While entering the pageant circuit may be regarded as an intimidating undertaking for many teenage students, a first-year UTM student, Jinkle Mehta, shares with The Medium her successful navigation through the competition and how she decided to become involved.

Mehta, hoping to pursue a major in psychology, is the titleholder for Miss Teenage Peel 2018. In regards to how she decided to get involved with the competition, Mehta says, “I have always loved fashion, make-up, and modelling, and decided to try this out for the experience.” Not knowing what to expect, Mehta says the judges were “nicer” than she expected, and so was everyone else involved with the competition.

Mehta plans to establish a platform that will push for awareness about mental health issues, and to highlight the impact of the generation gap in understanding the similarities and the differences of mental illnesses between children and parents. Mental health issues, though now in the limelight, are not accompanied by a similar understanding regarding underlying causes and coping strategies. Using this as her platform, Mehta hopes to promote this cause in the Peel community.

Mehta also says, “I made new friends even though the environment is competitive and you gain so much confidence during it,” says Mehta.

Now titled Miss Teenage Peel 2018, Mehta will continue onto the Miss Teenage Canada competition, where seven to eight girls will compete, and after five rounds, a winner will be chosen.