Hometown: Toronto, ON
Lauren Howe strives to break stereotypical moulds while simultaneously encouraging others to pursue what it is they are passionate about despite standard societal norms. She acts as a role model to many young women in the country, encouraging a well-rounded approach to life and education. An Industrial Engineering student at the prestigious University of Toronto, this charismatic, outgoing and driven 20-year old was crowned Miss Teen Canada-World in 2011 offers much more than meets the eye.
Some of her unique experiences include scuba diving with sharks, working alongside a National Geographic photographer in the Arctic Circle and playing in a field hockey tournament on Sydney Olympic turf.
Her natural athleticism and affinity for sports has translated into her current role as executive Vice President of the University of Toronto Sports and Business Association as well as being a host and co-writer of the University of Toronto Varsity Sports Show.
On the academic side, she is pursuing an engineering degree with a business minor as an investment in solving the problems of our future. Being a licensed insurance salesperson at 18, she hopes to receive her Mutual Funds License in the near future and eventually her MBA.
Her determinism and ambition combined with her tendency to set the bar high has been a key factor in her successes, from receiving the Gold Duke of Edinburgh award to graduating high school with the highest average in Calculus. She speaks at events on a variety of topics including altruism, driving safety (as the Mercedes Benz Educational Foundations National Spokesperson) and the pressures that young women have today. A highlight memory was speaking to over 20,000 youth at a Free The Children inspirational event.
Having volunteered with a wide range of organizations and causes, after taking part in weekly after school programs with both Oakville Community Living and White Oaks Secondary Schools, helping individuals who have mental disabilities falls particularly close to the heart.
Lauren believes that having a presence of strong mentors and role models in the lives of our youth is more important than ever now that we live in a technologically advanced era where information is easily accessible. Her kind, humble and approachable nature is a strong foundation to making connections with a broad range of individuals through.
CoHo Apparel, Power Yoga Canada, BodyWise Personal Fitness Training Studio, Poor Little Rich Girl Boutique, Kim Du Hair Salon, Croatian Electric, Rovinelli Construction Inc., Lorrie Howe Insurance and Financial Services, Bells and Bows Bridal Centre, Coast Staffing, University of Toronto Sports and Business Association, Carbon Kustoms
Languages spoken fluently (please include your native language if English is not your native language).
English and French.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?
I thoroughly enjoy spending time with nature and taking in what the Earth has to offer. This mostly includes active outdoor activities – you could almost say it is my happy place! Some things include hiking with my dogs, stand-up paddle boarding and snowboarding. I also enjoy learning about people and listening to their stories, thoughts and choices. With so many people on this planet, you’d be surprised to hear what some people have to share. This is especially important when I am travelling. The best way to learn about a new place and the lifestyle there is to hear it from the people who live there. On that same note, I enjoy amateur photography and have developed a recent interest in filmography. In my downtime, there is nothing better than watching a good sports game with friends.
List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)
Alongside my studies, I have taken television and film courses at an acting studio. I find it to be a very interesting art that I not only love, but I feel it keeps creativity in my life when I study a very technical subject in school. I also have earned my level 8 Royal Conservatory certificate for piano.
In what sports, if any, have you participated?
I’d like to say I’m naturally athletic and truly love playing many types of sports. I was a softball pitcher and a volleyball hitter for my high school Varsity teams. Field hockey was my true passion growing up. Over the seven years, I was captain and MVP of my high school Varsity team, played for Team Ontario and McGill University and had the incredible opportunity to play in an international tournament on Sydney, Australia’s Olympic turf. Recreationally, I enjoy running, yoga, boxing and surfing whenever I get the chance. I am also proud to have completed the Toronto Waterfront half marathon this past fall.
Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?
Excluding any of my family members, who have all acted as parents to me, it’s hard to narrow it down to just one person. There have been many people that have made an influence in my life, even if we had only met briefly. These experiences have collectively has shaped me into who I am today. A particular group of people would have to be my high school teachers. They inspired, challenged and cared for their students but they mostly encouraged us to explore different opportunities. They each taught me a lesson that I am truly grateful for to this day – thank you!
What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?
I’m blessed to have received awards including the Gold Duke of Edinburgh, a Global Leadership Diploma and a service award for volunteering my time with individuals who have intellectual disabilities. A particular memory of when I volunteered in a community in Peru stands out as one of my proudest accomplishments. This was the first time I was helping an international community directly. One project was to rebuild a community center that had fallen during a powerful local earthquake. Despite the language barrier, it was an incredible moment to see locals express their gratitude solely through their actions and facial emotions – our help meant a great deal to them. This moment taught me that accomplishments don’t have to be defined by awards but rather by the impact it creates and this is how I try to live my life every day.
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 things that people are often shocked to hear is that I love sharks. I mean really love. It is probably an unhealthy amount. It is a dream of mine to one day assist on a shark research project and produce a film compiled of scuba diving adventures to show the grace and beauty of these animals. Free diving (no cage) with great whites and diving along side a school of hammerheads in migration are two items high on my bucket list.
What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?
I thrive off social environments that involve interacting with other individuals, experiencing new challenges and developing creative solutions. Having a foundation in engineering not only builds certain technical skills, but it also develops a strong problem-solving mindset. To avoid being limited to a specific field at the moment, I try to stay up to date on current business affairs and technology updates. I am very open to trying new opportunities and try to explore these options while I am still in school. This includes participating in industry case competitions and attending company and research seminars. On the other hand, other potential careers I am interested in have little to do with engineering. For example, I am the Vice President of the University of Toronto Sports and Business Association because I an genuinely passionate about what individuals do in that industry.
What would be your “dream job” in life?
Ultimately, having a job that positively impacts global communities would be very fulfilling. Industrial engineers currently find ways to improve the quality of life and increase efficiency in these communities. For example, my professor is currently working on involves optimizing ambulance routes in Bangladesh to reduce the wait time for a patient in need.
Considering I am only twenty years old, I honestly cannot give a definite answer of what I would like to do with the rest of my life. In addition to engineering, I have a general interest in other fields that include sports analytics and reporting, management consulting, entrepreneurship and film production.
Are you currently a student?
If yes, where?
The University of Toronto
Area of study:
Industrial Engineering, minor in Engineering Business
Are you currently employed?
If yes, what is your occupation?
I am a licensed Insurance salesperson working towards achieving my mutual funds license as well.
Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.
I come from a very small, close family from Toronto, Ontario where my mom, my grandmother, my uncle and my aunt have all acted as ‘my parents’, I grew up as an only child with a single mother, which created a very unique and close relationship between us. My upbringing helped me develop into a mature and independent young woman very quickly.
List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.
One of the most interesting jobs I’ve worked was being a part of new toy activation where we would travel to multiple stores across the city and have a craft table set up to show children how to make this toy. Working with children is always fun but the reason why this was so interesting was because you could see all the amazing and different personalities emerging from children at such a young age. Also it was astonishing to see how small actions and compliments would absolutely make their day.
List any volunteering you have done.
- Organized a fundraiser that raised over $10,000 for St. Josephs Hospital in honor of a late friend.
- Volunteered on a Free The Children service project building a new school building in a rural community in India.
- Spoke to over 20,000 youth at Free The Children’s “We Day” conference.
- National Spokesperson for Mercedes-Benz Educational Foundation’s “Safe Drivers Safe Families” program - I help encourage safe driving principles and run discussions with participants who have completed the respective driving course.
- Taught English and build a high school building in Ghana, Africa.
- Constructed a new community building for a rural community in Peru as well as a set of stairs for a slum just outside Lima.
- Worked along side and went for social outings with individuals who have intellectual disabilities from Community Living of Oakville.
- Buddies R Us; a program that pairs student volunteers to students with special needs and build a friendship through organizing different activities roughly every two weeks.
- Help Haiti committee who raised funds the Canadian Red Cross to help with disaster relief post-earthquake.
- Specific events for many other organizations including Oakville United Way, Canadian Cancer Society, Autism Speaks Canada, and many more!
What is your most unusual talent?
Some of my friends consider it pretty unusual how I will willingly tell a complete stranger a compliment out of the blue. Sometimes my friends think I’m strange for doing it but the way I see it is if someone deserves a compliment it should be heard!
Where is the most interesting place you have been to?
One of the most interesting places I’ve been to is Australia, more specifically the Great Barrier Reef. As a child, I wanted to become a Marine Biologist. Although that plan has changed, my love for the ocean has not. The Great Barrier Reef has one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world and this is actually where I received my scuba diving license. It’s also an interesting part of the world to analyze the effects global warming and use as an example to advocate for change.
What do you hope to be doing in ten years?
Wow – it is hard to imagine that! By the time I am thirty, I would like to have found a career I am absolutely passionate about. Hopefully I will have started a company and been a part of a team project that developed and implemented a program to improve society in a significant way. I’ve also had a fondness for documentaries and would like to have directed and produced one by then.
Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?
I’d like for people to know that the incredible young women who compete in pageants are much more than ‘a pretty face’ – they are ambassadors and role models in their communities that do their best to make an impact on the world. The Miss Universe Canada titleholder stands as a wonderful example of a well-rounded, elegant woman of the 21st century.