Ponoka teen a finalist in Miss Teen Canada

When you find something you enjoy and have a talent for, maybe the best thing to do is continue and see where it takes you.

Ann-Marie Rogers Cooper has been accepted as a finalist in the Miss Teen Canada World regionals. Considered to be visually impaired she practices her Braille reading Oct. 4.

Ann-Marie Rogers Cooper has been accepted as a finalist in the Miss Teen Canada World regionals. Considered to be visually impaired she practices her Braille reading Oct. 4.

When you find something you enjoy and have a talent for, maybe the best thing to do is continue and see where it takes you.

One Ponoka teen has entered pageant competitions and placed just about every time she entered; 15-year-old Ann-Marie Rogers Cooper, in Grade 11 at Ponoka Composite High School has been accepted as a Miss Teen Canada World regional finalist.

She will compete with more than 50 other finalists and if she places, will compete in Toronto, Ont. Next year. Competing in these events are something Cooper calls a “good confidence boost.”

No matter how tired she is and what is on her mind, when she steps out on the stage everything changes.

“Even my family’s like, ‘When you step out on stage you’re a completely different person’,” she said.

Pageants are a recent experience for Cooper. In 2010 she woke up one morning with a rare condition called optic neuritis where inflammation in the optic nerve caused blurred vision. Because not much is known about the condition she recently started studying Braille.

The issue has not stopped her from going out and competing in these competitions.

“I’ve got it, it happened, there’s nothing I can do to change it,” she stated.

The biggest challenge she faces when competing is giving speeches; it is the one time during pageants she gets nervous. “I get so shaky.”

Her platform and charity for the Miss Teen Canada World regionals will be the Stollery Hospital and the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), “because I know what’s it’s like to be in the hospital with only her mom.”

She has won 13 titles so far and is aiming high for the competition coming up and is looking for sponsorship.

Cooper has been raising funds in the community to help pay for costs.

She said her vision has improved over the last few years and she plans on attending Ponoka’s Rotary Club fashion show at the end of the month.

For sponsorship contact Cory Powers at 403-307-3346, or by email, cpowers@shaw.ca.