Miss BC uses her title to speak out about human trafficking
“I am not a beauty queen. I am an abolitionist.” declares the recently crowned Miss British Columbia and member of TWU’s International Social Justice Club (ISJC), Tara Teng. Teng, who entered the competition because she was “tired of being afraid,” never expected to win. For her it was the culmination of a year-long stretch of personal growth that brought her back to Trinity Western University (her ‘dream school’), a three-week travel study in Guatemala and a very clear moment, she remembers, when she decided to trust God and stop allowing fear to hold her back.
Teng is enthusiastic about her new role. On her own initiative she spent three days in July at Camp Imadene and Camp Qwanoes on Vancouver Island giving her testimony and sharing her faith with a group of young female campers. “It’s hard to be a Christian teen girl - there are so many pressures,” she says. Since her visit, the campers have been emailing questions to Teng and she’s been able to mentor them through correspondence. “The crown seems to capture real authority with the younger girls,” she grins. Teng will return to Camp Imadene in August to meet with the next group of girls.
About Trinity Western University, Teng says, “The community is incredible. They really get behind you and celebrate who you are as an individual.” Having had many professors devote their out-of-classroom time to assist her with her studies, Teng feels a strong desire to give back to the people and the university that has supported her. Over the past two semesters Teng worked with Associate Dean of Students, Cathy Almost, as an SOS and this year Teng will be an Orientation Assistant welcoming new students to Trinity Western and helping them find their way.
As the seventh Miss BC – and the first Christian girl to win the title – Teng has freedom to say what she wants and be active in the areas that she feels most passionate about. The third-year education student is determined to use this platform to bring awareness to issues of poverty, slavery and human trafficking. “Slavery still exists in many countries in the world, and the total profit from human trafficking is second only to the drug trade,” she says. “Being Miss British Columbia puts me in a position of influence and I desire to use it to speak about something that matters.”
The 21-year-old has big plans for the coming year. She intends to organize a 5k freedom walk in Vancouver, to raise awareness about human trafficking and modern day slavery; grow the charity she started last year called Undies for Africa that sends bras and panties to women in Zambia; and attend speaking engagements where she can share her message. “It’s not about the crown,” she says, “It’s about the message and standing up for truth and justice.”
- Last Updated on August 10th, 2010 at 1:54pm
- Author: Jennifer Watton
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Trinity Western University is a Christian University of the arts, sciences, and professions, legislated by British Columbia to serve the public. Recognized for quality, TWU is consistently ranked among the top two universities in Canada for Educational Experience by the National Survey of Student Engagement; holds three Canada Research Chairs; wins National Championships in CIS sports; and emphasizes experiential learning to prepare graduates to make a global impact. TWU offers 42 bachelor’s degrees, 16 graduate degrees, and adult degree-completion programs. A vibrant community committed to educating the whole person, TWU has been developing leaders of character and competence for 50 years.