Today, I spent Easter Sunday at Toronto’s Centre Islan handing out over 500 chocolate eggs to children and their families. It was nice to spend a day giving back to the community in a very minimal way. Taking time from seeing my own family and spending it with other families was extremely rewarding. Someone who stood out to me was a single mother with three little ones. She told me she was struggling to make ends meet as she would work two jobs in order to provide for her little ones. She said getting the chance for her little ones and herself meet me made her day. Telling the mother about my struggles growing up and how I, too, also work many jobs in order to make ends meet. It is strenuous to work so much and do other tasks day after day, but working for things are only more rewarding to yourself in the end.

I know I am not able to change the world, but I do believe a single person has the ability to make someone’s world. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to have people in my life who motivated me to go far with my life. I still have many of these people still around today, but for those who are not, I know they would be exceptionally proud of what I have done with myself. I, Ronnie (full name: Veronica Katharine) Allen am not a person you can describe in one sentence. I strive to make it my life mission to help people and make their lives better. As a career, I plan to become a police officer in the Emergency Task Force. This September will mark the first step in my journey to reach the ultimate goal as I am going to be pursuing criminology. I believe the purpose of life is to give back to society and to make your community a great place in order to live life at its finest. I know a person can only do so much, but taking the time to put a smile on someone’s face makes me feel accomplished; I encourage others to do the same. Take a moment to think about how you can give back to your friends, teachers, coworkers, family in order to light up their day.

My new friend, Beasley Bear, and myself

Peace Out!

Ronnie

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In the last year, I’ve been trying many new things, which have been beneficial to me. For example, participating in this pageant and making the decision to go back to high school for an extra semester. While attending Parkdale Collegiate Institute, I met awesome people; both teachers and students, that only made my life better. Taking writer’s craft in the extra semester, I began to appreciate and enjoy writing and became a better writer. I’m so happy I went there.

My new friends and teachers introduced me to the Parkdale and Roncesvalles neighbourhood. I absolutely love learning new things and I am now familiar with new cultures and traditions. Everyone who knows me at Parkdale knows how excited I get when I hear momos; a traditional Tibetan bun filled with vegetables or meat or not filled at all. 

Contradictory to what many believe about pageant girls and not eating, I enjoy eating. Here are some of my favourite restaurants in the Parkdale and Roncesvalles neighbourhood!

#1: Om Restaurant – 1439 Queen Street West (416) 532 – 3901 

Om is known for its amazing $5 lunch special of rice, salad, your choice of a vegetable side dish, and your choice of meat dish. Om is comfortable and inviting as you also have the option to have a sit down meal. The staff are friendly and inviting. This was the first restaurant in Parkdale I have been to and it will always be in my heart.

 

#2: Tibet Kitchen – 1544 Queen Street West (416) 913 – 8726

When I think of Tibet Kitchen I immediately associate the place with their amazing 8 momos for $10. As previously mentioned, momos have become one of my favourite foods after stumbling around Parkdale. Tibet Kitchen is the “Home of the Momos” for this pageant girl! They also have amazing curries on their lunch menu. The staff are very polite and caring.

 

#3: Hey! Meatball – 89 Roncesvalles Avenue (647) 748 – 0439 

Hey! Meatball is a restaurant that really speaks to me about Roncesvalles Village’s welcoming neighbourhood. I adore Roncy because there are specialty meat and baked good shops, little boutiques, and cozy restaurants and cafes. This restaurant mainly features Italian food and homemade sodas, which are delicious. They have very friendly staff and they are not hesitant to explain their items on the menu. Hey! Meatball terrifically combines great food and drinks with a cozy and peaceful atmosphere making it a true Roncy hangout!

#4: Barque – 299 Roncesvalles Avenue (416) 532 – 7700

Barque is a smokehouse that is well-known in the Roncy community for its barbecue. Barque was featured on Food Network’s “You Gotta Eat Here!” and that does not surprise me. Something that I really enjoy which makes Barque so unique is upon arrival, you’re greeted by friendly staff who offer your choice of regular or sparkling water. While trying to make up your mind of what to order off their incredible menu spiced popcorn is in a bucket on your table and served alongside two sauces: smoked mustard and smoked ketchup. Barque is a one of my favourite gems in the Roncesvalles Village.

Hope you enjoyed reading this tasty post about why I love the Parkdale and Roncesvalles community. These are some the amazing communities that make Toronto such a diverse and city to live in! Oh and do not forget to cheer the Toronto Blue Jays on this season! #lovethisteam #gojaysgo

Peace Out!

Ronnie


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Awww man! If you are in your final year of high school you probably have mixed emotions; happiness, sadness, fear, and fatigue. These last few months are especially worrysome if you are planning to pursue post-secondary education in the fall. From now until June, you may experience added stresses, including but not limited to parents, relationships, finding a summer job, saving money for university or college and for many teenage girls…PROM! However, stress related to these things is completely normal.

During grade 12 I became very stressed. Not only was I living on my own, I was dealing with family issues while keeping a part-time job and experiencing the everyday stressors at school. I finished my final year of high school with a 77 percent average and unfortunately, I was not accepted to university.

Graduation with my best friend, Erika, since the first day of high school - GO TIGERS!

I made the decision to take another semester and it was remarkably beneficial for me! The outcome was amazing. I was recently accepted to my top choice of university with a scholarship, and going to a different school allowed me to make new friends and learn about myself each day. I am so proud of how much I have matured and grown over this past year. I believe that more students should consider taking an extra semester or full year to both relieve stress and enhance their education. It opens doors to new opportunities, making friends, and gaining life experience.

It is very common for students, especially in grade 12, to feel confused about which university or college to attend. A piece of advice that helped me with choosing my the university that ended up being my top choice was to research it before hand. Major things to take into consideration are the program, residency, student life, the location, and extra-curricular activities. It is a great idea to see if there are any sports and/or clubs that interest you since those can be a great way to meet new people and gain important social skills in your first year. I plan on joining the varsity field hockey team in university as I was captain of the team in high school and a dedicated player for four years.

Senior Year: My last game of high school field hockey

No matter what you plan on doing, remember to make time for yourself. Take a long bubble bath, watch a movie with friends, or even go for a run. If things become “too much”, make sure to talk to someone and let these feelings out. A healthy way to deal with stress is to express it, instead of bottling it up. Just breathe!

Stay strong, especially in the next few months before summer! If things seem overwhelming at the moment, they will only get better when moving forward!

Peace Out!

Ronnie

 


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Thank you Elmwood Spa for sponsoring me in the Miss Teenage Canada Pageant in July with the complimentary manicure! I’ve been to Elmwood many times in the past for massages and facials and I really enjoy their services. The staff are very friendly and patient. The spa has a very zen atmosphere and includes a Thai restaurant. Thank you once again, Elmwood. Check out their website: www.elmwoodspa.com

Peace Out!

Ronnie

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On Monday, I got sponsored by Sterling Optical and Goa Hair Salon which are both located in Toronto, Ontario! Thank you so much for sponsorship to help me on my journey to the national level of Miss Teenage Canada this July!

Sterling Optical is located at 595 Bay Street inside the Atrium plaza. Their friendly staff are awesome as I know this from eighteen years of experience! 

Goa Hair Salon is located at 714 Bloor Street West. Goa treats their clients very well and I suggest asking for Hannah Hwang. You can check her out on Instagram @hannahgoa.

Peace Out!

Ronnie

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One of my favourite restaurants is Sneaky Dee’s on the outskirts of Little Italy in Toronto, Ontario. Located on the south-east side of College and Bathurst Streets, it is hard not to miss the grunge and colourful building. Sneaky Dee’s has been around since the 80′s and is family owned. The upstairs part of the building is used to host events in the community such as dances and concerts. The Tex-Mex restaurant has also been featured in the Scott Pilgrim comics. Here is the link to the restaurant! http://sneaky-dees.com/home/

I enjoy the busy and loud atmosphere at Sneaky Dee’s. Growing up in the Kensington Market neighbourhood as I attended Kensington Community School, I always appreciate the diverse and welcoming community.  My favourite thing off the entire menu that I will always get are their delicious chicken wings!!! You can ask for them to be mild or you can get them suicide hot! The avocado-sour cream dip is one of my favourite things about this meal because the cool sauce balances the tanginess of the wings. A plate of 10 wings are $11 and 20 are $22. These wings are total worth it though!!! 

The service from the servers is laid back and they do not bother you and your party, which I really like at restaurants! My favourite server at Sneaky Dee’s of all time is Matty! He’s a super cool guy. Check out the joint if you are somewhere close by in Toronto!

Peace out!

Ronnie

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 Yesterday, was Family Day in Ontario. The third Monday in February is a day to reflect on all the important people in our lives who we call “family” – by blood or not. Yesterday, also marked the one year anniversary of someone very close to me’s death. When I went to visit his grave, I felt incredibly sad, but I chose to look at this day to be grateful of all the good times we shared together. I will love him forever! Be thankful of the family and friends in your life! Embrace the love you have for these individuals! I am so thankful to have such amazing friends. They are my family! Send a quick text, e-mail, call, etc. telling someone how awesome they make you feel. Not only will it make you happy, but also the individual receiving this. Look at every day as a milestone.

Peace out!

Ronnie

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Hey everyone!

My name is Ronnie from Toronto, Ontario. I am 18 years old. I joined the pageant because from October 2011-May 2013 I battled anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and clinical depression. During this period, it was incredibly challenging, but it also made me into the young woman I am today.

One thing that kept me going when I was dealing with my mental health challenges was keeping busy! I was apart of numerous clubs and sports teams at my high school, Harbord Collegiate Institute. One club that will always be important to me is Stop The Stigma. Stop The Stigma is a committee driven to raise the awareness of mental health within Toronto high schools. The club was so meaningful to me that I became a speaker in the executive Stop The Stigma committee for the Toronto District School Board. I went across the city participating in Stop The Stigma assemblies telling my story. Unfortunately, this year’s executive committee was cut due to the lack of the school board’s budget. Instead, I decided to apply to the Miss Teenage Canada pageant so I could continue to tell my story. I was able to overcome so much in my life and I want others to feel like how I am to this day.

I aspire to become a police officer in the Emergency Task Force (ETF). More so specifically, I want to become a negotiator who deals with high risk situations because I first hand understand crises as I have dealt with my own. I plan to continue being a role model for my career. Life is so important to me! Embrace it! Love who you are before you love others!

Peace out!

Ronnie

Miss Teenage Southern Ontario 2014

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Hi everyone,

This past year has been amazing. I have experienced things that I never thought that I would, and met so many new people. I have reached people in ways that I never thought I could.
I got to speak to kids and teens about my platform of bullying and I was able to volunteer at events!
This pageant gave me confidence and now I feel so much more comfortable being myself and it feels amazing. I also met so many girls and we are now sisters for life. They all mean so much to me and I can’t thank them enough.
I would also like to thanks my family, they have supported me through this whole experience and have been my biggest fans.
To the girls competing this year:
Don’t be afraid to be yourself and promote your platform and be confident about it. Be sure to have lot’s of fun because it will be over before you know it so make the most of it! Regardless of the outcome, if you are your own kind of beautiful you will always feel like a winner.
This has been the best year of my life so thank you for all of the support and love. <3
“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
Xoxo
Mackenzie Campbell
Mackenzie Campbell, Ontario
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