Luisa Steen

 Luisa-Steen
Age:
26 | Height: 5’10″
Hometown: Calgary, AB

My name is Luisa Modesty Steen and I am half Mexican and half Dutch. I was the first of my immediate family born in Canada. My mother was born and raised in Bedum, Holland and my father was born in Veracruz, Mexico and came to Canada when he was four years old.

My father chose the name Modesty after a book series he used to read, called Modesty Blaise. It is about a girl who is comparable to the female James Bond and he thought how amazing would that be to have a little girl like that. Fearless, strong, determined and yet humble.

I have a few of her books and a movie and I love that my middle name has so much meaning for us.

I work at the Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH) as administrative support for three emergency physicians and their programs KidSIM/ASPIRE.

I love children and ACH was my goal place of work after I received my Medical Office Administrators’ diploma and it has turned out wonderfully! I also work for the ACH KidSIM Pediatric Simulation Program and ASPIRE (Assessing Simulation in Pediatrics: Improving Resuscitation Education) for two of my three physicians.

I also attend the University of Calgary obtaining my Certificate for Graphic Design.

I have modeled since I was 13 years old and it has taken me to Montreal, Singapore and Thailand. I love modeling and the confidence it allowed me to achieve and the ability to be ok with standing out and being proud of it. On the other end of the spectrum I was involved with Sea Cadets from 11 until 15 years old. Being a cadet was a very interesting experience and I am glad for the diversity it gave me.

They teach you survival skills, discipline and respect, as well to work as a team and put faith in that team. I loved the chance to be really girly with modeling and then to get to explore my adventurous side that loves the outdoors, getting a little dirty and learning new skills.

I love sports, especially basketball, hockey and football. I am currently gaining a new appreciation for golf as well. I’m sorry to say that I really didn’t think that would happen but I have a very open mind so I’m willing to give most things a shot. You never know what you could be missing unless you give it a chance!

I am an extremely positive and logical person and I try to use those in conjunction when approaching situations. I believe everything happens for a reason and that you need to make the most of every moment whether uplifting or opposing. You can never judge a book by its cover and I try to live by that to the fullest. Adversities throughout school really taught me to be strong and stand up for myself and I will stand up for anything that I believe is wrong or an injustice.

I find myself always rooting for the underdog because I never want there to be a loser or hurt feelings. I was taught to over plan, prepare for everything and then just go with the flow and I love that way of thinking.

Sponsored by: FIROZ Clothing, RG, Diana Reineking, TJL Inspections,  Dr. Angelo Mikrogianakis, Dr. Roger and Elaine Galbraith, Family and Friends.

Languages spoken fluently (please include your native language if English is not your native language). 

English

What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?

I love anything outdoors, love being active and exploring new activities. I have a huge love for cars, my father and I often go to car shows. I love food, dancing and anything creative. I love music; I honestly could not imagine my life without it. I love to bake, travelling, animals and being with my loved ones!

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

Certified Nail Technician

In what sports, if any, have you participated?

Basketball

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

I would have to say my Grandfather, he was an extremely special person and I loved him dearly. He taught me to have fun, to be silly and to enjoy the little things in life. His stories showed me bravery, courage and adventure. He didn’t let anything hold him back; he gave his life to God in full force and constantly showed his strength and determination. He was an amazing man and he showed me that no matter what, never give up on the convictions you hold in your heart.

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

One of my proudest accomplishments is finishing my Medical Office Administrator’s diploma. I had the opportunity to go to the University of Calgary which takes two years to complete or CDI Technical College where they specialize in fast track courses and it would take nine months. So I chose CDI, as I wanted to finish as fast as possible. I went to school full-time, worked full time and had an extra job on the weekend and it was one of most stressful periods in my life but I did it! It taught me that as long as I stay driven and focused I can overcome any obstacle.

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 think an interesting or unique event that has happened to me occurred when I was 4 ½ years old. I suffered from Kawasaki disease. My parents thought what? A motorcycle disease?? Kawasaki disease was first described by Dr. Tomisaku Kawasaki in 1967 hence the name. It is an autoimmune disease in which the medium-sized blood vessels throughout the body become inflamed. It can affect all areas of the body and organs and most specifically there is the chance for heart attack or brain aneurism. Still to this day it can only be determined by 5 key symptoms and cannot be vaccinated or diagnosed through blood tests but once diagnosed it is 100% treatable and curable. We were fortunate to have a visiting physician from Toronto at the time, Dr. Jadavji who specializes in this disorder. Once diagnosed, blood transplants are required and it is very soon after that the child can be declared well. I am very fortunate as a there was a little boy who lost his life from the disease due to a heart attack just around the same time as I was in the hospital. This has affected my immune system throughout the years as the disease attacks it before your system has time develop but it has taught me to respect and treat my body well and take care of myself. I think a really great piece to this story is that Dr. Jadavji works now at the Alberta’s Children’s Hospital (where I work) so I actually get to see him quite frequently.

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

My career ambitions are to bring enlightenment, awareness and education about and to the groups I hold dear. For example, Panthera, National Geographic Society’s Big Cats Initiative and Sea Shepherds Conservation Society are organizations that I feel very strongly for. Specifically to bring knowledge of what the depletion of a species can to the environment and what we are leaving behind for our children. I also want to bring attention to the KidSIM Pediatric Simulation Program and ASPIRE (Assessing Simulation in Pediatrics: Improving Resuscitation Education) program at ACH. The KidSIM program works to provide learners surrogate clinical experience with pediatric patients in as close to a ‘real-life’ situation as possible through the use of high-fidelity mannequins as well as teaching space that mimics the clinical setting as closely as possible. These programs and groups all require funding to continue their work and teaching and my hope is bring more attention and financial backing.

How can we save what we do not know about?

What would be your “dream job” in life?

My dream job would entail motivational speaking, working with children, specifically within Simulation in Healthcare and Pediatrics and the programs KidSIM/ASPIRE that I have mentioned earlier.  I want to make a positive impact on the world by projection of my character, determination and the belief that if you want it and you have a vision; then go for it. Every goal starts with a dream, it doesn’t matter how big, take each step one by one and you can achieve anything. Part of my “dream job” would also include having my own television show where I can really showcase and bring attention to the issues and causes close to my heart. This gives me the platform to reach out to an enormous audience.

Are you currently a student?

Yes

If yes, where?  

University of Calgary

Area of study:

Graphic Design Certificate

Are you currently employed?

Yes

If yes, what is your occupation?

Administrative support for three Emergency Physicians at The Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH)

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

I was raised in Calgary, Alberta in one house our whole childhood. I think we were very blessed to have been able to live in just one house and keep all those memories there. My father built us a tree house in the backyard, sand box and a beautiful fire pit. My mother cared for the garden and flowers, always succeeding in a gorgeous summer setting. My younger brother and I had many a good time in that backyard! Those are some of my favorite memories, playing outside, my parents having family or church BBQ’s and just enjoying the sunshine. My mother was the business administrator for the school we attended and it was from ecs to grade 12 so whole families were able to start and graduate there. I did not have many friends in school. I was picked on at a very early age and it just seemed to continue from there. I think it sounds sad to say I became very used to spending recess alone and time alone, but I also believe it allowed me to get to know myself. Explore my imagination and pray for the chance I would get to be the person I knew inside, on the outside. I believe going through those experiences as a child really shapes you as person; it can either make you bitter and self-loathing or you choose to make sure you never are the one to make another person feel that way. You then choose to go into situations with an open mind and heart and without judgment. And you choose that you are worth that treatment also, I think that’s one of the hardest pieces to overcome, are the insecurities. But as long as you are true to yourself and you have good intentions in your heart the right people you are suppose to be around will find you. I am blessed now with amazing girl and guy friends that I could never have imagined I would be so lucky to have in my life. I think my willingness to believe in myself strives deeply from my parents; they are so supportive and so loving. My father has so much wisdom and has taught me so much about dealing with life and facing situations with a positive attitude and being prepared. He taught me to never stop learning and never stop wanting to learn. My mother has a heart of gold and the biggest I have ever seen, she would help anyone in the world if they asked her. She has taught me to have an endless love and understanding for people. She is the least judgmental person I know and I really carried on that character trait from her. One of things she always said was never say you’re bored; you can never be bored, there are so many things you could be doing. And from a young age that saying really made me utilize my creativity and imagination. Both my parents are very creative and always thinking outside the box, we could have fun anywhere. They are the ones that truly made my childhood special.

List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.

An unusual and interesting job that I have had and continue to have is modeling. I have modeled since I was 13 years old and have had the chance to live in Montreal, Singapore and Thailand. I have walked in a number of runway shows for local designers and fashion weeks to Cholé and Bebe in Singapore. I received the chance to work print ads and photo shoots, been on the side of escalators and billboards in The Core TD Centre and around Calgary and I am very blessed to have experienced everything I’ve gone through. I think what people don’t always understand is that although what I just wrote could sound glamorous it most definitely not always is. It is difficult being in another county by yourself and finding your way around and not always feeling safe. Not having the luxury of seeing your family and friends and feeling the warmth of an embrace from your parents. There is a much more lonely side to modeling that people don’t always think of.  You need to be very strong and know yourself and you need to be able to stand up for yourself. Saying no to an uncomfortable shoot and staying healthy, body and mind, when the industry is telling you, you’re fat. I think it’s important to be gracious and thankful of your experiences but also to be realistic and understand there are two sides to every situation and you need to be prepared for that. I am fortunate to have had those ideals instilled in me at a young age and to always think further than the next step.

List any volunteering you have done.

I have volunteered in multiple runway events that help support AIDS Canada, Cancer Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation and community rebuilding. I have also taught runway classes to younger girls just starting out with modeling. I am currently volunteering with the Ronald McDonald House, with the next event happening in May; The Cassie Campbell Street Hockey Festival. I have also donated to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and TD Canada friends of the Environment Fund monthly for the last 6 years.

What is your most unusual talent?

I don’t know about unusual but I have an adept ability to understand people and relate to them. I take pride in that ability and to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Ever since I was a little girl I have always had a very high sensitivity to people’s emotions and to what really was in their heart. It’s hard to explain, it’s just something I have always felt and understood. I go with my intuition and if I see the opportunity to uplift someone or lend a listening ear I try my best.

Where is the most interesting place you have been to? 

I think the most interesting place I have been to so far would be Bangkok, Thailand. It is such a diverse city with amazing people. I have never lived or visited a city with such genuinely happy people. It literally radiates from their hearts. I found that absolutely refreshing. There are so many amazing sites to see with all of the beautiful architected temples, the colorful markets and food carts and you might get lucky enough to see a baby elephant walking along the sidewalk. Because I was there to work I was not able to travel much outside of Bangkok but I did get to visit the Tiger Temple. The temple is own and run by monks and based solely on donations to run. Tigers are my absolute favorite animal and it was such a phenomenal experience seeing such raw power and beauty and the chance to actually touch such a magnificent creature. I think a lot of people fall in love with Thailand and that fact that so many people find the country so special really affirms the beauty of Thai people and their ability to let their love shine through their smiles and way of life.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years? 

I see myself creating and hosting fundraiser events in support of the organizations I mentioned earlier, as well as Miss Universe Canada’s sponsored charities, SOS Children Villages and Operation Smile. I plan to be an integral part of the KidSIM/ASPIRE Team, developing videos, managing courses and creating funding opportunities. I also hope to be an accomplished motivational speaker and on my way to creating my own television show.

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

I am very easy going, down to earth and always up for an adventure. I like to challenge myself and even though fear or nerves can take over, I believe when you really want something, you need to go for it no matter how long it takes. You can never go backwards, mistakes and failures are only lessons and learning curves, they do not define who are you but they can define how you choose to be and continue. So choose to move forward with an open heart and mind and you will find your way.

 

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