Stephenville High student vying for Miss Teen title

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Frank Gale
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Sonali Verma of Stephenville is one of 20 contestants competing for the title of Miss Teen Newfoundland and Labrador 2013.

STEPHENVILLE  Sonali Verma likes the fact the Miss Teen Newfoundland and Labrador Pageant has a blend of fitness, leadership and academics as part of its considerations and appearance is not the big consideration.

The 17-year-old Stephenville High School Grade 12 student is one of 20 contestants selected to compete for the title of Miss Teen Newfoundland and Labrador 2013 at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre on Sunday, March 24.

Verma is looking forward to bringing her skills and talents to the provincial stage which will involve playing piano. She feels that being a friendly and organized person are good attributes to have in this competition.

The fact that she holds a 99 per cent average in high school should also bode well for her in the competition.

The goal of the pageant is to acknowledge the accomplishments of the young women of the province, with consideration to academics, fitness, public speaking, leadership skills, community involvement and volunteer work.

The daughter of Rose and Subhash Verma was born and raised in Stephenville and has her sights set on studying to become a pharmacist after she completes high school this year.

The event takes place during a four-day period with the actual pageant crowning on Sunday, March 24.

The written academic test comprise 20 per cent of the score; fitness test — 15 per cent; and interviews with the judges — 40 per cent, resulting in 75 per cent of the contestant’s overall score being completed prior to pageant night.

Another five per cent comes from charitable work in the community. The pageant has been matched with a wish child through the Children’s Wish Foundation and all money raised will help to send the selected girl to Disney to have tea with the princesses.

Verma is hoping for support from the public on raising money for this cause and said anyone who would want to contribute can contact her.

In addition to the pageant scoring events, contestants will participate in several social activities throughout the weekend, including a tour of the House of Assembly, educational seminars on various topics, fun activities such as Glow Bowling and painting pottery at the Clay Café.

Verma is looking forward to those events, along with the fitness and academic tests prior to the actual competition. She is also looking forward to meeting other contestants from across the province.

The actual competition involves the contestants in formal and casual wear.

Verma is active in the community, volunteering at Sir Thomas Roddick Hospital, a member of the humanitarian club at her school, running the school’s paper recycling club and also running the French club.

She was involved in Youth Ventures for seven years and is still running her business called Henna Body Art Creations.

Verma was recently presented her silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award certificate at a ceremony in school and has received her Duke of Edinburgh’s gold certificate and pin in the mail.

She is also looking forward to being valedictorian for Stephenville High’s graduation in May. The winner of the Miss Teen Newfoundland and Labrador pageant travels the province attending numerous festivals, events and assisting various charities throughout her one year reign, as a role model for youth in the province.

Organizations: Miss Teen Newfoundland and Labrador Pageant, Stephenville High School Grade, Wish Foundation Sir Thomas Roddick Hospital

Geographic location: STEPHENVILLE

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