Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women, who have her back. EmpowHER is an organization handled by Michelle Danychuk, which is filled with empowerment, self-confidence and self esteem building for young ladies in the community. It is our first event and planned to do it annually to encourage more girls in showing and helping them to figure out their passion and things that they are capable with.

I was invited to join and be one of the speakers last June 2nd at Biggar Central School 2000. I am honored to tell my story of how I found my passion in pageantry, how I coped up lacking self confidence and to encourage teenage girls to be not afraid of making a change. It is not that easy to speak in front of other girls but I know it’s easy to give an impact to them because when we’re having someone at our age to encourage us, it will be more easier for us to tell something about our experiences because we knew that we are on the same generation where most of us struggles because people judge people all of a sudden.

I’d like to share my speech in this blog to inspire and encourage more girls, not just in our community but in the entire world on building their trust and self confidence.

“To anyone who doesn’t know me, I am Shiela Montes. I was recently crowned as Miss Teenage Saskatchewan 2017 and about to continue my journey this coming August at Toronto competing for Miss Teenage Canada title. I’ve been here in Canada for a year. Just like other people, I am also lacked self confidence. Moving here in Canada wasn’t that easy. It challenged my confidence most especially in socializing with new people in a new environment. I grew up in a city where everyone didn’t care about anyone. Then suddenly, we moved in a small town where everyone knows everyone. I’m used of waking up in 26 degrees Celsius at 5 in the morning, then out of the blue moved in in the place which has negative 26 degrees Celsius at 5 in the morning. Adjustments are overwhelming. It takes a lot of effort, positivity and confidence. As a title holder, someone asked me, what does it takes to become a pageant queen. My answer for that is having self confidence, the willingness in your heart to do the things you want to do and never getting afraid of accepting failures. I know everyone of us here always feels afraid and nervous of experiencing things for the first time. I can still remember my first pageant where I almost backed out. I saw my competitors looking so amazing. I felt ashamed of myself and got a very low self-esteem then I prayed so hard at that time, not because I wanted to win. I prayed to God at that time because I wanted Him to postpone that competition or else make the competition ends like nothing happened. My mom told me to at least try and do my best, because maybe it’s my passion or I’m destined to do pageantry. And she was right. On the following years, I was crowned as Campus Queen 2013 and reigned for 3 years, Miss Girl Scout of the Philippines 2014, Binibing Kalikasan or Miss Earth 2015 Division level, Binibing Kalikasan (Miss Earth) 2016 National Level and recently became Miss Teenage Saskatchewan 2017. I always have with me what my grandma said, “Be the best version of yourself because you deserve all happiness and blessings in life”. My dad keeps reminding me to keep my feet on the ground and never be boastful of my achievements. For me, it takes courage and determination to find your passion in life. Once you’ve found it, build confidence to develop it more and be optimistic always. To all girls out there, we should always believe in ourselves that we have something to prove. We should always be prepared, true and have the willingness to open doors of opportunities. Be confidently beautiful with a heart as what our former Miss Universe always said and don’t underestimate the power that you have right now because you really don’t know what the future holds for you. Just enjoy your life and don’t give up on your dreams. Who knows, maybe you will be the teenager who’ll make a change that will surely make us all proud.”

Written by: Shiela

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