Finnish-Canadian Amanda Aurilio is set to compete for the national title of Miss Teen Canada Globe 2014. For Amanda the beauty pageant is foremost about doing good and representing her community. Instead of modeling, she hopes for a career in dental hygiene.
It's been one busy spring for 16-year-old Amanda Katarina Aurilio. Not only has she been finishing off her second last year in high school, she has also been doing her co-op program at the Trinity Dental office in Brampton. She was also accepted to compete at the national level in the Miss Canada Globe Pageant this year.
60 girls all over Canada are scheduled to compete for the title of Miss Teen Canada Globe in August in Toronto. The winner will be crowned on the 24th.
"It's my first time doing a beauty pageant. I have always wanted to do some modeling, but the idea hasn't ever materialized. I think it will be fun. Even if just for an experience", Amanda says.
Any modeling opportunities would supplement her income as a dental hygienist, which is Amanda's ideal career choice and a passion of hers. After high school she has plans to go to college to obtain a two year degree in dental hygiene.
"As a kid I loved going to the dentist! I had so many problems with my teeth as a kid and I could have easily hated it so much, but for some reason I didn't", Amanda explains.
In her current co-op placement at the dentist office she is given the opportunity to experience her dream job at first hand. For example she gets to sterilize the dental equipment, process x-rays and interact with patients.
More than just a pretty smile
For Amanda the upcoming beauty pageant is more than just a big bright smile and beauty. She has a burning desire to do good as well as gain a bit more confidence.
"Normally I am a pretty shy person. I thought this would be a good opportunity to get out there and learn how to communicate with people more", Amanda says.
"Beauty is of course also an aspect, but I think they concentrate more on young women helping the community. I think this pageant emphasizes the contestant being a role model for other young women and girls. It's also about doing good through charity work for example", says Helen Aurilio, Amanda's mother, who supports her daughter's exciting journey throughout the summer.
Amanda has chosen to help Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. For example her school St. Marguerite d'Youville has donated 1000 dollars in Amanda's name to her charity Sick Kids hospital.
"I have a PDA heart condition. I am waiting for a heart surgery myself to get it fixed. I believe I understand the importance of helping the young patients in need", Amanda says.
She also wants to do a toy drive for the hospital in the future. The title of Miss Teen Canada Globe would be helpful to her to get recognition, donations and a perfect stepping stone for her to do more good.
The opportunity presented itself
The ball was set rolling once Helen posted a photo of her daughter to her Instagram account on March break this year. Soon she got a message from a girl encouraging Amanda to apply for a beauty pageant.
"First we thought of course that this was some kind of a joke or that the person contacting us was somewhat fake. You never know these days", Helen Aurilio says.
The anonymous messenger turned out to be a young girl herself and a former winner of Miss Teen Canada Globe who now was scouting new girls for the competition.
"We were sent information about the competition as well as the online application. This is something that we didn't really plan before hand", Helen says.
But like it said on the shirt Amanda was wearing the day of the interview: "Everything happens for a reason."
"This only happens once in a lifetime", Amanda says.
Text and photo: Miina Sillanpää
Read the rest of the story from the pages of Kanadan Sanomat and know more about Amandas Finnish heritage. The story was released on the issue 28/2014, 24.6.2014