LETHBRIDGE - Samantha Mackenzie leaves Lethbridge Saturday, bound for Toronto to compete in the Miss Teen Canada event, with 50 other hopefuls from across the country.
The 17-year-old moved to southern Alberta nine years ago with her family, and now holds down three jobs, including a Summer Events Assistant for B-93.3 FM and Country 95.5 FM, working with LA Chefs Catering and at Rooster's Country Marketplace in Magrath.
Mackenzie saw ads on social media for the competition and sent in an application form. She was selected, along with 15 others to attend the Miss Teen Alberta event in Calgary and won second runner-up.
"Because of that, they gave me the title Miss Teenage Lethbridge, and they asked me to go up to Toronto and compete for Miss Teenage Canada. I'm super honoured and excited."
She explains that the competition in Toronto will be gruelling, with 20-hour days, interviews with judges, performances and local media appearances, runway events, photo and video shoots, public speaking and a talent competition.
"They really just want to see how you can present yourself, how you are in the public eye. If you're going to be a good role model and if you're going to make a difference with the title."
So, what makes Mackenzie stand out from the competition?
"You will never meet another 17-year-old that works as hard and keeps herself as busy as I do."
The Grade 12 student, along with her three jobs, has also taken part in more than 50 public speaking events, and is active with music, leadership and dance commitments. She's also passionate about raising awareness about mental health issues.
And as far as stereotypical beauty pageants, Mackenzie explains that the Miss Teen Canada competition is much more than that.
"A lot of people think this is all about beauty and putting on a fake act. It's not like that at all. They have an essay competition where they give out scholarships, whoever fundraises the most money gets a mission trip, and it's all about inspiring young women to make a change and actually making a change yourself."
After high-school, Mackenzie is planning on going to music and recording school in Vancouver, in the hopes of becoming a country music band manager and promoter.
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