WHITEWATER REGION (Beachburg) — Local teen, 19 year old Emma Jeapes, was crowned Miss Teen Canada. Currently a student at Carleton University, she is working towards her Bachelor’s in French and hoping to minor in English, eventually becoming a teacher.
Her pageant journey began last year when she entered Miss Teen Ontario East after her friend from hockey, Kathleen Barr who was crowned Miss Teen Ontario East in 2015, finally convinced her to enter after three years of lobbying.
Miss. Jeapes was always more interested in sports growing up, she didn’t wear makeup or walk in high heels. She began feeling overwhelmed a week before the Miss Teen Ontario East pageant, but persevered thanks to advice from family, friends and people in the industry.
Overcoming her anxiety proved to be a victory for Miss. Jeapes, as she also won the Best Interview award that weekend. She had officially achieved her goal, as she entered to become a better public speaker. She spent the next year raising awareness for childhood cancer with Candlelighters, a childhood cancer support program in Ottawa.
After winning Miss Teen Ontario East, Miss. Jeapes advanced to compete for the title of Miss Teen Canada. “I found the experience overwhelming because I didn’t know what to expect,” she said at her home after she won this past summer. “Staying away from the drama was one of the best pieces of advice ever given to me.”
Each delegate was required to raise $400 for the Children’s Wish Foundation and Miss. Jeapes took it upon herself to raise more. Through two fundraisers and many, many letters sent out through the community, she raised $4 thousand and won the Top Fundraiser Award. She did this in six weeks, as she had to wait for her tenure as Miss Teen Ontario East to end before she began fundraising.
Having a few people in the industry she looks up to, there is no one more highly regarded than provincial pageant director Chris Fry. According to Miss. Jeapes, he always says, “you can walk in heels, you can have the best smile, but it’s your brain that matters the most.” He advised her she would go far due to her being a people-person, as interviews are an important part of the competitions.
According to Miss. Jeapes, what goes on behind the curtain is more important than what happens on stage. She feels the backstage aspect of pageants gets lost and said she believes there should be an emphasis put on brains, not just beauty.
Since being crowned Miss Teen Canada, she played volleyball for charity in August and spent September attending neon night in Petawawa and hero’s challenge in Ottawa. In October, she attended the Bonnechere Manor gala, hosted the 25 year anniversary of the Oncology unit at the Renfrew Victoria Hospital, attended Pembroke Regional Hospital’s black and white gala, and dropped the puck at Hockey Fights Cancer in Pembroke.
Miss. Jeapes will continue to spend her tenure as Miss Teen Canada participating in community events on behalf of the Children’s Wish Foundation.