Ashley Jette has found a unique way to advocate for young women who – like her biological grandmother – become pregnant under difficult circumstances.

A volunteer with Catholic Family Service’s Motherhood Matters program, Ashley will focus on “providing support to young mothers who are confronted with great challenges” as she represents Canada in the 2017 Mrs. International Pageant.

It was Ashley’s grandmother’s story that inspired her pageant platform and her work with Catholic Family Service.

Ashley’s father was adopted as a baby, but when his adoptive parents passed away, he decided to look for his birth mother. With Ashley’s help, he eventually found his mom living in the United States.

Her story of personal sacrifice and suffering as a 17-year-old unwed mother in the 1950s was moving, Ashley said. “I feel very grateful that someone at that age was so brave,” she said. “She did such a brave thing that I wanted to find girls in similar situations and help them.”

That experience prompted her to volunteer with Motherhood Matters, a mentoring program that connects mothers under the age of 24 with caring volunteers. Ashley said the role has been fulfilling. “I am really impressed with these young moms and what good parents they are,” she said.

When she was crowned Mrs. Canada International in Summer 2016, she decided to tell her story in order to encourage support for young mothers. “Pageants are a great platform for promoting important causes,” she said.

Ashley, who has participated in pageants since the age of 13, is looking forward to competing for the Mrs. International title in West Virginia in August. “Competing in pageants has helped me gain confidence in public speaking and learn to present myself in public,” she said. “I have made connections that help me become involved in the community in a way that I find meaningful.”

Motherhood Matters is a progressive mentorship program that gives participants opportunities to meet other young moms and connect with kind, smart and caring women who can provide mentorship and guidance. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer with Motherhood Matters, please contact Farrah Smith at or 403.205.5220 for dates, location, and more information.