On April 19th, I woke up with butterflies fluttering anxiously inside my stomach. Why? Because later that day, I was meeting the honourable chair of Belleville, Mayor Christopher A. Taso.

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I met with the Mayor that day to share my journey as Miss Teenage South Central Ontario. I was asked questions such as “what was involved?”, “what influenced you to apply?”, “how can we support you?’, etc. Coincidently, throughout our chat, we even discovered that our social network has some mutual aspects. For instance, our families would work alongside each other during Belleville’s Waterfront and Ethnic Festivals as one represented the Greek’s and the other the Italian’s. In the end, he gave me a wonderful book of Belleville with a supporting message inside, and invited me to present a deputation about myself as a titleholder to Belleville’s City Council.

Before I knew it, the day of the deputation arrived!
In the afternoon of May 24th, after a morning of public appearances, I scrambled home to practice my presentation ~ eye contact, pronunciation, clarity… I can’t even count how many times I may have practiced; I was so committed to getting it perfect.

3:30pm came: time to leave for City Hall. After arriving, I looked around me to see an audience 3/4 filled and cameras everywhere. That is when I remembered: Cogeco TV films every City Hall meeting, which includes deputations. A burst of adrenaline rushed through me: I was going to be speaking on TV!

All Rise
The meeting opened up with the presentation of Senior Citizen of the Year. Congratulations to Mrs. Perryman; your initiatives with Quinte Grannies for Africa are inspiring. Then, I heard Mayor Christopher say:

“from one princess, to another, we welcome….”

I quickly learned that the adrenaline I had before the deputation began was simply an appetizer. The main course of excitement was served, leaving me to feel like an energizer bunny. After a deep breath and calming thoughts, I began:

“Hello Mayor Christopher – chair, committee…”

Within my 8 minute presentation, I spoke about myself, the Miss Teenage Canada pageant, my journey to earning Miss Teenage South Central Ontario, and what is involved as I journey to July’s Miss Teenage Canada pageant. If you didn’t catch it live on CogecoTV Quinte, you can watch the presentation here. Click May 24th, Search, Deputations, and then fast forward in the video to 5 minutes!

May 24, 2016, Isabella Rapino, Miss Teenage South Central Ontario 2016 gives deputation at City Council Meeting. Photographer: Marilyn Warren

May 24, 2016, Isabella Rapino, Miss Teenage South Central Ontario 2016 gives deputation at City Council Meeting. Photographer: Marilyn Warren

After my presentation, Mayor Christopher gave me a wonderful gift bag full of tokens of Belleville. My favourite is the City of Belleville pin: I really wanted one to hold my sash together, however didn’t know where to get one. Buttons and pins were always used, but my sash never felt complete until now that I have my hometown’s pin proudly on it.

I left the meeting with encouraging thoughts from fellow audience members. I cannot express how fortunate I am for the support I am receiving.

I am so excited to be doing something alike to this again later today: I will be presenting a delegation at Quinte West’s City Council meeting!

Catch me tomorrow on Cogeco TV at 2pm and 9pm!

Until next time,

xo

Isabella

Miss Teenage South Central Ontario 2016

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