Miss Teen Canada win ‘like a dream’

South Surrey's Madison Stewart takes crown in Quebec pageant

A South Surrey teen determined to promote acceptance of youth with special needs has earned a wider audience for the cause, after being named Miss Teen Canada.

“It feels like a dream,” Madison Stewart said Monday, of her March 4 crowning in Laval, Que.

“That night was a blur.”

Stewart, 16 and in Grade 11 at Earl Marriott Secondary, said she was asked in January to enter the pageant, which she said drew approximately 30 contestants from coast to coast.

Each was judged on everything from their attitude during activities in the lead-up to the crowning – including an interview with judges – to public presentation on stage.

Online, the pageant is described as “first of all and foremost a personality contest.”

Stewart said she was “shocked” just to be named one of five finalists for the title, never mind Miss Teen Canada.

“I was not expecting that,” she said. “I met so many amazing people there. It would be so hard (as a judge) to choose.”

Stewart’s focus on kids with special needs is rooted close to home – her younger sister, Jada, has an “invisible disability.”

In an interview with Peace Arch News last spring, Stewart described how some people react to Jada – because they don’t realize she has special needs – as “frustrating.”

“She’s the sweetest girl… but they maybe exclude her because she acts just a bit different.”

Seeing her sister win the crown clearly struck a chord with the younger girl, Stewart said.

“Jada started crying. It was so sweet,” Stewart said.

In the lead-up to being declared Miss Teen Canada, Stewart said the five finalists were given a mystery question to answer; challenging them to identify their greatest strength and weakness.

“I said my greatest weakness was my perfectionism, because I can always be pretty hard on myself,” she said. “My greatest strength is… I’m determined. I’ve always been a go-getter.”

The latter trait will come in handy as Stewart – who won the title of Miss Teenage South Western B.C. last April – continues on her quest to raise awareness.

In addition to promoting acceptance, she wants to talk about bullying. She hopes to share both messages in presentations at schools and other community venues – as well as at an international pageant this summer – and invites anyone who would like to have her speak to their group to email her at missteencanada2017@gmail.com

Looking ahead, Stewart – whose volunteer efforts include working with the Variety Club and fundraising for Free the Children – said she plans to pursue a career helping others.

She has her sights set on becoming a doctor and working with an organization such as Doctors Without Borders, which provides urgent medical care to victims of war and disaster.


Just Posted

Surrey’s mayor-elect McCallum has big promises to keep

From estimated 337, 289 eligible voters in Surrey, 109,791 votes were cast for 32.5 per cent turnout

SURREY FIRST, burst: How the ruling slate earned just one council seat

Mayor Linda Hepner thinks another ‘entity’ will replace her slate

Early morning crash in Surrey on Sunday sends three to hospital

Traffic crash at 4 a.m. at 152nd and 88th Avenue. Police say intersection closed for “some time.”

THE VICTORY: Doug McCallum is Surrey’s mayor once again

Safe Surrey Coalition has huge night, taking all of city council but one seat

THE DEFEAT: Tom Gill concedes to Doug McCallum in Surrey mayoral race

Only one Surrey First candidate, Linda Annis, has been elected to city council

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Three strong earthquakes reported off Vancouver Island

The quakes, all measuring more than 6.0 on the richter scale, were about 260 kilometres west of Tofino

Voting set to start in B.C. proportional representation referendum

Two-part ballots now being mailed to all registered voters

Fraser Valley man dead after head on crash in Okanagan

Accident occurred at about 7:35 a.m.

B.C. oncologist changing the face of breast cancer treatment

Dr. Juanita Crook, a Kelowna oncologist, has seen 100 per cent success using brachytherapy to treat breast cancer in some patients.

Kennedy Stewart challenged with building bridges as mayor of Vancouver: expert

The former NDP MP, who ran as an Independent, will lead 10 councillors divided across four parties

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Most Read