Age: 25 | Height: 5’7″
Hometown: Orleans, ON
Motivated and determined would be the best describing words for Laura Lachance. She is constantly working on the next project to pursue her goals. She has devoted much of her time to not for profit causes and is currently working on her own organizations to provide the best social welfare system in Ottawa. With a degree in Criminology Laura’s focus is on preventative and rehabilitative measures. She hopes to one day pursue a career in policing.
In her spare time Laura loves to spend time with her family, watch movies and read. She loves to stay active by going to the gym or for long walks when the weather is nice. She loves to watch thunderstorms and the first snowfalls with a cup of hot chocolate snuggling with the dogs.
A big part of Laura’s life is volunteering with organizations that offer addiction and lifestyle counseling. She has been fortunate to have been able to work with organizations that have helped the homeless, refugees and parolees. She worked alongside the parole office for a student placement and at a halfway house that helped men better prepare for life after jail.
If chosen to be Miss Universe Canada, Laura will dedicate her time to bringing awareness to many of the preventative measures such as life skill courses, addiction counseling and information sessions on the help currently available. She would also love to bring more awareness to the amazing organization Operation Smile.
Her motto for life “We are here for each other”, no one does anything alone.
Sponsored by: Cora’s Orleans, Greek On Wheels, The Garlic King, Family and Friends.
Languages spoken fluently (please include your native language if English is not your native language).
English & French
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?
Spending time with family is what I enjoy the most. I also love reading, going to the gym, watching movies and starting new projects. I love school and if I could I would probably be a student for life!
List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)
When I was younger I dabbled in a little bit of everything, piano, dance lessons, and I am always trying new baking recipes.
In what sports, if any, have you participated?
I played competitive soccer most of my life but eventually had to focus on school, work and volunteering.
Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?
There was a counselor at an Inuit Healing Centre whom I met while getting more information for a project who showed me what it was to truly be passionate about helping others and loving your job. Being a counselor is emotionally and physically draining and it does not pay very well but he had turned down much larger addiction centres to work at this one. If I ever start to worry about finance and lose track of helping others I think about his selfless act and sheer determination to make a change and it sets me back on track.
What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?
Getting my degree in Criminology is my proudest accomplishment; not because of the piece of paper that now hangs on my wall but due to the manner I achieved it. I worked two jobs throughout to pay for my schooling while volunteering and creating fundraisers and small businesses on the side. My family would always try to tell me that I can not do it all, but this was my proof that with hard work and determination, yes, I can.
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 grew up in a small town and had a fairly conservative upbringing; moving closer to the city and starting a university education was a shock. In the beginning I struggled to balance the values and beliefs I had grown up with and all the new ideas I was introduced to in molding who I was as a person. While it may seem small and uninteresting it was a major point of change in my life in opening up my mind.
What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?
I am currently pursuing a higher education in Criminological studies, I hope to be able to combine both my career in this field with charitable work as well. I have applied for my Masters and written my LSAT to potentially apply to law schools. I have also applied for a volunteering position with the Distress Centre. I am also working on a few small businesses to satisfy my more creative ambitions.
What would be your “dream job” in life?
My dream job is a police officer, I hope to finish my Masters and then apply for the Ottawa Police Force while continuing my work in volunteer organizations.
Are you currently a student?
I have graduated with a Honours degree in Social Sciences with a Specialization in Criminology from the University of Ottawa.
Are you currently employed?
If yes, what is your occupation?
I am currently waitressing at two restaurants while I finish my education. I love working as a waitress, I have been lucky to find a place of work that I consider as a second family, both co-workers and regular clientele.
Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.
I grew up in small town in the country, it was amazing. We lived beside my grandparents and had acres to run and play. We had horses growing up so we could go riding and learned to respect animals at a very young age. I have two sisters and we would often build forts in the forest behind our house, catch frogs and watch the lightening storms from our living room.
List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.
My first job was at a dog kennel, I would feed the dogs and clean the cages. It grew my love for animals even more and it was amazing to get to see new born puppies. More recently I was given a wonderful opportunity working at a halfway house as a program coordinator teaching life skills to those coming out of jail transitioning back into regular life.
List any volunteering you have done.
I have been volunteering since high school, I believe it teaches so many important life lessons and provides experience for future work. I started volunteering at an after care program for children then went on to volunteer at a homeless shelter for women. My longest volunteering was with an organization that helped settle refugee families by providing the furniture for their houses. I have spent some time in an Inuit healing centre and am now in the process to begin volunteering with the Distress Centre. I also have been working on my not for profit organization that will create a network for all of these amazing organizations and I hope to start a life skills course for high schools.
What is your most unusual talent?
I seem to be able to create ease for people, I am usually the confidante for many who ask for advice or just need someone to listen. Even in the drive-thru getting my coffee in the morning I end up having chats with the workers.
Where is the most interesting place you have been to?
I have been fortunate to be able to travel to the Middle East, spending two weeks in Lebanon and one week in Dubai. Being able to immerse yourself in a culture different from North America is an amazing experience. It also allows for a better understanding than one may get from interactions in Canada.
What do you hope to be doing in ten years?
In ten years I hope have a beautiful family of my own and having Sunday brunches with all the extended family. I hope to be a police officer by day and running a few small businesses and not for profit organizations by night. Happiness is a state of mind and so most of all I hope that I still have such a positive outlook on life as I do now.
Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?
There were some concerns about my busy schedule and competing in Miss Universe Canada but I thrive when I am doing as much as possible. Progress fuels my motivation and I can not wait to see what comes next in this amazing process, thank you again for the opportunity.