Hometown: South Windsor, ON
Katrina’s friends and family describe her as someone who takes on volunteer and leadership roles, whenever the opportunity may be. She is constantly signing up and advocating for things that are of interest to her, and what she believes in. She sees every opportunity as an experience to learn, grow, and meet new people and is very excited to be involved in such a life-changing experience being a Miss Universe Canada contestant.
Katrina Kryza was born and raised in South Windsor, Ontario by her parents and older sister who came here from Poland for a better life. She is attending her last year of Political Science and plans on graduating earlier due to taking summer courses to advance in her degree. Katrina has spent the past three years at the University of Windsor by volunteering for various causes to make a difference, and finding out about herself through travelling and taking risks.
Katrina has travelled to places like Belgium, France, Poland, Czech, The Netherlands, Germany, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua and plans to continue her journey around the world. One of Katrina’s favorite experiences while travelling would be flying to Nicaragua to build a school in a rural area so that children wouldn’t have to travel into the city to seek education. She says that living in the same environment instead of a nearby hotel gave her a different perspective on her day-to-day life compared to many less fortunate people. Katrina cannot wait to embark on her next trip to see what she will learn, and see what beauty the world has to offer. Although she sees travelling in her near future, she is also studying for her LSAT to pursue law within the next two years. Katrina is an advocate for women’s rights, especially when discussing sexual assault and violence and would like to work in a field that will allow her to change the future of such a crime. She currently volunteers for Windsor’s “Victim Witness Assistance Program” which enables people, particularly women to stand up for themselves and seek justice for being assaulted. She has volunteered for this organization for two years now, and plans on advocating for more organizations like this that can assist people in standing up for themselves.
Katrina’s philosophy on life is to “try anything” because if you don’t you will never know the experience and what you may gain from it, she believes it is vital to take risks in life. Katrina, just turning 21 years old in April, feels that she has had the opportunity to experience many different things in life, but has much more to look forward to in the future.
Monarch Basics, Transit Logistics Solutions, Windsor Vision Centre, Lester Construction, Fringe Hair Salon, Bella Bridal
Languages spoken fluently (please include your native language if English is not your native language).
Polish, English and currently learning French.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?
My interests involve volunteering my time to others, and charities because I enjoy learning new things and being able to help others at the same time. I also enjoy taking pictures, especially when I travel to capture nature’s beauty. I love writing, it helps me express myself, and then later reflect on it and see where I was at a certain point in my life. Since I have a busy schedule, “me time” involves the practice of yoga, ending with a comedic movie to wind down, and tea.
List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)
I used to play the saxophone, and performed in dramatic arts when I was younger. I painted for school events, as well as the schools Mural that is still hanging near the front entrance, as you enter the school.
In what sports, if any, have you participated?
Cross country, badminton, and track and field.
Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?
My sister has been one of the most influential people in my life, she always shows me a different way of looking at a situation, and teaches me to keep an open mind. Being an immigrant from Europe, she had to learn the English language fast, and took care of me while my parents worked to provide us with a better life. I see her as someone who struggled, but stayed optimistic and taught me to be that way, and for that I am thankful.
What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?
I think that travelling alone would definitely be one of my proudest personal accomplishments. I travelled to Belgium and France last summer alone on an airplane, to meet with a group of students who were strangers to me. Not knowing my way around, or the language I was terrified but excited, because I focused on every little landmark in order to find my way back to the hotel. I became very curious about learning about the culture, and what a typical day was like in that particular city, as well as what their cultural dish was. This was the first time I had ever eaten alone in a restaurant, and although it seems rather easy to do, it was difficult to not be able to talk to someone about anything. Although, it wasn’t long before strangers began asking me where I was from, and telling me what places I should explore, making me feel quite welcomed.
After spending five weeks in two countries I’ve never been to, I made many new friends, and saw so many beautiful places. Sometimes travelling alone can be seen as intimidating, but it gave me time to learn about myself and try something I’ve never done. To this day, I am still very close with the group of students I met, having spent five weeks with them created a family like bond that has formed great friendships and memories.
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 to know about me is that I am terrified of water, especially open water. Being someone who knows how to swim it may seem a little odd, but the sound of waves crashing actually intimidates me. I have no issue drinking water, but being in it makes me feel like I am not in control and I think that is why it scares me.
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 lawyer, and I plan on attending law school to achieve this. I am unsure of what type of law I want to practice, but I know that it will involve focusing on immigration, and women’s rights.
What would be your “dream job” in life?
My dream job would be to be a ‘professional volunteer’ because then I could try all kinds of different jobs, and meet all sorts of people. This would allow me to learn about different issues, and help others while doing so. I could travel to different countries, and help organizations that needed volunteers.
Are you currently a student?
If yes, where?
The University of Windsor
Area of study:
Are you currently employed?
If yes, what is your occupation?
I work at “Monarch Basics”, where I am a retail sales associate for a locally owned company that has definitely supplied me with all my school supplies the past four years.
I also work at a great restaurant called “On the Avenue” as a server to pay for my schooling.
Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.
I was raised in South Windsor Ontario, where everybody knows everybody, and my childhood was very interesting. My parents were immigrants, and English being my second language, it was harder for me to learn. I had always loved school though, I actually cried because at the time junior kindergarten was only half a day, and my sister being older was there for the full day. I was always outdoors, and covered in grass stains within minutes because I was curious about nature and I liked to explore nature. My family struggled a lot financially, and there were times where we didn’t have enough for food, I didn’t understand it at the time but I’m very grateful. I am grateful for my parents and for them working hard to get our family out of such a horrible time. I am very happy to be living in Canada, and to be able to come home to a home cooked meal, and a warm bed. It seems simple, but being someone who has lived in a house where the heat was cut off, and there wasn’t much to eat I am thankful that life isn’t that way for my family and I anymore.
List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.
I worked for Election Canada, and that was interesting to me because I got to work within a field that was more directed toward the degree I am attaining.
List any volunteering you have done.
- Victim Witness Assistance Program
- Pre-law Society at the University of Windsor
- Teacher Assistant for an elementary school
- Iris House- serving food on thanksgiving
- SOS- Students Offering Support
- Building a school in Nicaragua
- Mentoring at the University of Windsor
- Fashion Shows
- Wedding Show
- Appearing at charity events and representing Windsor, as Miss Windsor 2013
What is your most unusual talent?
My most unusual talent is that I can impersonate a newborn baby crying.
Where is the most interesting place you have been to?
The most interesting place I’ve ever been to would have to be Flanders Field where I got to visit the exact place where John McCrae wrote the famous poem “In Flanders Field”. It was an amazing experience, I actually went around reading soldiers tombstones to see what quotes were used to describe them, very beautiful
What do you hope to be doing in ten years?
I hope to be continuing my education, and learning about myself even more, I would love to travel and see more of the beautiful world too if possible. I have a set plan of what I would like to accomplish within the next several years, but sometimes I think it is best to just let life happen because something may come along the way and redirect my path.
Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?
I would just like to say thank-you to those who read this, and I hope that you enjoyed learning a little bit about me. I look forward to the competition, see you there!