Community

Peninsula teen seeks global crown

Ike Lalji, chairman of Miss World Canada, with Lisa Xie, who will compete in the pageant. - Contributed photo
Ike Lalji, chairman of Miss World Canada, with Lisa Xie, who will compete in the pageant.
— image credit: Contributed photo

A Semiahmoo Secondary student has her sights set on world domination this year.

Lisa Xie will be taking on the Miss World Canada pageant along with 35 other finalists from all over the country.

Xie, 17, will be one of the youngest women participating in the nationwide competition, which is the preliminary event to the international Miss World pageant, where more than 120 countries will be represented.

The longstanding pageant focuses on humanitarianism and philanthropy, with contestants becoming world ambassadors who donate their time and energy to support community work.

Xie and her fellow contestants will work alongside pageant partner Variety – The Children’s Charity to improve the lives of underprivileged children with special needs.

“I’m really excited. I’ve done a lot of public speaking and community work. I’m more excited to meet the delegates who are fighting for causes that impact the world than I am nervous,” she said Tuesday. “It will be a great chance for me.”

Xie, who immigrated from China in 2005, said she will be using the platform to advocate for basic education rights around the world.

“I believe in the rights for every child to receive free and quality education without gender inequality or society barriers,” she said. “I am working with a group of students to raise money to build schools around the world. Last year, we raised $60,000 and the money went towards building a brand-new school in China, and we supplied the students with the remaining money.

“I had this great chance to come to Canada and receive a free and quality education. I’ve seen firsthand how that impacted me.”

The busy teen noted she will also continue her anti-bullying work, which has included taking on the role of chair for the White Rock and Surrey Kids Help Phone Ambassadors and organizing the Lighthouse Talent Show last December, which benefitted anti-bullying campaigns.

“I’ve dealt with bullying. I’ve been bullied. It’s something I hold close to my heart,” she said. “I’m definitely going to keep working on it.”

Xie’s focus now is on finding sponsors. The pageant will culminate in May when the crowning ceremony will take place at the River Rock Casino.

For more information on the pageant, visit www.missworldcanada.com

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