BARRHEAD - A former Barrhead resident, Amber Rozenza, is hoping to become the latest Maxim cover girl.
Maxim is an online and print men's entertainment magazine that publishes articles on entertainment, technological gadgets, automobiles, and travel. It boasts a readership of nine million worldwide.
The Maxim contest raises funds to help build and remodel handicap-accessible homes for disabled veterans, with 25 per cent of proceeds going to fund the non-profit Homes for Wounded Warriors. The public can vote for contestants once each day for free, but can cast additional votes for $1 each.
The voting started on Monday, June 13. The winner receives $25,000 and will be flown to France for a multilocation photoshoot with famed fashion photographer Gilles Bensimon whose portfolio includes Linda Evangelista, Beyoncé, and Gisele Bündchen.
"I have been following their Instagram page since I was 16 (Rozenza is now 21), so I knew about the contest, plus one of my best friends entered the contest three years ago and did quite well, coming in fifth," Rozenza said.
"Following her journey, I was inspired by her, so when I saw an article on my Instagram newsfeed that they were looking for applicants, I thought, why not give it a shot and see what happens."
Rozenza, who now resides in Edmonton, decided to leave the community shortly after graduating from Barrhead Composite High School in 2017.
"My grandma Rose worked for (Knelsen Sand and Gravel) as a flagger in the paving industry and asked if I would be interested in the job as she was looking to retire," she said.
Rozenza accepted her grandmother's offer to take the job and started working her way up the ladder for Knelsen, switching companies on occasion to take advantage of other opportunities, rising to the point where she is now a heavy equipment operator on a paving crew.
"It is good money, and I enjoy working outside, and since I only work six months out of the year, it gives me a chance to pursue what I am passionate about," she said.
In the off-season, Rozenza enjoys travelling (exploring hidden gems and abandoned buildings and structures), snowboarding and playing the guitar.
She is also trying to get her business off the ground as an influencer and cannabis advocate.
As a cannabis advocate, Rozenza invites cannabis companies to send her products to review.
"In high school, I was all about photography and art, and I use those skills to take pictures of the products that I am promoting," she said.
Rozenza said she first got interested in the cannabis industry as a high school student.
"I don't drink or do other drugs, but I do like to smoke the occasional joint," she said.
She added that she did not plan to become a cannabis advocate, noting that when she first started, she would post a review on Instagram or other social media platforms about a cannabis product she liked.
"I started to get noticed, and companies started to ask me if they could send me products to review," she said. "It started small, where I would review things for free, trading their products for a post, but now I am getting to the point where I can make some money on it."
Rozenza said she always had an interest in modelling as well, saying she would use photography and self-portraits as a way to overcome her shyness.
"I am now really comfortable with myself," she said. "I enjoy the entire process of getting dressed up, being creative and taking pictures. It makes me feel good about myself, which is another reason why I think I decided to enter the contest."
Rozenza has successfully passed the first cut-off, being in the Top 20 in her group. The next cut-off is June 30, when Rozenza will need to be in the top 15 to advance. The next cut-off after that is July 7, when contestants need to be in the Top 10 of their group to advance. Maxim will announce the winner of their Cover girl 2022 contest on Aug. 18.
To help Rozenza advance to future rounds, go to www.maximcovergirl.com/2022/amber-rozenza. People can vote once a day.