Téa Hartfield is a winner in the community’s eyes.
The 17-year-old Olalla resident competed in the BC Ambassador competition last week in Merritt. Although she didn’t come home with a new crown, she brought back many new memories and friendships.
Sherri Philpott-Adhikary the organizer of the Keremeos Ambassador program had glowing remarks about Hartfield’s effort during the week.
“We were so proud of Téa’s speaking abilities during speech night on Friday. Her personal speech was about Everyday Heroes and she certainly could relate to what it was like to work as a firefighter first hand.
For her community speech, she dressed in a time period costume from the Grist Mill and carried a basket on her arm. She gave a vivid tour of Keremeos and the surrounding area making it easy for us to picture what it would be like to tour through the area.
On pageant night Téa was poised and sophisticated in her evening wear and answered her impromptu question to the best of her ability.
Three BC Ambassadors were crowned that evening. Unfortunately Téa was not selected but she still came away a winner.
It takes a lot of hard work and confidence to run for the title and it is a learning process for all those who get involved. As the first Keremeos and Area Ambassador to run for the BC title, Téa Hartfield made us proud and gives future Keremeos and Area Ambassadors something to aim for.”
Hartfield was among Keremeos’ first batch of ambassador’s when the program started in 2014.
Although disppointed she wasn’t able to bring the crown home to Keremeos, Hartfield was grateful for all she experienced in her run for BC ambassador.
“I may have not won but it was quite the experience. I have gotten to know eight wonderful people and three great representatives for 2014. I will never forget all that I have learned and the things that made me grow as a person and as a representative for my community. I gave it my all and at least I can walk away knowing I did the best I could,” Hartfield said.
Hartfield was the youngest of the nine candidates.
During the gruelling weeklong competition, Hartfield recited two speeches from memory.
The first was about volunteer firefighting and the other about the community at large.
Hartfield is currently a student volunteer firefighter with the Keremeos fire department. The busy teen also works at the Grist Mill and Gardens and has a part time cleaning job.
She also prepared a community table, which was on display in the Merritt Civic Centre for the week. Included in the table was a replica of the red bridge, Hartfield made herself, information on the Similkameen, and items from local businesses and wineries.
Hartfield was sponsored by the Keremeos Fire Department and the Grist Mill and Gardens.
She told the Review in a previous interview that one of her favourite things about running in the BC Ambassador program was being able to meet more people in the community and explain what the program offers youth.
“People have been so supportive. Once they get to know what the program is all about they understand how it makes a difference and are glad we’re getting involved,” she said.
“It’s been a great experience.”
Throughout the process Hartfield has learned a lot about public speaking, time management, community involvement and the history of the area.
This year she will attend Grade 12 at Similkameen Elementary Secondary School and plans to go on to post secondary education and take aesthetician studies.