Young Adult Spotlight: Alisha Kalia

Growing up as a hard of hearing individual I always had a dream to see the voices of deaf and hard of hearing people to be heard. It finally came true when I had the chance to use my voice. When I found about the Miss BC pageant, I learned it was a great opportunity for young girls and women to use their voices for what they believe in. I knew right away that it was a great opportunity for me. The Miss BC pageant was a lot of process to prepare but in the end it was worth it. The Miss BC pageant took place from July 1st to 3rd 2016. The first 2 days we were all busy doing self-defence, self-esteem, etiquette, public speaking, interview, modelling, dance workshops. It was a great experience in all those workshops. I got to learn so much about myself and others. The pageant day finally came which was on July 3rd. We did an opening dance, say our sponsor names, sportswear, and the evening gown walk. Finally the moment of the top 15 came. Who was going to be in the top 15 out of 53 contestants competing for the title of Miss, Mrs., and Miss Teen BC. I was so surprised when they called my name for the top 15. After they announced the top 15 it was the on stage interview part. The question they asked me was “You mentioned you participated in a speaking competition for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, how would you like to inspire people who are Hard of Hearing?” It was a great question, I could answer it with my heart. Finally it was the crowning moment. The moment I will never forget is when they called my name as the title of Miss Teen BC 2016-17. I felt so much happiness.

Now let me talk about myself. I am currently 17 years old. Being born deaf I grew up as a hard of hearing individual. Being hard of hearing had a great impact on my life in many ways. It taught me that I was unique in my own ways. I have gained self-confidence and love through my experiences struggling as a hard of hearing individual. My platform is to help people with disabilities to accept and embrace themselves. Winning this title, I will make sure I fulfil my duties and continue to inspire others. I’ve learned how to love what I cannot change. Growing up as a young girl I understood the pain of being made fun of as a hard of hearing individual. People would think of me differently. I realized why I should let people’s negative opinions affect who I am as a person. I’ve learned to accept and love myself. The pain I went through made me a stronger person today. I participated in speaking competition for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, I’m a Bollywood dancer, and I am currently working as a sales associate. Being part of all those things definitely has helped me gain confidence and learn how to tell people I am hard of hearing without feeling shy. Now as Miss Teen BC 2016/17 I want to help people with disabilities to realize their full worth because there’s something out there waiting for them.alisha