A Christina Lake teen is hoping for her chance in the spotlight as she heads to the Miss B.C. competition in Fort Langley over the July long weekend.
Clarissa Palek, 19, was born in Grand Forks but moved to the Lake several years ago. After graduating high school in 2014, she decided to work and save up for school. She’s hoping to take drama at a performing arts school in London, England, before earning a doctorate in entomology—the science of bugs.
Palek said she decided to run after a bit of convincing and seeing it in the paper.
“Pageants aren’t really something I’d be into, because when I think about a pageant I think about a girl who’s just pretty and she wants to show the world that,” Palek said. “But I looked into the pageant and they’re calling it a young women’s self-development program.”
Palek said she liked the activities provided to pageant participants, which include workshops on self-defence and networking. Proceeds from the event go to Cops For Cancer, an initiative by the Canadian Cancer Foundation that sees more than 100 police and law enforcement officers bike for up to two weeks to raise money for cancer.
If she wins, Palek will be eligble to compete in the Miss Canada pageant next year.
Palek said when she’s not working she enjoys snowboarding and writing. A life-long Irish dancer, she’s spent time teaching lessons. Her Irish dancing is one of the skills she’s planning on showing off at the talent show as part of the pageant.
While the pageant does have some of the typical pageant elements (a ball gown round, for instance), Palek said she liked the athletic wear competition, where contestants can show a bit more of their personality. Palek said she hopes to show off her archery skills.
Palek said she thinks pageants get a bad reputation, and ones like this are a lot more good than bad.
“When you first hear about it you think it’s a stereotypical pageant, but if you look or read into it you realize it’s not,” she said. “If it was a stereotypical pageant, I wouldn’t be doing it. It’s because of the good coming out.”