Bonnie McDonald interviewed the inspiring Alicia Ohana about what she learned while earning the title of Miss Canada Petite 2016 and her plans to help young women overcome personal challenges and traumas.
The Miss Canada Petite Pageant Experience
Alicia had a life-altering experience in Toronto. As she got to know the other young women, she realized that they were chosen for their personal stories more than for their confidence.
Amazing Personal Stories of the Other Contestants
Many of the other women shared personal challenges, such as physical and sexual abuse, self-esteem, and mental health issues.
The women had overcome a lot of adversity to get where they were.
Alicia’s Family Challenges
Alicia’s father recently was hospitalized with a mental illness, leaving the family struggling to deal with his illness and running the family business.
Alicia stepped in to be the family anchor and to take over much of the responsibility for running the salon. She thought she would miss the pageant to help the family.
How Her Challenges Helped Her Win
After very intense treatment, Alicia’s father was able to return home and Alicia was able to go to Toronto for the pageant.
She credits the experience for giving her the perspective and deep personal confidence to win the competition.
The ordeal enabled her to overcome her own issues with anxiety and depression to come out as a strong and motivated young woman.
Plans for “Shoulders” Social Enterprise
Alicia feels that hearing the personal stories of the other contestants, and experiencing her own ability to overcome deep challenges, has provided a kind of calling to reach out to help other young women.
She is in the early stages of launching a service she would call “Shoulders”, as in shoulders to lean on.
We will look forward to seeing what this amazing woman does with her gifts and will help where we can.
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