Sabrina Ross is just getting her feet wet in Port Alberni and is looking to expand her network, get involved in the community and, ultimately, represent the community in the Miss, Mrs. And Miss Teen BC Pageant this summer.
Like many new residents, Sabrina and her fiancé were attracted to Port Alberni by the affordable real estate. She grew up on the Lower Mainland, but when her fiancé was transferred to Hornby Island for his work with the BC Ferries, they moved there for the past year. Feeling like it was a little too remote, the couple started to look around for somewhere to call home.
“We weren’t familiar with Port Alberni, so we came about a half a dozen times, poked around, and checked out the housing market,” Sabrina said. “We moved here about a month ago. I like it because the lower mainland was too busy, but on the other side, Hornby was too relaxed. This is a nice middle.”
When looking through the newspaper for homes, Sabrina saw an ad that piqued her interest. It was for the Miss BC Pageant, and since it encourages contestants to actively participate in their communities, she decided to give it a shot.
“I don’t know if it is something I would have done in the past,” Sabrina said. “I looked into it and it is not your stereotypical pageant. There are no height and weight requirements and the last few years I have been drawn towards stepping outside the box.”
The pageant judges contestants less on society’s idea of beauty and more on what each woman has accomplished or the goals she would like to accomplish. They are also given the opportunity to participate in workshops for public speaking, interview skills, manners, etiquette and leadership, something Sabrina feels will benefit her career goals.
She holds counselling certificates and has worked with children and youth as a respite worker. As a mother of four grown children, she has a natural ability to form relationships with the younger generation.
“One of the girls I worked with went through quite a few workers who were only with her for a couple of months each, but I stayed with her for two years,” Sabrina said.
Her dedication to helping others also helped her overcome challenges. She was witness to close family members who have battled addiction.
“They are now doing quite well, but it is a cause that is near and dear to me,” Sabrina said. “I advocate for awareness and how it affects the family. When someone you care about is going through something so horrible, you realize how their quality of life will be if they continue.”
She said that has helped her live life more and hopes the experience in the pageant will open some doors in her field.
“I hope the experience in itself will be huge and I don’t see myself having any regrets,” she said. “I am hoping to inspire other woman and let them know it is never too late in life to get out there and get involved.”
Although it will be her first time on the stage, Sabrina thinks it will be a mix of nervous excitement.
“I would like to say I will be fairly comfortable with the experience,” she said. “If there is any nervousness, which I am sure there will be, I’ll muscle through it. I know I am doing it for others and for the bigger picture.”
As a requirement for entry, Sabrina must secure sponsorship, and as a new resident, hopes local businesses will take her under their wings as a show of support. For more information on the opportunity, she can be reached at email@example.com.