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Usuarios más Activos del Mes de Junio 2024 - Conozcan a los Foristas que integran el Top 10 ~ Enlace: https://www.foroelitebeauties.com/t28856-los-foristas-mas-activos-del-mes-de-junio-2024
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  candidatas a miss universe canada 2024. final: 27 july.

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Nomin Bayasgalan
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Height: 5’8
Hometown: Ottawa, ON
Languages: English, Mongolian
Occupation: Policy Analyst, Actress, Model

Nomin was born in Mongolia and has lived in 5 different countries, including Canada, as a proud Canadian. She currently works as a Policy Analyst for the Government of Canada. She has assisted in preparing materials on behalf of the Minister of Health and Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. She is a member of ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) as a professional actress and model. Her credits include a principal role in the feature film “Burn Your Maps” where she was the onscreen wife of actor Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi). She was featured on CTV Morning Live as a fashion model and has been a featured model for numerous clients including Giant Tiger, Brookfield Residential, and Costco Canada.

Her other accomplishments include a YTT200 yoga teaching certification, earning Top 5 in a natural bodybuilding fitness competition, completing a silent 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat and a Wim Hof ice bath workshop. She believes in constant self-improvement and likes to take challenges head on. For example, the silent Vipassana meditation is a way of self-transformation through self-observation and the Wim Hof ice bath method is a meditative approach to improving health and well-being. She dreams of participating in TV shows like “The Amazing Race” due to her huge passion for traveling. She has traveled to more than 20 countries, including Ecuador in South America where she did a study abroad and minored in Spanish as part of her Bachelor’s Degree in International Management from the University of Lethbridge. She also has a Financial Services Management Diploma from Douglas College, and has used this diploma for every day financial knowledge.

Nomin wants to represent Canada to the rest of the world as a country which respects and welcomes diversity. She has witnessed the positive effect the BIPOC movements have had for awareness to minority communities and wishes to continue to be a representative of Mongolian-Canadian heritage. Having lived in Canada for the past 18 years, her important life memories have formed here. She initially came to Canada as a visitor and worked her way up to becoming a citizen 11 years ago. She now has a great career and many passions that have helped her to build her foundation and settle. Canada made this possible for her and she wants to show the rest of the world the great opportunities that this country can provide.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?

I have a wide range of interests but what makes me feel best is working on self-improvement, whether it be mentally, spiritually or physically. I love signing up for classes and workshops that range from dancing and meditating to plunging into ice cold baths (the Wim Hof method). I enjoy reading self-help books and listening to podcasts on the importance of mental health and about our life journey. I love staying active by doing yoga and weightlifting or being out in nature, especially sunbathing on a tropical beach. Aside from my full-time job, I also work as an actress and a model, so I love being on set and doing photoshoots or even taking acting classes to hone in on my skills. Traveling is also one of my biggest passions, I have been to over 20 countries but there are 175 more so I plan to keep going!

List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)

I have my YTT200 yoga teaching certification and although I’m not a certified personal trainer, I have the basics in weight lift training and counting macros thanks to my natural bodybuilding fitness competition training. I have also been training (in acting) by taking acting classes for the past 7 years. Additionally, I have earned a Bronze Medallion from the Lifesaving Society for lifeguarding when I was a teenager.

In what sports, if any, have you participated?

During my high school years, I was on the school dance team and participated in all of the school pep rallies, as well as the annual school dance shows. I also received a silver medal at my school swim meet. As an adult, I trained for a natural bodybuilding fitness/bikini competition (NPAA-Natural Physique and Athletics Association) in Calgary, AB and earned a medal by placing in the Top 5.

Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?

I would say the Dalai Lama. Apart from teaching kindness and compassion wherever he goes, there is a quote that he said that has allowed me to live my life to the fullest and that is “Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before”. This simple quote has given me so much strength and passion to travel the world and to truly open my eyes by experiencing different cultures and familiarizing myself with them. I also like to apply this quote to things that I want to achieve, like this pageant for example, it pushes me to be brave and to just go for it, go for the unknown, and grow.

Fun fact: “Dalai” is actually a Mongolian word for “ocean” and “Lama” (or “lam” in Mongolian) is “monk”. So, the Dalai Lama essentially refers to a monk who has knowledge as vast as the ocean.

What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?

My most recent personal accomplishment would be the silent 10-day Vipassana meditation that I took part in last summer. For 10 days at a Vipassana meditation retreat, you are in complete isolation (with no phone, no talking, no reading, no writing, no exercising, no physical contact, etc.) all while meditating for 10 hours a day and eating vegetarian meals. The amount of mental strength, discipline and willpower that it took was almost on par with the 8-month grueling fitness training that I went through when I competed in the natural bodybuilding fitness competition 8 years prior. During the meditation, I had to sit through excruciating physical and mental pain. The reason for this pain is the amount of accumulated “bad energy” within one’s body. At the end of the 10-day meditation, I rarely had any physical pain left because it was about learning “mind over matter” and because I had gained more mental strength.

What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?

The most unique thing that has ever happened to me would have to be when I was cast in my first ever movie “Burn Your Maps” without any previous experience in the film industry and acting alongside well-known amazing actors such as Jacob Tremblay (“Room”), Vera Farmiga (“The Conjuring”), Suraj Sharma (“Life of Pi”), Marton Csokas (“Lord of the Rings”), Virginia Madsen (“The Number 23”), Jason Scott Lee (“Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story”), and Ramon Rodriguez (“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”). I filmed closely with all of the actors for almost a month and the character that I played “Enkhtuyaa” was the onscreen wife of Suraj Sharma’s character “Ismail”. To this day, I am friends with many of my castmates.

Through this feature film, I got enough credits to join ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) on a full membership and am titled as a “Professional Actor” in Canada.

What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?

My current career ambition is to continue to grow as a policy analyst and move across different departments for a fulsome experience in the Government of Canada. One of the main requirements in working in the federal government is to be bilingual. To achieve this, I have been taking French classes for the past 2 and a half years and have almost passed all of the required exams. I hope to complete this goal within the next year. I also want to improve my Spanish. Learning these languages will help to assist me towards working for my dream department, Global Affairs Canada. I hope to work one day on Canada’s international policy files and diplomatic relations.

In the meantime, I continue to work in the Mental Health Directorate at Health Canada in supporting the mental health of Canadians. Mental health is an integral part of our health and I’m grateful to be a part of this work in making a difference in people’s lives. I take great pride in my work ethic and am determined to find solutions for whatever life throws at me. With this mindset I am certain I will accomplish my career goals!

What would be your “dream job” in life?

I believe I already have achieved my dream job(s). I have wanted to work in the government since I was a teenager and have always wanted to be in the entertainment industry. Currently my dream would be to continue to grow and reach as far as I can go with acting, modeling and within working in the government. Of course, adding the title of Miss Universe Canada 2024 to my dream job would also be a huge honor!

Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.

I was born and raised in the capital city (Ulaanbaatar) of Mongolia until the age of 10. As a child, I was quite studious and had participated in mathematics Olympiads and even earned a silver medal. From the ages of 10-16, I grew up in the U.S. and had a 4.0 GPA in middle school, and even received the US Presidential Award with George W. Bush’s signature. A lot of my time as a child actually involved studying and excelling in school. I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed learning and studying so I never saw it as a chore. I even ended up receiving a medal from my middle school for reading so many books, more than 300!

List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.

Through my acting and modeling gigs, I have been on numerous film sets and photoshoots all over Canada dressing up as different characters and have met with actors and models from all walks of life. Getting to know the cast and crew is always so interesting, I have learned so much about their craft just by conversing, taking direction, and exchanging knowledge which has helped me in mine.

However, the most unique job I’ve had was translating and inserting subtitles from Mongolian to English for a documentary advocating for the rights of children in horse racing in Mongolia. It took me 29 hours to translate a 2.5 hour documentary second by second!

List any volunteering you have done.

With the busy schedule that I have, I try to volunteer whenever I can. The most notable volunteer work that I have done was volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa by baking cupcakes for the kids and preparing their after-school meal. My next volunteer opportunity will be to teach yoga at the senior center next to my house and to volunteer as a server at the 10-day Vipassana meditation that I partook in last summer. Even if I’m unable to volunteer at a specific organization, I enjoy volunteering my time for friends/family/colleagues as much as I can with whatever knowledge that I have. For example, I held a mini nutrition session on how to count macros for 10 of my friends at my house to help them better understand the importance of healthy eating and healthy living.

What is your most unusual talent?

I’m not sure if it’s a “talent” per se but it’s definitely a bit unusual that I am good at remembering people’s birthdays, overall I have very excellent memory skills. I still remember the birthday of the boy who was my neighbor when I was 7 years old. I remember all of my best friends’ birthdays from when I was 10 years old and anyone who has told me their birthday or anyone’s birthday I have attended to this day. I can also list all of the flights that I have been on in order, with the dates (month and year).

Where is the most interesting place you have been to?

I have traveled to more than 20 countries and I would say that the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador really stands out. From the blue-footed booby birds to the marine (black) iguanas and 100+ year-old tortoises, the number of species and wildlife in the Galapagos is extremely remarkable! It’s definitely a place that one should visit once in their lifetime. Plus, island-hopping on a speed boat between the main 3 islands is definitely one for the books!

What do you hope to be doing in ten years?

In ten years, besides continuing on with my government career and acting/modeling career, I really hope to have reached more people to inspire them to go for their dreams. I’m very passionate about strengthening one’s mindset and focusing on mental health. I have done a number of things in my life that have pushed me and helped me to grow; from the bodybuilding competition to the 10-day silent meditation to now competing in a beauty pageant for the very first time.

Most of the time, people are often afraid to do things that they are actually capable of achieving. So I want to be able to help bring that inner strength out for as many people as I can. I truly believe that participating in the Miss Universe Canada 2024 pageant will give me a platform to reach more people and I want to make a difference in people’s lives, especially the younger generation who are feeling lost and trying to find their way in life. I want to make the path easier for them, guide them, and teach them what I’ve learned, what works and what doesn’t work. The purpose of life is to serve others, so I hope to help make a positive difference in their lives.

Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?

The reason why I’m participating in Miss Universe Canada 2024 is because as a society there is an immense amount of pressure directed at women to stay beautiful by being youthful. By Miss Universe Canada lifting the age restriction it reminds us that beauty can be at any age and has many different definitions. There are tons of beautiful women in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s who embody the true essence of a woman. So I’m very happy to see that every woman now gets a chance to be Miss Universe.

As a woman of color, it’s important for me to represent the BIPOC community through diversity and be a vision and a voice for women and girls looking for Asian and minority representation. Canada is a diverse country and “being Canadian” nowadays can mean people who look like me. If I could make an impact and change the life of one little girl or one woman who’s no longer in her 20s and feeling defeated by society’s standards of youth for a woman, that would mean the world to me. I would be both grateful and humbled to be given a platform to speak to all those women and girls to never give up on their dreams, no matter their age, race, and gender.

I have always wanted to compete in Miss Universe Canada but in my 20s, I was not able to afford it. To now have this opportunity come around again, it just feels incredible. Everyone has dreams that they would love to achieve in their lifetime and this has been one of mine. It truly feels like I have been given a second chance at making my lifelong dream come true!
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Olga Bykadorova
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Height: 6’0
Hometown: Montréal, QC
Languages: English, French, Russian, Ukrainian
Occupation: Corporate Finance Analyst

Meet Olga Bykadorova, a woman of Eastern-European descent, whose journey embodies resilience, ambition, and a passion for making a difference.

Born to a Russian father and a Ukrainian mother, Olga’s story begins at the tender age of 9, with a childhood dream ignited by watching Natalie Glebova (a Russian and Canadian) seize the coveted title of Miss Universe. This was enough for Olga to start a life long journey to do the same. At 11, Olga and her family embarked on a new chapter, leaving Ukraine behind to settle in Montréal, Quebec, Canada. Fuelled by her aspirations, Olga pursued a modeling career while earning a Bachelor’s in Commerce, specializing in Finance from Concordia University.

Today, she stands as a formidable force in corporate finance, specializing in real estate, all while pursuing her Master of Business Administration at the University of Sherbrooke.

Olga’s journey extends beyond boardrooms and runways; she’s a seasoned pageant competitor, representing Canada with grace and poise on international stages. In 2020, she soared to the top 15 at the Top Model of the World competition, showcasing her global appeal. The following year, Olga won the title of Miss Grand Canada, carrying the hopes and dreams of her nation in Thailand.

Olga’s heart beats strongest for her advocacy work. For over a decade, she’s served as an ambassador for Ukrainians in Montreal, guiding newcomers on their journey to Canada. Her passion culminated in the establishment of “The Canadian Dream,” a charitable organization she created that is dedicated to supporting newcomers, amplifying their voices, and providing them with the tools to thrive in their new homeland.

For Olga, this isn’t just a mission—it’s a calling. She believes in the transformative power of dreams, the resilience of the human spirit, and the boundless opportunities that Canada offers. Through her work, she’s not only extending a hand of support, but also igniting hope and inspiration in the hearts of dreamers everywhere.

Join Olga on her journey to becoming Miss Universe Canada, as she continues to break barriers, defy expectations, and embody the timeless truth that with unwavering determination and a belief in oneself, anything in the Universe is possible.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?

Being able to help people is the most fulfilling and heartwarming experience for me. Through many years of charity work, I have had the opportunity to do this in many instances. Now, with my own non-profit organization, “The Canadian Dream,” I am able to give newcomers a platform to tell their stories. As an immigrant myself, I know how difficult it is not to speak the language and to feel like a burden at times. That is why it is so important for me to build bridges, give a voice to those who truly need it, and be proud that immigrant culture is a legacy mindset!

List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)

Although I have had attended ballet and piano schools as a child without having the opportunity to complete them, as a pageant veteran, I have had many opportunities to practice performing on stage and learn from various choreographers both nationally and internationally.

In what sports, if any, have you participated?

As a child, I practiced ballet and dancing, but due to a serious spine injury, I had to stop sports for a couple of years and relearn how to walk. Today, I’m fully recovered and stay active by practicing sports every day. I currently combine boxing with strength conditioning and have also taken on the challenge of running. In the past year, I have completed three half marathons (21km) and am now training for the upcoming Beneva Montreal marathon (42km). Sports have taught me to walk before I can run, to remain resilient no matter the circumstances, and that hard work always pays off.

Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?

Someone who had an incredible influence on my life is Natalie Glebova. Natalie inspired me with the dream of becoming Miss Universe Canada, igniting my passion for pageantry. My first introduction to Canada was when I was nine years old, still residing in Ukraine. I distinctly remember seeing a woman whom I admired deeply, someone who I could relate to. Natalie, with her Russian heritage, showed me that achieving success in the western world was attainable and that dreams do come true. From that moment, I knew I wanted to follow in her footsteps and represent all that Canada symbolizes. Miraculously, I now have the opportunity to fulfill the dreams of that little girl. This is why I am driven to embrace this title, I want to be that same role model for women of all ages, carrying forward the legacy of what Miss Universe Canada represents.

What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?

The proudest moments of my life came when I represented Canada on the international stage, not just once, but twice! To embody “Canada” means advocating for peace, love, inclusivity, diversity, and equality. These values are deeply ingrained in me, and I feel incredibly proud to wear the “Canada” sash on stage, sharing our message with the entire Universe.

What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?

One of the unique things about me is that I have the opportunity to become the first 30-year-old representative of Canada. After representing Canada internationally at 28, I was finally ready to apply to become Miss Universe Canada. Then, my dream shattered when I realized I had passed the age cutoff. I never would have thought that just a few months later, Miss Universe would lift the age limit completely. Witnessing these changes, along with inclusivity regarding marital status and having children, has transformed pageant culture forever. This shows that as women, we do not have an expiration date, making this competition even more special for me. I am so proud to represent an organization that now includes all women.

What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?

As a businesswoman, I am building my career in finance while pursuing higher education through a Masters of Business Administration. I aspire to continue proving myself within corporate finance for commercial real estate and hope to one day attain a leading position.

Additionally, I am dedicated to my nonprofit organization, “The Canadian Dream.” My goal is to expand its reach over the years, helping refugees across Canada on a national scale. I aim to collaborate with the Miss Universe Canada organization to share a message of peace with the world.

As a long-term goal, I hope to create a platform that can reach at least 1,000 people, allowing them to connect and share their experiences. I envision this platform extending beyond Eastern Europeans to include anyone and everyone who comes to Canada from any country.

What would be your “dream job” in life?

My dream job is to be Miss Universe Canada. Since I was a little girl, I have dreamt about this opportunity. Years in the making, I hope to showcase everything I have learned and fulfill my purpose. I aspire to share my story with the rest of Canada, and eventually the Universe. If I can touch even one person’s heart, that would mean everything to me. My dream is to share with the world what Canada has given me, at a time when the planet could benefit from more love, more peace, and more compassion.

Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.

I was born in Chernihiv, Ukraine. You might have heard of a similar town name, Chernobyl, which is 87km away from my birthplace.

Growing up in a post-Soviet era, I cherish memories of the parks I played in and the school I attended. One of the most vivid memories is the day my parents told me that we were approved to move to Canada. It was a bittersweet moment, leaving our old home behind, but Canada embraced us as its own. Here, we found opportunities beyond our biggest dreams, and it became our new home.

Today, it is with great sadness I see my birth town is being destroyed by missiles in the news. My heart breaks to see the parks and school from my memories in ruins. I am infinitely grateful to live in a peaceful country like Canada and to be able to help others do the same.

List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.

The most interesting job I have had was being a titleholder for Canada at an international pageant. It was a huge responsibility and honor to represent everything that Canada stands for. During that time, I had the opportunity to travel, speak at public events, participate in interviews, and make show appearances. There was a lot of hard work, but it was the most rewarding job I have ever been trusted with. Nothing makes my soul vibrate more than being able to touch hearts.

One of the highlights that was extremely rewarding was a speech I made during a teen pageant, where I shared my experience and gave advice to the girls who were competing. One of the girls came up to me and said that one day she wants to be a queen like me. We shared a moment that will forever be imprinted in my heart and will always serve as a reminder of the importance of my purpose.

List any volunteering you have done.

I have been an active ambassador for Ukrainian newcomers over the past decade. Every year, I volunteer at a festival, preparing and distributing traditional food to the community. In 2022, I initiated a project to collect professional clothing for donation to the Ukrainian Church, aiming to help individuals have appropriate attire for job interviews. Additionally, my family and I have been welcoming and supporting immediate family and friends who have fled the war and resettle in Canada.

These are the experiences that inspired me to create my own non-profit organization, “The Canadian Dream” to further provide resources to refugees, offer a platform for sharing their stories, and let their voices be heard. Furthermore, participating in races has enabled me to raise funds for and contribute to “Centraide,” a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating poverty locally in Montreal.

What is your most unusual talent?

I can raise one eye brow while simultaneously keeping the other still! It actually is a skill that helps a lot during photoshoots and facial expressions.

Where is the most interesting place you have been to?

I have traveled to 12 countries, with my most recent destination being Mexico. During my visit, I had the opportunity to explore Isla Mujeres, which directly translates to “Island of Women” and is renowned for its rich history as a refuge for women during ancient times. Additionally, I visited Chichen Itza, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. I thoroughly enjoy delving into other cultures, learning about their history, and understanding their spirituality. There is always a valuable lesson to learn from their stories. Moreover, the locals were incredibly polite and welcoming, and the food was amazing! I hope to visit again very soon.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years?

In 10 years’ time, I aspire to have become a former Miss Universe Canada, continuing my legacy of supporting refugees. By then, I aim to have expanded my organization to a global scale, providing support to over 1000 families.

Regardless of my initiatives, I will continue working diligently and wearing my heart on my sleeve, empowering those around me. I hope that my journey will continue to inspire others to do the same for many years to come.
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Raika Coutinho
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Height: 5’8
Hometown: Kelowna, BC
Languages: English, Italian, Portuguese
Occupation: Entrepreneur

Raika is a Brazilian-Canadian with a dynamic blend of Brazilian warmth and Canadian resilience, she strides forward as passionate mental health advocate after the loss of her best friend to suicide, a seasoned problem-solving marketing specialist and ardent travel lover. With a heart as vast as her dreams, she carries fifteen years of experience in the beauty industry, blending grace with determination on every runway she treads.

Fluent in three languages, English, Portugueses and Italian, possessing an impressive ability to communicate across cultures, she is further enhancing her Spanish and French skills. Beyond her linguistic talents, Raika holds licenses for both guns and boats, illustrating her versatility and adventurous spirit. Her hobbies extend to musical pursuits, as she adeptly plays three different instruments. Furthermore, she’s a sports enthusiast, engaging in tennis, golf, and soccer with equal passion and skill.

As a former Realtor and Strata Manager, her journey in the real estate industry provided invaluable experience and insight. Now, as the owner of a marketing company, she combines her expertise with her entrepreneurial spirit to drive innovation and growth. Looking ahead, she has set ambitious goals to expand her real estate portfolio. Beyond business endeavors, she aspires to be part of projects that amplify the voices of marginalized communities, striving to make a meaningful impact on society.

Kindness is her compass, guiding her every endeavor as she navigates the intricacies of her dual heritage with grace and poise. Raika is not just a dreamer; she’s a visionary, committed to reshaping narratives and fostering change in the world around her.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?

Being active, specially outside is what I like the most, I grew up doing all kind of sports in Brazil such as skateboarding, horse riding, basketball and volleyball and of course soccer. Today I like to play golf, tennis, horse riding, hiking, go to a shooting range or boating, anything Be near the water/ nature is what makes me alive!

List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.) *
My dad owns a music school, so I was lucky to be able to learn how to play 3 instruments, drums, guitar, some percussion instruments (tambourine, tycon, triangle etc…)

List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)

My dad owns a music school, so I was lucky to be able to learn how to play 3 instruments, drums, guitar, some percussion instruments (tambourine, tycon, triangle etc…)

In what sports, if any, have you participated?

Growing up, I played soccer at my city’s official team and I’m currently focusing on playing tennis, golf and learning English Riding as I grew up riding horses, so I’m super excited.

Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?

My brother! He has always being an example to be. As a brother, a man, a son, a husband, a dad and today as a pastor. I’ve seeing him go through ups and downs and he remained kind and compassionate. He got it from my daddy. 🙂

What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?

I had many moments in my life that I consider an accomplishment, from the smallest to the biggest ones, but my proudest personal accomplishment was the day that I received my citizenship in Canada. I’m saying that because I know all the ups and downs that I experienced here for today stand proud as a Canadian. I use to always ask myself what was Gods purpose to bringing me here. When I received the citizienship, I realized that God was not only opening better doors for me, but for my family as well. And for this I’m the proudest!

What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?

My dad bought our first family car, an used Fiat Elba, altho it was used, it was a great car and as I grew up in a family that was heavily involved in the church, we would often use the car to drive people home in a rainy day after the church, drive to near farms to pray with people (there was no asphalt) or just normal use like driving us to school.

After while the car started to have several problems, as you can imagine. One day the car disappeared, we thought that it was stolen. Few weeks later my dad was invited to play in a church event at the city stadium. We all went to support as usual, but when we arrived there we saw people from our entire town and our Elba “brand new”, the entire town put money together to fix our car. My parents have the CD until today showing all the people who volunteered and helped financially to not only fix the car but also upgrade with ac, cd player and brand new tires. It was truly a moment that the entire family will never forget. 🙂

What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?

As a career, I aim to expand my marketing company globally and flip Real Estate. To accomplish those goals, I’m already working with international brands that will help me create the portfolio to infuse new costumers. In addition, I’m keeping an eye on the Real Estate market for portfolio opportunities.

What would be your “dream job” in life?

Represent Canada in the Miss Universe. This is currently my “dream job”.

Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.

I grew up in a small town in Minas Gerais – Brazil, with about 16,000 people. This city was surrounded by other small cities and farms, so I grew up very up near the nature, jumping from waterfalls, riding horses, eating mango from trees and playing soccer outside with my brother and sister. Heavily involved in church, even tho we were not always stable financially, I grew up seeing my parents making soup every Saturday for the families in need in our town, volunteering and taking from us to give to others. What not always was the best for us at the time. On my teens, I started to skateboard because I thought that I was “super cool” lol I was a tomboy and I love it! I wouldn’t change this side of me for anything!

List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.

As I left my parents house in a young age to “pursue my dreams”, I worked in so many jobs, but I remember that in order for me to move to the “big city” I had to work on a gas station pumping gas, I met some incredible people, saved money and moved. I also worked modeling in 5 different countries that gave me so much exposure to new cultures and I will forever be grateful for those opportunities.

List any volunteering you have done.

Growing up that was our job, and when I say that, I mean it. Our entire house hold was involved in volunteering in schools, churches, slums, prison… any place or way we cold help others.

What is your most unusual talent?

I don’t think I have one to be complete honest, I can speak multiple languages but I believe that is not that unusual nowadays.

Where is the most interesting place you have been to?

Italy! There are so many cities that gives you complete difference feelings, Venice (a city in the water), Milan, Firenze, Gallipoli, Ostuni (the white city), Sardinia (the most clear waters) everywhere that you look or travel to is unique! To do not even mentioned the food. Fantastico!

What do you hope to be doing in ten years?

I hope to have a family with at least 5 dogs, have my family from Brazil closer to me, be part of something that help other giving me a purpose in life that I will be proud of and own several Real Estate properties.
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Randi-Lyn Forbes
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Height:  5’5
Hometown: Sault Ste Marie, ON
Languages: English
Occupation:

Randi-Lyn Forbes was born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario with its notable landmarks, situated along side of its American Counterpart Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan. Randi-Lyn’s birth was unique for she was an only child born to parents in their 40’s and entered this world prematurely weighing a mere 2lbs 2oz. She grew up surrounded by the love and support of her family amongst 3 brothers on her mother’s side whose ages spanned 24, 19 and 12 years beyond her own. She had a close relationship with her youngest brother who moved away when she turned 12 but remains close through virtual communication and many visits. Her connections on her father’s side who are 19 and 17 years older than her were less pronounced during her formative years.

She was constantly bullied throughout her elementary and high school years for how she looked and for her nails, which she takes immense pride in. Her adolescence years were taken away from her due to the Global Pandemic. Randi-Lyn adapted to remote learning, was denied the typical rights of an adolescent. She attended high school for her last year where she excelled in her studies and helped where needed. Which earned her the Vice Principals award, and the Leadership award. During the pandemic, Randi-Lyn lost her father to Cancer in 2020 where she then started participating in Relay for Life. Her mother took on a more significant role in Randi-Lyn’s life encouraging her to believe in herself and that she could do anything she puts her mind to.

Randi-Lyn continued her studies and graduated from Sault College in 2024 with a diploma from the Social Service Worker Program. She will be continuing her studies online in the fall by taking a program titled ‘Strength Based Perspectives in Helping’ that will earn her another diploma that will further enhance her career while working. While doing her online education, she hopes to be working as an Educational Assistant in the community.

In her free time, Randi-Lyn loves exploring the great outdoors, camping, paddle boarding, working out, photography, travelling and exploring North America with her mother. She periodically attends a local Soo Greyhound Game, participates in the Bon Soo Winter Carnival, and enjoys hanging out at home or with friends. Randi-Lyn has started a new tradition where she helped a family by providing a Christmas dinner, a few extra groceries, clothing and a couple of Christmas presents. It’s her way of contributing to her community.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?

I possess a wide variety of interests that enrich my personal and professional life. These include maintaining a dedicated fitness regimen through gym workouts, indulging in outdoor activities such as paddleboarding and camping, and immersing myself in the serenity of nature. Additionally, I find fulfillment in cultivating meaningful relationships by spending quality time with friends and cherishing moments with loved ones, particularly my mother. My passion for photography allows me to capture and appreciate the beauty of the world around me, while my love for travel provides opportunities for exploration and cultural immersion. In my leisure time, I enjoy indulging in various forms of entertainment, including listening to music and watching movies and TV shows. Furthermore, I find gratification in helping others and take the opportunities to assist those in need within my community and beyond.

List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)

While my formal training may be limited, I have acquired valuable skills and experiences through various pursuits. For instance, I dedicated two years to martial arts, demonstrating discipline and commitment until unforeseen circumstances necessitated my departure due to orthodontic treatment. Additionally, I actively engaged in Pom Cheerleading over the past two years, where I collaborated with a team of other women to perform choreographed routines, culminating in a showcase event at a local cheer expo.

Moreover, my involvement in recreational gymnastics over the years prompted me to transition into a role as a coach in training at the John Rhode’s Community Centre. Here, I contributed to the development of young athletes while fulfilling my high school community service requirements. These experiences have instilled in me a strong work ethic, teamwork abilities, and a commitment to personal and professional growth.

Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?

A figure of global renown who has profoundly impacted my life is Taylor Swift. Enduring bullying throughout her formative years, she has emerged as the world’s most influential artist, inspiring millions with her resilience and determination. Swift’s journey captures unwavering perseverance and an unbeatable spirit in the face of adversity.

Similarly, my own experiences of facing social challenges and bullying during childhood and adolescence resonate deeply with Swift’s narrative. Despite encountering obstacles, I have learned to persevere and remain dedicated in pursuing my goals.

Moreover, Swift’s music serves as a touching reflection of shared experiences, offering comfort and confidence during challenging times. From humble beginnings to unprecedented success, her trajectory exemplifies the transformative power of perseverance and ambition.

As I aspire to carve my path towards success and fulfillment, I am inspired by Swift’s journey and hopeful for a future marked by great achievements and personal growth.

What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?

My most notable personal achievement includes the successful completion of the Social Service Worker Program at Sault College in 2024. I was also honored to receive the Vice Principal’s Award and Leadership Award upon graduating from High School in 2022. These accolades emphasize my dedication to academic excellence and leadership within educational and professional settings.

What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?

One noteworthy experience in my life was the opportunity to engage with the renowned Canadian singer-songwriter, Carly Rae Jepsen, during a personal encounter. Another remarkable occurrence took place last summer while vacationing in Daytona Beach with my mother, where I was scouted by a modeling agent, adding an unexpected and enriching dimension to my experiences. Additionally, a distinctive aspect of my personal identity is my naturally long and healthy nails. While maintaining their strength and health has presented occasional challenges, it has also become a unique aspect of my self-care routine.

What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?

Currently, I am in the process of clarifying my career ambitions. However, I am currently considering a career path as an Educational Assistant, with plans to embark on this journey commencing in September 2024. Concurrently, I am dedicated to continuous learning and professional development. To this end, I have enrolled in an online course titled ‘Strength Based Perspectives In Helping,’ which I will undertake outside of working hours to enhance my skills and knowledge in the field.

What would be your “dream job” in life?

My career aspiration aligns with a meaningful desire to positively impact the lives of others by assisting them in discovering their purpose and enhancing their overall quality of life. This vision entails engaging in hands-on, dynamic roles that allow for direct interaction and meaningful intervention, rather than being confined to a desk-bound environment

Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.

I was born and raised Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, a city renowned for its rich history and notable landmarks. Situated alongside its American counterpart, Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan, my hometown boasts a proud heritage, including being home to Algoma Steel, the birthplace of esteemed astronaut Roberta Bondar, and the admired Sault Greyhounds hockey team, as well as hosting the celebrated Bon Soo winter carnival.

My upbringing was characterized by unique circumstances, as I was the sole child born to parents in their forties. Despite entering the world prematurely at seven months, weighing a mere 2 pounds and 2 ounces, I was surrounded by the love and support of my family. Growing up amidst three older brothers from my mother’s side, whose ages spanned 24, 19, and 12 years beyond my own, I was fortunate to have their unwavering encouragement and guidance. Although my youngest brother eventually relocated to Toronto for work when I was twelve, our bond remained strong through regular virtual communication and frequent visits.

Conversely, my connections with my siblings from my father’s side, who are 19 and 17 years older than me, were less pronounced during my formative years. Nevertheless, my upbringing was enriched by a sense of adventure and curiosity, as I enjoyed exploring the great outdoors, embarking on camping trips, and relishing in moments spent swimming in our family pool or bouncing on my trampoline.

The onset of adolescence was marked by unprecedented challenges, as the global pandemic disrupted normalcy during my pivotal teenage years. Consequently, much of my high school experience was spent navigating the complexities of remote learning, denying me the typical rites of passage associated with adolescence. Amidst these trials, the devastating loss of my father to cancer in 2020 highlighted the importance of family, with my mother assuming an even greater significance in my life.

Despite the adversities faced, my journey has been shaped by resilience and the unwavering support of loved ones, instilling within me a profound appreciation for life’s blessings and the enduring strength of familial bonds.

List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.

I held the position of a retail associate and cashier at ‘Spirit Halloween’, a seasonal retail store specializing in Halloween merchandise, during the years 2021 and 2022.

List any volunteering you have done.

Volunteer coaching gymnastics for kids at the John Rhodes Community Centre
Seasonal dance set ups and helping out at my old elementary school-Pinewood Public School
Over 300 placement hours in the Community Education department at Superior Heights Collegiate & Vocational School
Relay For life, for the Canadian Cancer Society with my highschool
What is your most unusual talent?

I can easily do the splits.

Where is the most interesting place you have been to?

I have been to MANY interesting places such as Banff, Jasper Alberta (Lake Louise), Mount Rushmore, Walt Disney World, Daytona Beach, Atlanta Georgia, and Graceland (Home of Elvis Presley). Those are just some of the few interesting places I have been to, I am sure in my future that there will be many more!!

What do you hope to be doing in ten years?

In 10 years, I aspire to have achieved substantial success and recognition within my chosen career field, attaining financial stability and establishing a comfortable residence of my own. I envision a lifestyle that affords me abundant opportunities to travel and immerse myself in diverse cultures, continually expanding my horizons and embracing new experiences.

Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?

Although I have not previously pursued opportunities in modeling or participated in pageants, I have developed a newfound interest in the beauty and pageant industry. My curiosity in this realm has been piqued through exposure to media such as the television show ‘Insatiable’ and the well-known film ‘Dumplin’ where I have gained insights into the world of beauty pageants and its cultural significance.
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Rebecca Drouin
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Height: 5’4
Hometown: Windsor, ON
Languages: English
Occupation:

Rebecca Drouin is a 21 year-old who was born in Windsor Ontario. Throughout her life she had the pleasure of experiencing the beautiful small town-life in Tecumseh Ontario. Cherishing the simple moments her town brings. Rebecca is currently an aspiring real estate agent working towards receiving her license within the next upcoming year, with a creative desire for interior design as well. She has always been someone who wants to see people’s dreams and visions come to life! “ If selling someone their dream house puts a smile on their face, that’s the true beauty of the job” she says.

Philanthropy and community engagement has become an integral part of Rebecca’s life’s purpose, since a young age she knew she wanted to give back to those within her community and make a meaningful impact in the world around her. Pageantry took that passion of hers to the next level. Having previously won a local title, Rebecca has been able to provide and become a role model for the youth within her community. She has continuously advocated for a local non-profit organization known as the United-Way Centraide of Windsor-essex county. Rebecca holds this organization close to her heart. Throughout her childhood she was faced with numerous hardships and access to support was not easy. Those challenges ignited a fire within her to be a guiding light and voice for change for youth in need. Rebecca has learned especially through the power of pageantry that you are never too small to make a difference in the lives of others, and knowing that you have the power to transform with your voice and actions is what allows those to find their inner strength.

Rebecca possesses a vibrant creative side and takes great pride in maintaining a healthy and bright lifestyle. Every day, she uses social media as a platform to showcase her dedication to mental and physical well-being. Recognizing the prevalence of social media today, Rebecca has made it an essential part of her routine to use it as a force for good. She consistently promotes overall wellness. Sharing daily habits that others can incorporate into their lives. For Rebecca, the fulfillment that comes from bringing joy to others is what fuels her life’s mission.

Pageantry has been the most transformative period in Rebecca’s life, throughout the triumphs and the challenges it has allowed Rebecca to grow and evolve into the radiant, empowered woman she is today. Learning and displaying new levels of confidence within herself she is able to project that onto the people around her. Having learned what she has been in pageantry for two-years, she is ready to bring a new and improved version of herself to the Miss Universe Canada stage and is ready to showcase her passions, advocacy, dedication and courage nationally.

Rebecca is beyond proud to have the opportunity to represent Canada, one of her favorite quotes goes “A little girl with a dream, is now a woman with a vision”. She embodies this quote and remember’s how far she’s come to get where she is today.
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Rebecca Mathew
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Height: 5’6
Hometown: Burlington, ON
Languages: English
Occupation: Student (Architecture, University of Waterloo)

From being afraid to speak in public due to her speech impediment to becoming a passionate and powerful speaker. Rebecca inspires others to not let their circumstances define them and create their own life narrative. While growing up, Rebecca had a speech impediment and endured constant teasing from her classmates, which made her reluctant to speak in front of others. However, a turning point occurred when she discovered a series of TED talks and was captivated by the passionate speakers, igniting a flame within her. Rebecca decided she wanted to become a powerful speaker herself. She realized what was stopping her from achieving this goal was not her speech impediment but was her lack of self-love. She began to actively practice loving her authentic self, including her speech impediment, and started to speak with unwavering confidence. Although she eventually overcame her speech impediment, she holds this experience close to her heart, hoping to inspire people to not let others, or their circumstances limit them, but to embrace self-love which will lead to invincibility.

The 22-year-old grew up in the suburbs of Toronto and has accomplished many things at a young age. Rebecca attended Harvard University’s Pre-College Program where she studied a course called “Critical Thinking for College”, and connected with bright minds from across the world which broadened her perspectives. Rebecca also is a self-taught artist and has had her work featured in multiple art galleries including Nuit blanche. She also is a talented dancer and is the founder and dance teacher at the University of Waterloo, Cambridge dance club. Additionally, she is a dedicated taekwondo athlete, holding a black stripe and has won a bronze medal in a regional tournament during her studies abroad in England. These achievements are a result of Rebecca’s eager desire to continually challenge and improve herself.

Combining her love for art and humanities, Rebecca decided to pursue a career in architecture. She is enrolled in a highly competitive architecture program at the University of Waterloo. Rebecca pursues architecture with a social justice drive, advocating for equitable design and affordable housing. Rebecca volunteered for “Design 4 Others”, a non-profit architecture organization, where she worked on creating designs for disadvantaged communities, including an orphanage and school in Kenya, East Africa. Moreover, recognizing Canada’s need for affordable housing, Rebecca actively promotes affordable housing design, working on projects such as a social housing apartment in Medicine Hat, Canada during her internships. In the future, Rebecca aspires to establish her own architecture firm with aspirations to design a more just world which prioritizes the people who live in it.
List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)

I have undergone training in martial arts since the young age of 5. My father who is a former black-belt karate champion, always stressed the importance of learning self-defence skills. Starting with karate, I achieved up to a green stripe before transitioning to taekwondo, where I currently hold a black stripe. Over my 17 years of martial arts training, I have vastly improved my self-confidence and my physical health. Taekwondo also taught me the 5 core principles: courtesy, integrity, perseverance, self-control, and indomitable spirit, which I abide by not only in taekwondo but also in my daily life.

In what sports, if any, have you participated?

I am a highly active individual involved in a variety of sports such as dance, taekwondo, running, swimming, lacrosse, and more. Among these, dance holds a special place in my heart. In 7th grade, I discovered hip-hop and K-pop videos, sparking my interest in dance. I taught myself dance by studying YouTube tutorials, using them as a guide to improve my skills. Dance became my outlet for self-expression, allowing me to break out of my reserved personality. I feel most confident and vibrant when I dance. In my university which has only architecture students, there was a lack of sports clubs thus I took the initiative to create a pop dance club. Teaching dance weekly not only brought me joy but also acted as a valuable stress-reliever for both me and my peers. Their positive feedback and gratitude inspired me to continue sharing my passion for dance and uplift others through it.

Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?

My older sister has had the most influence on my life. Throughout my life, my sister created a nurturing environment where she wholeheartedly supported my ambitions without judgment. Without her, I wouldn’t have achieved the milestones I have today. My sister is a pediatric doctor, which is fitting for her compassionate and kind demeanor. She exemplifies the importance of kindness through her empathetic care for the children at the hospital. She has taught me the power of spreading kindness to make a meaningful impact in others’ lives.

What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?

My proudest personal accomplishment, aside from participating in this pageant, was when I was 16 years old and got accepted into Harvard’s precollege program. I studied a course called “Critical Thinking for College” and was surrounded by various talented students from all around the world. Initially, I felt out of place and was struggling to keep up with the pace of the classes. However, I persevered, dedicating extra hours to understand the coursework. I reframed my mindset to be more empathetic towards my learning allowing myself to make mistakes. By the end of the term, my professor recognized my significant improvement in my performance, and I was among the top-performing students. This experience reinforced the importance of self-love and determination for achieving great accomplishments.

What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?

One of the most interesting experiences in my life was when I lived in Singapore by myself for a month at the young age of 20. Initially, I traveled there with plans to work for an architecture internship, but due to logistical challenges, I couldn’t pursue that path. Instead of letting this setback affect me, I focused on making most of the present moment. I made it my task to fully immerse myself in Singaporean culture. I made friends with the locals, studied the unique architecture, and enjoyed the variety of diverse foods. This experience taught me resilience and adaptability, emphasizing the importance of focusing on the present and making the most out of unexpected situations.

What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?

My career ambition is to become an architect and establish my own architecture practice with a focus on aiding disadvantaged communities and promoting affordable housing. Initially debating between pursuing a degree in architecture or humanitarian law, I decided to pursue architecture with a social justice drive. To achieve this goal, I am working towards obtaining my master’s degree in architecture to become a licensed architect and lay the foundation for my own firm. My goal is to engage directly with underprivileged communities, collaborating with them to devise solutions that enhance their living conditions and promote sustainable development.

What would be your “dream job” in life?

My dream job in life is to be an inspiring storyteller across various platforms. Whether it’s through Miss Canada, my career as an architect, or my artistic endeavours, I aim to share compelling narratives that inspire and uplift others. Through Miss Canada, I want to share my personal stories of self-love and resilience, showcasing how we can create the life we desire. As an architect, I aspire to create designs with meaningful narratives that serve the people and their respective context. As an artist, I want my artwork to provoke thought and connect with people on a deeper level. In every platform I engage with, my goal is to spread stories of hope, positivity, and empowerment.

Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.

I was born in Edmonton, Alberta, where my parents had immigrated to from Kerala, India. Shortly after, we moved throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) due to my father’s work. I was raised in a loving environment that prioritized family values. During my childhood, I was one of the few people of color in my class, which exposed me to early experiences of racism and the presence of limiting and judgmental attitudes around me. However, my family instilled in me the belief that I could achieve great things. I dreamed big to break free from the limiting mindset of others and worked hard to accomplish everything I set my mind to. Today, I am surrounded by loving and open-minded individuals who support and encourage me.

List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.

From the age of 14 until my senior year in high school, I worked at a bakery in my local grocery store. This job was particularly valuable because I learned customer service skills and time management as I had to balance my school and work responsibilities simultaneously. It was also a perfect fit for me as I have a sweet tooth, and I was filled with excitement each time I would sample new treats. The experience was both fun and challenging, and contributed to shaping me into the hardworking and independent individual I am today.

List any volunteering you have done.

I have volunteered with a non-profit organization during one of my architecture internships. The firm operates a volunteering initiative called design4others, focusing on designing for disadvantaged communities. Through this imitative, I contributed to projects such as designing an orphanage in Kenya and a school. Additionally, I was part of a volunteer group in my church, where we organized a Christmas event distributing blankets and food gift bags to homeless individuals in downtown Toronto.

What is your most unusual talent?

My most unusual talent is my newly acquired talent in chess. Despite being a relatively new chess player, I am quickly advancing in skill. I enjoy playing chess in my spare time because it challenges the mind and encourages strategic thinking. I see parallels between the game of chess and the decisions we make in life. In chess every move you make has a consequence- whether that be positive or negative. This encourages us to make wise choices and use our actions for positive outcomes.

Where is the most interesting place you have been to?

One of the most interesting places I’ve visited is Italy. I had the opportunity to travel there during my undergraduate studies at the Waterloo School of Architecture, where all the fourth-year students study in Italy for a semester. Italy left a lasting impression on me due to its emphasis on enjoying life. Our campus was located next to a bustling public piazza, where people gathered 24/7 to socialize and relax. I often observed people enjoying leisurely coffee breaks during the day and socializing at pubs in the evenings. This experience taught me the value of taking a moment to slow down from the demands of life and appreciate the beauty of the present moment.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years?

In ten years, I aspire to own a global architecture firm, designing humanitarian-focused architecture projects worldwide. Additionally, I aim to propel my public speaking skills to new heights, speaking at prominent conferences like TED to inspire others to pursue their dreams and shape their desired lives. Furthermore, I intend to remain a lifelong learner, expanding my knowledge through continuous reading and sharing the insights I gain with others.

Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?

When I was younger, I had a poem on my wall with the words “dare to dream”. It emphasized that only those who dare to dream will achieve their goals. This poem has been a guiding light for me, as I believe that all my accomplishments stem from my willingness to dream. Dreams hold immense importance, and through Miss Universe Canada, I want to plant the seeds of dreams in the hearts of others, empowering them to soar to great heights.
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Sabrina Mann
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Height: 5’7
Hometown: Edmonton, AB
Languages: English, Punjabi
Occupation: Kinesiologist

Sabrina is a true embodiment of elegance and adaptability, whose journey is deeply influenced by her Indian heritage and her love for her culture. Raised by hardworking immigrant parents who sacrificed endlessly to create opportunities, Sabrina treasures the privilege to pursue her dreams. Their unwavering belief in her has been her guiding light, propelling her to achieve milestones as a model, actress, kinesiologist, and digital marketer. With a knack for striking poses and captivating audiences, Sabrina’s modeling gigs have landed her in top-notch magazines and even on the silver screen with her debut in a Punjabi film. But her heart beats not just for the spotlight, but also for helping others find their inner confidence.

Beyond the glamour of the spotlight, Sabrina has a fervent passion for empowering others. Sabrina graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Kinesiology, majoring in Adapted Physical Therapy. Through her expertise as a kinesiologist in the physiotherapy setting, she aids in the physical recovery of individuals with different needs, while her role as a mentor extends to coaching others on the nuances of posing, modeling, and exuding confidence. Her mission is clear: to instill in others the belief that they possess the power to shape their destinies and radiate confidence from within, irrespective of their background, physique, stature, capabilities, or challenges.

In the world of digital marketing, Sabrina’s a shining star, using her savvy smarts to boost businesses and bring their brands to life online. Her multifaceted career is a testament to her unwavering commitment to excellence and her innate ability to navigate diverse landscapes with poise and finesse.

Sabrina’s main motto is “You only have one life to live – so why not give it your all?” Her ultimate goal is to create lasting, positive impacts on others in as many ways as possible. As she graces the stage of the beauty pageant, she aims to remind us all that with a dash of determination and a sprinkle of self-belief, anything is possible. Sabrina is more than just a delegate – she’s a beacon of hope, guiding others on their journey to self-discovery and fulfillment.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?

I absolutely love to travel and explore the world. I’ve travelled to many places over the years and continue to check my dream destinations off my list. My favorite part is being able to fully immerse myself into the culture and meet new people along the way. I also love to dance, move my body and try new activities. Ive recently taken up golf lessons and skiing, which are a challenge for me to push myself out of my comfort zone. I also am passionate about helping woman find there confidence and inner power by improving their overall wellness & mindset. Having been involved in dance, modelling, and the fitness industry, movement has been a huge part of my life. I love to host posing workshops, dance classes, and exercises/yoga classes for the seniors in my community.

List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)

I have been a dancer all my life and have years of experience in ballet, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, and more. Bhangra, a traditional indian dance form, has been my main area of expertise. I competed professionally for over 10+ years and also won the title of “Best Female Live Bhangra Dancer” at a competition in Toronto in 2019. Since then I have started my own dance studio with my friend where we teach classes as well as offer choreography services. I have also modelled professionally for over 6+ years, and have recently entered into the world of acting. I had the opportunity to take on a role in a Punjabi movie, and have also taken acting courses/workshops.

In what sports, if any, have you participated?

I was a cheerleader all throughout junior high, into high school, and after high school as well. Being a flyer, I had to learn a lot of skills and techniques to be able to perform at the highest level. I was fortunate enough to travel to competitions internationally with my teams and win many competitions.

Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?

My late bestfriend Karisa has had the most influence in my life. We met when we were just babies, and grew up doing everything together since then. She had been there through every single milestone, challenges, celebrations and achievements. She was more than just a friend to me, she was truly my soul sister. She was always a solid, reliable person in my life that always pushed me to chase my dreams and cheered me on. Unfortunately she passed away from Cancer in 2022 at the age of 24. In her passing, I have struggled a lot with grief, and with navigating my life without her. She truly was the most kind, caring, compassionate, loveable and funny person. She lit up every room she walked into and was an absolute joy to be around. In her line of work as a nurse, she was so selfless and poured her heart into helping others. Her life motto was to “do everything with love”. Even in her final moments she made sure everyone knew how much she loved them.

Since her passing I’ve had many epiphanies about my life. Ive truly come to value my time on earth so much more. To cherish my relationships with my friends and family even more. But most importantly to LIVE my life to its fullest in her honour. To truly do everything with love. To love and serve others. To be a light in other peoples lives. To truly help and be of service in any way I can to my community. To create a positive impact on as many lives as I can in this lifetime. That is my purpose.

What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?

One of my proudest personal accomplishments would be seeing my own growth in building my own successful online business with my favourite beauty brand. I have always been interested in social media marketing and creating a passive stream of income, so when I started my own business and partnership with this brand in 2018, I did not realize how massively it would impact my life. Not only did it start me on my personal development journey, it also allowed me to build a life of freedom. To support myself better financially, have more time freedom/flexibility, to travel more and to give back to my community. Most importantly its allowed me to step into a position of leadership where I can now teach others how to do the same. My goal is to inspire others to build a meaningful, passionate and fulfilling life that is in alignment with their highest purpose.

What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?

The most interesting thing about me is that I am resilient and determined. No matter what life throws at me, I will not give up. I’ve learned that even through all the different seasons of my life, the ups and downs, the good times and the bad, I will continue to persevere. To work towards my goals and achieve all that I have set out to. The capacity I have to give may vary on the season of my life, but I will not waver in my vision.

What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?

I would say that I am a woman of many goals and ambitions. I don’t like to put myself in one box and consider myself more multi faceted. I have many goals in life but at the end of it all, it comes down to being in service of others and creating a positive impact. I want to continue building my online brand, and branch into real estate and other business opportunities so I can create a life of freedom and of my choosing. So that I can travel the world, experience new cultures, while also having a fulfilling purpose of helping others.

I have also always been passionate about modelling and acting. I love to be in front of the camera and to truly bring the vision of the concept or character to life. It is a creative and expressive art form to me, and I am looking forward to taking on more roles in the future.

What would be your “dream job” in life?

My dream job is to be an actress and serial entrepreneur. I like to be booked and busy and on the move. Travel is also a huge part of my life so having a lifestyle that allows me to travel and explore while making money is the goal. Ive always known I was meant for greatness and that I would truly create a positive impact on peoples lives. I want to be known for inspiring others and leading the way. Through my work, I want woman to realize their true potential and create the life of their dreams. To recognize their own inner power, and take control of their lives. To live in alignment with their goals and greater purpose. Ultimately, through my expansion and success I want to give back to others in any way I can.

Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.

I grew up and was raised in Edmonton, AB with my twin brother. Growing up I have fond memories of playing outside with my cousins/neighbourhood kids, going to the park, playing games and going on many adventures. I have a huge family so it was really nice to be able to grow up surrounded by so many people. I am so grateful to have been raised by such loving, caring and supportive parents. I have a wonderful relationship with them and they truly are the reason for the strong, passionate, and go-getter person I am today. They have always been supportive of my dreams no matter how big or small.

Growing up with a twin brother is also one of the best blessings in my life. Although we are opposite in many ways, we balance each other out. We’ve definitely had our challenges growing up, especially during that teenager phase. But I couldn’t imagine doing it with anyone else. A lot of our “firsts” were together growing up, so its been nice to have a buddy to do life with!

List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.

I worked as a swim instructor for over 5+ years which taught me a lot of patience especially having to deal with the younger kids! It was very fulfilling to see my students learn new skills and move up in their levels. It made me feel very proud and happy to see their growth. A lot of the times with the younger 3 year old swimmers, this is their first time having a teacher role model in their life. So I did my very best to set a good example and make sure they had a good time during our swim lessons.

List any volunteering you have done.

I have done volunteering my whole life and a few of them are:

Fundraising for the Heart & Stroke Foundation
Fundraising for Pingalwara, which is an organization in India that that supports homeless and sick people, as well as orphaned children.
Running exercise classes/programs for the elderly in my community. Ive done a few with an organization called Sahelian. The focus is on creating a community for the Punjabi elderly mothers and grandmothers in Edmonton who often feel loneliness or isolation.
What is your most unusual talent?

I would say an unusual talent of mine is event planning. It wasn’t something I was super interested in doing at the start, but it just happened naturally. I do love to host and plan events for my friends/family but also workshops and events locally. After hosting so many over the years its something I quite enjoy doing now!

Where is the most interesting place you have been to?

I would say the most interesting place I have travelled to so far would be Kerala in South India. It was interesting to see the difference in culture from my village in Punjab (North India), but also to learn about the history, landscape and people in that area. I got to try new types of foods like fish curry, and learn about ayurvedic medicine and the tea leaves in Munnar in the mountains.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years?

In 10 years I will be a successful business owner, multi millionaire, public figure and actress. I will have my successful online beauty business, real estate brokerage, and multiple streams of income. I will have a lifestyle that allows me to travel freely, spend time with my family and also provide for my own. I see a life that allows me to travel around and live in different places over the years while continuing to educate and provide value into peoples lives. I see myself being a public speaker and spreading inspiration through my lifes story.
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Salomé Grajales
 candidatas a miss universe canada 2024. final: 27 july.	 - Página 4 Salome-grajales-2024-1
Height: 5’3
Hometown: Hamilton, ON
Languages: English, Spanish
Occupation: Power Electronics Intern, Student (Mechanical Engineering McMaster University)

Salomé Grajales is a fierce advocate for women in STEM and a compassionate leader who aims to break stereotypes and encourages women to follow all their passions. She is currently a fourth-year Mechanical Engineering student at McMaster University and works as a Power Electronics Cooling Intern at Dana Inc. Her experiences as a female engineering student inspired her to create meaningful positive change in the field and led her to become a mentor for the Women in Engineering Society at her University as well as the Hamilton Chapter Coordinator for the Canadian Association for Girls in Science (CAGIS). Her goals through both initiatives have been to not only provide an encouraging environment and foster a passion for STEM, but to also inspire young women to pursue all their dreams and not feel constrained to what society may expect of them. From being a ballerina for twelve years to playing rugby in high school, making a career jump from psychology to engineering and now working in the automotive industry while simultaneously pursuing her passion for pageantry, Salomé has never felt like she needed to fit into a stereotype and constantly pushes herself to follow all her dreams while doing the same for her community.

She was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario and is the proud daughter of two Colombian immigrants. Her tenacious spirit and work ethic are a direct reflection of the environment her parents raised her in and her dedication as a dancer. Her inquisitive nature also allowed her to develop her creativity and critical thinking skills. She loves to travel and growing up in such a diverse community, allowed her to experience and appreciate learning about distinct cultures.

Through Miss Universe Canada she plans to continue being a driver for change and empower women to embrace every part of themselves as freely and authentically as they desire. She exemplifies what it means to be beautifully confident by inspiring through authenticity and always leads by example. Salomé believes in forging a future where we teach our girls to be brave and authentic rather than perfect.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?

I was a ballerina for twelve years and I now take adult ballet classes at the studio I grew up in. I have such a strong love for the art form, and it also helps me maintain my flexibility which I find useful in the gym. Initially, after I stopped dancing, I began weightlifting to keep active and it has now become part of my daily routine and a way to healthily decompress from all the stresses that come from being a full-time university student. My passion is empowering young women to pursue careers in STEM. As the Hamilton Chapter Coordinator for the Canadian Association for Girls in Science, I have the opportunity to create unique STEM related experiences for youth while showing them the importance of diversity in these fields. Along side ballet, I took piano and vocal lessons for a couple of years, and I still love learning the chords to my favourite songs and singing at my piano. Music has always been such an important part of my life and I find it therapeutic and use it to express whatever I’m feeling.

List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)

I grew up at a conservatory for the arts and I had the opportunity to explore a variety of art forms including:

Ballet
Lyrical
Piano
Vocal training
Visual Arts
In what sports, if any, have you participated?

I ran track for a year in high school and was also on the women’s rugby team as a junior.

Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?

My cousin Dr. Valentina Grajales. She is a respected urologic oncology fellow at UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside Hospital however, throughout her life, she has also been a model and a gifted artist who even studied in France. She showed me firsthand the versatility of women, how we should never let just one thing define us and to have the courage to pursue every one of your dreams. Her unorthodox journey to becoming a physician gave me the courage to apply to my engineering program despite being two years behind my cohort and she continues to inspire me to break stereotypes. She taught me that the only person capable of setting limits on your goals is yourself.

What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?

Going on my first solo trip this past summer to Barcelona. It started off as me wanting to go see one of my favourite artists in concert and it felt like fate when I saw she was performing in the city I had always dreamed of visiting. Unfortunately, none of my friends were available to join me and I initially thought I wouldn’t be able to go anymore until I took the leap of faith and booked everything on my own. I was admittedly so nervous after my parents dropped me off at the airport and the butterflies persisted up until I landed in Spain. Everything changed the second my taxi started driving into the city and I had my little movie moment realizing I was living out a true bucket list dream. Having to navigate everything on my own helped me grow immensely and further developed my ability to think on my feet and be a problem solver. I even got over my fear of eating alone at a restaurant! The entire trip felt surreal and although there were some difficult moments a piece of my heart will always be in Barcelona and with the incredible people I met and made the experience unforgettable.

What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?

I almost fell down a sewer hole when I was around seven years old. I was playing with my brother in a parking lot waiting for my parents to get off of work and while running I stepped on a grate that wasn’t completely sealed and fell through. Luckily my reflexes kicked in and my arms caught me before I completely plummeted to my demise, and I managed to pull myself out. I still have a giant scar on my right leg from scraping the metal on my way down and to this day I refuse to step on any sewer holes.

What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?

I would love to combine my passion for STEM and my technical skills with my desire to impact the world and others in a positive way. I am currently working in the electric vehicle industry which I thoroughly enjoy and has allowed me to be a part of creating a more sustainable future however, throughout my undergraduate experience, I have been exposed to many different fields within engineering in which I am also interested. I initially wanted to pursue a career in medicine which is why my goal is to work in the bio-medical field; creating products that directly change people’s lives. My father was a recipient of a double knee replacement and seeing how when combined, engineering and medicine can completely alter the life of an individual for the better, only strengthened my desire to use my educational background as a force for good. I also aspire to continue making a difference through the various Women in Engineering organizations I am involved in. I am currently a mentor for the Women in Engineering Society at McMaster University, and I am also the coordinator for the Hamilton chapter of the Canadian Association for Girls in Science (CAGIS) and volunteer for the Oakville CAGIS Chapter. My goal through these organizations has always been to provide an encouraging and positive environment for young women and to encourage them to pursue whatever they are interested in and never be afraid to dream big. I aspire to have a larger platform to have the ability to impact even more young women and bring light to the obstacles women still face in the STEM professional and academic realm and demonstrate the vitality of inclusivity in a field that quite literally builds the world around us and engages in every aspect of our lives. I do not want the next generation of female STEM professionals to have to be trail blazers in their fields; I want them to already have a seat at the table without having to overcome biases and obstacles to get to the seat.

What would be your “dream job” in life?

Aside from continuing my work of empowering women and promoting equity is STEM through my own organization, I would love to design and build set stages for concerts. I have loved music my whole life and the ability it has to move people. I was left in awe after attending one of my favourite artists’ concerts and seeing him appear from a life-sized truck and watching it transform into a stage. I saw the basics of what I was learning in school applied to create true art and an unforgettable experience for thousands of people. This would allow me to combine two of my passions while also being a part of creating experiences that provide so much joy for others.

Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.

I was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario and was fortunate enough to have grown up in a supportive and loving family. My parents have always been my greatest cheerleaders and did everything in their power to support every dream I had. This even meant standing in line with me for 12 hours when I had my brief, I want to be a popstar moment at ten years old and tried out for the talent competition “The Next Star”. I come from an exceptionally large family; my dad alone has fifteen siblings. This meant I was constantly surrounded by community and had the chance to grow up with so many cousins that were my age, including my Godbrother who I have been fortunate enough to have as my best friend for the last 22 years. My best memories revolve around being outdoors where summers were picnics at bayfront park, camping adventures, lazy days at my aunt’s pool, and the exhilaration of racing down snow-covered hills on toboggans during winter. I also attribute my independence and determination to watching my family navigate my father’s health issues as a kid. My dad was on dialysis for many years before receiving a kidney transplant in 2009. Watching my mom work full time, take care of my dad post surgery, and raise two young kids felt like watching a superhero in action. She taught me to be the strong woman I am today and has always led by example.

List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.

I would say my current position would be the most unusual because of the creative approaches we often have to take in the automotive industry to do our jobs. For example, I spent about two months essentially giving mini ultrasounds to car parts as part of our validation process. I have even witnessed the use of sticky notes as measuring devices!

List any volunteering you have done.

I began volunteering at a young age at the church I grew up in and for the Hispanic Association in Hamilton. I helped with charity food drives and fundraising events that the parish would throw and was part of a folklore dance group that would perform at various cultural/fundraising events. Throughout my engineering program I have joined clubs such as the Engineering & Society Students Association where I helped run and plan events such as our annual holiday charity fundraiser where we’d collect items to donate to Mission Services Hamilton. I have also been a part of the McMaster Women in Engineering Society mentorship program for the last two years where I am paired with a first- or second-year mentee to help guide them through the difficult first few years of the program and serve as academic and overall support. I am currently the Hamilton Chapter Coordinator for the Canadian Association for girls in Science. The organization is the largest and longest-running STEM Club for girls and gender diverse youth and supports interest in STEM. As the coordinator I plan and run curated hands-on events, such as bridge building competitions. We also collaborate with STEM experts to provide unique experiences such as taking a tour of the McMaster Hatch Bay where all the technical team competition vehicles are built and stored and provide members with the opportunity to construct their own solar powered cars.

What is your most unusual talent?

As a mechanical engineering student I learned Computer Automated Design (CAD) and I enjoy designing things on my own and 3D printing them. This comes in handy a lot when trying to come up with creative gift ideas!

Where is the most interesting place you have been to?

Xel-ha in Mexico! it is a natural water park located in Tulum where I got to explore the underwater wildlife and float on a never-ending river that flowed out to the Caribbean sea. I have always loved the ocean and being in the water is truly my happy place. Even though I went when I was 17, I felt like a kid again going down their enormous water slide and even tried out their obstacle course in the middle of the river!

What do you hope to be doing in ten years?

I hope to have graduated from my program and be working as an engineer in an industry that allows me to positively impact the lives of others, whether that is creating devices that improve an individual’s health or being apart of designing unforgettable experiences for thousands of people. I aspire to have a platform such as a podcast where I get to share my passion for equity in STEM as well as my various interests including beauty, fashion, and music. I consider myself to be in a constant state of evolution. The only perpetual things in my life are my values and desire to make a difference in this world and as long as I am in a position where those are being realized I will be more than happy.

Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?

Even if I didn’t always know exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always knew I wanted to be a voice for change and positivity. I care so deeply about the people I love and the causes I carry close to my heart and have always tried to fight for what I believe in. Now having found my purpose and my passions, I know this platform will give me an opportunity to put a spotlight on the incredible women I have met through my educational and personal journey, the difficulties we still face and show that despite the strides we have made there is still so much more that needs to be done. Often there is a fear associated with being too feminine or expressing interest in things that only seem to ostracize you more from your male peers and coworkers. I want to show the versatility of women and how we should never be limited to one thing, and pursuing all our interests and passions shouldn’t be equated with being less than capable of excelling in our careers. Being Miss Universe Canada means being able to represent the country that has given me the opportunity to never have to limit my dreams and goals. It means being a role model for young girls who may feel out of place because of their seemingly conflicting interests and their heritage. I want to be what Camila Gonzalez was to me; the representation that gave me the confidence to pursue what I wanted knowing someone like me was on that stage. I was so fortunate to have been born in a country that allows you to embrace every part of you and doesn’t make you choose one identity to be seen as an equal Canadian. As Madison’s national costume said: Inclusivity makes dreams come true and here I am fighting for mine.
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Samantha Lal
 candidatas a miss universe canada 2024. final: 27 july.	 - Página 4 Samantha-lal-2024-1
Height: 5’7
Hometown: Surrey, BC
Languages: English, Hindi (the Fijian dialect)
Occupation: CSA 2

Samantha Lal is from Surrey, British Columbia and is excited for the opportunity to be representing herself at the Miss Universe Canada 2024 pageant! This is Samantha’s first beauty pageant that she will be participating in but she is not new to competition. Growing up, Samantha was a competitive gymnast where she got to compete at the B.C. Artistic Gymnastics Championships in both 2012 and 2013. In her teen years, she was a competitive cheerleader and competed at the World Cheerleading Championships in 2016 and 2017!

What attracted her to this pageant is that she takes a strong interest in issues taking place around the world, especially those concerning children. She completed her Bachelors of Arts Degree from Simon Fraser University majoring in International Studies and minoring in Indigenous Studies. She hopes that her education paired with community service experience from this pageant will help her to better the lives of children on both a national and international scale. Samantha has developed an understanding that children thrive best in environments where they are shown compassion and she makes an effort to exercise this when she is working with the City of Surrey as a Before and After School Care Lead.

As a community driven individual, she has devoted her time to organizations like the Surrey Food Bank, Simon Fraser University Indigenous Studies Student Union and the Canadian Federation of Fiji Organizations. Lately, her central focus has been volunteering with the Ronald McDonald House Family Room where she ensures that the space is clean and welcoming for families who have sick children. When Samantha is not working or volunteering she likes to exercise! Presently, she is enrolled in a Fitness Theory course to learn more about the benefits of physical exercise on the human body. She has hopes of one day being a fitness leader so that she may empower others to know of the benefits of physical exercise in their daily life that go beyond aesthetics. Other ways Samantha enjoys unwinding is through watching movies, playing cards and reading.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?

I have made a routine habit of waking up in the morning and reading a little bit. Currently I am reading Becoming by Michelle Obama. Reading has shaped my entire existence because it has provided me with the ability to appreciate the complexity of people. Reading has helped me to understand others better and has helped me to understand myself. With each book I read I feel like a more cultivated woman because reading is just one of many ways that I like to acquire knowledge.

After work, I like to go to the gym and unwind from my day. I have been engaging in a lot of strength training exercises and I am happy that I created a program that works well for me. Another way I unwind after work is writing in my journal and I like doing this because it helps me manage my emotions efficiently.

Other interests that I have include watching movies. Some of my favorite genres of movies include comedy, romance, drama and biopics. I like watching movies at home, but my favorite place to watch movies is at the Drive In Theater.

Spending time with family and friends is something that I also thoroughly enjoy. As this is my first pageant, I am hoping that after I am finished competing, I can add this to the list of things I enjoy doing as well!

List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)

Simon Fraser University- Bachelor of Arts Degree (Major: International Studies, Minor: Indigenous Studies)
Food Safe Level 1
Indo-Fijian Youth Wellness Ambassador Retreat Program Certification
BCRPA- Aboriginal Cultural Relations Module
safeTALK Certification
BC Class 5 Driver’s License
LA Matheson Secondary School- Diploma
National Coaching Certification Program – Level 1
First Aid & CPR – Level 1
Fundamental Movement Skills Certification
High Five Certification
In what sports, if any, have you participated?

In my early elementary school years, I did recreational swimming and recreational Bollywood dancing. My experience through dance helped me to develop confidence while performing as well as my ability to follow music. These skills proved useful in my competitive gymnastics career as well as my competitive cheerleading career.

I began recreational gymnastics at the age of seven and began competing at the age of nine as an interclub gymnast and later transitioned to competitive gymnastics at the age of twelve and stopped at the age of fourteen. I loved gymnastics because it was fun being able to learn how to do cool skills such as back handsprings. Additionally, it kept me in shape through conditioning. My favorite events to compete on were beam and floor as they were both very artistic and had some elements of dance in them. My biggest gymnastics accomplishment was qualifying to compete at the British Columbia Artistic Gymnastics Championships in both 2012 and 2013.

When I turned fourteen, I wanted to change sports and so I joined competitive cheerleading. This sport was fun because I got to continue my love of tumbling and dance in addition to learning a new skill: stunting! This sport provided me with the opportunity to really understand teamwork as it is a team sport. It is also through cheerleading that I learned how to do my makeup and hair. It allowed for me to accept that femininity and athleticism can exist simultaneously. My favorite memory from my cheerleading career was qualifying for and competing at the World Cheerleading Championships in 2016 and 2017!

Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?

Apart from my parents, my gymnastics and cheerleading coaches have had a lot of influence on my life, each of them taught me so much about work ethic, discipline and teamwork. One coach in particular who stands out in my memory was my first competitive gymnastics coach. She was always emphasizing to the team, the importance of professionality in both the gym as well as our competitions. The expectation she laid out for us was that when we would step foot into the gymnastics gym, our focus was to be on gymnastics. It made me understand at a young age the importance of concentrating on one thing at a time and it also allowed me to unwind from any stressors that were taking place in my life that were not gymnastics related.

What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?

As I believe wholeheartedly that education is a tool that can be utilized as a force for good to better the world around us, I can honestly say that my proudest personal accomplishment was obtaining my university degree. I had been dreaming of graduating university since I was ten years old and was very happy the day it happened.

What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?

The most interesting thing about me would easily have to be my personality. As I am outgoing, I am able to engage with strangers comfortably and this gift has allowed me to make swift connections with people. For me, I want to see more community building in this world and I have an intention of utilizing this gift to do so. In years to come, I am hoping to learn more languages so that I can help and connect with more individuals world wide.

Another trait that I possess is my practice of cultural relativism. It has allowed me to be open to people who are different from me which is so important, especially when intending to build strong communities. I am hoping that if I am given the opportunity to be a future Miss Universe, I can showcase to people what cultural relativism looks like in practice when I engage with people in all corners of the world and experience new things.

What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?

My career ambition is to one day work for the City of Surrey as a Director of Community and Recreation Services. I want to better the lives of children through my work in my community and provide them with opportunities to explore their interests and have a safe environment to thrive in through the programs that we offer. Eventually, I would like to spread my impact globally and work for an international organization such as UNICEF in which I can help children in the Global South have access to opportunities such as quality education. Currently, many children are denied access to education due to circumstances such as war or natural disasters. It is critical that children are provided with an opportunity to
obtain an education to secure a future in their economy, have agency over the decisions made for them and also to have confidence through skill building. Presently I am working with the City of Surrey as a Community Services Assistant 2 which will provide me with the experience I need to fulfill my career ambitions.

Further, I would like to eventually become a personal trainer or fitness leader and am presently taking a Fitness Theory
Course which are early steps towards achieving this goal. I am hoping to one day become an entrepreneur and own a gym. It is important to me to have a career in fitness because I want people to appreciate the benefits of health and fitness that go beyond aesthetics. I think people shy away from attending the gym sometimes because gym memberships can be very expensive.
My goal is to ensure that my gym is affordable for people as I feel that everyone has a right to attain their fitness goals.

What would be your “dream job” in life?

My dream job in life is to become a Miss Universe. I want to be a Miss Universe as it will provide me with a strong foundation for my global career aspirations which is to work for UNICEF one day and help children obtain a quality education. There are a lot of elements that prevent children from having an education around the world such as war, unattainable employment opportunities after graduation, natural disasters etc. Through becoming a Miss Universe, I will be provided with international experience by doing humanitarian work with UNICEF thus strengthening my profile to eventually work for them one day. I am hoping that with the humanitarian skills that I will have obtained from the Miss Universe experience, I will eventually have the knowledge that I need to be able to effectively operate my own global initiative concerning children’s education. I would love to open a school in the global south that would provide children with the education and skills needed to thrive in their communities and reach their full potential.

Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.

I was raised in an all-girls household in Surrey, BC! My mother and Nani (maternal grandmother) raised me with a lot of love and affection. They always supported my ambitions, and they cultivated my ability to believe in myself. This confidence proved useful throughout my life in regard to academics, athletics and now humanitarian work. My Nani provided her daughters with the mentality that women are to be educated and independent. When I was around my teen years, she began to explain those values to me as well. I am lucky to have seen these values in practice through my mother. My Nani’s advice always stuck with me, and so I made a point of obtaining both a university degree and drivers license, I earn a living and am learning how to maintain a home through cooking and cleaning. I am grateful to have been raised around these women who have given me so much.

As it was only the three of us, the household was mostly quiet and calm. On select days, I went from a family of three, to a family of six when I would visit my father. The dynamics of being with my father, step-mother, step-sister, step-brother and younger half brother was incredibly different from what I was used to at home. There were calm moments, but as there were so many bodies in the home, most of which were children all in very different age categories, there was more room for chaos which made my childhood all the more eventful.

Gymnastics and competitive cheerleading shaped my childhood a lot. Both of these were very fun sports and provided me with a chance to unwind after school. It also gave me a sense of accomplishment and built my confidence through competitions, especially when I would achieve an award. It was through sports that I also learned about discipline, time management, health and fitness. All of which are useful skills and knowledge that I still use today.
When I wasn’t at school, with family or doing sports, I liked to play outside with the children in the neighborhood. Typically, we would entertain ourselves with imaginative play or we would play on my trampoline or my Nintendo GameCube. I am very fortunate to have had a very fulfilled and safe childhood thanks to the adults who were in my life! As I work with children, I am hoping to give them moments in their childhood which they will also be grateful for when they grow up.

List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.

I worked at a waterpark for two summers in a row in Aldergrove and it was so much fun! An unusual task that I had there included pulling out floaties from the water and dictating when the next person could go down the water slide.

List any volunteering you have done.

I have volunteered with a number of organizations and am looking forward to adding to the list as the years go by!

Canadian Federation of Fiji Organizations – Youth Committee
Surrey Food Bank – Food Distribution Line
Ronald McDonald House Family Room
Ronald McDonald House –  I made 100 handmade holiday cards.
Simon Fraser University Indigenous Studies Student Union Secretary
What is your most unusual talent?

My most unusual talent is that I am able to almost always correctly guess other people’s drawings in Pictionary. My family has played this game a lot and sometimes what they draw isn’t super accurate but I often win because I am able to guess well.

Where is the most interesting place you have been to?

The most interesting place I have been to would easily have to be Disneyland and Disney World! There is so much to do there, it is difficult to get bored. They have great rides; my favorite one would have to be ‚ÄúPeter Pan’s Flight.‚Äù It is slow, but there are a lot of things to look at on this ride which makes it fun! Watching the shows, eating the Disney character shaped treats and meeting the characters adds to the magic of the theme park. It is definitely a place that anybody can enjoy regardless of age. I’ll always be grateful for all the memories I made there.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years?

In ten years, I would like to be recognized as a former Miss Universe. I see myself continuing my passion for working with children and families. At this point in time, I would be a Recreation Coordinator, or be transitioning into a Recreation Manager position with the City of Surrey. My ambition of becoming a fitness leader or personal trainer would be achieved and I would be securing my finances through both my full-time job and also my sideline job.

Apart from my career, I would like to continue being someone who gives back to her community through initiatives and volunteering. Becoming a transformational leader on a global scale is something I am hoping to say I accomplished. I want to open a school in the Global South that would provide children with the best opportunities so that they may thrive in their communities. I want the children that attend this school to be diversified in their skills, they are to learn the fundamentals, but also be introduced to art and sports. Hopefully, I can make the world a little bit better for them so that they are able to reach their full potential and give back to the world as well one day.

In ten years, I wish to see myself more confident and continue to enjoy doing the things I love such as exercising and spending time with family and friends. I am hoping that in the next ten years, I can look back at my life and have gratitude for myself in how much I’ve managed to accomplish and continue to remain ambitious towards new goals.
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Sandra Michael
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Height: 5’8
Hometown:  Ile-Perrot, QC
Languages: English, French, Arabic
Occupation: Research and Development Intern at University of Ottawa in Ottawa

Although her parents were born in Egypt, Sandra Michael was born and raised in the city of Montreal, Canada. The 23 year old woman is currently pursuing her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ottawa and is expecting to graduate in the near future. Sandra has always dreamed of working in the medical field, and specifically in pediatrics. Despite her long-time desire of getting into medicine, the young woman found her true purpose in engineering while obtaining her degree in science, at John Abbott College. Sandra landed her dream internship as a research and development intern for over two years, where she helped in the ideation and design of medical devices for children with bone diseases.

A big advocate for women in STEM, Sandra aspires to become a voice and inspiration for other women pursing a degree or career in a male dominated field. She wants to show other Canadian women that beauty, elegance, confidence and intelligence are not mutually exclusive. A woman, and specifically an ethnic woman, could possess all of these qualities and still be a well-respected person with a real purpose in life.

Outside of academics, Mrs. Michael has several diversified interests. Her curiosity for understanding and learning more have made her passionate about traveling and adventure. She greatly enjoys nature and will take any opportunity she has to be outside. Some of her favorite outdoor activities include exploring new hiking trails, paddle boarding or even just going on a scenic walk. Sandra is looking forward to having more time after completing her university degree so that she could learn the piano and get better at playing chess.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?

Despite my curiosity to always learn and explore more hobbies, my most prominent interests revolve around outdoor activities such as walking, running, hiking, paddle boarding, etc. I also really enjoy playing board games, and specifically ones that involve more thinking and problem solving such as chess or codenames for example. My most distinctive interest revolves around psychology. I love learning more about behaviours that explain why and how other individuals operate.

List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)

Unfortunately, I never had a chance to get special training yet, but I’ve always wanted to learn the piano and to explore more of my artistic side which includes painting and drawing.

In what sports, if any, have you participated?

I’ve explored a few different types of sports when I was younger, including cheerleading, but the ones that were more significant to me were basketball, karate and flag football.

Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?

My aunt because she is one of strongest and most intelligent woman that I know. She has taught me that women should never be inferior to men, but rather their healthy equal. She has always encouraged me to keep chasing my dreams, no matter how big they are and to never doubt my capabilities to achieve them. Another one of her qualities that I really admire is her genuine kindness and loyalty. She will always have your back no matter what, and will always be there to help you get better and to grow in wisdom as an individual. There are many more of her qualities that have greatly impacted my life, but those were probably some of the most influential to me.

What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?

Completing my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Mechanical Engineering.

In the past 5 years, I have learned and grew tremendously as an individual through the process of this achievement. My ambition and resilience were continuously tested throughout this degree and I was faced with several challenges that have pushed me to get out of my comfort zone. For instance, facing and let alone accepting failure has always been very hard for me. I had to redefine what failure meant to me, and to try to see the good and growth that could come from it instead, which this degree has allowed me to do by putting me in such circumstances.

What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?

The most unique thing about me is my self-reliance which has lead me to travel to 11 European cities without having anyone I know come with me. My ability to not depend or wait on others around me to achieve some of my goals and accomplishments is part of my distinctive personality trait. I have always learned to take control of where I want my life to go and to never put my personal progress in the hands of other people.

What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?

I’ve always had a specific dream about helping this little girl. I don’t know much about the context, but what I do know for a fact is that I had created a medical device which completely changed her life for the better. I am now expecting to have completed a degree which would allow me to do such thing using my gained knowledge in biomedical mechanical engineering. I have also worked as a research and development intern at a company specialized in pediatric health to further expand my knowledge in the design and innovation of medical devices for children.

What would be your “dream job” in life?

My dream job would be to have my own company specializing in the creation and innovation of medical devices. However, my company would also be a safe and encouraging environment for other women in engineering to pursue their dream roles and accomplishments, without having any career barriers preventing them from doing so. My women employees would be given equal and fair job opportunities, whether they are technical or leadership roles with the intent of eliminating any discriminatory biases around women in engineering.

Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.

During my childhood, I was raised in a humble little home in Montreal with my two parents and sister. Since our cousins from Montreal were significantly older than us, my sister Catherine and I really just had each other at the time, besides for our childhood church friends. We almost had every pet you could think of, except for maybe a cat. We had a dog called Bella, we had several budgerigar birds, fish, turtles, a rabbit, a frog and even a crab! Our most recent pets were three ducks, which we had three years ago.

List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.

As briefly mentioned before, the last job I had was my most interesting one. The company that I worked for creates implants for children having a variety of bone diseases and abnormalities. As a research and development intern for over two years, some of the duties and responsibilities I had was to help in the ideation and design of such medical devices.

List any volunteering you have done.

My extremely busy schedule throughout my life has not really allowed me to do as much volunteer work as I would have liked to. However, I’ve helped raise funds for the RBC run for kids last fall and I’ve volunteered to help feed the homeless people in downtown Montreal with my church community. Once I complete my degree, I would love to volunteer at a nursing home where I could interact, entertain and learn more wisdom from the elderly of our community.

What is your most unusual talent?

I am able to wiggle each one of my eyebrows, individually.

Where is the most interesting place you have been to?

The most interesting place I have been to is Egypt because of its richness in history, culture and in knowledge. My Egyptian ancestors represent a very ancient civilization that created several historical landmarks which we don’t even completely understand to this day. The enigma behind the construction of the pyramids is astonishing, especially after seeing them in real life and realizing how big and heavy each one of the stone blocks really are.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years?

In 10 years from now, I would like to be traveling all around the world to advocate for women in STEM. I would like to mentor and support other women who are pursuing a degree in a male dominating field by giving speeches and advices in schools and conferences of my personal journey and experiences.

Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?

If I wasn’t studying engineering, I would be pursuing my psychology degree so that I could become a psychologist.
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Sofia DiMario
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Height: 5’3
Hometown: Windsor, ON
Languages: English
Occupation: Funeral Director Intern

Sofia DiMario, a determined and compassionate 22-year-old currently pursuing her Funeral Director internship at Arbor Memorial in Windsor Essex. Sofia harbours aspirations of becoming Canada’s most Glamorous Funeral Director and eventually owning and operating her own funeral home. Her driving force lies in her fervent desire to assist others during their most challenging times was inspired through the loss of her own father. Having endured personal experiences of grief and loss, allows Sofia to recognize the significance of Celebrating Life and upholding the ethical principles while providing families under her care with the utmost transparency and dignity.

Prior to her pursuit to be a Funeral Director, Sofia trained as a professional gymnast for 11 years to compete nationally until 2020 when she experienced a career ending injury. The trajectory of Sofia’s athletic career inspired Sofia to go out of her comfort zone and enter the world of pageantry. Through pageantry, Sofia has cultivated supporting friendships and a profound connection to her community. Sofia’s commitment to community servitude is evident through her extensive involvement with various organizations, including The Red Cross, The Optimist Club, The Bloody Good Riversiders, Canadian Women’s Foundation, and the Children’s Aid Society. Sofia strives to be a beacon of inspiration for young women and imparts the mantra, “don’t let your fear of falling keep you from flying”, encouraging others to embrace the pursuit of their dreams no matter their journey and profession.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?

Sewing
Fitness
Community Service
Family
Baking
List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)

Professionally Trained Gymnast
Certified Level 2 Gymnastics Coach (can teach rotations)
Dance
Theatre Directorship
Modelling
In what sports, if any, have you participated?

National level Gymnastics
Soccer
Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?

My late grandfather. Although he grew up during World War II and experienced a significant amount of challenges, he lived through resilience and channelled his experiences through writing and art. He became an international author and inspired me through all that he overcame and achieved.

What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?

Being accepted into one of the most competitive Funeral Director programs across Canada at Humber College was one of my proudest accomplishments. This acceptance helped me regain my self-confidence and independence from overcoming domestic violence from a past relationship.

What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?

The most interesting thing about me is my photographic memory. I can remember specific details, times, and dates.

What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?

My professional goal is to emerge as Canada’s most Glamorous Funeral Director. I am currently enrolled at Humber College for Funeral Directing and Embalming and I am currently completing my internship with Arbor Memorial. I aim to transform the Funeral Industry into a more comforting and welcoming environment by eliminating stigma. Through my pageant background, I hope to inspire individuals from all professions and backgrounds to pursue their dreams.

What would be your “dream job” in life?

My dream job in life is to be a Funeral Director and to own a Funeral Home of my own. I want to use my experience with grief to help others that are struggling and to provide families with peace, direction, and comfort during confusing and devastating times.

Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.

I was born and raised in Windsor. I live with my Mother, younger sister and my two wonderful dogs. I am also privileged to have a close relationship with my grandparents. My childhood was filled with love and magical memories with my family. I was raised in an Italian household where food and togetherness was essential. One of my favourite childhood memories is when I learned how to make fresh tomato sauce with my late father.

List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.

I use to be a pizza maker! Being Italian and working this job allowed me to connect my culture while learning to make delicious Italian cuisine and eat it too!

List any volunteering you have done.

I was introduced to volunteering for my community at a young age when I modeled in the Cops Care For Kids Fashion show for several years. I have also volunteered for The Red Cross, The Optimist Club, The Bloody Good Riversiders, Canadian Women’s Foundation, and the Children’s Aid Society of Windsor Essex plus many other community activities.

What is your most unusual talent?

My most unusual talent is I can accurately imitate people and their voices. I have really great impressions of some of my family members

Where is the most interesting place you have been to?

Exploring Waterton National Park in Alberta was a dream come true for me as a rock and geology nerd. I’m deeply passionate about studying rock formations and mountain ranges. Having lived in Windsor all my life, the breathtaking mountains and scenery of Waterton are a striking contrast to what I’m accustomed to.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years?

My aspiration is to become the owner, operator, and manager of my own Funeral Home. Additionally, I aim to introduce Alkaline Hydrolysis and Green Burials to Windsor-Essex County. Furthermore, I envision myself as the initiator of the ‘Grief is Normal’ platform, which is currently in development. Its purpose is to advocate for and support those experiencing grief, particularly individuals who may feel uncertain about seeking help or are hesitant due to the stigma surrounding mental health.

Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?

I used to struggle with severe stage fright and social anxiety. Due to my shyness and reluctance to take risks, I began to resent myself. However, in 2020, I embarked on a journey through pageantry, and have never turned back. I discovered a deep love for pageants and the chance they offer for public speaking, which has been instrumental in overcoming my shyness. Pageants serve as both a platform for self-expression and a means to showcase my growing confidence.
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Solange Tuyishime-Keita
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Height: 5’8
Hometown: Ottawa, ON
Languages: English, French, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi & Swahili
Occupation: President and CEO

Solange was born and raised in East Africa, survived war and genocide at the age of 11 and became a refugee before immigrating to Canada. Today, Solange is a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador, advocating to improve the lives of the most vulnerable children in 190 countries and territories. Through her efforts, she has helped raise over $3.6 million for women and children worldwide. She is also leading change globally for women and girls as the Founder, President & CEO of Elevate International, an organization dedicated to advancing women’s leadership and economic power globally.

Solange is a recipient of various awards in recognition of her national and global contribution, including the 40 under 40 award, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Business Woman of the Year award and most recently the Order of Ottawa, just to name a few.

Through her leadership roles, Solange has been an inspirational speaker to over 2.5 million people. This includes presenting at the United Nations, helping to lead the first cohort and largest investment of women philanthropists globally, while also serving as a spokesperson for UNICEF across Canada and globally. She continues to actively advocate for children’s rights, to a quality education and access to clean water.

Solange is the proud mother of four beautiful daughters, identical triplets: Aliyah, Leylah, their beautiful angel in heaven Naylah, along with their youngest daughter Samiyah. Solange is proudly married for eleven years to Oumar, President of Keita Inc. At home, you will often find Solange in the kitchen, dancing with her daughters while cooking with her husband who she loves to call her favourite chef and traveling partner. Solange has a University Masters degree in Public Administration, a Bachelor in Journalism and Honors in French.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?

Self-proclaimed Best Brunch Baker. You’re invited!
Training for The Amazing Race
TikTok Dance Mom-in-Training
Romantic Country Driving
List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)

Masters in Public Administration – Université de Moncton
Bachelor in Journalism and Honours in French – St. Thomas University
In what sports, if any, have you participated?

Competitive Soccer

Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?

Our daughter Naylah who is currently in heaven. In memory of our daughter Naylah, we celebrate Angel Day with family every year on September 13th. Through Naylah’s Legacy we have raised more than 2.3 Million dollars to help save the lives of premature and new born babies globally.

In our daughter Naylah’s short time on earth, my husband and I were reminded how life is truly a gift. As a mother of three incredible girls today, I am inspired to make the best of each day so that our daughters can experience life through a positive lens. At home, you will often find us in the kitchen, dancing and sharing moments of laughter.”

What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?

15 years as a UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND (UNICEF) Ambassador, I still have to pinch myself! It is hard to believe that the 11 years old girl who was once a refugee is traveling the world today to enhance the lives of 262 million children without access to education globally. As a Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF; I help drive change in over 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives and help them fulfil their potential.

What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?

Most unique – Definitely having indexical triplets!
3 children being born in five minutes? It doesn’t get more magical than that!

Most interesting – I am a Polyglot with the most contagious laugh. 🙂

What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?

Becoming UN Women goodwill ambassador. As the Founder, President and CEO of Elevate International, I am fortunate to travel globally, empowering women and girls to be leaders.

There is nothing more magical than sitting on a mountaintop in South Africa with young girls sharing dreams and the experiences that are shaping them into the incredible women they are becoming. From Canada to Geneva, United States, Jamaica, Haiti, and Zimbabwe, I continue to meet and empower brave and inspiring women and girls worldwide. That feeling of experiencing love and hope simultaneously is incredibly heartwarming.

What would be your “dream job” in life?

An International Leader and United Nations Ambassador traveling globally to empower women and girls, while also uniting leaders to create a better world for women and children.

Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.

I was born and raised in Easter Africa, where I lived a beautiful childhood full of family love and wonderful experiences. At the age of 11, I became a refugee after surviving a war and genocide and eventually moved to Canada where I proudly call home.

List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.

I once volunteered for a children summer camp for newcomers and we all spoke broken English, so we used art and music to communicate all summer. It was amazing!

List any volunteering you have done.

Raised over $3.6 million for women and children worldwide
UN Goodwill Ambassador
Internationally Recognized for Outstanding Humanitarian Service
National Award-Winning Business Woman and 40 Under 40 Recipient
International Speaker to over 2.5 million people
World Traveler and Global Citizen (25 countries in counting)
What is your most unusual talent?

I host over 10,000 people every year.

Where is the most interesting place you have been to?

South Africa! South Africa continues to amaze me! From the most beautiful Safaris to the most impact humanitarian work, I always come back as an inspired leader.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years?

Helping more women build successful businesses and continuing my work globally as UN Goodwill Ambassador for women and children.

Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?

I’m my daughter’s superhero standing on the shoulders of incredible women. Here’s to strong women: may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.
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Sommer Knight
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Height: 5’7
Hometown: Ottawa, ON
Languages: English
Occupation: Student (Clinical Psychology, University of Ottawa)

Sommer Knight is a visionary leader, award-winning advocate, and a first-class student. The quality of her civic and academic contributions has been recognized with various accolades: the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, the BBPA National scholarship, the Audrea Golding Black Student Leadership Award, and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship.

As a Black, second-generation immigrant woman who has overcome the challenges of being born and raised in a lone-parent, low-income household, Sommer’s journey has shaped her into an innovative, initiative-driven leader with a vision for creating positive change in my academic, work, and community environments.

Sommer is committed to using her platform to make a meaningful difference and to addressing issues that matter. In fact, she is currently involved in her school and wider community on many levels. She sits on several equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) committees, and is currently a radio anchor for the African Canadian Association of Ottawa, where she uses her platform to speak to issues related to mental health. Sommer plans to become a child clinical psychologist to advance the well-being of children and families involved in hopes to reduce mental health disparities.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?

In addition to my commitment to community impact, I am an individual who enjoys the art of performance and modelling. I also enjoy spoken word and poetry. Since I was young, I’ve always been captivated by the power of language. For me, spoken word is more than a performance; it’s an intimate conversation with the world. The stage is a canvas where I can express my authentic self and celebrate the beauty within and around me. I am also happy to share that I am currently a radio anchor for the ACAO Talk Radio, where I lead a weekly segment on Wellness Wednesdays and use my platform to speak to issues related to mental health.

List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)

Mental Health First Aid Training
ASIST Training
Active Listening
Vocal Training
On Camera Workshops/Acting Training- Improv; Scene Study; Monologues; Commericals; Auditioning; Techniques; The Art of Self Taping
In what sports, if any, have you participated?

Growing up, the outdoors was my playground, and I cherished every moment spent playing with the neighborhood kids. Even as I transitioned into young adulthood, that love for outdoor activities never waned. Recreationally, I played basketball and in school, I also joined the women’s volleyball team. In fact, volleyball remained a cherished pastime that I continued to play it into my university years. I’ve also developed a deep appreciation for Muay Thai. It’s not just about physical fitness; it’s about empowerment, especially for women. Learning the art of self-defense is crucial, and Muay Thai provides a powerful means of achieving that. So, whether it’s the thrill of the game on the court or the discipline of martial arts training, staying active and engaged in these pursuits has enriched my life in countless ways.

Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?

The person who has had the most profound influence on my life is undoubtedly Maya Angelou. She embodies the essence of strength, resilience, and grace in every aspect of her being. As a woman, a scholar, an activist, and a writer, Maya Angelou’s life and work resonate deeply with me. Her words, like those in “Still I Rise” and “Phenomenal Woman,” resonate with such power and beauty that they’ve become guiding lights in my own journey. Through her poetry, Maya Angelou instills within me the courage to persevere in the face of adversity and the confidence to embrace my identity unapologetically.

What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?

One of my most cherished personal accomplishments is being awarded the prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. This accolade stands as a testament to years of hard work, dedication, and academic excellence. The Vanier Scholarship is not merely a recognition of my achievements; it symbolizes the immense potential and responsibility bestowed upon me as a scholar and a leader. Earning the Vanier Scholarship has not only opened doors for advanced academic pursuits but has given me a profound sense of purpose. It serves as a catalyst for my commitment to effecting positive change, both within my academic sphere and in the broader community.

What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?

The most interesting thing that has happened to me actually happened recently! I am thrilled to share that I was selected to participate in the “Ottawa Black Creatives Hub: Performing Arts Showcase” sponsored by Horspairsocial, the Ottawa Arts Council, the City of Ottawa, Algonquin common theatre, and Youth Action Now in February 2024. It will be my first time presenting a self-written spoken word piece in front of a large audience. I hope to contribute to a broader dialogue on mental health, fostering understanding and empathy. I believe that art has the power to inspire change and provoke thoughtful discussions. This spoken word piece is my contribution to that effort, and I hope the audience enjoys!

What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?

My career ambition is to become a child clinical psychologist. There is a shortage of child and family psychologists and there is also an underrepresentation of racial and ethnic minorities in the field of psychology. These discrepancies further contribute to treatment disparities. I am also interested in working in this career because of the prevention focus. As a child and family psychologist, one is given the opportunity to detect early maladaptive patterns among children and families to promote long term, adaptive and strength-based approaches to improve well-being. Being a child and family psychologist also requires being a child advocate. I am committed to the protection and well-being of children and their families to ensure optimal health outcomes. Therefore, I aspire to be a child clinical psychology as it would allow me to integrate different perspectives and learn about triangulation to navigate family dynamics with a consideration for cultural differences.

What would be your “dream job” in life?

My dream job is as diverse and multifaceted as my own interests and passions! While pursuing a career as a child clinical psychologist is a central goal, I firmly believe in embracing the richness of life by exploring your talents. Teaching is an aspiration close to my heart. I hope I can teach in the future to inspire growth and foster curiosity in the students I have. I am also drawn to the idea of incorporating creative wellness into my professional journey. Engaging in activities such as poetry or modeling allows me to tap into my artistic side, promoting self-expression and holistic well-being. In essence, my dream job is not confined to a single role or profession but rather encompasses a diverse tapestry of experiences and pursuits. By doing this, I aim to create a fulfilling and meaningful career that reflects the full spectrum of my talents and aspirations.

Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.

Growing up under the guidance of my single mother was both a blessing and a lesson in resilience. Despite facing numerous challenges, she showered me with unconditional love while instilling in me the value of hard work and determination. Her unwavering belief in my abilities and her mantra that “the sky is the limit” became the driving force behind my aspirations. As a first-generation immigrant, my mother understood the power of education. Despite limited resources, she emphasized its importance and ensured that I had access to quality education. While material wealth may have been scarce, my mother’s greatest gift was the gift of opportunity. She taught me to cherish every chance I had to learn, grow, and succeed. As, I embark on this journey in the pageant world, I carry with me the lessons and values instilled by my mother. My greatest hope is to make her proud and to continue honoring her legacy of strength, perseverance, and unwavering belief in the power of education.

List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.

My journey through various jobs, from newspapers to grocery stores, factory work to leasing agent, and even modeling and acting, has been a testament to my work ethic! Each role has offered unique experiences and lessons, shaping me into the person I am today. However, I’m thrilled to share that I’m expanding my horizons yet again by venturing into the world of writing. I’m excited to announce my plans to become an author, with a special focus on publishing a children’s book centered around mental health.

List any volunteering you have done.

Volunteer (most recent):

African Canadian Association of Ottawa (2020-Present)
Black Community Resource Centre (2019-2021)
Hope Community Centre (2009-2020)
London Health Sciences Centre – Hospital Volunteer (2016-2018)
What is your most unusual talent?

I have this uncanny ability to forget the name’s of main characters I watch in TV shows/films. I don’t know how it’s possible, but I do it every time. My friends and family find it very funny!

Where is the most interesting place you have been to?

During my sophomore year of high school, I embarked on a transformative journey as part of the SHSM (Specialist High Skills Major) Non-Profit program, focusing on philanthropy and volunteerism. This experience led me to an extraordinary opportunity: traveling to Haiti for a week to aid families affected by the devastating earthquake in 2010. Collaborating closely with Dr. Nina Nejmeh, I witnessed firsthand the profound impact of healthcare and humanitarian efforts on communities in need. This eye-opening experience not only sparked my interest in the health field but also reinforced my commitment to giving back and making a positive difference in the world.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years?

I hope to become a child clinical psychologist that meaningfully contributes to the field of child, adolescent and family psychology. I also hope that I am still involved in research, teaching, and engaging in my creative pursuits to create a meaningful and fulfilling life for myself and hopefully others.
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Sonalisa Dhungana
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Height: 5’7
Hometown: Brampton, ON
Languages: English, Nepali, Hindi
Occupation: Strategic Initiatives Manager

Sonalisa embodies determination, passion, and a deep-rooted commitment to be the voice of women and children, who have experienced sexual abuse. Having gone through several horrible experiences of sexual and emotional abuse between the ages of seven and seventeen, she knows the feelings of being confused, misunderstood, scared and helpless. What’s more horrible is that the predators have been either trusted relatives or friends. Each time she tried to speak up, she remembers being unheard, untrusted, or blamed for her own actions leading up to these incidents. The first time she faced sexual abuse at the hand of a relative and brought this up to seek justice, she was silenced and threatened to be removed from the house along with her mother and older sister, and her soul has been crushed since.

When she moved to Canada from her birth country Nepal, Sonalisa’s feelings and experiences started to feel more valid as she had the exposure to higher education, women rights & laws that protect women, resources available for help, and psychological therapy. Canada welcomed her with open and loving arms, accepted her as its daughter and gave her the opportunity to validate her purpose, identify her likes & dislikes, and figure out who she is as a person. The friendships she found here gave her the feeling of belonging she had been craving for years. However, she also learned that so many women in her circle from across the world have gone through similar horrible experiences as her and had remained voiceless for years.

As a proud Canadian, her participation in pageantry is rooted in her mission to advocate for survivors of sexual abuse and foster a more inclusive and equitable society at the national and global level. She will use this platform to be a beacon of light for those living in the darkness of sexual abuse and be the voice of the voiceless. Having experience of participating in a pageant before, she fully understands the impact this platform can have at the global scale. She hopes to use this platform to work towards validating and rescuing hundreds and thousands of children and women who have faced sexual abuse and end this evil from our lives once and for all.

Today, Sonalisa holds a master’s degree in Business Administration with Finance major from McMaster University and serves as a Strategic Initiatives Manager at one of Canada’s leading financial institutions.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?

I am deeply passionate about cultivating a happy and healthy lifestyle for myself and those around me. I firmly believe that true well-being stems from a sense of contentment. To achieve this, I stay connected with my spiritual side, which helps me feel grounded and in tune with my subconscious. Physical movement is key for me in this journey, whether through strength training, yoga, or long hikes in the nature. Additionally, I enjoy engaging in conversations with people from all walks of life. Each individual has a unique story to share, and I find great joy in learning from these diverse experiences. I am fascinated by our similarities and the delightful quirks that make us each unique.

On special occasions, I enjoy preparing healthy, nutritious, and inventive recipes for my friends, family, and for the community food tables. It brings me immense joy to see everyone enjoying themselves, feeling cherished, and making lasting memories together. Life is fleeting and will pass by in the blink of an eye. My goal is to make sure that when I open my eyes, I have created a universe of beautiful moments that leave a positive impact on those around me.

List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)

I have been trained in the art of salsa dancing, karate kicks, and project management wizardy (PMP certified). It’s a unique blend of rhythm, precision, and strategic thinking – all the right moves for different moods!

In what sports, if any, have you participated?

I have been very athletic growing up and have participated in variety of sports over the years, including Swimming, Cricket, Basketball, Community Marathons, Yoga, Kho-Kho, Badminton & more!

Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?

My Sociology and Political Science professor, the late Panna Kaji Amatya, once looked me in the eye and said, “Sonalisa, you can be whatever you want to be. You will excel in any career path you choose.” These words, spoken to the 18-year-old me, ignited a spark of confidence and motivation within. Often, as teenagers, we find ourselves adrift, searching for purpose in multiple directions. When someone we admire recognizes our talents, validates our ambitions, and believes in our ability to reach for the stars, it can set us firmly on the right path, regardless of its nature.

Learning from this experience, I have always encouraged and supported the goals and aspirations of those around me and will continue to do so. I am profoundly grateful to Professor Late Panna Sir for instilling in me the belief that words possess extraordinary power; a single statement can wield the greatest impact, transforming a person’s life for the better.

What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?

While pursuing my MBA at McMaster University, I had the opportunity of leading a six-person team in the ‘Pitching in for Charity’ competition. Together with my extraordinarily talented and compassionate teammates, we developed a program to support families and children from marginalized communities through the Kiwanis Boys & Girls Club – Hamilton.

Our efforts culminated in a presentation to over 400 audience members and a panel of judges, where we showcased our initiative. I am proud to share that we were selected as the competition winners, earning prize money of CAD1000 that we promptly donated to the charity organization.

This experience stands as one of the proudest moments of my life. Being able to give back and make a tangible difference in the lives of more than 10 families was incredibly rewarding.

What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?

What sets me apart is my versatility-I’m like water, able to shapeshift and adapt to any situation. I vividly recall a unique assignment where I acted as a motivational consultant for over 50 individuals at the operations floor of my department. A technology project was implemented which significantly changed existing processes which led to a lot of resistance, disengagement and discomfort to the workers who had been used to the old processes existing over 30 years. As a result, I was made part of a special team for a smooth transition to new ways of doing this. I implemented my servant leadership style and approached the situation with empathy, humility, selflessness and building the community. I organized training sessions, supported their learning one step at a time, lent my ear to their frustrations, and walked around the floor building a good rapport with everyone demonstrating to them the progress they have made. Through building a sense of community, I ensured deadlines and goals were met while fostering a motivated environment.

In my current role as a Strategic Initiatives Manager at a Financial Institution, I don my ‘numbers hat’ to analyze our portfolio’s financial landscape and identify investment opportunities. Previously, I served as a Project Manager for digital projects, where each day demanded a different role: one day making critical decisions for large-scale implementations, and the next, organizing team pizza parties and raffle
games.

Throughout these experiences, I discovered the power of positivity in challenging circumstances, forging empathetic connections in every scenario, and uncovering my own capacity for versatility.

What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?

Alongside achieving a chief officer position at the bank where I currently work, I envision establishing a startup focused on teaching financial literacy and empowerment to women. This organization will not only educate them about personal finance and investments but also help them identify and leverage their unique talents to generate income and achieve financial independence.

To prepare for this endeavor, I have pursued continuous education and skill development. I completed an MBA in Finance which deepened my understanding of personal finance and investment strategies. My current role in wealth management provides valuable insights into how people manage their finances and underscores the importance of financial literacy.

By combining my professional growth with a heartfelt commitment to women’s empowerment, I aim to establish a safe and nurturing organization where women can transform their lives and pursue their dreams with confidence. I am committed to further broadening my skills and expertise to create a supportive and empowering space for women who have experienced sexual abuse or domestic violence.

My goal is to provide them with hope, encouragement, and the tools they need to build brighter futures.

What would be your “dream job” in life?

My dream job is to travel the world and live in other people’s homes where I can educate women from those households to reflect within, to identify their inherent talents, know their rights and create their own wealth. We are all born with unique talents and need a little nudge from someone who sees it. Women are often found to shelve their dreams on the top shelf of their family closet to make space for other people’s dreams. This takes away their individuality which is ultimately connected to self-worth and confidence. I dream of being a catalyst for women globally to identify their talents and pursue it to make themselves self-sufficient and feel empowered so that they can take ownership of their lives with confidence. This job offers me a perfect balance of meaningful work, cultural immersion, and personal fulfillment. It aligns with my values of empowerment and community building while providing the opportunity to explore diverse cultures and lifestyles.

Additionally, the prospect of enjoying free accommodation and meals allows for a sustainable work-life balance, enabling me to pursue my passion with a content heart.

Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.

Growing up in Nepal was a vibrant, spiritual, athletic and enriching experience for me. Each morning, I would wake up to the sounds of pigeons cooing outside my window and the bells ringing from nearby temples. The day would start early with the lively chatter of a local tea shop owner tuning her radio at 6 AM, filling the air with different sounds. Life in Kathmandu was bustling even before dawn, with people starting their day as early as 5 AM.

Both my parents worked tirelessly, seven days a week, to provide for our family and build a home. My mother owned a beauty salon, where I spent much of my time outside of school. I cherished helping her serve clients and learning the ropes of her business.

We also had a small garden in our backyard adorned with a variety of fruit trees – guava, pomegranate, grapefruit – and many other vegetables planted by my mother. I have fond memories of spending weekends in our backyard with my sister, playing and enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables straight from the soil.

Despite having a busy schedule, little Sonalisa always made time for her dance classes, swimming lessons, and karate classes! Hah! Thanks to my mother’s dedication to ensuring I grew into a well-rounded individual. She made sure we knew everyday that we were born to conquer the world!

Looking back, I am grateful for the love, hard work, and sacrifices of my parents, especially my mother, who strived to provide us with opportunities she didn’t have growing up. My childhood in Nepal was filled with adventure, learning, and a deep connection with nature and family.

List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.

The most interesting job I have had is when I was featured in a menstrual sanitary pad awareness and promotion campaign for ‘Safety Sanitary Pads’, when I was just ten years old. In a country where talking about menstruation and menstrual hygiene is a taboo, for me, to openly be the face of menstruation and feminine hygiene was very courageous and bold in the eyes of the society at the time. However, for me, it was absolutely normal. As a matter of fact, I felt a sense of pride because even at such a young age I understood how important it is to dismiss the “taboo” attached to a natural process women are gifted with since birth and how important it is to openly talk about sanitation and hygiene rather than hiding them under a sheet of newspaper, which is usually the case when sanitary products are sold. The campaign organizers bought me a new pair of school clothes and paid me a handsome sum of money so I was super happy about that too!

This experience ignited a spark within me to do more. During my undergrad years, I juggled five different jobs. I worked as a homeschool tutor for kids from various schools, dabbled as a bridal makeup artist in my mother’s beauty salon, took on acting gigs in TV commercials, and even starred in the lead role of a popular Nepali TV sitcom called “Gharbeti Baa” that aired weekly on national television. Additionally, I had the opportunity to be a video jockey (VJ) for Nepal’s first technology review TV show, “Gadgetbyte Nepal”, broadcasted nationwide.

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunities I’ve had and wouldn’t be where I am today without the support of my partners, sponsors, and most importantly, my family, who encouraged me to pursue my dreams. Each experience has contributed to shaping who I am today and has fueled my passion for making a difference in the world.

List any volunteering you have done.

I have been volunteering since I was a child and will continue to do so as it gives me inner peace, contentment and a chance to create impact in the process! Some of the volunteering activities/organizations I have been a part of are:

Sathya Sai Kendra food drive
Nepal Earthquake Disaster Relief (Red Cross Society)
Blood drives/donations (Red Cross Society)
Awareness against sexual abuse (Flashmobs, research paper, donation events, etc.)
Smile Falls Fund Raiser (Rangoli making competition)
Climate Change awareness eco-carnival (Ramp walk)
Autism awareness (marathon)
Street Animals Care Fund Raiser (Facebook)
Peel Region Helping Hands (Meals for the community food tables)
Move4Kids fund raiser (Goodlife Fitness)
& more!
What is your most unusual talent?

One of my most unique talents is my passion for organizing and choreographing flashmobs. I love bringing together large groups of people with a positive intention, knowing that collective energy can create positive change. With this in mind, I’ve organized two flashmobs – one to raise awareness against sexual abuse and another to highlight the importance of cleaning jobs, which are often overlooked.

Flashmobs have shown me the transformative potential of collective action and the impact of spreading positivity through creative means. People are genuinely supportive of important causes and that creativity, like dance and flashmobs, can be powerful tools for advocacy. We don’t always need violence or traditional protests to unite people for a cause; sometimes, artistic expression and community engagement can be just as effective in spreading awareness and driving change.

Where is the most interesting place you have been to?

Traveling across Europe has been an incredible experience for me, and one place that truly stole my heart is Dubrovnik in Croatia. This city is a treasure trove of unique architecture, breathtaking views, and enchanting natural beauty. What made it even more special for me is that many scenes from the popular TV show Game of Thrones were filmed here, so being in those locations was like stepping into a fantasy world.

My absolute favorite memory from Dubrovnik is spending an entire afternoon at Banje beach. Picture this: swimming in the clear blue water with music playing softly from a nearby pub, and as the sun started to set, the hills around us lit up with twinkling lights. I watched the sunset and the moonrise while floating in the water – it was like time stood still and all that mattered was the beauty around me.

Floating in the water, I felt a profound sense of awe and connection to the universe. In that moment, nothing else mattered – it was just me and the vast expanse of nature around me. It made me realize how small I am in the grand scheme of things, yet how connected I felt to the universe within myself. Dubrovnik truly left a lasting impression on me, and I carry those magical moments with me wherever I go.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years?

In the next ten years, I see myself in a leadership role where I can really make a positive impact on people’s lives. I’ve always had this urge since I was a child to change the world somehow. My twenties were all about getting educated and figuring out how to get by. Now that I’ve gained a lot of experience and confidence, I feel a strong sense of responsibility to use my voice and experiences to help others who need it.

While I continue supporting women who have been through sexual assault, my goal for the next decade is to finish my PhD and maybe even make it onto Forbes’ ’40 Under 40′ list. I want to lead by example, advocating for change and inspiring others along the way. My aim is to keep growing, keep pushing forward, and leave a positive mark on the world through empowerment and action.

Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?

Participating in the Miss Universe Canada pageant holds profound personal significance for me because it provides a platform of advocacy and empowerment. As a survivor of sexual abuse, I carry with me the resilience and determination to be a voice for the voiceless. This journey is not just about showcasing my talents and beauty, but about leveraging this platform to shed light on the shadows that too often cloak the experiences of survivors. Through sharing my story and advocating for change, I aim to break the silence, shatter the stigma, and ignite a movement of healing and empowerment. Miss Universe Canada is not just a stage for me; it’s a battleground where I fight for justice, compassion, and hope.

With every step I take, I’m not only representing myself but standing in solidarity with every survivor, determined to turn pain into power and darkness into light.
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Sophia Sladic
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Height: 5’3
Hometown: Windsor, ON
Languages: English
Occupation: Student at the University of Windsor (Concurrent Education and Visual Arts)

Sophia Sladic is a 20 year-old student, currently enrolled in her third year of Concurrent Education and Visual Arts at the University of Windsor. At a young age she developed a genuine passion for the arts and over time, with the guidance of mentors, she also found her love for teaching. Sophia has dedicated the majority of her time to teaching art to underprivileged youth in the Windsor-Essex community. Her dedication to the arts community is evident through her extensive volunteer work, notably with the local museum, Art Windsor-Essex and her active role on the youth committee at Windsor Light Music Theatre. These experiences have allowed her to build valuable connections and broaden her understanding of the art world while fostering a passion for educating others.

Sophia is a passionate advocate for the arts, dedicated to enriching the lives of others through creative expression. Her efforts extend beyond her own artistic pursuits as she actively works to bring art into the lives of youth in her community. She believes that being a part of a creative community can better the mental well being of young individuals, provide support to aspiring creators, and motivate people to pursue their passions. After graduating university, Sophia aspires to travel abroad and teach children in developing countries. Using art as an international language, she wants to gain a greater appreciation of culture and create a positive impact in the lives of her students. Sophia believes that all children deserve to experience a proper education.

As Sophia embarks on her national pageant journey to Miss Universe Canada, she reflects on her achievements and milestones that have brought her to this point in her career. She uses her independence, resilience, and empathy as a guide to empower young women like herself to fulfill their goals. Sophia’s kindness and determination makes it easy for her to build relationships and take on new challenges. She is grateful to finally have an opportunity to be on the national stage and prove to herself that with strength, perseverance, and faith, anything is possible.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?

Some of my many interests include singing, dancing, and creating art in my spare time. My passion for the arts resonates with my ambition to teach others. I spend most of my time volunteering in schools by coaching dance, teaching art lessons to youth in the community, and applying my visual art skills in set design and scene painting. When I am not in school, I enjoy performing in musicals through my community theatre group to stay involved with my creative side. Aside from the arts, I also enjoy playing golf with friends, running and doing yoga to encourage an active mindset where I can feel confident in myself.

List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)

As a future educator, I have decided to specialize in visual art where I can teach senior and intermediate level courses to high school students. I am also working toward earning my specialist in dramatic arts where I can use my talents and knowledge to encourage students to pursue their dreams. I had the opportunity to work at our city art gallery, Art Windsor-Essex where I interned and assisted in gallery tours. I was able to share my knowledge about works that are currently displayed and continue to volunteer on a monthly basis.

In what sports, if any, have you participated?

In high school I ran track and field for about 4 years, until getting injured and having to take a step back from athletics. After track, I began to play golf in my spare time and use that as a way to get out and stay active. As a former competitive track athlete I find it important to stay active in whatever way possible. Regardless if I am participating in a competitive sport or simply doing a sport for fun, there is a sense of belonging and enjoyment that is fulfilled when being apart of an active environment.

Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?

An influential person is someone who is inspirational and transformative. They are a person with strength, perseverance, and all around have positive qualities. If I could choose my parents, I definitely would. They are the people who push and influence me to be the best version of myself and I appreciate everything they do to support my many accomplishments. My parents have shown me the importance of surrounding myself with people who embody compassion and kindness. When looking beyond my immediate family, I see an army of individuals who make up the greatest support system. This includes my teachers, professors, students, community leaders, sponsors, friends, extended family and more. So, to choose just one person would not be an accurate representation of the most influential person in my life. I believe that with the incredible role models I have surrounding me, there will always be someone there to guide me through my journey.

What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?

Being new to the pageant world has proven to be an enriching and uplifting experience. Growing up, I have achieved many milestones that have allowed me to evolve into the woman I am today. Some of my accomplishments include my acceptance into university, receiving the Dean’s Level Scholarship in school, successfully taking my first bow in a musical, fulfilling my dream of becoming a teacher, and winning my first ever pageant title. As I look back and acknowledge all of my accomplishments that have shaped my journey, I find it difficult to choose just one. Each success holds a unique and significant contribution that defines who I am. It is through these many achievements that I recognize the woman I have become. By reflecting on my accomplishments I gain a sense of maturity and gratitude that inspires me to keep striving for excellence and growth in all aspects of life.

What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?

As a young girl I always enjoyed trying new things; I always had an open mind and was very ambitious in striving to achieve my goals. Truthfully, I am still that girl. I live my life to the fullest and almost never hold back, especially when new opportunities come my way. Competing in pageants is something I had always dreamed of pursuing, but I never believed was possible. I think my life changed for the better when I was announced Miss Tecumseh 2023. I would have never expected to win a pageant on my first attempt, let alone make it to the Miss Universe Canada stage at age twenty. My story holds a lot of meaning and sentimental value that allows me to look at my life through a new lens. My experience is unique and very unexpected compared to most competitors. My ultimate aspiration is to model to young women and prove that everyone has the capability to reach their goals.

What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?

In the process of becoming a teacher one of my goals is to teach abroad, specifically in developing countries. As a future educator, I feel it is important to be a support system for all students, especially those who may be less fortunate than others. Teaching abroad will allow me to gain perspective on how school systems work in other countries, while also learning how to belong in a cultural community. Through this experience I will be capable of providing students with the higher education that they deserve. Through my artistic ambition, I want to advocate for underprivileged youth and develop programs where children can create in a safe and inclusive space. My future goal is to design an environment where children can feel supported with food, activities, games, crafts and more. Socialization is a key aspect in the growth and development of young individuals. It is imperative that I create a loving atmosphere where children want to gather and feel as though they belong.

What would be your “dream job” in life?

Teaching has always been a dream job of mine, being able to help guide my students to pursue their dreams. However, as a passionate, artistic individual I take pride in my ability to perform on stage in musical productions. Regardless of the role, big or small, it has always been a dream of mine to perform in a Broadway musical. Although this dream is far-fetched, I always tell myself that nothing is impossible. The only way to make dreams come true is to never give up and to keep on pursuing the things that bring us joy. I want to educate others that with motivation, determination and confidence, anything is possible. I truly believe that one of the most fulfilling aspects of teaching is witnessing my students bring my dream to life.

Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.

I was raised in a suburban town in Windsor, Ontario where I grew up by the water. Living by the water has always been my favourite part of growing up in Windsor. Being able to go on walks and rollerblade on the trails brings me back to the breezy summer days. As an only child, I was usually given everything from my parents and I am grateful to have the most loving and motivational support system. It has always been the three of us and through the years I have gained a sense of understanding about the importance of the true meaning of family. My family is definitely small, but we are mighty. We always look out for one another and support each other every day. Looking back at my childhood, I remember feeling out of place in school because it was difficult for me to relate to peers who had large families. As I have matured, I’ve come to truly appreciate my quaint family and the amazing adventures we have shared. I cherish every moment from the simplicity of everyday life to creating the best memories together.

List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.

The most unusual job I had would be my online tutoring position. Many people would never think that tutoring is considered ‘unusual’, however, given the circumstances of being in a pandemic, this became an unusual source of teaching and learning for a lot of individuals including myself. My first ever job as an online tutor was one that I will never forget. COVID forced many people to turn to digital platforms to continue educating, working, and interacting. Life felt very unusual and this pandemic allowed myself and many others to adapt to the platforms and ‘new normal’ of everyday life. As difficult as it was teaching through a screen, I made it work. I was proud to have gained the ability to surpass the barriers that created a roadblock on my path of teaching. This ‘unusual’ job not only enlightened me, but has given me a growth mindset, enabling me to incorporate technology into a classroom of my own.

List any volunteering you have done.

Art Windsor Essex (AWE) Volunteer- (instructor, tour guide, and assistant at events)
Windsor Light Music Theatre – youth productions (hair, makeup, costume, props, set design) and major productions (props and set building).
Sisters of the Holy Names (teaching art lessons)
St. John Vianney Catholic Elementary School – Dance team coach, help with talent shows, plays, scribing, ELL assistance
St. Joseph’s Catholic High School and WestView Freedom Academy – Assistant with visual arts programs through the University of Windsor and Faculty of Education
Community Holiday Events (Tecumseh Recreation Centre)
Spirit of Christmas Toy Drive (Optimist Club, Tecumseh Fire, Windsor Police)
Trunk or Treat (Optimist Club) – activities, games, and handing out treats
Fire Prevention Week (Tecumseh Fire)
Corn Fest (Optimist Club) – ticket sales
Brain Tumor Foundation 5K run
Windsor Aquatic Centre – swim timing
WFCU Centre – hockey timing
What is your most unusual talent?

I definitely have many talents, but my most unusual talent has to be that I memorized the entire Periodic Table of Elements song. I remember learning the periodic table song back when I was in high school, and four years later I can still recite it by heart. This is definitely an ironic talent of mine since I have no current science knowledge and the last science class I took was in Grade 10.

Where is the most interesting place you have been to?

My family enjoys traveling and I have been grateful to have witnessed many amazing and unique places along the way. We often go on cruises which makes the most of sight seeing and being able to explore different countries in a week long timeframe. I think the most interesting place I visited would be Roatan, Honduras, not for the excuse of being on vacation, but for the educational experience I have gained. Traveling through the island to get to our destination was one of the most influential experiences of my life. The villages on the island were dirty, homes were torn apart, and people were living without shelter. However, the most compelling image for me was seeing children wave to us as we drove by. Children were walking to school, some playing with street dogs, and others carrying materials to fix their homes. This experience is what sparked my interest to teach in developing countries. I truly want to leave a lasting impression and share teaching strategies globally where students are receiving proper education. I plan to join the University of Windsor on a humanitarian trip in my graduating year where I will be given the opportunity to work with students, explore diverse cultures, and grow in my teaching practice.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years?

In ten years, I envision myself as a full time educator while also continuing my personal education in earning my Masters Degree in Education. I wish to dedicate my practice to fostering a safe and motivational environment where students thrive. During the summer months I wish to spend time traveling around the world, allowing myself to become immersed in different cultures. My ultimate goal with traveling is to gain valuable and educational experiences that I can bring back into my classroom. Furthermore, I see myself as a mentor to young women; empowering and encouraging them to pursue their dreams. Whether it’s leading workshops or working one on one with girls, I am committed to making a positive impact in the lives of others. Using my platform in education, I want to continue to support women, like myself who aspire to achieve their goals. Ultimately, I aim to inspire others to embrace their passions, express their creativity, and know their true worth.
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