For the second year in a row, a young woman from Lake Cowichan will be representing our district on the provincial level as part of a leadership program for young people—a feat that has never happened before.
Emily Pastor, who was a Lady of the Lake second princess in 2013, was recently crowned one of this year’s B.C. Ambassadors by the British Columbia Ambassador Program in Merritt. Last year, Lake Cowichan’s Mary Batyi was one of the three B.C. Ambassadors, making this the first time a community has had ambassador representation two years in a row.
“It feels awesome,” said Pastor. “It feels good to represent the same place again.”
Pastor said the Lake is sometimes a little more secluded when it comes to pageant competitions in BC, which makes this win all the more special.
“It feels good to bring Cowichan Lake on the provincial level, so people not only want to come here but also know who we are,” she said.
The program’s stated mandate is to “nurture provincial leaders of the future; promote and assist with the expenses of post-secondary educations; [and] forge links of friendship and understanding throughout BC communities.”
The candidates are judged on their general knowledge of British Columbia, personal interviews, public speaking, community presentations and their promotion of the program.
Pastor spent the past several months spreading the word about her candidacy. She was present at community events, and participated in some of the Lady of the Lake 2016 candidate activities.
“I was fortunate to be a candidate at the same time they were [Lady of the Lake candidates]. So I got to go through Toastmasters with them and go to all their events,” she said.
In the years between when she was second princess and when she joined the ambassador program, Pastor studied at Vancouver Island University and is now an esthetician. She credits the Lady of the Lake program with helping her get to where she is today.
“I was super shy and not really outgoing. But I find since I’ve been through the program it’s really easy for me to network and talk to people.”
Pastor said she thinks these kinds of leadership programs are important because of the self-confidence they foster in young people.
Denise Allan, chairwoman of the Lady of the Lake Society, said she’s extremely proud of Pastor.
“She has broken ground, this is new territory and we are all just thrilled,” Allan said.
“She worked hard, wanted it and dreamt of it for years. She is a true gem,” she said.
“Everyone that knows her, knows what I am talking about.”
The two other winners of this year’s competition were Madeline Tremblay of Ladysmith and Sierra Cook of Quesnel.