Miss Teen Durham, whoa, it boggles my mind to say it aloud. Never before have I competed in a pageant, so when they called my name I was ecstatic. Oh! My apologies, allow me to introduce myself; My name is Shayna and I am 17 years young from Ajax, Ontario 🙂 I’m sure you are dying to know what my ethnic mix is, and I say this because I am usually asked at least once every time I go out in public by strangers with a similar curiosity level as yours aha. My mom is of Scottish/ German decent and my biological father is Jamaican. Although i’m really proud to just be a Canadian who does not have to be defined by my skin colour 🙂
I have an interesting family dynamic with one older sister (who is my unofficial twin… I’m taller though haha), my step-dad who I love to death, my mother who is so dear to my heart, and of course my two little dogs Piper and Chloe.
Only somewhat recently has my dad come into the picture, as I have always grown up in a single-parent environment. Our home never felt empty though, because my mom always made sure my sister and I never felt like we were missing anything and knew the boundless extent of support and love she had to offer.
My hobbies list is quite extensive, so bear with me 🙂 I have played competitive soccer for about 12 years. I adore soccer because it is the perfect combination of cardio, physical contact, teamwork, and skill. Sadly I have recently stopped playing competitively as it is necessary I focus on work and school. Although I am still playing for the school team! On a completely different note, I am a proud and fanatical bookworm. Books just manage to whisk you away into another place, another world filled with endless possibility. They can teach you something new (____ for Dummies books are my secret weapon), offer you solace from a harsh reality, or merely be an empty notebook that we have to capacity to fill with our own ideas… My entire family, most of my friends, and even my school librarian know that if they just ask, I will have a list of book recommendations for them in about 30 seconds haha.
For your own enjoyment, here a few of my favourites: The Swiss Family Robinson (original) by David Wyss, The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, and The Shadow in the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I quite literally could go on with my list of recommendations, but I will refrain for your sake :p Have I mentioned my extensive repertoire of cheesy jokes?? Okay so what does a nosey pepper do? —> He gets “Jalapeño” business” 😀 **knee slap** On a more serious note, I have a passion for photography, in particular macro and landscape shots. To become a photographer for the National Geographic magazine is my dream, although I prefer to use the term goal, as I want this pursuit to become a reality and plan on doing whatever it takes to achieve it.
Music is a universal language and I believe the world will find unity through chords and lyrics. As a music enthusiast I am currently learning how to play the guitar. My music teacher taught me how to create my own music and I have been dabbling (fairly successfully) in song-writing 🙂 I love animals, and that love is not confined to tiny sized dogs. My family owns a horse named Gunner who is the second big man of the house. Equestrian has always been a passion of both my mother and sister, and only recently have I decided to seriously pursue riding. I am excited to find where this sport will take me, as my coach says I am quite the fast learner 😀 Did I also mention I love sunshine? Being outside is where I spend my entire summer, and even during winter as long as I am properly bundled up. I should also mention I am in the process of learning spanish, so if you are greeted with an “hola!” that is why :p I will limit my hobbies to these, and will save the rest for another post.
I have moved quite often and for three years I actually lived in Arizona, USA, with my mom! It was a phenomenal experience, and the culture was so different, yet invigorating. Not only have I moved houses multiple times, but I have also travelled extensively thanks to my mom,who has always advocated cultural exposure. In 2012 I travelled to Gale’s Point in Belize with my church on a mission trip for 8 days, to help the impoverished women there whose humanity was not fully recognized. It was a life-changing trip.
One that cannot be fully described in words because the emotional impact was so extensive. I personally believe they had more of an impact on us than we did on them 🙂 They taught me about humility and what it means to help someone else… Aside from Belize, I have travelled to Jamaica, Cuba, Dominican Republic,the United States, Germany, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. I am also going to be travelling to four cities in Spain this coming July (SO EXCITED!!) My wanderlust is embodied in a single quote by St. Augustine which is, “the world is a book and if one does not travel they only read one page”. I haven’t been everywhere, but believe me when I say it is on my list :p
I am so excited and thankful to be on this once in a lifetime journey, and absolutely cannot wait to present to all of you my best self.