOCOAT™ is a elastomeric coating of high-strength that gives the best achievable weather resistance and reflectivity. Specifically, flat roof is a tough white finish resists abrasion, biological growth, dirt and extreme weather conditions. Energy efficient buildings are a winning situation for both a company’s operating budget and the environment. While new construction properties can benefit from passive energy conservation techniques, such as building designs that maximize sunlight for heat and light or incorporate rooftop gardens for water management and insulation, existing buildings can conserve energy without compromising comfort or safety.  🙂

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What comes to mind when you think about high school? My high school might be different than the rest of yours. When I think about my high school, I think about all of the great memories I have created with my friends throughout these past four years at Our Lady Of Lourdes Catholic High School in Guelph Ontario. The reason why I love my school so much is because we all come together to help each other out. When I walk into my school I love feeling all the positive energy from the students and teachers.

Setting up for the BBQ!

My school has come together for Terry Fox runs, deportation of a fellow student, raising money for a special student who has been diagnosed with cancer, and now, my school community has helped me in reaching my minimum fund raising goal for Free The Children!My six weeks of fund raising has begun and I am wasting no time here! Thanks to the help of Crusaders in Action leader, Juliana Major, I was able to hold a fund raising BBQ for Free The Children during lunch today. I sold burgers, drinks and cheese bun hot dogs! The food was delicious and I was lucky enough to have friend volunteers cooking the burgers for me. Everyone seemed to love it because I sold out of everything in a matter of minutes! It was truly amazing and I am so happy and grateful to have such an amazing school filled with inspirational and supportive students! The Our Lady of Lourdes Crusaders are truly outstanding people. My BBQ could not have been successful without the help of my fellow saders! Crusaders are a lot more than just your ordinary regular teenager. Whether it be winning a sports game, or raising money for a good cause, the Our Lady of Lourdes Crusaders stands out in the community. There really is no other school like my school. When we come together like this, we call it sader nation! I would like to thank every single student and teacher for donating and buying food in support of me, and especially Free The Children.

My helpful and of course beautiful friends - Kaelyn, Jazmin and Paige!

This fund raiser could not have happened as successfully as it did without the help of the administrators, helpful teachers, my friends, Crusaders in Action club, and most of all the students! My school made me proud today by donating, and I promise to make my school proud of me at nationals! I hope to raise more money and get more sponsors before the end of next month.  If anybody knows of any business or have ideas for fund raisers do not hesitate to message me. It was an amazing day today thanks to my crusaders! I had a ton of fun serving everyone and I can honestly say that I will miss this place when I graduate.

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I read an article today online about the CEO of the very popular store company, Abercrombie & Fitch. What caught my attention was the title of it! Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Explains Why He Hates Fat Chicks | Elite Daily.  It is absolutely unbelievable.
Please take the time to read this article, it really makes you think. This is why our society is so torn up and distorted. Issues like this is why the rate of young girls with eating disorders is getting high each and every year. It honestly makes me so angry that people still believe and think the only “beautiful” out there is skinny people… this is untrue and only shows that more people need to be educated better. A & F should represent the average American lifestyle, not an altered image of “beauty”. Someone please give this CEO a wake up call. Leave your thoughts and comments and let me know what you think about all this. As Abercrombie & Fitch is a very popular brand, would you still wear their clothing and support it after reading this article? As I have said in my previous “Canadian Beauty” blog post, everyone is unique and beautiful in their own way. You never know, but someone may be envious of your insecurities. Please do not let the media ever tell you that you aren’t good enough, or perfect because the people you see in magazines are photo shopped and altered themselves! The CEO states that he only wants “good looking” and “popular” people to wear his brand of clothing. That’s why Abercrombie and Fitch only hires attractive people. It’s very superficial and shallow. I was happy to find a video to follow up with the article that shows how others may have reacted to this issue.
Watch this video to see how one person can start to make a change in our society. It really is amazing and gave me hope in people. A & F Brand Readjustment By Giving Their Clothes To The Homeless This is such an important issue that EVERYONE should think about. Let me know your thoughts! This video made me so happy! This man in the video gives Abercrombie and Fitch a brand readjustment by giving their clothes to the homeless.  After searching his local thrift shop, he heads to LA’s Skid Row (greatest population of homeless people in America) to dole out the clothes among the homeless. This is truly inspirational and humbling.

– Miss Teen Wellington County-World 2013 <3

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It takes a queen to raise a princess! Every year, many of us struggle to find the perfect way to express how much we love our mothers. Since it is mother’s day I would like to take this opportunity to thank my mother for how much she has supported through out this competition. When she was my age, living back in El Salvador she did not get any of these opportunities that I do. She didn’t get to go to her prom, and did not get to compete in pageants or anything like that. I do my best everyday to make her proud. My mother means the world to me and she deserves nothing but the best. She is the strongest woman I know and all her hard work means so much to me. As teenagers, we may sometimes forget how much our parents love us and we take for granted how much they do for us and how hard they work every single day to let us do the things we love; whether it be sports, play an instrument or compete in pageants!

My mother and I on my prom day!

I wish I could have given my mother more today as a gift, but I was glad to know that my special card and red roses put a smile on her face.  I hope to be as strong as a woman as my mother is, as beautiful as she is and as loving as she is. My mother is truly my inspiration and I learn so much from her. Without my mother’s support I would not have felt as confident at the provincial Ontario pageant. Knowing that she was there waiting for me after my interview put me at ease and her kind words calmed my nerves.  Without my mom I wouldn’t be at where I am today.  I work hard every day and strive to be my best not only for myself, but to make my mother proud. I’d like to thank my mom for always putting a smile on my face and believing in me. Especially at times when I couldn’t believe in myself. She truly deserves the world.

She's so beautiful!

Here is a poem to share with all mother’s out there!

That Wonderful Mother of Mine

The moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of that wonderful mother of mine.
The birds never sing but a message they bring
Of that wonderful mother of mine.
Just to bring back the time, that was so sweet to me,
Just to bring back the days, when I sat on her knee.

I pray every night to our Father above,
For that wonderful mother of mine.
I ask Him to keep her as long as He can
That — wonderful mother of mine.
There are treasures on earth, that made life seem worthwhile,
But there’s none can compare to my mother’s smile.

You are a wonderful mother, dear old Mother of mine.
You’ll hold a spot down deep in my heart,
‘Till the stars no longer shine.
Your soul shall live on forever,
On through the fields of time.
For there’ll never be another to me,
Each melodious measure,
Oft the teardrops flowing,
Oft they flow from my memory’s treasure.

I do not know what I would without my special mom.
Happy Mothers day to all of the hard working and beautiful mothers out there! Every mother deserves to be told how much they are appreciated.

Love from yours truly,

Miss Teen Wellington County

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Free The Children is the official charity for the Miss Teen Canada pageant! Free The Children is a children’s charity that was founded by Craig Kielburger back in 1995 (my birth year).

Craig's first trip to South Asia

Craig Kielburger started this charity when he read an article about a 12 year old Pakistani boy who spoke out against child labor. Many people may not believe so, but child labor and slavery still exists today. Free The Children is all about children helping children and empowering youth to be engaged in their community and give back. Craig Kielburger is such an inspiration to me. The fact that he was only 12 years old when we started Free The Children is amazing on it’s own. He didn’t let his age stop him from having a voice. Thanks to him, hopeful children in third world developing countries are receiving clean water, food, clothes and education. Free The Children is a lot more than just a charity, they save children’s lives. I feel honored that I get to promote Free The Children as a Miss Teen Canada-World title holder because it truly has made a difference to children in places such as Africa, India, South America etc. I know how lucky I am to be given the opportunity to participate as a national finalist, I don’t take my life for granted one bit. One day, I really hope I can be able to go on a mission trip and meet some of those children with Free The Children and Craig Kielburger. It’s on my bucket list for sure! At the end of the day, I am truly happy with myself because I am taking what I have in my life, and working hard to give back to those who aren’t as lucky as I am to be a Canadian.
I am working with many people to reach my funding goal for this charity. Hosting fundraisers has given me the opportunity to meet many new people and become more well-known in my community. It’s also a lot of fun! 🙂

friends and family at my Boston Pizza fundraiser

This past week I have raised money for Free The Children by hosting a dinner party at Boston Pizza Guelph. I sold tickets to family friends and neighbors to come and support the cause. It was a great turn out and I would like to thank everyone who helped me out and donated to Free The Children.  This helped me start my fundraising in a great way!
This upcoming week I am also having a civies day on May 17th at my high school where each student donates $2 for Free The Children and get to wear non uniform clothes for the day. Everybody loves that! I’m excited to see how it goes and I am happy to get my school involved with Free The Children and to be a part of my journey to nationals! Garage sales and bake sales are also on my fundraising events list! Can’t wait to share with all of you.

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My platform that I am promoting is raising awareness to mental health issues in Canadian youth. Many teens are dealing with anxiety, depression, bipolar disease and even schizophrenia and do not seek the help that they desperately need. This is a big problem. The reason why I feel strongly about this issue is because I used to deal with feelings of depression myself. Some people may not believe this, but yes it is true. I would not share my deep emotions or even tell my family and friends how I truly felt on the inside. I hid everything pretty well, no one had a clue with what I was dealing with, but this made things even worse for me. 

The pressure to be perfect

I needed someone to talk to, to be there for me. Everyone needs someone there for support. I am here for those who feel like they can’t get through the days, who are too scared to speak out, and who are too afraid to ask for help. Talking to someone about your problem may not sound like it would be much use, but it really is. Even writing in a journal to express your thoughts can make a big difference. Anyone dealing with a mental illness have many options to make their life better and start living again, though they may not think so. If it weren’t for the friends I have today and my family there supporting me, I do not know where I would be standing mentally. I am so much more confident with who I am, and I am PROUD of the person that I am growing up to be. I am so happy to be making a difference so far in my community. People I may not know so well have messaged me and personally told me how I inspire them to talk to someone about their feelings and seek help. It is truly an indescribable feeling to know that I can actually make a difference.

Confidence is beautiful!

I cannot stress enough how Miss Teen Canada World has helped me find who I am, and has helped me gain so much willpower and determination. I have never wanted anything so bad in my life. I am not only doing this for me, but to make all those young adults proud! I’m happy to be able to connect with my supporters on such a personal level. Mental health is a big problem and should not be ignored. In fact, emotional mental disorders are a leading cause of disabilities worldwide!
Mental illness, disability, and suicide are ultimately the result of a combination of biology, environment, and access to and utilization of mental health treatment. Being mentally and emotionally healthy does not preclude the experiences of life which we cannot control. I have had to deal with some very difficult times in my younger years and that took a great toll on my mental health once I started high school. Everyone is dealing with something that we may not know of, and that is why it’s so important to me to not judge on the way people are. People act a certain for a reason. Life is full of obstacles and we just need to learn to deal with them and let those tough experiences in life make us stronger individuals. Mental health illnesses is actually higher within teenagers because adolescence is a time of dramatic change. Between middle school and high school, teens often feel tremendous pressure to succeed at school, at home and in social groups. Young adults can become troubled by frequent intense and painful emotions when dealing with depression. While some are able to deal with these feelings better than other, some react differently to their problems. They are unable to express their feelings and the buildup of feelings makes it difficult for them to think clearly. A very dangerous way that some teens release this bottleneck by cutting or burning and otherwise hurting themselves. Self injury feels like immediate relief, but this is a short-term solution with very serious consequences.

Since I am a voice for those who are afraid to speak out about their mental health issues, I made an appearance at the Self Help Alliance art exhibit and talent show. People dealing and recovering with mental illnesses expressed themselves through the arts. It was an amazing time and I even got to say a speech about why raising awareness to mental health is so important. It was a great time and I was inspired by each of those who worked up the courage to show everyone there their special talents!

I stand for those who are afraid to speak out.
you tell me, What do YOU stand for?


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