Sophia Lia was crowned Miss Teenage Central Alberta in Calgary at the end February 2020. Photo by Josainis Photography/Submitted.

Sophia Lia was crowned Miss Teenage Central Alberta in Calgary at the end February 2020. Photo by Josainis Photography/Submitted.

Area teen crowned Miss Teenage Central Alberta

Sophia Lia, 15, earned the crown in her first pageant and is spreading the message of mental health

Fifteen-year-old Sophia Lia has been awarded the title of Miss Teenage Central Alberta.

The École Secondaire Notre Dame High School student entered her first pageant in Calgary and came out with the crown at the end of February.

“Going into it … I wasn’t quite sure what to expect so I just came in with confidence and said, ‘whatever happens, happens,’” said Lia, who reigns from Gull Lake/Red Deer.

“It ended up being such a fun weekend and I met so many incredible girls that had very similar values to me, that wanted to help other people, so I made lots of new friends and it was a really fun experience.”

The pageant consisted of demonstrating interview skills, a gown walk and a swimsuit portion.

“This is not to see who is the skinniest [or] who works out more, but this is just based on confidence,” Lia said, adding overall attitude during the weekend also contributed to your final score.

Lia explained as Miss Teenage Central Alberta she is responsible for having a platform she is passionate about, which for her is mental health, specifically self-esteem, self-love and self-care for teens.

With the COVID-19 pandemic she has been focusing on helping teens through social media as well as keeping busy with multiple projects.

For the past year Lia has been writing a monthly article for Teen Look Magazine in Edmonton which covers various mental health topics as well as a Q&A column where teens can submit questions.

She is also going to be launching a magazine focusing on mental health so teens can have a platform where they feel safe to share their stories or seek advice.

“The second thing I’ve been doing is French tutoring online, as a French immersion student myself I know how difficult it can be to transition to online,” explained Lia, who has been tutoring since before the pandemic.

“I thought it would be a great opportunity to continue this online to help those students who don’t have a French parent at home,” she continued.

Additionally, she also records herself reading French books for a partnership with École Steffie Woima School.

“… They’ve been uploading them to Google Classroom so the parents and the students have access so they can read along and this is a great tool for the students who don’t have a French sibling or a French parent because it’s really important that they continue practicing their reading.”

Lia has also been cooking for essential workers to help get them through overtime and long shifts, and hosted a social distanced food drive for the Sylvan Lake Food Bank and donated toiletries to the Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre.

Lastly, she has been fundraising for Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada through a bracelet campaign she has been running with Pura Vida Bracelets.

The partnership not only raises money for charity, but also helps Lia fundraise for her upcoming pageant.

Winning the title of Miss Teenage Central Alberta brings the opportunity to compete at Miss Teenage Canada at the end of August in Toronto, Ont.

“Now that I’ve been through the first one I have a more clear idea of what the process is like,” explained Lia, “the most important thing is to be working on your platform and it’s important that you show that this is something so important to you and you’re not just doing it for the title.”

“That’s really what I’m going to be doing I’ve just been preparing as much as I can by really showing that this platform is super important to me and winning a title like [Miss Teenage Canada], for me, would be just another opportunity to have more influence on young teens and kids to help them with their mental health.”

Her journey to Toronto wouldn’t be possible without the help of her sponsors located around Central Alberta and even as far as Quebec.

At this time during the pandemic Lia is sending the message to young girls that positivity is key.

“I know that times are very tough right now and it seems like everything is so dark, but it’s so important to stay optimistic and to remember that this is only temporary,” Lia said.

She welcomes any teens or kids who need help keeping a healthy mindset to reach out to her via Facebook, Instagram or at asksophialia@gmail.com.

mental health

Just Posted

Flora Northwest was taken to the Ermineskin residential school when she was six years old. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
Ermineskin residential school survivor: ‘It just brings me back to the cries at night’

Discovery in Kamloops of remains of 215 children a painful time for survivors

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Alberta reports 100 new cases of COVID-19

The Central zone sits at 218 active cases

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer drops to 71 active cases of COVID-19

Province adds 127 new cases of the virus

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Orange shirts, shoes, flowers and messages are displayed on the steps outside the legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 following a ceremony hosted by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations in honour of the 215 residential school children whose remains have been discovered buried near the facility in Kamloops, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Alberta city cancels Canada Day fireworks at site of former residential school

City of St. Albert says that the are where the display was planned, is the site of the former Youville Residential School

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Most Read