Sunday July 15th the girls and I were lucky enough to have four inspiring women speak to us. The women ranged in careers from gymnasts to dentists! As the mentors walked in, they each exuded poise and confidence.
The first to speak was Melani Chong. Melani has led a life many girls dream of. As a model she has traveled around the world, modeling for Armani, Gucci, and MAC cosmetics. While modeling, she noticed there was a lack of skin care products free from harsh chemicals. Melani decided she wanted to do something about that. Melani went back to school and developed a skin care line that incorporated fashion, beauty, and health. At the end of Melani’s speech she offered advice to all of the girls; she reminded us to always keep learning.
The second speaker at the event was Katrina Hadden. Katrina arrived in a stunning floor
length, aqua dress. Her presence was infectious, while she was talking I couldn’t’ take my eyes off of her, (I almost forgot to take notes!). Katrina spoke about being bullied, overcoming eating disorders, and making her own place in the modeling industry. Katrina is a size 12, too big for petit modeling but too small for plus size modeling. After taking a leap of faith and moving to Toronto, she landed a job in Toronto Fashion Week where she said she had a career high light. As she started strutting on the catwalk, the crowd applauded! Katrina’s piece of advice is to “Use what you have”. I think this piece of advice is perfect for this competition because the competition encourages the girls to “Be your own kind of beautiful”. It only makes sense that people should be themselves because nobody does it better.
The third speaker is former Olympian Alexandra Orlando. Alexandra competed in the 2008 Olympics for Rhythmic Gymnastics. While speaking about her journey to the Olympics, she explained to us how much she had changed between 2003 and 2008. She said she learned that its not always about winning, but about the experience, and that you are much stronger than you think you are.
The final speaker at the mentor night was Natalie Archer. Natalie Archer is a dentist, mother, and an inspiration for women’s rights. Through her dedication to her education she has successfully broken the glass ceiling. Natalie Archer focused her speech on motivating everyone to keep as many
opportunities open as possible, especially educational ones. She said “Nobody can ever take away your education”, which is a very true and empowering statement.
Although each mentor had different anecdotes, there was one commonality; whatever you do, do it to the best of your abilities! Every speaker encouraged us to be our best and take every opportunity we can! The mentor night was full of funny stories and great advice, I am very glad I was able to be apart of it!