To become Miss Teenage Red Deer, one needs a lot more than a pretty face. Much like Kali-Ann Ropchan, the latest recipient of the title, a person needs to be involved in their community and striving to seek change throughout the area.
Ropchan is a recent graduate of Hunting Hills High School and was crowned Miss Teenage Red Deer this past March. According to Ropchan, the title means much more than being pretty. She said it is more about influence in one’s community, and being able to have a platform on which to share views and create change.
“Being a ‘pageant girl’ and being Miss Teenage Red Deer – those are about helping out in the community and about the reach you can give in your community, more than they are about looking good. You want to make an impact and that was my biggest motivation for coming into pageants. I wanted to make a name for myself so that I can make a difference,” Ropchan said.
As Miss Teenage Red Deer, Ropchan said her role in the community is to, “Foster positive attitudes, promote self-respect and be self-motivated,” as a representative of the City. In August, she will participate in a national Miss Teenage Canada pageant that takes place in Toronto.
Until that time, Ropchan will work towards several fundraising goals and will raise awareness about the importance of peer mentoring programs, among other issues.
“I’m working with an RCMP officer on mentoring programs in high schools. I was part of a mentoring program when I was in high school and I want to help the officer develop the program more and spread awareness about it.”
In her senior year of high school, a program was launched that created a partnership between Hunting Hills High School and local RCMP to bring mentoring opportunities to local middle schools.
“We were all paired up with someone who might relate to us, and I think seeing them grow as people was incredible.”
Ropchan said the feedback from teachers and mentored students has inspired her to become involved in furthering similar programs. “People don’t realize how much it helps – not just for the person being mentored, but for the mentor as well,” she said.
As Miss Teenage Red Deer, Ropchan will also be fundraising for Free The Children, an international charity that empowers youths to become local and global leaders of change. Her goal is to raise $2,000 for the organization.
She will also be fundraising to cover costs associated with the Miss Teenage Canada competition in Toronto – a $5,000 target. The third component of her fundraising goals comes from raising money for youth peer mentorship programs.
“I’m looking for sponsors right now to help with fundraising. If they sponsor me, they get their name (or company name) exposure through the pageant brochures, my business card, my social media sites and I can help out as a figure for sponsorships. I’m also doing fundraisers, and I’m thinking of planning a sort of tea party to raise money for Free the Children,” Ropchan said of her plans to raise the money.
“If people donate to the Free the Children portion, they receive back a sponsor value for tax purposes. I am also taking direct donations so that I can travel to Toronto.”
Follow her journey and contact Ropchan on facebook at the Miss Teenage Red Deer 2015 page.