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“I am most proud of helping out the Food Bank after they had let people in after the wildfire.”

She is 16-years-old, a great ambassador for the community and already a veteran of the pageant circuit in Canada. She has won or placed in most of the ones she has entered, but the thing that is most impressive about Sophie is not how pretty she is, but how poised.

Pageants are not about bikinis and inane talent competitions. The entrants need to conform to a set of guidelines. As a result, Sophie is sophisticated. She thinks before she speaks, answers questions intelligently and is very interesting to talk to. She also volunteers at the Food Bank whenever she can and she does fundraisers for charities. In other words she knocks all the old stereotypes right on their head. And in 2016 she was crowned Junior Teen Miss 2016-2017 at the National Canadian Girl, Teen & Miss Pageant.

Born in the Philippines, Sophie has lived in YMM for nine years and that’s the answer she gives whenever she is asked. “My name is Sophie De Guzman and I am from Fort McMurray.”

Good for her, and good for us.