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You’ll Never Speak Like Everyone Else

by Samantha Sewell

Growing up I was always alone. I did not have many friends and little ways to communicate. This is because I had speech impediments. I needed to use a picture book and American Sign Language to communicate. In my Vernon, British Columbia, Canadian High school, it was the worse I thought it would get. You see, I was bullied. However, a teacher stood up for me! He phoned my home and told my family that he was going to make sure from that point on this would change.

In grade 10 I was given to opportunity to compete for a pageant. I won! Soon after I won, I realised that my crown and sash can make a large impact on people’s lives. I received training in public speaking. Throughout my years as a titleholder, I’ve also received training in QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) suicide prevention, anti-bullying, mental health screening and much more.

Now I have traveled to speak in 5 provinces and 4 states. I tell children about my story and how they can overcome all challenges put in their path. As well, I educate adults and children alike. I share that the smallest moment, the smallest action, as well as a simple hello can make a difference in the life of someone else.

This past year I won the title of Miss International Volunteer 2019 at the Miss Royalty International Pageant. With this title I have been able to volunteer at over 60 events in the past 6 months. At all events I share my story and try to talk to as many people as I can about how a small action can change a person’s life.

Volunteering has changed my life and has opened my eyes as to the impact a crown and sash can make. I have received messages from people as far away from Australia and Asia about how they have seen a video or have met me on vacation. I have helped them. Being able to volunteer my time and change people’s lives is the best feeling in the world. And shows that my impediments are a gift not a curse, as now I can help people from all over the world.