A young Castlegar woman is running for a spot on the 2016 BC Ambassador team. Alexanderia D’Onofrio, the 2014 Miss Castlegar Princess, is busy preparing for the contest and working on fundraising for the program.
The BC Ambassador program is open to any young man or woman age 17 to 24, who has previously held an ambassador or royal title in BC. This year the pageant will take place on August 12-13 in Merritt.
Each year, three members are chosen to represent the youth of our province. As part of their duties, they travel to promote the program’s mandate of education, motivation, and self-esteem.
The program seeks to nurture future leaders, promote and assist with the expenses of post-secondary education and forge links of friendship and understanding throughout BC communities.
The candidates are judged on their knowledge of BC and on presentation and public speaking skills. They must also show knowledge of their own community through a display table and speech. D’Onofrio plans to highlight Castlegar’s outdoor culture in her presentation.
Judging on presentation skills and public speaking is also done through a second speech on a topic of the contestant’s choice along with personal interviews with the judges and impromptu questions the evening of the pageant. D’Onofrio plans to use her speech to talk about children with behavioural and developmental problems, a subject she is passionate about after spending the last six months working almost daily with children who were struggling with those issues.
D’Onofrio was raised in Castlegar and is a 2016 Stanley Humphries grad. She plans to take general courses at Selkirk College next year while she waits for a spot in the nursing program. The scholarship prizes associated with the program would be a great help towards reaching her goals.
“The Miss Castlegar program allowed me to meet so many new people in my community and really helped me to get out there more and learn how to hold myself,” said D’Onofrio, “and now I can do this on a bigger scale in the province, which is my goal to work towards.”
D’Onofrio’s Miss Castlegar sponsor, the Sunrise 2000 Rotary as well as the Selkirk Lions Club continues to support her efforts. “The Miss Castlegar program helped me develop public speaking skills and being part of the ambassador program has allowed me to further my skills,” said D’Onofrio.
D’Onofrio has been active with the Castlegar Interact club and works at Mallard’s.
One of the requirements of the program is fundraising a minimum of $500 to help support the program and the travel expenses of the ambassador team. D’Onofrio has already done a silent auction and sold flowers and has plans for a future bake sale and car wash.
One aspect of the program that is not decided by the judges is the People’s Choice category, which is decided through online voting. To vote for D’Onofrio, go to bcambassador.com and click on the Peoples Choice 2016 link, you can vote for her once every 24 hours.
Contestants from the West Kootenay have done really well in the program in recent years — each one that has entered has walked away with a position on the ambassador team. Carley Henniger from Trail and Mariah Morris from Castlegar were part of the 2012 team and Cheyanne Freiss from Trail was on the 2014 team. Rachael Tebulte from Castlegar is a current BC Ambassador.
To keep up with D’Onofrio and her progress, visit her British Columbia Ambassador Candidate — Alexanderia D’Onofrio Facebook page.