Community

A bond as strong as Titanium

Jada McKenzie-Moore, left, and Trinity became fast friends when they met at Betty Gilbert Middle School two years ago. Trinity, who has a mild form of Asperger’s syndrome has been a target for bullies at school since Jada moved to Vancouver. On Sunday, Aug. 17, Jada will dedicate her PNE Star Showdown performance of the hit song ‘Titanium’ to Trinity. - Jennifer Proulx photo
Jada McKenzie-Moore, left, and Trinity became fast friends when they met at Betty Gilbert Middle School two years ago. Trinity, who has a mild form of Asperger’s syndrome has been a target for bullies at school since Jada moved to Vancouver. On Sunday, Aug. 17, Jada will dedicate her PNE Star Showdown performance of the hit song ‘Titanium’ to Trinity.
— image credit: Jennifer Proulx photo

A 14-year-old singing sensation, Jada McKenzie-Moore, is using her voice to stand up for her best friend.

Jada, a Langley native, will be in the semifinals at the PNE Star Showdown on Sunday, Aug. 17 — in a competition that started with around 300 hopefuls.

But when Jada takes the stage, she plans on dedicating the song ‘Titanium’ to her best friend Trinity, who has a mild form of autism and was bullied this past school year.

“I wanted Trinity to have her own song so she could be empowered,” said Jada. “She loves it and is so excited when I sing that song.”

The lyrics are powerful: You shoot me down but I won’t fall. I am titanium.

“The words of this song are perfect for Trinity or anybody who has been bullied.”

Trinity couldn’t agree more and is excited to be at the PNE for Jada’s performance.

“It’s very inspirational for those of us who have faced bullies,” said Trinity.

For Trinity, who was bullied quite badly last year, she sums up the experience in two words.

“Bullying sucks,” she said.

Jada first dedicated the song to Trinity when she won the BC Junior Talent Search finals at the Cloverdale Rodeo in May, singing her jaw-dropping, stripped-down acoustic version of David Guetta’s song, Titanium.

Hitting octaves and range only heard in the voices of a few, like Mariah Carey, Jada hopes her version of the song strikes a chord both with the audience and judges.

Jada and Trinity met while attending Betty Gilbert Middle School together two years ago.

The two hit it off and became fast friends.

“When Trinity was younger, we would pray together, hoping she would find friendship,” said mom, Stacy.

“It was a difficult time and Trinity was alone a lot and had trouble making friends.

“When Jada and Trinity found each other, they just had this amazing bond. Their friendship is so genuine.”

But when Jada moved to Vancouver last August, Trinity started getting picked on and bullied at school.

“She has experienced horrible bullying this year. These girls threw plants in her hair and when she was walking from school these younger girls were picking on her,” said Jada.

Trinity has a mild form of Asperger’s syndrome.

“I want to say to those who bully, treat people how you yourself want to be treated,” said Jada.

To Trinity, or anyone being bullied, she said “be strong.”

Stacy said that for Jada to use her voice to stand up for Trinity, is both a gift and a message.

“I think it shames the bullies and it also shows Trinity that she really matters.”

Trinity can’t wait to cheer on Jada on Sunday.

To the bullies in her life, Trinity said they must feel inadequate, to have to pick on someone else.

“Do you think your confidence level will go up trying to knock someone down? It won’t. You will feel worse.

“You must have very low confidence,” she said.

Stacy said that once the community knew Trinity was being picked on, they rallied around her. But the school’s hands were tied when it came to helping, she said.

“She is so harmless and sweet, so it really bothered people that she was bullied,” said her mom.

The competition at the PNE is fierce, now that Jada is in the youth category of ages 13 to 18.

If she does win the cash and the title, she plans to donate money from her win to the Autism Canada Foundation.

Langleyites might recognize Jada as the anthem singer at the Vancouver Stealth games last year at the Langley Events Centre.

For singing O Canada, she had some lessons from Mr. O Canada himself, Mark Donnelly, who sings at Vancouver Canucks games.

“He taught me a lot,” she said.

Jada’s singing career has been busy, playing the White Rock Sea Festival recently and the Calgary Stampede earlier, along with many other performances. She has won seven contests in three months.

With a full itinerary this summer, she is taking a break from performing with hopes to cut a song or make an album this fall.

Her dream is to get a hit song and become popular enough that she can do concerts and go on tour.

“With a pink tour bus — it has to be pink,” said Jada.

“My mom is the driver and Trinity is coming too.”

When asked if Trinity would like to go on tour with Jada, her response was, “Oh my goodness, yes.”

Jada’s mom, Jennifer Proulx, said she is  proud of her daughter’s stand against bullies and in support of Trinity.

“Trinity’s mom and I tear up when we see them together. They have such a beautiful relationship,” said Proulx.

The friends got together in Langley last weekend, before the PNE semifinals this Sunday.

To hear Jada perform Titanium, go to her website jadamckenziemoore.com

Also performing on Sunday’s PNE Star Showdown semifinals is Langley’s Chase Testini.

The 19-year-old Walnut Grove Secondary grad took up guitar at age eight and will bring his voice and acoustic talents to the exhibition stage.

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