South Surrey's Madison Stewart (above

South Surrey's Madison Stewart (above

Seeking the crown for a cause

South Surrey's Madison Stewart says a Miss Teenage Canada win will further her goals to help kids with special needs.

Madison Stewart has seen firsthand the difficulties faced by kids with special needs, and she’s determined to see things change for the better.

“I really want kids, especially, to be more accepting of it,” the South Surrey teen said, reflecting on how some people have reacted to her sister, Jada, in the past.

“People can be really quick to judge.”

Jada, who attends Grade 7 at Morgan Elementary, has an invisible disability, meaning many people don’t realize she has special needs.

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

Stewart, in Grade 10 at Earl Marriott Secondary and a volunteer for the Variety Club, got off to a good start on changing those perceptions for Jada and other kids recently, when she won the title of Miss Teenage South Western B.C.

Pageant winCompeting in the pageant, which was held April 2-3 in Richmond, gave the 16-year-old a platform for her cause; a means of raising awareness.

Winning the regional crown means she now gets an opportunity to take the awareness up another notch – on the national stage next month, when she’ll vie for the title of Miss Teenage Canada.

According to the MTC website, more than 60 finalists will compete for the role of beauty and goodwill ambassador – along with $25,000 in cash and prizes – in the pageant, to be held July 17-27 in Toronto.

Contestants will be judged on everything from their community engagement to their prowess at public speaking.

Stewart said preparing for the regional competition, which also included public-speaking, evening gown and swimsuit components, boosted her confidence in front of a crowd.

She’s since done fundraising for Free the Children, and to help victims of the Fort McMurray wildfire.

As that continues, she’s also looking for sponsorships to help with costs of entering the pageant, including a $2,800 entry fee.

While Stewart said she was “a bit surprised” to win at the regional level – “all the girls there were so amazing” – a national title will go a long way to further honour Jada and other kids.

“I’ll be able to become an even bigger advocate for children with special needs,” she said.

To contact Stewart, email missteenagesouthwesternbc2016@gmail.com

Jada and Madison Stewart

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A memorial to Hudson Brooks outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment. (File photo)
Officer who fatally shot Hudson Brooks recounts ‘absolutely terrifying’ incident

Const. Elizabeth Cucheran testified at coroner’s inquest Tuesday morning

Photo posted to facebook.com/HoratioAlgerCA.
Eight Surrey students among 170 Horatio Alger scholarship winners in Canada

‘Need-based scholarships’ given to high school students

File photo
Surrey council members give themselves a raise in secret meeting

A redacted report was subsequently posted to the city’s website

Students with Seaquam Secondary’s Delta Youth Advisory Council are collecting non-perishable food donations Feb. 1 to March 5 to help feed local families in need over spring break. (Delta School District/submitted photo)
Seaquam Secondary food drive to help feed 15 North Delta families

Donations can be dropped week days between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. until Monday, March 8

Jennifer Brooks with a stone tablet that adorns the memorial to her son Hudson, outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment parkade where he was fatally shot by police in July 2015. (File photo)
Coroner’s inquest underway to examine Hudson Brooks’ 2015 police-shooting death

Witness recalls ‘feeling scared’ for South Surrey man in moments before RCMP fired fatal shots

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Most Read