Miss Teen Okotoks vies for national crown
Okotoks: Justine Orban will represent Alberta at Canada pageant
Thursday, May 31, 2012 04:13 pm
Beauty and determination has landed an Okotoks teen on the national stage.
Justine Orban is preparing for the Miss Teen Canada World competition in July after winning the Okotoks crown earlier this spring.
“I feel like I can conquer the world. I feel like I’m at one of the best points in my life and I can only go up from here,” said the 16-year-old Grade 10 student at Edison School in Okotoks.
Orban was named Miss Teen Okotoks World in March at the Miss Teen Alberta World competition in Calgary. More than 30 girls competed in Calgary and she was one of 13 selected to proceed to the Miss Teen Canada World competition in Toronto July 14 to 22. The winner will go on to compete in the Miss Teen World competition.
As far as she knows, Orban is the first to wear the Okotoks sash at the national competition.
“I’m really happy that I’m the first to be able to represent Okotoks for all of Canada, especially if I won the title of Miss Teen Canada,” she said.
The Calgary pageant included an opening dance number, interviews with judges as well as swimwear and evening gown competitions.
However, it wasn’t just beauty that won the pageant. Each contestant had to speak on an issue important to them that they plan to promote in their role as Miss Teen Canada.
Orban said she wants to raise awareness about mental illness. It’s something that hits home for her as she has battled depression and an eating disorder.
She said people are often embarrassed to discuss the issue and it doesn’t get the attention it needs.
“It isn’t talked about enough,” she said. “It’s something I’ve gone through and I don’t think girls should be embarrassed about it. I’ve worked through it and I’ve come this far.”
Orban, who has not competed in a pageant before, said she entered the event to try something different. She was a dancer from a young age, attending the Royal Winnipeg Ballet when she was 11 years old and she attended the Quinte Ballet School of Canada for a couple summers.
Orban has already become a fixture at events in Okotoks wearing her sash and crown. It’s not all fun and games, however, as the position requires her to do a lot of charity work.
With the national pageant coming up, she has been able to get to know her competition. Contestants are able to get to know each other on-line before the pageant. Orban said this takes some of the pressure off the contestants and there’s already a sense of camaraderie building among the young women.
“Honestly, it’s a lot of fun,” she said. “A lot of us message each other, some of us are planning to take our flights together.”
Orban said the pageant organizers already have a lot of public appearances planned.
“They’ve already given us a few hints about what’s going to happen,” she said. “We’ll be on Breakfast Television. We’ll wear our sashes and crowns everywhere, we’ll go to the CN Tower, we’ll go on boat tours.”
She, who plans to attend university after high school and participate on mission trips abroad, has expanded her horizons and now wants to compete for the Miss Canada crown someday.
Justine’s mother Jane is proud to see how the pageant has changed her daughter. She said Justine has grown considerably and taken a greater interest in volunteering.
“She likes to be in the spotlight, she likes to make a difference,” she said. “She’s very confident, she’s had to mature very quickly.”
Jane said the pageant will give her daughter a lot of opportunities.
She said the pageant isn’t just about looks and helps participants mature.
“It’s not just about how you look,” she said. “It’s about how you interact, it’s about how you are involved in your community, it’s how you care about other people.”