My mom yelling “MACKENZIE!” At the top of her lungs is usually not the way I want to be woken up. Usually that happens because I’m in trouble, but that was not the case. In September of last year, I received an email telling me that I had been nominated for a International Diana Award in memory of Princess Diana. Princess Diana was a statue of poise, grace, optimism, leadership and change. She used her opportunity as a royal to drastically change the world.
A few mornings ago, I received the confirmation that I had won the award! This award is given to young people all over the world to honor and recognize inspirational people. To be put in the same category as such a loved women, is absolutely incredible, humbling and heart warming. I was given this award for my work that started 3 years ago, when after my first suicide attempt in December 2012. After being in treatment, I went to my city council to create an anti-bullying bylaw to help support the victims and give help to the bullies themselves. I soon evolved into a proud advocate for anti-bullying and mental health, speaking at Pink Shirt Day’s, multiple schools, functions, events and Blue Friday’s. Speaking out about my own story has by far, been the most life changing thing I have done. Not only am I helping others, but I am also learning to heal myself through each experience I am blessed with.
I have some amazing opportunities to team up with organizations like Wear Your Label, that use the fashion industry to showcase a positive light on mental illnesses with sayings like “sad but rad” and “strength vs. struggle.” To date, they have donated 4 067.40 to mental health incentives and individuals in need! That is incredible! I am so excited to be apart of this amazing movement and show off some “Wear Your Label” gear at my appearances and events through my reign. Check out the video from CBC New Brunswick that talks all about their mission here!
I also have the privilege of being one of the first youth ambassadors for Bystander Revolution from Canada. Bystander Revolution is a website designed to help those who feel afraid, bullied or ready to start change! This website is filled with tips from those who have gone through similar struggles to help those who may feel hopeless, some of these people include John Green, Jared Letto and Lilly Collins. You can search for problems, solutions to those
problems and also send in your own advice help someone else. What an incredible way to give peer to peer advice! If you or someone you know needs some guidance, check Bystander Revolution out here!
With all of these exciting opportunities coming my way, this summer will be one to never forget! Thank you to all who continue to support me through all my endeavors.
T-Minus 1 month and 3 weeks till nationals! No arraignment of words will begin to describe this excitement!
Mackenzie, Miss Teenage Airdrie 2015