While many people experienced a much quieter summer than normal due to the pandemic, the summer for Hadley Bentham has been anything but. After finishing second overall and being named Miss Teen Northern B.C. in the Miss Teen B.C. pageant in July, she advanced to Miss Teen Canada in Toronto, where she finished in the Top 12 to qualify for Miss Teen North America.
Bentham was named Miss Teen British Columbia North America on Sept. 30, after competing in the Canadian portion of the pageant. She is one of 30 Canadians, age 12 to 50, invited to compete in the final stage of Miss Teen North America in Florida, June 17 to 30, 2021.
“I feel like I did way better at these last couple pageants. I’m way more confident in everything, the public speaking and the interview, and happy with how it all turned out,” Bentham said. “I’ve never been to Florida and I’m excited to go compete there. Pageantry is a lot bigger in U.S.A. than Canada, and getting to experience that is amazing.”
Bentham competed in person at Miss Teen B.C. and Miss Teen Canada, but had her first virtual pageant experience with Miss Teen North America. She was required to send in videos of her speech and walks, giving her the option to send in her best take. The interview was live, in front of five judges via Zoom call, but Bentham said the distance between her and the judges helped calm the nerves and she was pleased with how she did.
She was also voted the winner of the Miss Teen North America pageant’s Peaople’s Choice Award, which will pay for a portion of her Florida registration fee.
With how much success Bentham has had in a short amount of time, it’s easy to forget that Miss Teen B.C. was her first-ever pageant.
“She has come such a long way since she first competed, and you can see how much she has improved. The whole goal of this is to empower her and give her more confidence, and that’s happened,” said Hadley’s mother, Chastity.
Hadley is grateful for the doors the pageant has opened. She raised $2,200 for the Make A Wish Foundation through the North America pageant, and will be visiting three Fort Nelson schools, when it’s safe to do so, to inspire students to go after big dreams.
“These last couple months have been so exciting, I don’t even have the words to describe it. Everyone has been so great and supportive,” said Bentham.
Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at firstname.lastname@example.org.