Watching the Miss Universe pageant last January ignited a spark in Taylur-Saveena Jeffers.
“I saw we had a Canadian representative there and I started to look at what pageants are held in Canada,” she said.
Miss World Canada captured her attention. It’s the official preliminary for Miss World, which is the world’s oldest and largest pageant, attracting contestants from 147 countries.
“I wanted to experience that one because it’s on a global scale,” said Jeffers, who is a competitive cheerleader. “It also offers a platform to speak about an issue that you are passionate about. For me, that is mental health which affects many young people in our community.”
Jeffers is among 45 female contestants who will participate in this year’s pageant on May 16 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. Each delegate is required to raise funds for Variety – The Children’s Charity.
She filled out an online application and was selected for a phone interview at the end of January.
“They told me I would get an e-mail in February by a certain time indicating whether I had made the final cut,” said Jeffers. “When that time passed, I freaked out figuring I didn’t make it. I was a bit down. The e-mail came the next day saying I had made it and I was completely elated and overjoyed. I called my mom immediately with the good news.”
The Durham College pre-nursing student, who was recently accepted into the University of Ontario Institute of Technology to pursue kinesiology, did her catwalk training with the other Ontario and Quebec-based delegates last month.
“That was fun even though walking in heels was nerve-wracking at first,” she said. “But once I got into the flow of things, I was able to pick up quickly on what I am supposed to do on stage.”
A graduate of Ajax High School, Jeffers leaves for Vancouver on May 10 to complete her preparation for the event.
Jeffers, who plans to enter medical school and specialize in orthopaedic surgery, is looking forward to the experience.
“More than getting the opportunity to meet new people, this is a chance for me to network,” she said.
Voting for the People’s Choice Miss and Mister World Canada contestants has started. Individuals can go to www.missworldcanada.com and vote for their favourite contestant by “liking” her/his profile. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will be announced during the Miss and Mister World Canada national finals. The People’s Choice Award winner will automatically place in the Top 16.
Voting closes on May 14 at 11:59 pm PST.