If you simply read through Kassidy Upton’s resume you could be forgiven if you assumed that she was in her twenties with years of experience contributing to her list of achievements. What a surprise to learn that she is a 15 year old from central Canada and has just entered Grade 10 this fall. She has grown up in an active and close knit family with four siblings in the beautiful Kawartha Lakes region of Ontario, where her family runs Misty Springs – a breeding and milk production Holstein farm. Kassidy graduated from grade 8 with honours, her school letter and an award for overall contribution to school life. She has carried that zest and passion into her high school career and continues to be an honours student in the academic stream. She is an avid skier and has volunteered her time to help teach children to ski at Lakeridge Ski resort through their apprenticeship program. Last season she was a member of the Blue Mountain team as an assistant Pro. This year her personal achievements took a new and interesting turn.
KASSIDY’S First Pageant is The Miss Teen Canada Globe
Sometimes a chance meeting will open doors. That happened for her says Kassidy. “I met Michaela Zinsmiester. She was in the Miss Teen Canada Globe competition last year and she told me about it. When I was asking her questions she suggested that I put an application in for the 2014 pageant.” Although she had no previous experience with this type of competition Kassidy did enter it. “I really didn’t know what to expect. I just wanted to meet other girls from Canada and hoped to have some fun.” She certainly met those expectations but there were many surprises in store for her.
KASSIDY Gets Off to An Amazing Start
You can well imagine that whether it’s in the ring or on the runway, achieving exceptional results doesn’t happen without a lot of hard work. Kassidy confirms that this was true for the Teen Pageant. “There was a lot of work involved in preparing for it. “ She outlines what that consisted of. “I had to develop a complete profile and platform.” However, the work didn’t stop there and she says that the long hours were the biggest surprise. “Michaela had warned me that I wouldn’t get a lot of sleep but I hadn’t expected to be training from 7 am to 3:30 am every day. When you are watching beauty pageants on TV it looks all glamourous but what you don’t see is the hard work and long hours that go into them.” Nevertheless Kassidy rose to the challenge and completed the work. “I felt I was ready.”
KASSIDY is in the National Finals
Indeed Kassidy was ready. She made it to the National Finals. “I was also surprized to make it as far as I did. There were so many beautiful, smart and talented girls in the competition.” Once again she was taken by surprise. “After it was announced that I was in the top 10 I even sent a text message to my Mom in the audience that night saying “OMG MOM!!!’” She knows that her success was built on her preparation as well as another key Kassidy ingredient. “I wasn’t willing to give up.” she declares. “It was exhausting at times but I learned a lot and I got an opportunity to meet some fantastic people.” She didn’t let anything intimidate her. Some of the girls had modelling experience or had been in pageants before and I hadn’t done anything like this.”
KASSIDY is well grounded. Being herself was the key to her success.
Kassidy already has a mature viewpoint on how to present herself. “I don’t know how to be anyone but me, and I just decided that if they didn’t want the person that I am, then it wasn’t the right fit for me. I think that when I look at all the girls who made the top 5 that they really are looking for someone who is an example of a Canadian girl. The title holders need to be someone who all teenage girls can relate to and who is a good representative of what it means to be a Canadian woman. That is how I would describe myself – a typical teenager!”
From the Laneway to the Runway
Kassidy may see herself as typical however many would consider that her path to becoming a pageant competitor was quite unique. “When you grow up on a farm you get used to the fact that if things don’t go your way you can’t just walk away. The work only gets done if you go back and try again.” But although hard work helped it didn’t make it a sure thing. “I’ll be honest. When the Regional assessment was finished, my score was one of the lowest of any girl in Ontario.” She provides some background. “The Regional Assessment takes place in the first three days and this is where you get your training. Throughout the training process you are judged and this determines your Regional score. Your scores are wiped away and you start fresh in the National Pageant. This was my first try at anything like this. So what you have to do is take what you learned during the regional assessment and apply it to the National pageant, which takes place immediately after Regionals.”
She is a Worthy Competitor. Kassidy Learned from Each Step
Not only is Kassidy open about her results but she was bold in other ways too. “Instead of letting my Regional score affect me I went in to the Nationals and decided to show the judges the work I had done prior to the pageant to prepare my profile and all that I had learned during Regional Assessment. I didn’t give up. I think that my background and upbringing is what instilled this attitude. Lots of girls quit after the Regional assessment but I wasn’t going to be one of them.”
Kassidy’s Team Had a Big Impact on Her
The two people who have the greatest influence on me are my mom and dad. My mom and dad have taken care of me my whole life with assistance later on by my step-dad Dominique. They have taught me right from wrong and have strived to see me succeed. They always put positive thoughts in my mind and always push me to my greatest self. They are my parents so of course they have the greatest influence on me because they have been here through thick and thin. They have pushed me to achieve every goal I set. And to set as many goals I can. I don’t think I could ever thank my parents enough for what they do. They are my inspirations.
“I would like to thank Misty Spring Holsteins for being my main sponsor.
Dominque and my Mom have been behind me all the way in this. Everything from helping me to prepare, running me around to events, shopping for my clothes for the pageant, to running supplies down to me. They were in the audience every night that was open to the public.” (Read more: Misty Springs Clearly On Course!)
Having a support group is a great lift when you are competing.
Kassidy confirms how important it was to her. “I had some rough days during the pageant and many people sent me Facebook messages of encouragement and support and that meant a great deal to me. I had several other people who came down to support me on audience choice nights, and the many people who voted for me on line.”
Kassidy Passes the Caring and Sharing Forward
Kassidy goes beyond competition and giving back is a big part of the reason she enjoyed this experience. She has been a member of the local youth group, has a passion for helping people and volunteers her time with the local food bank. “The thought of so many people in this country, especially children, going to bed hungry is incomprehensible.” says this young member of a multi-generational, food providing family. She can often be found pitching in on the family dairy operation and has a definite love of caring for the calves. Kassidy is as comfortable in a pair of work boots as she is in high heels. Her upbeat “can do” attitude shines through in everything she does. In her spare time she loves to paint and draw. Kassidy intends to become an electrician.
A Special Thank You from Kassidy
Building on her experience with a particular charity, Kassidy has a special highlight to share. “Another person who really earned a big thank you from me is a lady by the name of Sandy Norris. She runs our local food bank. It is that charity that I have been working with and that I developed my platform on. She took the time to make sure that I had a solid understanding of every aspect to the food bank’s operations. She made sure I had an opportunity to experience them for myself and, because of her time and effort, I was prepared, knowledgeable and as a result scored very high marks on my platform and interview.”
Kassidy Shares Advice and Encouragement
There are many opportunities that are available for young people who are ready to stretch their limits and try new experiences. Kassidy encourages others to ‘give it a try’ because “You never know how far you can run if you don’t step up to the start line. I never realized that anyone can do this until I talked to Michaela. It is a unique experience and one that will have a lasting impact on me. I have made some great friends from all over the country and some beautiful memories from my 10 days in Toronto.”
What Is Next for Kassidy?
“I’m going into grade 10 to hopefully complete my goal of reaching an average above 80%. I am also going to strive to keep up to MCGP’s expectations by making appearances throughout this coming year and scouting more girls for this experience. I also am seeking to find some modelling opportunities with magazines, stores, companies, etc.” But she is ready to stretch further. “I also plan on supporting the food bank as much as I can because they have been very supportive of me in this pageant and have helped every way they could.” She sums it up with enthusiasm. “I plan on living my normal life but with a few other responsibilities.”
…. And Kassidy’s Story Takes Another Turn
We were just recently updated on the next turn in the growing resume that Kassidy Upton is building. Her mother emailed that they are surprised and delighted that “Kassidy has walked her way into a lead role in a movie that she is shooting right now. It is called Groupies and will be released in 2015 on Netflix.
The Bullvine Bottom Line
We congratulate Kassidy Upton on her unique experiences in competing in the Miss Teen Canada Globe competition. The Bullvine and our readers wish her all the best in utilizing her skills, experience and knowledge not only in the dairy industry, but also in helping others.
Those young ladies looking to get into this can contact Kassidy here.