World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to welcome amazing teen Shawnna Veronica Ballog Miss Teen United Nations 2016 also our own World Class Beauty Queens USA Ambassador.
Title: Miss Teen United Nations 2016
Pageant: United Nations Pageant
Zodiac sign: Libra
Hobbies: Piano, Basketball, Dancing
Platform: Suicide Prevention, Anti-Bullying, Character development
Contact: Email: Svballog@gmail.com
Facebook Name: Shawnna Veronica Ballog
Instagram Name: Shawnna_bee123
Years competed: 1 year
Countries visited: Jamaica & Puerto Rico
Likes: Lyrical & classical music, animals, art
Dislikes: Meat, cold weather, bullying
World Class Beauty Queens: Hello Shawnna, thank you for taking the time to Interview with us. Tell us about yourself.
Shawnna: Hello everyone, my name is Shawnna Veronica Ballog I’m your Miss Teen United Nations 2016! I am eighteen years of age I’m a founder of Blossom Mentorship program. I’m fun an easy going girl. I love to play piano and play sports. In the past couple years my focus and passion is to help teens who are struggling in life and need direction. I feel so blessed to have this interview with World Class Beauty Queens magazine so I could share more about myself and my platform with the world!
World Class Beauty Queens: You are brand new to pageants. You competed in two pageants and you’ve won your last international pageant.
Shawnna: Yes based on my volunteering and charity work with Live Out Loud Charity and through my own Blossom Mentorship program I won the title of, “Miss Teen United Nations 2016.”
World Class Beauty Queens: It was your humanitarian and charity work that earned you the title. Tell us about your Blossom Mentorship.
Shawnna: Blossom Mentorship is a female youth guidance group that focuses on mentoring young girls to be a model with a purpose! I implement the cause of suicide prevention, anti-bullying, and character development within the hearts of all Blossom Girls. I feel like it is very important to focus on youth and inspire them to make a difference in the world. There has been so many amazing achievements young people have accomplished across the world, they did so with having a great mentor by their side! I wish to be by the side of my Blossom Girls as they find out what they want to do in life and I hope to inspire them to make a difference. My favorite quote is, “If you knew beyond the shadow of doubt, that you would not fail, how big would you dream?” I also tell them, “it takes just as much energy to dream big than it does to dream small.” This quote usually get’s inspired, which helps them to establish their own dreams! And I hope to be there to guide them by example.
World Class Beauty Queens: You also played a big part in Live Out Loud Charity for the past two years as the assistant to the founder. You did everything from little things like paper work to organizing your own fashion show fundraisers.
Shawnna: I came in to the organization just like most of the girls, with a personal struggle and inner pain, looking for answers and a community to lean on. After the first meeting and learning simple steps of suicide prevention, I was able to save three lives in one week in my high school. I couldn’t believe it myself, I was only 16 years old at that time. One time, I overheard a girl in a school bathroom saying she doesn’t want to live anymore, it was just a faint whisper. Normally I would assume she was just joking and walk away, but thanks to my training, it made me take action. I stepped in and notified the counselors. After talking to her, they found out that she had a plan to end her life that day. Thank God I was trained to look for the signs of suicide and understood the simple QPR steps to save a life. QPR stands for Question, Persuade, Refer. I got seriously involved and became ambassador of the charity, I served as Miss Worldwide Teen USA for LOLC. The youth outreach was through fashion shows and other fashion/pageant events we girls love to do. For the fashion shows we didn’t auditioned professional models, instead we focused on everyday girls and guys. A lot of them had low self esteem issues or went through traumatic events in their life themselves and had no one to turn to. So through involvement in LOLC and participation in the fashion shows we were not only able to educate them on suicide prevention and anti bullying, but also help them with rebuilding their low self esteem and making their dreams come true. Being so inspired, I started my own program called Blossom Mentorship. I wanted to make a difference in the society myself. I was only sixteen years old at that time, but my passion to help others was so strong! It made me forget how young I was and I forgot all of my insecurities and instead focused on helping one teen at a time. And that’s my message, no matter how young you are, you can make a difference in any ones life. I went through troubling times in high school myself, and had nobody to turn to. But thanks to my involvement with LOLC I was able to learn how to be a leader and mentor myself. Now I’m going to continue my mission of helping youth worldwide through Blossom Mentorship. I love my girls and I’m here for them to blossom into beautiful young adults not only on the outside, but also on the inside.
Some of my achievements:
I won Miss Teen United Nations 2016
I was Miss Teen United Nations USA 2015
Was appointed Miss Worldwide Teen USA Ambassador for LOLC
Educated thousands of girls in the Midwest on suicide prevention and anti bullying.
I’m suicide prevention QPR certified, which stands for Question, Persuade and Refer.
I have five certifications in preventing suicide with the Jason Foundation, one with the Society for the Prevention of Teen suicide, and one certification with the Suicide Research Center Training Institute for how council on access to lethal means.
I helped to produce suicide awareness events.
Produced fashion show fundraisers for the charity.
I have traveled to Puerto Rico with LOLC and helped produce suicide prevention events there.
I did charity work in Jamaica with LOLC during the competition.
I frequently established & designed new programs for LOLC serving as an educational piece to teach others on how to save lives, raise self esteem, and make their dreams come true.
I started Blossom Mentorship program.
And now became World Class Beauty Queens USA Ambassador.
And soon I’ll be competing for Teen Miss Earth Illinois 2018 as Teen Miss County Earth 2017
World Class Beauty Queens: What inspired you to compete for Miss Teen United Nations?
Shawnna: I wanted to gain a global outreach to spread awareness of suicide prevention. I know first hand the feeling of hopelessness and I want to do all I can to convince everyone, “IT DOES GET BETTER.” I wanted to do this through educating the public on how to save lives with simple steps of QPR which stands for Question, Persuade and Refer. If I may, I’ll share the simple steps of QPR. When you see someone who is struggling, QUESTION them. Are you suicidal? Or Is the weight of the world too much for you? There is a stigma of not asking this question, people are either afraid to ask, or they think if you ask the question it might motivate someone to actually harm themselves. But let me be clear about it, It is NOT the case. People who are suicidal actually wish there was someone who would listen to them and show them that they care. That’s all it takes, little compassion can save some’s life. But make sure that you approach the person from the place of love and compassion. So if you ask the question and someone says that they are suicidal, they can’t handle life anymore, they have a plan or they are having thoughts of suicide. In emergency it’s best to call 911 right away or if it’s not an immediate danger PERSUADE them to seek help. Once they agree to get help, last step is to REFER them to specialist. There’s great number of paid and free resources for people who are depressed and suicidal. One of those sources is 1 800 SUICIDE or 1 800 784 2433, it’s free and confidential. So now that you are informed on QPR, I encourage you to use it. I know how bad it can get when you are depressed. and it doesn’t matter where you are from, what race, age or gender you are. We all need help at some point of our life. So as Miss Teen United Nations, I wanted to be the voice and messenger of hope for those who are struggling.
Special thank you to the owner of Miss United Nations Pageants Leon Williams for believing in me.
World Class Beauty Queens: What appearances were you able to do with that title?
Shawnna: I was the assistant to Foudner of LOLC so every event and fashion show I was present as Miss Teen United Nations 2016. Also I was able to appear as a celebrity judge for Miss Bliss Fashion Show, a local production ran by Elma Nail & Hair School. I was able to visit elementary schools, youth groups, and high schools within the midwest area of the U.S. to teach how to save lives and how to make your dreams come. Some schools I visited includes: Portage High School, Porter County Career And Technical Center, Paul Saylor Elementary School, and Laporte High School, two Catholic schools located in Wisconsin, and many youth groups across Illinois. I was able to speak on radio stations which include: Iheart Radio, Cole Royce Show, and RadioVive. I feel so special to connect with youth! I also was able to appear as a secret judge and celebrity guest at Miss Planetary Fashion Show & Pageant. As well as many LOLC fashion shows, I spoke about how you can save lives and gave my personal story of hope! As Miss Teen USA and Miss Teen Illinois United Nations I was able to appear during New York Fashion week as an official beauty queen, I met many great queens from around the world which inspired me to continue pageant journey!
World Class Beauty Queens: Please tell us about your current platform and your volunteering plans?
Shawnna: I have so many plans for 2017,18 and beyond. My platform remains to be suicide prevention, anti-bullying, and character development advocate. I enjoy writing so I came up with a plan to publish a book that will touch on how to save lives, bring awareness to the issue, raise self esteem, and stop bullying situations. I know reading books and listening to lectures could be boring, so I came up with a good way to teach my curriculums. Now I’m working on non-profit organization with a mission to educate public on suicide prevention and awareness. My committee and I will produce fun events to get the community involved. I also plan to produce an awards gala to acknowledge the talent within the Chicagoland area. Lastly, I will take my non-profit to Puerto Rico, Mexico, Liberia, West Africa, Jamaica, India, and Philippines and many more places.
World Class Beauty Queens: How did volunteering help your life?
Shawnna: It helped me to grow as an teen and adult. It taught me how important empathy is! I have a broader horizon of understanding people and their cultures now. I also gained a newfound passion in traveling and meeting inspirational people in each area of the world. Throughout the three years of volunteer, I learned how to appreciate many things, such as: my education, my family, my support, and my life. Before I did not think I had the potential to become a doctor, but now I feel like I can do anything! I am happy to say, I am currently in school to become a veterinarian.
World Class Beauty Queens: We want to hear in your own words how did it feel to hear your name as the winner.
I lost my breath! I couldn’t believe they called my name. After making the impossible happen, my dream really did come true! I wanted to cry right there and then, but I stayed strong. I didn’t even hear all the cheers or applause all I saw was a flashback of all my hard work and sacrifice to get here. The crowning, the sash and crown is just a brief moment in the 3 years I’ve spend as a volunteer. 3 minutes of Glam on stage backed by 2 years of hard work. But it’s a very important moment, it will motivate me to work harder, dream bigger and help more people.
World Class Beauty Queens: What does the crown and sash symbolize to you?
Shawnna: To me the crown symbolizes hope and inspiration. Now only to me but to all people who are struggling within themselves that there is hope and there are people who care. And I’m one of those people who cares. Also the crown symbolizes all seven continents of the world. Personally I still can not believe I won! The crown itself is such a beautiful piece of art!
World Class Beauty Queens: How did competing in pageants help your life?
Shawnna: Competing in the United Nations Pageant taught me so many things, but my biggest lesson I learned was that with the help of God, the impossible CAN be possible! I gained a lot self confidence and awareness while competing. Also I meet so many amazing people who are similar to me. Some of them became an inspiration to me like Mrs United Nations Wendi Russo. By meeting some of the Queens and partnering up with them so many dreams can be accomplished and many more can be created. When two queens are at work magic happens!
World Class Beauty Queens: You plan to compete in Miss Earth system next. Tell us why did you choose Miss Earth?
Shawnna: After being a queen that represents the world for charity work affairs, I felt like it would be a smart choice to also be a queen for environmental affairs. I plan to learn a lot about the world in a whole new sense, all while I continue spreading awareness of my cause. My experience with pageantry has been great and I always find myself meeting people that affect my life for the better. Pageantry will forever be in my life!
World Class Beauty Queens: What are your plans for 2017/18?
Shawnna: My plan of action includes traveling to Puerto Rico, Mexico, and across the Midwest and more to grow my charity and to spread awareness of its cause. I think it is very important to touch base with other areas besides my hometown. EVERYONE suffers with something and a lot of people become hopeless because they feel they do not have a person to tell them, there IS a light at the end of the tunnel. For example depression and suicide is a taboo topic in places like Africa, many people in those part of the world are suffering terribly with depression. I’m working hard to make my plan a reality and visit all the places on my list. I want to gain a larger network in the fashion industry of Chicago and worldwide, and appear as Teen Miss County Earth to as many events as possible! I’m only 5’3″ yet throughout my three years of modeling, I was able to model not only in Chicago but also in New York Fashion Week for international designer House of Byfield from Netherlands. I was told that I inspired many young people, the same as how many people inspired me. I want to keep meeting new people, to continue inspiring them and to receive inspiration. The fashion industry gives me an outlet to give hope back to the hopeless. Last but not least, I will continue to grow my Blossom Mentorship group where I train young girls to become active leaders and successful models.
World Class Beauty Queens Magazine would like to say thank you to such an amazing teen as Shawnna Veronica Ballog Miss Teen United Nations 2016 for this inspiring interview we are honored to have you as our World Class Beauty Queens USA Ambassador.
Editor: Derek Tokarzewski
Shawnna Veronica Ballog Miss Teen United Nations 2016