Ciara Thompson likes the allure of stepping outside of her comfort zone.
“I was bullied in public school and high school,” she said. “I wanted to do something outside the box so other kids who were bullied could see I was doing what I wanted to do; so they could go for what they want, too.”
She said her first competition was nerve wracking but beneficial. “There were a lot of skill-building opportunities to further develop yourself and I learned a lot about myself,” said Thompson. “I had to speak [in front of a large audience], which was slightly terrifying and I stumbled with my words but still did well. You have to push yourself at some point.”
Competing has also helped Thompson with her social anxiety. “Everything you do requires personal skills,” said Thompson. “Pageants aren’t for everyone but you can step outside of your comfort zone and apply it to your own life.”
She’s had numerous people come to her saying there’s something they want to do, from joining the soccer team to finding the confidence to be more social and asked her what she did to help her do what she’s doing. “It’s good. I can be a mentor, which is rewarding,” said Thompson.
Embracing the phrase, ‘you miss every shot you don’t take’, Thompson has a busy summer ahead of her. She’ll start the 2017 pageant circuit with Miss Canada, followed by Miss Universe Canada in May, and a cruise to the Bahamas in June for the Beauties of 5 Continents.
“I’m not in it to win it. It would be nice, but I want to show myself what I’m capable of. I can demonstrate what I’ve learned to other people so it’s like a domino effect. I can do workshops with the skills I’ve gained and use them in my future career,” she said.
Thompson is studying to become a behavioural therapist for children. She’s earned her sociology degree at Nipissing University and will be studying behavioural science technology at George Brown College in the fall.
“People should push themselves if they have something they want to do,” said Thompson. “Go after it whether it’s big or small.”
See Thompson’s Beauties of 5 Continents video below and read an earlier Doppler story about Ciara here: Thompson is using the pageant platform to spread an anti-bulling message.
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