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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer
Halloween spirit out in the City of Wetaskiwin

City of Wetaskiwin residents show off their Halloween decorations

(Photo Submitted by the Gord Bamford Foundation)
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford to perform a virtual concert for a good cause

The concert aims to raise awareness for Operation Santa Clause

Alberta Health Services' central zone jumped from 162 active COVID-19 cases to 178 on Friday. Five additional deaths were reported provincewide, bringing the toll to 323. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
622 new COVID-19 cases set another daily high Friday

Province confirmed 622 additional cases Friday

City of Wetaskiwin Mayor presenting the AUMA Above & Beyond Award to John Maude and Susan Quinn. Ren Goode/ City of Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin County residents win the AUMA Above & Beyond Award

John Maude and Susan Quinn are being recognized for their role in Wetaskiwin’s sustainability.

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

A man runs across the Carcross Dunes in Carcross, Yukon, on July 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘No manual or checklist:’ Yukon ditching fall time change this year

The territory decided to adopt year-round daylight time in March

Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains makes an announcement regarding vaccine procurement, in Toronto, on Wednesday, Aug., 5, 2020. Despite its status as an artificial intelligence hub, Canada has yet to develop a regulatory regime to deal with issues of privacy, discrimination and accountability to which AI systems are prone, prompting calls for regulation from businesses and experts. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Canada crawling toward AI regulatory regime, but experts say reform is urgent

5 million images of shoppers collected without consent at Canadian malls

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie "The Name of the Rose" at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

He died peacefully in his sleep overnight in the Bahamas

(Photo submitted)
Rimbey resident avid author despite Parkinson’s

Wins more accolades for her writing

(Photo Submitted by the Gord Bamford Foundation)
Lacombe’s Gord Bamford to perform a virtual concert for a good cause

The concert aims to raise awareness for Operation Santa Clause

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

(Pixabay photo)
Spoooky, scaaaary: The ultimate Halloween-in-quarantine playlist

All the costumes, trick-or-treating and spooky-season fun is essentialy off the table due to COVID-19

Pilots Ilona Carter and Jim Gray of iRecover Treatment Centres, in front of his company’s aircraft, based at Ponoka’s airport. (Perry Wilson/Submitted)
95-year-old Ilona Carter flies again

Takes to the skies over Ponoka

Most Read