Teen up to challenge of national title

It is a year of new beginnings and possibilities for a Pictou teen.

Lindsey Wilson, 17, has just graduated from Pictou Academy, one of the last students to receive an education at the current building. She was also selected as Miss Teen Northern Nova Scotia and is about to compete for the title of Miss Teen Canada.

Her journey to the crown all started with the 2016 Pictou Lobster Carnival where the petite brunette was named First Lady in Waiting in the Queen of the Sea Pageant.

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“That’s kind of where it all started, to be honest with you,” she smiled. “I had the opportunity to meet with 2016 Miss Teenage Nova Scotia.” Katie Fife left a lasting impression with Wilson.

Pageants, Wilson said, are “never what I was really into. I was always really sporty and athletic.”

Wilson is a gymnastics coach at Pictou County Athletics where she has taught hundreds of youngsters over the years, and has been a Highland dancer “literally from almost the time I was born until just a few years ago when I decided to focus on gymnastics.” Through dance, she had the opportunity to represent Nova Scotia twice at the Canadian Championship. She is also a fierce track and field competitor as a sprinter and jumper who also enjoys softball and soccer.

But Highland dance was definitely her ‘first love.’ “I made so many friends. I still have those friends to this day. It’s just something that I’ll never forget.”

Wilson is well rounded in that she is also an accomplished musician. She plays many instruments including fiddle, piano and guitar – which she taught herself to play – and has taken the stage in many local and school plays including Oliver, Fiddler on the Roof, The Wizard of Oz and The Truth about Cinderella.

“But then gymnastics took over and the rest is history!”

“Gymnastics requires a great deal of dedication as I train 13 plus hours every week at the Pictou County Gymnastics Club. With much hard work I have also made team Nova Scotia for gymnastics while qualifying for the Atlantic Championship.”

She was also very involved in her school including students council, yearbook, spirit and prom committees to name just a few. She values her time spent with this diverse group of committees which has taught her much about working as a team and has created many strong friendships.

“But I did the Queen of the Sea pageant and I just had such a great time and met so many new friends that just kind of encouraged me to take pageants a little further.” Of the girls she met during that pageant Wilson smiled, “We are all still friends.”

She has also formed lifelong friendships at school and treasures being a member of “the last graduating class at Pictou Academy,” which she calls a “bittersweet” experience.

“The small size of our school has given my graduating class the opportunity to become very close. I have gone to school with the same people since I began school in Grade Primary at Pictou Elementary School. Throughout the years, we have watched each other grow and learn as long-lasting friendships were created,” she said.

In a blog on the Miss Teen Canada site Wilson wrote: “Our town has a strong sense of community and much history attached. I will be graduating from Pictou Academy, one of the oldest high schools in Canada, in June. Our school itself holds so much history and pride. We are a small graduating class of only 31 which has given us the opportunity to become very close. I am looking forward to seeing all of my fellow classmates pursue their dreams and accomplish their goals.”

Wilson’s positivity is fueled by knowing she has the ability to make a difference in the world. She hopes to be able to do that by being chosen Miss Teen Canada.

Wilson will leave for Toronto on August 7 where she will compete for the crown until August 14. “It’s a week-long event.”

There she will be caught up in photo shoots, interviews, modelling and, she hopes, some site-seeing.

But she needs a little help getting to the pageant. The registration fee and travel fees are “huge” so Wilson is looking for sponsors to share her journey. She is grateful to local businesses like Fulmore’s Pharmacy, Shiretown Home and Auto, Harbour Light Campground, Roddam & MacDonald law office and North Shore Ballast for supporting a hometown girl. Currently, she has letters out to most Pictou businesses and many others on the other side of the causeway asking for support and is “hoping to hear back” from many of them.

She is also grateful for the emotional support from family and friends.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help and support of my wonderful family. I come from a close knit family of four, with my amazing parents David and Denise and my older sister Harmony. They are incredibly caring and supportive of everything I am involved in. I am beyond grateful to say that my beautiful sister doubles as my best friend. She is 22 years old and is currently enrolled in the Education program at St. Francis Xavier University. I am extremely proud of my sister and everything she has done. She has been such an amazing role model for me throughout the years.

“I am so excited to begin this journey and spread positivity to everybody.”

In the fall, Wilson is looking forward to beginning a new adventure at St. Francis Xavier University where she will enter into the Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics Program.

If she wins the crown? “Oh my goodness, I think my whole life would change. It would absolutely be a dream come true.”

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Jackie is a Pictou County native and proud graduate of St. Francis Xavier University. She is a writer, editor and fledgling home cook. She has been in the newspaper business for almost three decades and jokes that she started when she was in her teens! She enjoys traveling, socializing and volunteering in her community.