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Age doesn’t tell who wins a momentous struggle for success. Be inspired of our youth’s stories of determination, of loosing and standing up to own the glory of victory.

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The Twelve Essential Ingredients for Building a Healthy Relationship

You Can use reliable tools, many of which have not been taught in our culture, to create a strong and healthy relationship. If you want to have a really strong and healthy relationship, follow these simple guidelines:

1. Do not expect anyone to be responsible for your happiness. Accept yourself. Respect yourself. Love yourself. Take good care of yourself. If you want , you can always find something to do that makes you feel good about yourself right now. Love yourself, so pursue your true needs. Light up your true desires. Too often, relationships fail because someone is unhappy and blames his or her partner for making him or her that way. Your life is only under your control. Keep reminding yourself you are good enough to have a happy life and healthy relationship. Make yourself happy, and then share with one another.

(To be continued ) “Building Strong and Healthy Relationships” Author Denise Lafortune

The First IFOYC Pageant by Miss Philippines

Hello everyone! I am Argi Ann Mateo. I represented my joyful country, the Philippines, in the first ever IFOYC pageant ever! It was an amazing experience that I will never forget.

I never thought that I would ever go on stage as a participant in a pageant. However, Darline, one of the recruiters told me that it was a Christian-based pageant and that there will be no bathing suit section. So I thought, why not? Not only that, there would also be a scholarship for the first, second and third place winner.

As the pageant got close, I got to meet other participants through photo shoots and other meetings. Honestly, I thought the other participants would not be welcoming, but it was the total opposite. Everyone was friendly, and soon I found out that it was also their first time participating in a pageant. After the second photo shoot, everyone knew each other’s name or at least by their country. There were conference calls two weeks before the pageant that helped the contestants feel comfortable about being in the pageant. We talked about what to expect, any inquiries we had, and building up each other’s confidence.

The night before the pageant is when us girls were better acquainted with each other at the hotel that we were staying in. We were taught how to walk by Sunshine, who also helped us out with our make up. We shared girl
talks and the last minutes of our night scouring Publix for food because of our hunger. It was fun; we ended up getting free chocolate chip cookies. After that, we got back to the hotel and we had our face covered in a white mask that would help us to look good for the pageant tomorrow. Then it was time to rest to have energy for the long day ahead, at least for me. I heard the other girls weren’t able to sleep and they just ended up practicing.

The day of the pageant started when we heard Sunshine breaking down the door of our hotel room with her knock. Went down to eat breakfast then we started getting ready. We got our make up done and went on our way to Broward College where the pageant was going to be held. First we had our five minute interview with each judge. That was the most nerve-wrecking part of the pageant. If the judges didn’t see, I was sweating like crazy, and I don’t sweat a lot. However, I tried to carry myself with confidence and answered the questions to the best of my abilities. After that, came the final practice for the walk on the stage together with the other contestants for the different categories.

The first time I walked out on stage I felt the rush and excitement flow to my head and the nervousness leave my body. Why did I feel that way? It was because I was not walking out alone. The new friends that I’ve made through this journey helped me gain confidence. As we got to know each other, there were more similarities that we shared than just participating in our first pageant ever, not only that, the first IFOYC pageant ever. As the show went on, everything just happened so fast. Everyone showed off their sportswear and their talent. Speaking of talent, this was another thing I was nervous about. I sing and play the ukulele as a hobby. I did not think that I was going to show that off to the world in an atmosphere like a pageant. However, I did and I did myself proud. The practice I put in trying to make my talent presentable shows that I have the determination and perseverance to do something, anything that is important to me. Following the talent was the evening gown section. My goodness! The other contestants that were participating with me looked stunning! They all glowed on that stage and owned it.

It came down to the final five, which I was a part of. The only downfall from my part is that I didn’t think of making it so far that I did not practice what I would give as an answer to what the judges questioned me on. Not surprisingly, when it came down to my question, I did not give a suitable answer as my mind went blank. The only thing I remember saying were a lot of “umm”s. Despite my stumble, I was able to win first runner up. Then Miss Guyana crowning the Miss IFOYC!

For the overall experience, I was not disappointed at all. This pageant has given me friends that I would have never met without it. It has also been the foundation of my confidence in my used-to-be hidden talent. Not only that, it has showed me that God has a way of bringing different kinds of people for Him and to celebrate God’s creation by the beauty that is hidden among us.

I’d like t o take this time to thank Dr. Denise LAFORTUNE, Darline, the IFOYC Organization, the other contestants, and my family and the other families that supported us for making the pageant possible! Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

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