Hello, beauties,

If you have not read Part 1 of my past experiences, go check that out before reading Part 2. You can check out Part 1 at http://missontarioworld.com/2020/part-1-past-experiences/

After the YMCA;

At the Welcome Centre, my responsibilities included counselling immigrants and refugees, and administrative duties which involved photocopying and printing documents.

The program was about supporting immigrants and refugees who had just come into Canada.

Volunteering while studying in college; 

At the Lakehead University in Thunderbay, I mentored youth and children at the Thunderbay Counselling Centre, until I was transferred to the Orillia Lakehead campus. I graduated with honours in Interdisciplinary Studies, which was focused on multiple subjects. My areas of concentration include Immigration, Sociology, Law, and Psychology. 

Graduation Photo

I intentionally chose to focus on other areas in addition to immigration because I needed to understand how policies and Bills are created in Canada. I also wanted to understand how people function from academic psychology and sociology perspectives, which are two foundations that I believe are essential in any professional field.

My final thesis paper and presentation was on NEET (Not in Employment, Education, and Training), with a focus on immigrants and refugees.

Final poster

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, I was volunteering at the Intercultural Iranian Canadian Resource Centre (I2CRC). I worked with a team that supported individuals and families affected by the flight PS752 incident. We held weekend meetings to help the victims heal from grief and post-traumatic stress disorder following the sad news about that flight.

I have also worked with the Canadian Diabetes Association and the Toronto Cares organization.

Here’s some information about my family; 

I feel the need to add this bit because it is how my passion for volunteering was shaped. My family background is deeply connected to immigration experiences. We help immigrants and Kurdish families every time the opportunity arises.

Spending time with my family.

I have always been interested in learning about my ethnic identity.  In Iran, there was a ban on my language and culture in schools when my parents were still young. I have so many questions about my ethnic background that need answers. I still haven’t met two of my uncles due to human rights issues. Hopefully, things will change for the better soon.

My life in Canada has been incredible. I have so many opportunities here and a better future.

Till next time

Love,

Melody

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What better way to get up and get active from the safety of your own home than joining me for a Totally Tubular 80s workout? Watch my promo video here for the full effect!

This hour long 80s workout was hand created by me with all of the best hits from the 80s in mind. So grab your spandex and leg warmers because we are going to have a wicked time!

It’s donate to participate so if you make a donation to The Make A Wish Foundation then I will send you a link to join me live on September 23rd from 5-6pm or if you can’t make it live then I will send you a link of the recording.

This is an event that you do not want to miss!

Written by: Erin
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“If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.”

Our world is based on materialistic items where ever we look and turn. There’s a lot of emphasis on the car you drive, the shoes you wear and the purse you hold. Because of this we always find ourselves wanting more and get caught up in everything that we are consuming. We don’t take the time to sit back and appreciate the things we do have.

I love the question; “do you prefer receiving or giving gifts?” Most answer that they like giving gifts. Seeing the smile it puts on someone’s face, the joy it brings them and knowing that you made their day is an indescribable feeling. We feel good when we give; we feel good when we put a smile on someone’s face, whether it be out best friend or a stranger.

Giving makes the world go round.

My sister, Miss Teenage Brampton, and I, organized a food drive with the Knight’s Table organization in Peel. Their mission is to alleviate hunger in the Peel region, by providing food banks, hot meals and other services to the people, who deal with the daily issues of hunger, poverty and homelessness.

My sister and I drove all around our community picking up non perishable food from all our friends and family’s doorsteps who could participate in our food drive.

With all their help we were able to collect a trunk full of donations that will help feed the citizens of Peel who need our help the most. Thank you so much to our friends and family for making this possible and truly changing people’s lives.

My Mom taught me to always give whenever I could and that when I feel down to think about all the things I have to be grateful for. There are people that live among us that do not have a safe home or food on their table every night. The opportunity to give, donate or spread awareness is the opportunity to give a smile.

“No act of kindness is too small. The gift of kindness may start as a ripple that over time can turn into a tidal wave affecting the lives of many.”

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Hello everyone,

So, I have a great idea; it will be wonderful to know you all better. 

Here’s the plan – we can get to learn more about each other and start growing our online community here.

I will go first by writing about my volunteer experiences, the high and low points, and why volunteering and helping vulnerable people gives me joy.

For a significant part of my life, I have been dedicated to working with vulnerable people in Canada. It is a decision that I will take if I am given the opportunity to start over again. 

My interest in volunteering with organizations that support immigrants became stronger when I was in Grade 10 (high school).  I was part of a team organized to help immigrant students who had just been enrolled in our school – Alexander Mackenzie High School – to feel welcome and accepted in the learning environment. It was a fantastic experience that prepared me for the next volunteering experience. 

In 2013, I got another opportunity to volunteer and help people. I was a Smile Mentor at my college (Seneca). It was a group mentoring experience that targeted supporting young students whose parents were refugees or immigrants. This was one of my first group mentoring experiences, which were quite different from the one on one mentoring sessions.

Awarded as a SMILE Mentor

Sadly, the scheduling for the mentoring program was not convenient, and it was difficult for the participants to keep up. I felt sad that many of the set goals were not achieved.

My passion for mentoring led me to the next experience. I joined the volunteer team at the YMCA Employment Centre. 

Working with my supervisor Colette Lyttle, we mentored young people who needed help with securing good jobs. We set up mock interviews, provide information about potential jobs, and taught the participants how to write cover letters, presentations, and resume building tips. 

Courses I had taken at Seneca College

It was an amazing experience that lasted for over one year and a half, during which I did my placement until the program ended. 

I was privileged to receive a volunteer recognition award after my YMCA volunteering experience. And next, I got an opportunity to work with another non-profit organization called the Welcome Centre. 

Well, that’s a lot about my volunteering experiences and what I have been doing in that area. In my next blog, I will share with you all the additional experiences in my field of passion <3

Let me know more about you. Please feel free to write in the comment section below.

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WE DID IT! The Community REVIVAL Fundraiser for Children’s Wish finally happened! On Saturday, September 5th, I hosted a fundraiser in an effort to raise money for Children’s Wish charity, so that young children diagnosed with a dying illness can have their wishes come true.

Just like its name, Community REVIVAL Fundraiser, I truly felt a strong sense of community that day. It was so refreshing to be around people, especially after going through a global pandemic. Just being able to see the smiles and laughter from old and new faces definitely made the hard work and sleepless nights all worth it.              

We raised $1930 from this fundraiser alone! I really hope that it can make a positive difference in the lives of young children.

Did you know that I wanted to be an event coordinator? I remember being close to graduating from Ryerson university and having an interest in becoming an event coordinator. I was SO SURE that I wanted to do events. I even emailed and talked to an event company that was willing to have me as an assistant. Although I found my purpose (which isn’t event coordinating), I still love events and community gatherings. Being able to fundraise for Children’s Wish/Make-A-Wish charity has been so fulfilling and rewarding for me. I get to combine my passions into one. First, I get to make a positive difference in the lives of children who are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Second, I get to fulfil my interest in planning and hosting events. Third, it’s for the child and youth community! It’s what I studied, what I love and what I am pursuing! I mean, I just can’t even tell you how unbelievably perfect this has all been. I still can’t wrap my head around how relevant and close this is to my heart. It is an absolute pleasure serving this community and being a part of a great organization that aims to make support those who are in need. If I learned anything this year, it’s that we should treat everyone with kindness and get rid of any perceived notions about people we come across. People deserve an opportunity.. a chance to become a better version of themselves. All they need is an extra hand and support from those that care.

I definitely could not have done this without the help of my parents and friends. I had wonderful volunteers put in their time and energy to make sure that I felt supported and stress-free. I was able to interact with all the guests and take pictures with leisure, all thanks to them!

And of course, I could not have done this without my wonderful sponsors! Although I asked for their support about a week prior to the event, they were more than happy to sponsor their products for this fundraiser. It was really heartwarming to see that there are local businesses that are willing to use their passion to give back to an amazing cause. Despite the struggles that COVID-19 has brought to their own business, they still showed a lot of love and support to Children’s Wish charity. I am so inspired after connecting with my sponsors this weekend. It is truly a selfless act that I wish to follow.

Thank you to:

1. Pretty Little Secrets (@prettylittlesecretsofficial)

2. Sweet & Sadaf (@sweetandsadaf)

3. Rachel’s Cookies (@rachels.cookies)

                                     

4. El Cevichónn Catering (@elcevichonn.catering)

 

5. Naomiiz Catering (@naomiiz.catering)

     

6. Kung Fu Tea (@kungfutea_toronto)

7. Soul Cafe (@soulcafe_toronto)

It was the best night I could ask for, and the best way to say good bye to summer.

 

 

 

Until next time,

Julia Lee

Miss Southern Ontario 2020

 

 

 

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Happy Sunday everyone!

September has started and many of us will be starting classes up again, internships, work, etc., combined with pageant prep, mental health days and more. Which means that we will be extremely busy and might not find time or energy to exercise. Exercising is so important, whether it’s a 15 minute walk, some stretching, simply any sort of movement will do your mind and body good. 

Throughout the quarantine I have been so consistent in keeping my mind and body healthy by exercising at least 4-5 times a week, and I do not want to lose this consistency or motivation. That’s why I’ve decided to join the 30-day JUMP IN for Women’s Heart Health challenge. What it consists of is exercising every day for 30 mins from September 1st – September 30th.

This challenge was created by the Heart Institute Foundation to support women’s heart health. Heart disease is the #1 killer for women worldwide and many of us aren’t aware of how to keep our ❤️s healthy and safe.

By taking part in this challenge and donating, we are supporting women’s heart health through research, education, and programming at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre. This cause hits very close to my heart because one of my favourite music teachers received a heart transplant, he is an incredible person and without him I would not be where I am today.

Exercising 30 mins for 30 days in support of this cause will help create awareness, develop confidence, and give back.

Let’s keep our women healthy! Let’s take care of our hearts and let’s JUMP IN together ❤️

(BTW my dog is the best yoga instructor 😂)

Aiona Santana

Miss Ottawa World 2020

Social Media:
Instagram: @AionaSantana
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AionaSantanaa
Twitter: @AionaSantana
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Hey guys! I am back with my 13th blog!!

Since school is starting back, I had decided to create a book for younger kids to talk about this virus that they have been seeing on the news. With a help of pinterest, I found the perfect story for the children to read. With my own little twist of course 😉

As an ECE (Early Childhood Educator) we take the initiative to guide children in the right path. As role models we encourage and support children to start wearing their mask when school starts back this month. As educators we do our best to provide information to help children understand. So for my mini project before school starts, my room partner and I decided to create a book that will help children understand what the Cornavirus is. As Miss. Etobicoke, being a role model means demonstrating a positive behavior and setting an example to kids in the community. This means wearing a mask when necessary such as in buildings, schools, public spaces and respecting social distancing (6 feet apart). Even though we are currently in stage 3, I encourage everyone to wear their mask when needed.

Here is a little sneak peak of some of the pages that I have created with my cousins.

If you would like to read the full story of this amazing book that I have created, please go to my facebook, Simone Mohabir to get the full version.

Thank you guys for keeping up with me during quarantine! I have more projects ahead!

 

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“Today, why don’t we love a little deeper, laugh a little harder, hold the ones you love a little tighter. Because tomorrow is never promised.”

The Children’s Make A Wish Foundation truly makes dreams come true. We often overlook the simple things in life and forget to be grateful. Especially through this pandemic, it gave many of us the opportunity to slow down and appreciate time at home. While some enjoyed this time and picked up new hobbies, some got restless of being “locked up.”

Many of these children have spent months, years and even their whole lives in a hospital. Through the money raised for Make A Wish, they are able to grant these children with some of their biggest dreams.

My sister Monika, Miss Teenage Brampton 2020 and I, held a movie night fundraiser and called it “A Wish Under The Stars.”

With the help of our family and friends we were able to raise over $1000 in just one night.

I would like to thank HD Media Displays, for providing the location, video wall, audio and lights, A Little Taste of Heaven for the cupcakes and Pizza Nova and Sobey’s for their donations. The night would not have been possible without all their help. Together we all enjoyed an outdoor movie on a big screen, pizza, popcorn and cupcakes! It was a night full of laughter, fun and smiles knowing that together we were going to make a difference in a child’s life.

Here’s a small video clip from the night!

https://youtu.be/5hcOH16W5Jo

It is amazing to see that the Miss Teenage Canada delegates raised over $30,000 in total, granting three wishes! Those young girls are inspirations and doing such an amazing job carrying their titles in ways to truly make a difference.

– “Give like the sun and the whole world grows.”

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Hey beautiful people!

On Saturday, August 29th, 2020 I had a great time attending a Back to School BBQ event in Scarborough; I sang and networked with the amazing folks at Helping Neighbourhoods Implement Change (HNIC). The highpoint of my day at the event was the opportunity I was given to talk about my Beauty with a Purpose project.

Buying Shea Butter at the event

About HNIC;

HNIC is a non-profit organization in the GTA. HNIC works with marginalized communities with a focus on the youth in lower socioeconomic communities. The youth receive mentoring in areas such as educational interests and they learn the best approaches to secure employment.

HNIC event flyer

The Event:

It was organized by Rayon Brown, who is one of the mentors helping the children, youth, and families in neighbourhoods such as Rexdale, Weston-Mount Dennis, and Jane & Finch. The event started at 12 pm. It was fun; local businesses set up stands to display their products and activities such as games in a bouncy castle and basketball were played. The organizers sold raffle tickets, and there was delicious food for everyone.

Activities

I talked with interesting people, telling them about my Beauty with a Purpose project and why it means a lot to me. I also graced the stage, sang a few songs, and I made a speech about my projects.

The importance of mentoring

So many people do not ask for help because it is understandably difficult. This should not be the situation. Offering mentorship is a great way to create a channel through which people understand what they need to do to be independent and successful, based on the experience of others. Mentorship focuses on empowerment, establishing friendships, and encouraging the audience to develop social skills and self-confidence.

The goals of mentorship are achieved by building a long-term relationship with a focus on offering support and promoting teamwork that engages the mentor and mentee. While working with the HNIC group, we will provide school backpacks and supplies to children from low-income neighbourhoods. As always, it feels great to have another opportunity to make people smile.

HNIC t-shirt

 

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“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.” -Albert Einstein

    I came across these words this morning while sipping a steaming coffee at sunrise.
    Listening to the stillness of a world yet to wake into the bustle of a new day, I pondered the question again.
“Do we live in a friendly or hostile Universe?”
    This question stands the test of time, and is especially relevant this year. We have watched and experienced a pandemic and system upheavals around the globe.
    Yet with each collapse, we have also been a part of a monumental story wherein humanity rises, strengthened by innovative means to express love, connect to share stories, and empower one another.
 
    Both perspectives are valid, but whether we choose to focus on love or fear is the gift of choice we are each given to answer for ourselves. From global circumstances to life at home, to how great of an extent does Einstein’s question affect how we experience life?
    A simple shift in perspective can alter more than we may imagine.
 

Fear Is Not Who We Are

    How we define any passing experience  is rooted in how we interpreted experiences in the past: Both as an individual expression and the entirety of humanity. For thousands of years, humans have wired fear into the brain; an emotional response starting in the brain’s amygdala, or “reptile brain”. This began as an evolutionary mechanism of survival for our ancestors, but today, appears in a multitude of masks, such as limitations, unable to speak one’s truth, or an inability to pursue a passion.

    The brain is capable of being molded and transformed as it is exposed to new learning experiences and ideas. In fact, each time we learn something fresh,  a new synaptic connection is created, and the brain is physically altered. Learning is therefore an upgrade of sorts, described by neuroplasticity (the ability for the brain to be in constant evolution). Maintenance of new, intentional thoughts and perspectives take persistence and awareness to wire into subconscious patterns. However, once we have an awareness that fear is not who we are, but rather, a function in the brain which can be shattered by conscious choice, we can make thrilling leaps in our leadership, inner gifts, and life.
    This is exciting! While we may have limited say in which circumstances cross our paths, we have great ability to master our internal responses to whatever the tide may bring.
 

Fear & Love Chemicals & Their Impact

    The brain experiences emotions based on whether we live our moments with love or fear, and responds by sending different chemicals to the body. For example, a fearful response stemming from an emotion of limitation sparked in the brain will stimulate the release of chemicals which in excess, are toxic. Cortisol and norepinephrine among others, in excess, have the strength to morph and kill cells in the body. Love initiated chemicals, on the other hand, such as oxytocin and dopamine, rejuvenate cells and amplified their vitality.
 
Fear physically catabolizes our bodies.
Love physically energizes our bodies.
 
    This is to say that our choice in perception, and the emotions which follow, quite literally affect our cellular expression and their vitality. Inner work on our peace is the greatest gift we can give ourselves and others. When we see others with love, we nurture our being while giving the other individual the freedom to simply be themselves. This is a blessing, and a true celebration of humanity.
 

Flourishing Vitality

    So, Einstein’s words ring true. The question then becomes: How can we choose love over fear?
    Or more specifically,

How can we explore our own perspectives to craft beautiful ecosystems at home, thereby effortlessly experiencing greater perspectives of love?

    Here is a selection of inspired ideas for creating beautiful internal and external ecosystems for flourishing vitality.
 
  • Fill your space with masterful works of art and writing.

  • Craft visually beautiful meals and take pleasure in enjoying every bite.
  • Listen to music that was composed with care.
  • Believe in your innermost gifts, expressions, and dreams, and take a small action every day to bring them to life.
  • Take joy in small victories and pushing beyond boundaries.
  • Give every action full attention and commitment to excellence.
  • Spend time with nature. It is a great teacher of peace and simply being.
  • Express the body authentically through freedom of movement.
  • Simplify your home by clearing non essentials from living spaces.
  • Choose media consumption with care.
  • Keep a gratitude journal and cultivate an awareness of the love present in every day.

    These days may be turbulent, but within any challenge lies the opportunity to grow and strengthen our foundations. It is my hope that you find these concepts and ideas valuable in your journey.

  

With love & respect,

Mikaila Emrich

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