A grade 12 student from Owen Sound was recently crowned Miss Teenage Grey County.
Solay Tannahill competed at the Miss Teenage Canada Ontario Preliminary Competition earlier this month and will compete this June (June 30-July 5) at the National Level.
Solay had never competed in a pageant before and thought it was a great way to motivate herself, as well as build confidence after recovering from back surgery.
The student, who will be attending University of Ottawa next fall to study International Development and Globalization - in hopes of becoming an International Aid Worker - lives with scoliosis and had spinal fusion in September.
"I thought pageantry would be a really good way to express how proud I am of myself and the work that I've done... to come so far and help me get me out of my shell," she says.
Solay says before the competition she worked on her physicality and started swimming and running more.
"I feel like people think pageants are about outer beauty and your physical appearance and that's not what they're about at all; it's all about motivating delegates and teaching confidence."
She adds she is very proud of her platform which is "beauty uniqueness" which she hopes to promote on blogs and social media.
"It's all about how people are unique in their own way; whether that's a physical or mental aspect; you cannot be anyone else."
Solay is excited for what the next year will bring as she attends various Grey County events to spread her message while also fundraising for the pageants National charity - Make a Wish Canada.
"There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes including: public speaking and self confidence and advocacy in your community," which she thinks inspires delegates to become volunteer activist.