Agassiz resident Frances Oliver has been named Miss Teen Fraser Valley 2016.
The 17-year-old competed alongside 53 other contestants from all over the province in Fort Langley on July 5.
Oliver received a full sponsorship for the pageant from The Sparkle Project BC, a local organization dedicated to improving self confidence and success in young girls.
This wasn’t Oliver’s first time competing in the pageant, and it was the personal success she experienced that made her want to try it again.
“The first time I did it, I had so much anxiety that I couldn’t even make eye contact with strangers when I spoke with them,” she said. “When I left the pageant that year, I was a completely different person. I could talk to people comfortably.”
This type of personal growth is the reason that Oliver encourages others to get involved with the program as well.
“It was really empowering and was more about inner beauty than outer beauty,” she said. “I feel like it’s something that pushes you out of our comfort zone and lets you find who you can be.”
The win came as a surprise to Oliver, as well as the rest of her family.
“I was totally shocked,” she said. “In fact, my family didn’t even have a camera ready because we were not expecting it.”
During her year as Miss Teen Fraser Valley, Oliver hopes to advocate for improvement of resources for youth in the area.
“I had to present my platform to the judges, which was expanding the resources we have to our smaller communities,” she said. “I’m hoping to use my year with the crown to go and spread that message and see if I can make some changes.”