We invite you to take a moment to read through some of the many testimonials and messages of kudos and support provided by participants, parents, sponsors, judges, volunteers and others.
"I have served as a main panel judge and this function has given me the opportunity to interview the young women involved and to get a better sense of how participation in such an event has enhanced their self-esteem and broadened their understanding of this province, its challenges, successes and its future potential.
The Positive experience of the participants has had a lasting effect on the communities they reside in, along with the impact they have had on the province. The skill-set learned while participating with this organization has given the participants the confidence and ability to contribute to their communities, province and in some cases, the world. This sense of community, team play, goal-setting and reaching new heights has been a pleasure to watch. As someone whose career is based on finding ways to motivate, support and foster youth development and achievement, I can honestly say this organization achieves all of these."
David Brazil, Former Director, Community Youth Network
"When I decided to apply, I had not idea what to expect. What I definitely did not expect was that a piece of me would stay with the program when I left. Throughout the weekend I got to know the other girls who were involved in their communities, and like me, were very proud of our accomplishments and so excited to participate. The girls, the chaperones, volunteers and program committee were so involved and passionate about what they were doing, and it was infectious! Since 2006, I have returned as a volunteer and chaperone, and now as part of the planning committee. The women behind this organization work so hard to make sure that each participant leaves confident, proud, and eager to get more involved in their communities and schools. This event is the weekend I look forward to most and I'm most confident that will stay true for a very long time to come!"
Kaytlyn Fitzgerald, Goulds
"With a mission statement that says it is "founded on the principle that the future of our province is dependent upon the leadership qualities of today's youth", this scholarship program has indeed made an outstanding contribution to the betterment or our province's young people.
As a mother of a participant, I have seen the confidence-building, encouraging, supportive and exemplary qualities that this organization has to offer. My daughter has learned so much from this experience in terms of confidence, poise and self-esteem. Writing an academic test on our province's history, geography and current affairs; taking part in a physical fitness test to show her strong will and commitment in completing a goal; and being interviewed on her community service and volunteer work, wholeheartedly demonstrates that this organization TRULY provides an achievement program for our young women. This organization focuses on a woman's inner beauty, while showcasing all the qualities and abilities she has to offer. I truly believe participation in this organization is a stepping stone for growth and excellence.
Although my daughter did not win the title, the experience enabled her to go on to do so much more. As a participant she was expected to choose an issue to promote. She chose the issue of extreme world poverty and became so passionate about her cause that she became a Youth Ambassador for World Vision and travelled to Tanzania, Africa on a mission trip the following summer.
The volunteer group which runs this program was always there when my daughter needed assistance and guidance, and still continues to be there for her. From helping her network through the community to promoting her cause, to writing reference letters, these women truly see the potential in our province's young women and do everything to empower, stimulate and drive our youth to their full potential. This committee is comprised of some of the most positive people I have ever met, who are determined to find positive role models and future leaders for our province.
This organization is making great things happen. They have done so much for our communities by allowing the future leaders of our province to live out their dreams through scholarship money, while giving them a safe, nurturing environment to showcase their talents and accomplishments. They are making a powerful impact on those in our communities and asking nothing in return.
Barb Hynes, Dunville
"Thank-you for such a great weekend! Our daughter Caitlin enjoyed it tremendously. She hasn't stopped talking yet and the pictures are great!"
Ron and Claudine Noseworthy, Spaniard's Bay
"First of all, I would like to congratulate you on your successful and rewarding scholarship program. This is a very enjoyable event from the welcoming dessert social and orientation to all the other activities. The Awards gala itself was amazing, and I would recommend it to any young girl. The limousine ride for the mothers was wonderful!"
Linda Jenkins, Carbonear
'This leadership program is unlike any organization with which I have ever had the pleasure of being involved. Rewarding young women for their academic excellence, community involvement and overall team spirit is something which, in itself, is highly commendable. I have been involved with this organization since it started, the first year as a supporter of a participant and the following years as a talent judge, competition judge and host.
I have remained committed to the organization because of its honourable mission to challenge young women to excel in life and set positive examples for others to follow. I have seen first-hand the confidence that participants gain through their experiences. The long-lasting friendships that I have seen blossom during the competition weekend have led to strong-minded young women collaborating to plan fundraising events and developing awareness campaigns in their communities and schools.
In addition to the endless opportunities it provides for young women, this non-profit organization gets involved in the community. This requires mentors and supervisors, bringing together a beautiful mix of age groups, allowing each group to inspire the other. Every year that I am part of this event, I am motivated by the enthusiasm and confidence of the girls representing communities from all over Newfoundland and Labrador.
Aside from the event, the committee actively seeks out opportunities for the girls it represents, allowing for first-hand networking and confidence building.
I feel very fortunate to have seen the amazing work that this organization does for young women and even more fortunate to see the positive results of this organization's hard work."
Denielle Hann, Singer/Songwriter/Radio Host
"When I was just 17 years old I entered the Miss Achievement Newfoundland and Labrador Leadership Program. The weekend was about boosting confidence and making new friends. I was honoured to be recognized as one of this province's young achievers. I strongly urge any young woman interested in becoming part of this fun-filled weekend to get involved! You will love every minute it has to offer. And, when you get too old to compete, you'll be back as a volunteer, chaperone and even be part of the planning committee."
Samantha Banton, Goulds
"As a parent of a recent participant I would like to extend a very sincere thank-you to your team. It was apparent as to the amount of effort that went into this event and you ladies need to be commended. I know that my daughter had a tremendous weekend filled with excitement and learning; a weekend that she won't soon forget. If your goal with this program is to increase self-esteem, build self-confidence and encourage young women. it's working. Keep up the great work and if there is ever anything I can do to assist, please do not hesitate contacting me."
Beverly Barbour, Witless Bay
"This was a great learning experience for me. I have never stepped outside of the box, out of my comfort zone and tried something different like this. I was very nervous to be doing something new, but I have gained a new outlook. This program has made me stronger, and I will be much more confident down the road. I appreciate everything you did for me. I was so glad to be part of it."
Leanne Kean, Torbay
"I'd like to thank you for enabling me to be part of this great event. I had the best time of my life! The weekend was so much fun. I made so many friends and learned so much. It was everything I expected and so much more, and I'd love to come back again next year. Everything was organized so well."
Aprille Whelan, Mobile
"I want to tell you how amazing the weekend was! It keeps getting better and I'm sure it will continue to improve. Thank-you for putting so much time into this, it made a huge impact on everyone involved and we've made life-long friends."
Cathy Balsom, Mount Pearl
"I would just like to say congratulations to all the committee members. You all did an excellent job organizing the event. I have heard nothing but good things from audience members. The entire weekend went so smoothly. Everything was so organized and a whole lot of fun! You should all give yourselves a huge pat on the back. I've seen first-hand the interest and dedication you put into everything and you should all be very proud. Thank-you so much for everything."
Gina Colbourne, Carbonear
"Joanne, first of all I would like to congratulate you and the other committee members in the Achievement organization. No doubt I do have fond memories of my daughter Lori winning the Miss NL 2002/2003 Pageant and I'm sure the same can be said for your memories. The fact that this new program focuses more on one's intelligence and brings a new dimension to pageant-type events and young women is something that I like. I am the father of four children, and three of those kids are girls. I am there to support the young people of this province but only in a positive manner. I see nothing but positive from your first event and I'm sure it will grow because society attitudes towards women are changing. Should you guys feel that I am of any benefit to assist you in the future I am certainly willing to help."
Gord Dunphy, St. John's
"I entered in 2008 with very little expectation of becoming the titleholder. After a fantastic and confidence-building weekend, I walked off towards a year of new experiences. Throughout the year I have learned a lot about myself, and what I want to do for the rest of my life. Being the titleholder gave me my first experience with the media! I did a very exciting interview with Rogers television just 16 hours after winning the title. This title has given me a chance to hone my public speaking skills and most of all, introduced me to the field of public relations. I now know that whatever career I pursue, It will be one that involves communicating with people as much as possible.
An enormous thank-you to the scholarship program committee comprised of Anne Broderick, Joanne March, Arlene O'Keefe, Jane Morgan and Kathy Dicks-Peyton. In supporting the young women of our province you have taken on a formidable cause. Your hard work is evident in every detail, and I can promise you that all the past and present participants and titleholders appreciate that you have given us this opportunity."
Beth Peddle, Miss Achievement Newfoundland and Labrador 2008/2009
"The scholarship program you ladies have created is amazing and life-changing. You have impacted my life and will impact many other young women's lives as this program grows. Thank-you for giving me the opportunity to be part of the first ever scholarship event. You'll be seeing my application again next year!"
Ashley Bonnell, St. John's
"This weekend was absolutely amazing! I wanted to thank you all for such a wonderful time! I never participated in something like this before and I loved it. I learned so much and I had so much fun! I hope we can keep in touch and see each other again soon! Thank you for everything."
Nancy Hillier, Marystown
"I just wanted to write and thank you for having me as part of your show I certainly enjoyed it and it was a first-class production. Congratulations on a great show, and I look forward to next year."
Tony Angelo, Assistant Program Director, 590 VOCM
"Thank you so much for such an amazing weekend, I truly enjoyed everything. I learned so much about my province through the academic test and so much about my physical abilities from the fitness test. Most importantly, I learned that it is okay to just be 'me'. Keep up the good work".
Jenelle Welshman, Port aux Basques
"WOW! Thank you all so much. This weekend was absolutely amazing and full of memories that I will never forget and you guys as a committee did an amazing job! This event was just the beginning of a long, overdue opportunity that will enhance young women in our province.
Kathy - were to even begin. You have been given a talent that goes beyond, one that sees inside a young girl's heart, and sees the full potential of where we can go in life. You took this on as a challenge and have only half-way completed it because I think this is going to go on and on, and be a huge success! God is using you every day and I thank Him that He brought you into my life, if only for a short while. Keep doing what you do.
Arlene - from the first email, you've been helping me. Thanks for convincing me to apply. Thanks for the help with my speech, and even though it may not seem like a lot, you helped me so much! You have a presence about you that just lights up a room.
Joanne - who can do that walk like you? No one! When you passed those posters to me in school, I knew at that moment that I couldn't wait any longer to apply! It was nuts how you kept your cool with all those girls running around backstage. I don?t know how you did it! But, I'm glad you did. Thanks for everything.
Anne - you are unbelievable. Behind the scenes, you've got it covered. It's impossible without people like you. You helped me through a lot when you didn't even realize it - just by telling me you thought I was amazing!
Jane - no one else would grab my sister the way you did! Thanks for the help with the bio and the sound. You have the greatest radio voice ever! Thanks for being part of this committee. You have such a huge heart!
To you all - you guys all have hearts of gold. The best committee I have ever seen. You all really complete each other and have really touched my life."
Courtney Tetford, Stanhope
"You all did a marvelous job this weekend! Please congratulate all the committee members. Mom (Miss Newfoundland 1936) had a ball and can't stop talking about it and how nice everyone was to her. I was really impressed with the smooth organization; I know only too well how hard it is to organize an event like that. Please keep me in mind for your next event, I would love to participate. I'm sure the little ones would love to be involved again as well. Once again, CONGRATULATIONS!"
Barbara Ashley, Barbara Ashley School of Dance
"Winning the Achievement title in 2007 has been one of the most inspirational and gratifying experiences of my life. I have learned so much from this magnificent opportunity. I have had the change to travel our beautiful province, be a spokesperson for youth and meet many fascinating people along the way. The friendships I have formed throughout this wonderful year will no doubt last a lifetime. I have been elated by the magnitude of caring from so many people and humbled by the frailest of handshakes.
This title has truly changed my life, as it has offered me a channel through which I could learn and grow. I now have a newfound pride and appreciation for our Newfoundland and Labrador. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the scholarship program committee - Anne Broderick, Joanne March, Jane Morgan, Arlene O'Keefe and Kathy Dicks-Peyton, on a joy well done. These women truly believe in the youth of our province and are tremendously incredible role models. Their unconditional support and guidance is invaluable to me and I know it will continue on for every young woman involved in this organization."
Julia Hiscock, Miss Achievement Newfoundland and Labrador 2007/08
"Congratulations on implementing such a fantastic event. I am a career counsellor with Keyin College in Marystown and I myself was crowned Miss Southern Newfoundland in 1979. It's wonderful to witness how pageants have evolved and changed - of course for the better. We look forward to partnering with you. If there is anything I can do to be of further help to your committee, please call. Also, you website is very user-friendly and informative. Congratulations on a job well done."
Loretta Lewis, Career Counsellor, Keyin College, Burin Campus
"I had the most amazing time volunteering at your event! I was honoured to be asked to volunteer and if there is anything I can do in the future to help support the mission of your scholarship program, please do not hesitate to ask. All weekend I was wishing there was something like this around when I was in high school."
Christie Meadus, Executive Director, FINALY!
"I wanted to send you a note and thank you for holding your event with us at The Fairmont Newfoundland. We enjoyed hosting your event tremendously. Please let me know if there is ever anything else I can do in the future."
Krista Cameron, Sales Manager, Fairmont Newfoundland
"Well congratulations on another successful year! You ladies do an remarkable job, and as a mother I want to thank you for your efforts. What your committee does for these young ladies is commendable beyond words. Thank-you very much! Shucks!! I was so close to having a year to work with all of you!! I knew when I left my daughter with you ladies that her best interest as at heart and that proved to be true. Thank you for the bottom of my heart."
Beverly Barbour, Witless Bay
"This experience is truly a confidence builder, you make new friends and you are provided the opportunity to showcase the talented, future leaders of Newfoundland and Labrador. On a scale of 1-10, I would give this program a 10! Is it a great opportunity for young women and I was pleased to be part of something where you are not judged on your appearance, but on your accomplishments. It was an honor to be a participant because it is an experience that boosted my self-confidence. You have a wonderful organization - keep up the great work!"
Cassandra Dominic, Mount Pearl
"I just wanted to congratulate you on another fantastic weekend! Events such as these mean a lot of hard work and dedication, let alone one as successful as yours. I wish I was able to be home and give you guys a hand with things. You are making a huge difference in the lives of the young women of Newfoundland and Labrador and that's an amazing thing."
Lori Dunphy, Miss Newfoundland and Labrador 2002/2003
"Participating in this event taught me how important it is to be myself, have confidence and not be discouraged if you don't win. I personally enjoyed the overall, relaxed, yet fun mood. The participants spend a lot of time getting to know each other. The entire weekend was well planned."
Kelly Clarke, Victoria
"I have had the pleasure of volunteering with your organization. I can honestly say that once you meet the ladies (committee) who dedicate their lives to this program, you automatically feel welcome. These ladies spend hours every day planning for the event and working with the titleholder. They are genuinely committed to this organization because they believe in doing wonderful things for the community.
I cannot say enough about this fabulous organization. I think the organization can really speak for itself. Look at the former titleholders and award winners and how much they have already accomplished in their young lives! Wow!! These young ladies are the future of our province, how great is that!!
To any young woman contemplating applying for this program consider this: whether or not you receive the title, you are still a winner. Honestly!! The self-confidence you will take away is something you will carry for a lifetime.
For the volunteer point of view, it is so nice to see the progression of these young ladies as they come in for registration until the last night of the Awards Gala. Remember this: these young women come from all over our province and soon realize they have made new friendships that will last a lifetime!"
Christina Kearney, Volunteer, Chaperone
"Hats off to Kathy Dicks-Peyton and the Scholarship Program Committee for co-ordinating a fabulous event - it was professional and well organized."
Lana Collins, Director of Project Communications, WHSCC
"Your organization has so many strong points - from the committee to the chaperones and judges. The great organization of this event is very evident. I really loved getting to know so many new people and made wonderful new friends. This is an experience I will never forget!"
Katherine Hynes, Gander
"This event is very well organized and I felt very safe and welcome. Everyone made me feel so comfortable. I liked the fact that it was a friendly competition and everyone supported each other. The experience of competing was more than I expected and I left feeling so much better about myself. Overall, I learned that it doesn't matter what you look like, where you are from or what you do, you will always be beautiful and intelligent inside and out. I also learned that if I believe in myself, it is so much easier to achieve my goals. Your scholarship program is amazing!"
Tobey Andersen, Makkovik
"One of the strong points about this event that impacted me was the interview portion. I really believe this experience has prepared me for any other interviews I will do in the future. I received a lot of support from the committee and my fellow participants, and everything was so well organized. I have to say, being a participant was one of the best experiences of my life"
Jessica Bragg, St. John's
"Being named the first titleholder in March 2006 has been the most enriching and rewarding experience of my life. Being a titleholder has given me a chance to see this beautiful province, the opportunity to become a voice for youth, and it has also opened new and exciting doors and forged life-long friendships.
Throughout my year I traveled across Newfoundland and Labrador speaking at various functions and promoting my platform: "The Brain Drain". I have seen first-hand the promising youth of this province and hope we can all work towards a bright future. The people I have met have all touched me in some manner and I will never forget this exciting chapter of my life. Each appearance presented me with a new challenge, but also a new opportunity to reach out and touch the people of this province. I can only hope that I have made a fraction of the impact on these people as they have made on me. Winning this title has had a profound effect on me, and I have changed and grown as a result.
This opportunity is made possible most of all by the dedicated Board of Directors consisting of Kathy Dicks-Peyton, Joanne March, Anne Broderick, Arlene O'Keefe and Jane Morgan. Without these motivated and talented women, who pour their time and energy into this program, the youth of this province, and me as the titleholder. Your drive and energy has inspired me, and your friendship has enriched my life. Thank-you so much!"
Juliette Dupre, St. Lawrence, Miss Achievement Newfoundland and Labrador 2006/2007