Ambassador title on the line

Former Miss Penticton Princess sets sights on provincial crown

Camelia Vokey of Penticton is running in this year's British Columbia Ambassador program.

Camelia Vokey of Penticton is running in this year's British Columbia Ambassador program.

A former Miss Penticton Princess has announced that she will be running in this year’s British Columbia Ambassador program.

Eighteen-year-old Camelia Vokey held the title of Miss Penticton Princess for the 2010/11 term, and now the first-year student at Okanagan College has her eyes set on one of three B.C. ambassador crowns.

“I really enjoyed being an ambassador of Penticton,” said Vokey on why she wanted to enter the ambassador program. “I like making a difference and doing things out of the blue, like doing something good for people and volunteering.”

Vokey said that although the competition is still months away, she has already started her campaigning.

“Being a candidate for the British Columbia Ambassador program, I have to promote the program,” Vokey said last week. “To do that I’m volunteering at various events. This week, I’m volunteering every single day, like McHappy Day and the Rick Hansen event.”

However, the three open positions for B.C. Ambassador are being contested by 14 other girls — with some being very close to Vokey’s own home of Penticton.

Jacquelyn Belanger will be representing Summerland, and Juliana Martine will be representing her hometown of Oliver.

However, Martine said the candidates don’t see each other as competitors.

“It’s not really a competition to us; we see it more as we get to do more of the same stuff we love to do again, just with people we’ve gotten to know, and we really respect each other,” she said.

Along with the prestige behind the competition, there is also a financial benefit for the candidates as well: all the different awards that are given away during the program come with scholarships and bursaries attached to help the candidates pay for their post-secondary education.

Michael Hume, chair of British Columbia Ambassadors, explained the purpose behind the competition.

“We started the programs because we wanted to find a way of honouring our young people who were delegates for their community, and we were trying to look at something that would give them an opportunity that would give them benefits to get their education paid for,” he said.

Once the competition is over, the three newly crowned ambassadors’ jobs have just begun. As ambassadors, the youth will be travelling around the province and appearing at different events to promote the organization’s mandate of education, motivation and self-esteem.

“We chose that mandate because we believe those are three qualities that future leaders of our province need,” said Hume. “And we did that because those were the three things we sometimes saw lacking in some of our youth, and to establish those character traits, there’s nothing going to stop them from having the future they want.”

For more information on the B.C. Ambassador program or to vote for your choice of the People’s Choice ambassador, visit www.bcambassador.com.