Mentor Night in Toronto July 15th 2012.
After a long and busy day, all of the girls settled down in the Westin Bristol Hotel for Mentor Night. We were fortunate enough to have four beautiful and inspirational women come to speak to us, share their stories, and pass on their knowledge.
Dr. Natalie Archer is an intelligent Toronto dentist who began her dental career in 2001 and believes that we are “not fully dressed without a smile”. Dr. Archer began her speech by telling us that it’s okay if we aren’t 100% sure of our career aspirations. She explained her beliefs about why education is the most important thing, and shared with us a quote that a wise person once told her, “no one can ever take away your education”. This really meant a lot to me because of how much I value my education. Dr. Archer also shared 4 Key Messages with us:
- The importance of women in society; all women need to “think big” and “control your own destiny”.
- 38% of women are the biggest financial supporters of families, which means mother’s are under more pressure than ever. Dr. Archer advised us to set our limits and never to lose ourselves.
- Children and having a family may or may not be important, but if it is, be sure to make it a priority before its too late.
- Dr. Archer believes that the power of being involved in boards and organizations are really important, and encouraged us to join one if we haven’t already.
I really enjoyed hearing from Dr. Archer, and I am looking forward to seeing her again this week, as she is one of the Miss Teen Canada-World judges! She has managed to have a career and a family while building a career as a hospital dentist. Natalie is passionate about giving back.
Melani Chong has been in fashion and beauty for over 15 years, Canadian Ford Model and mom of two children, Melani Chong developed a personalized skin care line called Soya Boutique. Melani told us the story about how she became a model, and how she always had a bad impression of the industry. After her father entered her in a search for models at the local mall, she was selected by a modelling agency and eventually signed with Ford. Melani also had the opportunity to be the face of MAC Cosmetics and also coached modelling classes. She recognized how amazing those experiences were, but she wanted more. Melani chose to go back to school to become a chemist, and developed Soya Boutique. Her company promotes organic and local products. From all of Melani’s experiences, she learned to “always keep learning”. Her favourite quote is “wisest is he who knows what he does not know” – Socrates. Melani had such great advice for us, and reminded us that rejection is very common but usually opens new doors. Her biggest message to us was to “maintain passion and integrity”. Melani has accomplished so many things, and has developed an amazing company. Soya Boutique has organic products are a natural skin care collection that is useful for the whole family.
Katrina Hadden is a health and wellness specialist, size 12 model, life coach, motivational speaker and the author of the best-selling self-help book, Making It In High Heels. Before Katrina began her speech she told us that she read everyone’s biography on the Miss Teen Canada website, and wrote us each a note! I really appreciated that she took the time to learn about each girl and relate to us individually. Katrina shared a story with us about her struggles with bullying as a child because she was always the “tall girl”. Instead of getting down on herself, Katrina began playing competitive basketball, until she was injured in her senior year. From this experience, Katrina learned to have other dreams. She initially rejected the idea of modelling, but after some convincing from her friends, Katrina took the chance. Kristina went through many ups and downs throughout her modelling career, but she became a successful model through a Panasonic commercial, appeared on CityLine TV, CTV, and print commercials. Katrina’s biggest message to us was to build as much confidence as possible, and I think that is very relevant to what the Miss Teen Canada-World contestants go through. I thought Kristina related to each girl very well, and I will never forget her stories and advice. Kristina is known for her positive energy and contagious smile, she helps her clients get better focused to achieve their goals and dreams . Katrina Hadden Life Coaching for Athletes has been a life coach for over eight years, specializing in Stress Management, Personal Development, Work-Life Balance and Health and Wellness
Alexandra Orlando is a highly decorated world-class Rhythmic Gymnast. Her wisdom can be found inside the pages of an award winning book called In Pursuit of Victory. Alexandra began by sharing advice that she believes is most important; She told us to figure out who we want to be and not who we are. Alexandra also reminded us that we are so much stronger than we think we are. She learned these important beliefs after a heartbreaking gymnastics event where she missed qualifying for the olympics by one tenth of a point. Alexandra said her “whole world came crashing down” and she shared a very emotional poem that she wrote during her struggles. After Alexandra took time off gymnastics, her body had changed and when she was ready to try again, she was told she couldn’t do it. She proved those people wrong! Alexandra turned everything around and qualified for the olympics in 2008 after getting a business degree. Alexandra reminded us to never be scared to fail. I thought her speech was so inspiring and she was very open with us. Alexandra has just published her second motivational book, Breaking Through My Limits: An Olympian Uncovered.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Mentor Night and I learned so much from such intelligent and successful women. They were all so honest with us about they’re experiences and had great advice.