Age: 21 | Height: 5’9″
Hometown: Mississauga, ON
Born and raised in Mississauga, Diana is a highly motivated, kind-hearted, and passionate young woman. She enjoys simple pleasures in life and sees the beauty in most ordinary things.
As the former Miss Albania in Canada, Diana knows that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible. As a titleholder she had the opportunity to visit Albania, where her parents are from and be a positive role model for youth and encourage them to pursue their aspirations.
Diana attends the University of Toronto, working towards a double major in English and French language studies, aspiring to become a teacher.
She believes the two biggest influences on shaping our future are families, at home and teachers, at school. The beauty of being a teacher is that you can never tell where your influence stops.
Diana has been an active committee member during Orientation Week at her university campus for the last few years. In her spare time, she volunteers at local elementary schools, helping students with learning disabilities.
She also enjoys Latin-American ballroom dancing, reading, and most of all spending quality time with family and friends.
Diana has learned early on that the most important skill to develop is knowing what you want, finding a role model and visualizing being that great person. To reach your full potential, you dream about it, you think about it, you work on it and you strive for it. Once you know what you want, it just takes hard work, perseverance and a bit of luck.
Sponsored by: University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union, Jack Astor’s Square One, Spotlite Hair Studio, NightClubGuide.ca, Aleks Moving Inc., Albanian-Canadian Events Inc., L-Multi Drafting/Design, Lazio Italian Bakery & Deli Ltd., Joe Selmani at Sutton Group – Signature Realty Inc. Hypnotic Sun Tanning, GG Squad, Exquisite Concrete Coatings, Tim Hortons 813029 Ontario Inc., Urban Dental Centre, Stephanie Teuta Haxhillari at RE/MAX 2000 Realty Inc., DEA Marble Ltd. Family and Friends.
Languages spoken fluently (please include your native language if English is not your native language).
English, French, Conversational Italian and Albanian
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?
Reading, traveling and fashion
List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)
* Violin and piano lessons at The National Academy of Music
* Competitive Latin-American Ballroom Dancing at John Paul II Polish Cultural Centre
* Hip-Hop at Debra-Lynne School of Dance & Theatre of Dance Arts
In what sports, if any, have you participated?
Swimming, biking, skating, jogging/running, soccer, basketball
Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?
Mother Teresa had enormous love for children. She tried to be a mother to every orphan in the world. “Wherever life was in danger, there you found Mother Teresa”. I am proud, blessed and influenced by what Mother Teresa had done around the world about poverty and also because it glorifies the Albanian heritage and culture. Being a household name to me, I learned from her to do good, to give the world the best, to forgive, to be kind, to be happy, not to look for big things but to do small things with great love. She is a constant reminder to me of why were are here - “to let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.”
What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?
My proudest personal accomplishment is being accepted at The University of Toronto – which is a step in the right direction, towards the career I love – teaching.
What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?
When I went to Albania this past summer, people whom I’ve never met actually recognized me on the streets as Miss Albania in Canada. Social media is powerful.
What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?
I want to be a high school teacher. My short-term goal is to graduate next year followed by getting some teaching experience possibly overseas. My long term plan is to secure a teaching job in Canada where I would use the experience I’ve gained and become the best in-class teacher I can be.
What would be your “dream job” in life?
My “dream job” would be one that would allow me to be the spokesperson for the people and to the people that can speak but have no voice: the poor, the lonely, the hungry, the homeless and the sick. What an amazing job it would be to be a messenger of hope and deliver messages such as “you are not alone”, “help is on its way”, “this shall pass”!
Are you currently a student?
Yes I am
If yes, where?
University of Toronto
Area of study:
Language Studies – English and French
Are you currently employed?
If yes, what is your occupation?
Server at Jack Astor’s Bar & Grill
Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.
I was born and raised in a loving home in Mississauga with my younger brother, my mom and my dad. I grew up surrounded by a large extended family and friends. Growing up in a multicultural neighbourhood, I was exposed to different cultures and backgrounds from an early age that expanded my horizons. My parents worked very hard to provide my brother and I with the absolute best opportunities to learn and grow. They took me to swimming, skating, dance and music lessons and on countless trips to Orlando, Florida to visit my grandmother and of course, Disney World. I am blessed to have had amazing close cousins Steven, Laura, Christina and Nikolaus that made my childhood that much more amazing by sharing some of these trips and experiences with me, that many children, just dream about.
List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.
I had the pleasure to work with Tonin Ndoja, founder of Albanian-Canadian Events as an MC assistant to the famous Albanian actor, Mirush Kabashi at one of the events where I had the opportunity to meet some interesting people/artists/singers, the mayor of Oakville, Bob Burton, CP24 Traffic and Transit Specialist Mika Midolo and the Ambassador of Albania to Canada, Elida Petoshati.
List any volunteering you have done.
* Committee Member & Orientation Leader at The University of Toronto Mississauga Orientation Week
* Worked with intellectually challenged kids as a teacher’s assistant at the Woodlands Secondary School and Credit Valley Public School
* Crime Prevention & Safety – Youth Crossroads Academy Program at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School
* Collection and organization of toys for Toys for Tots (holiday campaign in the Region of Peel)
* Model for Breast Cancer Awareness Event in Liberty Village, Toronto
* Refreshment Station at The Mississauga Marathon for Cancer
* Raffle contest at Streetsville Tree-Lighting Festival
What is your most unusual talent?
Picking up foreign language phrases with ease & I can do a perfect impersonation of my mom
Where is the most interesting place you have been to?
The most interesting place I’ve visited is a place that looking back now is the luckiest and safest (yet a very dangerous place at the time), the place where my journey began six years before I was born. It spans along the beautiful river Bojana, the natural boarder between Albania and former Yugoslavia, that kept the secret so well. On a cold and stormy night in November of 1985, my dad took a leap of faith and escaped the hard-labor camp during the time of communism in Albania, swam across the river, taking refuge in the “free world”, risking his life for my better today. This place has always held special significance to me but seeing it for the first time last summer, really opened my eyes to the sacrifices my dad made to come to Canada. Seeing the place I’ve heard about so many times has had a profound impact on me, giving me a greater sense of appreciation for how fortunate I truly am to live in this free and beautiful country, Canada.
What do you hope to be doing in ten years?
In ten years, I hope to be an established, successful and well-respected teacher, have a family of my own and be a role model to all my kids – at home and school.
Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?
I would like to thank all the organizers of Miss Universe Canada that have worked hard to give us the opportunity to compete in this event, my sponsors for their support and to all my loving fans that took the time to vote for me over and over again … HEARTFELT THANK YOU!!!