A million moments, experiences, mistakes, and choices have gotten me to the place I am now. The person I am, and am still figuring out to be, entering into a completely new world as a Miss World Canada 2018 candidate. Thank you for witnessing me ride out this journey!

I am Adrienne Elena Ross, 24 years old from the West coast (Vancouver, born and raised), and anxiously and excitedly entering into my first national pageant. Maybe inexperience is not something we often want to share, but I do so acknowledging the excitement of trying something new, the allure of a challenge, and the thrill of adventure. I enter into the pageant open-minded, open to learning so many new things, growing as an individual, gaining new experiences and meeting some of the most amazing young women from across the country. I take it as an advantage.

The point in my life I am at now, before I step onto a National stage, was crafted from a young age. I am a creative at heart, growing up surrounded by art. I loved (and still love) to draw, write, paint, colour. I grew up adventurous and curious, and tried anything available to me, from the fine arts to ballet, gymnastics, karate, piano, guitar, singing, hip-hop dancing, ballroom dancing, skiing/snowboarding, skating, surfing, sailing, acting, sewing…the list goes on. Summers spent at camp helped nurture my leadership role, continuing on from camper to multiple leadership programs in my teens. (This is also where I realized my love of volunteering and working with children.) Acting workshops, along with being one of my favourite extracurriulars, helped build my confidence and individuality. Being mixed race, Filipino and Caucasian, along with a love of travel my parents instilled in me from a young age, has made me appreciative of all cultures, and I am proud to say I have family and friends all over the world.

So where did all of this take me? I graduated high school with a 90% average, volunteered at my local YMCA’s children’s programs, before accepting a scholarship to Carleton University. In Ottawa, I volunteered at after school programs, with children from low-income neighbourhoods and with special needs.

I missed Vancouver’s beaches and mountains (we are so spoiled), and soon moved back home where I began my university career at Simon Fraser. University was just the beginning of me building my craft, developing my skills behind the camera, on set, in post-production (sound and video editing), a little bit of theatre, and insane amounts of writing. And these became the things I loved doing (but also hated…because when it comes down to it it’s still homework!). SFU taught me to be a critical thinker, yet understanding and compassionate in navigating the world. It was in my last, and busiest, semester that I started to research things that I could do once I graduated. I dedicated my 4 years at SFU solely to school, and over the years let the things I loved doing fall to the side.

It was late one night that I came across Miss World. A mixture of things – wanting to get back into volunteering, do something more for my larger community, and my newfound feminist and racial-equality advocacies, influenced by my courses at SFU – made me feel that Miss World, with Beauty with a Purpose at its core, was meant for me. I applied for the regional pageant (Miss World BC) and placed top 3, with the title Miss Vancouver World 2018.

The last few months have felt like life in fast-forward. I finished my last semester of post-secondary. I graduated from SFU with a degree in Communication, with double minors in Print and Digital Publishing and Interactive Art and Technology, hitting Dean’s List Honours, completing an exchange program in Manila, Philippines, and a news writing internship.

I try to never be in one place for too long, beginning the New Year in Singapore, going back to the Philippines, home to Vancouver, and smaller trips to Los Angeles, Palm Desert, and Miami – chasing the sun and hot weather around the world.

I began my own personal journey and training for Miss World Canada. Nutrition, fitness, lifestyle, walk/posing, fundraising, and self-reflection were all major components of my process (which I will get into later in future posts!). And I have the most amazing support system of family and friends that I couldn’t have made it here without. I couldn’t have handled the crazy scheduling, the stress, and the self-discipline, without their encouragement and motivation. Thank you for always keeping me grounded and positive, keeping things fun, and reminding me why I am doing this!

I care so deeply about so many things, and many people do, but we often get lost in communicating that and in trying to take action to do something about it. I am still learning how my life and my platform can make change and do something bigger for the world, and Miss World Canada is a huge step along the way.

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