Hometown: Richmond Hill, ON
Nickta Jowhari’s aim is to breed a nation of compassionate leaders and empower them to endlessly strive to fulfill their goals and aspirations while portraying to the youth the importance of unconditionally giving back. Nickta is a prime example of a confident, well educated and highly qualified young lady who has shattered the glass ceiling effect and intends on using this platform to further advocate for human rights, equality, minority groups and social issues worldwide.
She strongly believes that a combination of relentless hard work, perseverance in the face of adversity and discipline, are key principles that she continues to instill onto others in order to empower them to not only reach their full potential but fulfill their dreams. Many refer to her as an inspirational role model as she effortlessly embodies all the qualities of what it means to be beautiful, intelligent and a genuinely compassionate woman on the inside out. Her natural self-sacrificing nature led her to be the founder of two non-for-profit organizations and has been an active executive leader in countless organizations facilitating successful charities as well as political motions for change in her community.
Nickta was born into a middle class family in Toronto and raised in the suburbs of Richmond Hill Ontario. Her parents immigrated to Canada during the 1970/80’s in order to seek refuge and pursue their post secondary studies. Nickta spent her youth acquiring a Montessori School level of education, before attending public school. Having both a private and public education, really broadened her horizons and questioned why not all students had the privilege of being exposed to the same quality of education, which inspired her to take the initiative to advocate the implementation of these equal opportunities. She currently attends the esteemed University of Waterloo pursing a double undergraduate degree (BSc. And BA).
Her passion and dedication to all aspects of her university is unquestionable, as she has not only consecutively held her prestigious positions representing her faculty of Applied Health Sciences on Student Council, Board of Directors and Senate, but is also involved in her own ground breaking clinical and laboratory research.
With her background in Kinesiology she enjoys conveying the positive effects of exercise, rehabilitation and nutrition. After facing her own hardships, her determination and belief in her studies shown through as she trained with two varsity athlete teams which allowed her to regain her strength to continue to help others. She shares her expertise and experiences by working directly with cancer, stroke and terminally ill patients. In September of 2013, she put her training with the Varsity Track and Field team to the test by running in the RBC: Run for a Cure at Sunnybrook hospital to support youth with mental health disorders, with the intention of not only breaking the stigma but raising funds to support their treatment.
With over a decade of experience working with students with mental health disorders, neurological, physical and learning disabilities, she is a strong advocator for their fair treatment and rights in society. Apart from years of being a teacher’s assistant, tutor and mentor to a significant amount of students, her greatest moment of satisfaction was her role in facilitating the creation of a specialized Autism program at her high school. This program would allow these brilliant students to integrate into main stream high school instead of being segregated, while being able to learn at their own pace.
Seeking opportunities to actively give back to her community is innate characteristic for Nickta as she has volunteered with the “International Languages Association”, “Breakfast for Learning” at local elementary schools, Free the Children, Brandon’s Eye Research Fund, Young Liberals of Canada etc. During her formative years residing in Richmond Hill, she facilitated and assisted in the organization as well as execution of charity events for the Heart and Stroke Foundation as well as The Princess Margaret Hospital raising funds exceeding several thousands of dollars.
When she’s not publicly volunteering, many aren’t aware that she spends her free time busy pioneering a more personal project aimed at helping victims of mental and physical abuse, known as “Hand In Hand”. She hopes that this initiative will continue to grow and open a gateway for more individuals to discretely seek professional help in a safe environment.
As a young girl Nickta’s father, Majid Jowhari had the privilege of traveling all across the world for work and would occasionally bring her along. Being well traveled, created a deep authentic appreciation towards different cultures, religions and practices. This inspired her to learn many different languages and to this day continues to practice many religious celebrations apart from her own Iranian heritage. Her father emphasized that as Canadians and very open minded people, we need to set an example for others, by sharing the beauty of every culture as though it is our own and spiritually connect ourselves to what brings us closer to god. For this reason she cannot identify herself to one religion as she has immersed herself into all, which truly embodies what it means to be Canadian.
Throughout her life she has received countless awards, her most cherished being: The Presidential Leadership Award, Perseverance & Integrity Award, Youngest Student Leader and Best New Club Award.
Research is a large part of Nickta’s current life; she currently is working on her own research project under the supervision of four exceptional physicians at the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Pharmacy. She aspires to one day attend medical school in order to become both a physician and surgeon, while simultaneously completing her PhD. She strongly believes that in order to be an effective humanitarian, a strong medical background would be an asset in assisting in the lives of impoverished individuals in third world countries. Her dream is to become Miss Universe Canada in order to channel her experiences and passion for change in order to make a significant impact worldwide.
“The pessimist see’s difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
Nickta is optimistic that she can seize this opportunity to apply all the knowledge, experience and discipline acquired throughout the years to the test, in order to best represent Canadian values as well as further humanitarian initiatives nationwide.
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Languages spoken fluently (please include your native language if English is not your native language).
I can fluently speak English, Farsi/Persian as well as conversational French (Alliance Francis Toronto) and Russian.
I’m currently learning advanced Russian, beginner Spanish and Cantonese. I hope to learn sign language, German and Mandarin in the future.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?
Amongst all my interests, I enjoy event planning and classical dance the most. The challenge of directing a successful event always excites me, especially when its intended to raise funds for a worthy cause.
Competitive dance I would say is definitely my niche, I find nothing more exhilarating in life then being able to express myself and share my emotions with an audience through movement. Many underestimate the level of experience and sheer difficulty in executing many of these technical skills flawlessly, which is the main reason why I love this form of art. I’m a perfectionist and the idea of making a difficult task look effortless is very self-fulfilling.
List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)
I’m blessed to say that I had the privilege of being exposed to almost every aspect of sport and art.
In what sports, if any, have you participated?
The two main sports that I have been focusing my attention on this year would be training with both the Varsity Track and Field and Nordic Ski Team at the University of Waterloo.
Sports that I have been well trained in at a competitive, advanced, varsity or school team level would be:
- Figure Skating
- Alpine Skiing
- Track and Field
Sports that I am trained it, but not have competed in:
- Rock Climbing
- Horseback Riding
- Zip Lining
- Scuba and Snorkeling
Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?
Without a shred of doubt, my only sibling Meilaud has had the most influence on my life. He was born with a rare condition that affects the ear, nose and throat region called Cystic Hygroma. The exact moment that forever changed my family’s life, was finally walking into the recovery room after eight hours of surgery at Sick Kids Hospital, only to see my brother completely covered in stitches, wires, tape, staples and IV needles head to toe. Regardless of the amount of time he spent at the hospital and all the surgical procedures he had to endure, he ignited a passion in me that will never be worn out. To “save the world”, as I called it back then. He influenced me to fight for what I believe in and stay optimistic even when the odds are against me. His strength and courage to confidently open up about his condition, regardless of the ruthlessly taunting he’s experienced from fellow classmates is what I admire about him the most. If I were to adopt even a quarter of the strength he has in my lifetime, I would be satisfied.
What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?
I would have to say creating my first non-for-profit organization, now known as “Researchers United”. This organization, allows students to fund their own fees-able research projects in areas of need, the most popular being obesity, mental health, vision and cancer research. Unfortunately, funding from the government has become increasingly limited and exclusive to a select few. The impact of this is detrimental to the lives of the individuals affected by these undervalued illnesses.
While working in clinic, I was approached by a family who was in disbelief regarding the options available for treatment. They had exhausted all possibilities and asked me if there was any experimental treatment available as they always heard about a new “potential cure” on television. Telling them that there was nothing else more I could offer them made me feel as though I had failed the people who put their faith in our medical system. That family inspired me to move forward with this pursuit. Recently, I have plans to incorporate both of my organizations into the “Federation of Students” directory or clubs/groups at the University of Waterloo.
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 that has ever happened to me was unexpectedly meeting the Pope and the Prince of Morocco in a span of ten days. I’ve been told that the most interesting about me is my unbelievable level of optimism and positive energy I give off. I really enjoy connecting and pleasing others, it’s what fuels me.
What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?
Apart from attending medical school, my ultimate career ambition would be to working towards finding a cure for Glaucoma and Cystic Hygroma.
Are you currently a student?
Yes, I currently am a student at the University of Waterloo.
If yes, where?
Area of study: Double degree student at the University of Waterloo
Are you currently employed?
Yes I am currently employed.
If yes, what is your occupation?
I work as a researcher and research assistant, at the University of Waterloo affiliated with both the School of Optometry & Vision Science and Pharmacy. My second occupation is, working for Canadian Campus Communities in Waterloo.
Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.
I was born and raised in Richmond Hill, Ontario. My childhood was unique and unconventional in a positive way. My parents being immigrants, realized early on that the strict lifestyle that they were brought up in, is not the best way to raise a child in this society. They taught me the importance of making your own decisions at a very young age and taking responsibility for your actions. My father always said that he only wanted one thing from me and that was to live up to my capabilities, while being a strong independent as well intelligent young lady.
Allowing me to make my own decisions early on, molded my very unique and optimistic personality. I find that most people conform to be identical to their parents, whereas my parents provided me the tools to guide me in creating and constantly rediscovering myself.
Regardless of my independence, the values that were engrained in me occasionally work against me. My greatest weakness is that I become emotionally invested in everything I commit to. Wearing your heart on your sleeve comes with risks but just as many rewards. I grew up with the mentality that one must always take pride in the work they do, without this weakness I would not exceed expectations. Which is why I always believe that, instead of focusing on improving your weaknesses, one should always focus on improving their strengths.
List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.
Dissecting cadavers in preparation for the first year Anatomy Class.
List any volunteering you have done.
University of Waterloo Federation of Students (Student Society):
- Student Council: Student Councilor representing my faculty of Applied Health Sciences
- Board of Directors
- Internal administration committee
- Pride Parade
- Treasurer and Secretary for the UW Cabaret’s Club
University of Waterloo:
- Student Senator: Representing the faculty of Applied Health Sciences
The Faculty of Applied Health Sciences:
- Kinesiology Class Representative (2 years)
- AHSEF: Applied Health Sciences Endowment Fund – Secretary and Kinesiology Representative
- The Annual 2013 Kinesiology Games at the University of Calgary- Athletic and Academic competition.
- AHS Fun Run
- Anatomy/Dissection Lab
- Enzyme Discovery Lab – volunteered for grad students
- Varsity Woman’s Rugby Trainer: Sports injury rehabilitation
Students with Disabilities:
- Tutor, Mentor and assistant teacher for elementary school, high school and some university students.
- Specialize with children diagnosed with ADD, Autism and Mental health disorders.
- Heart and Stroke Foundation
- Princess Margaret Hospital: Silent Auction (4 years)
- Stand Against Stigma (Mental Health)
- RBC Run for the Kids: Sunnybrook Hospital
- Think Pink: Raising money for Breast Cancer Research(University wide)
- Organized a trip to Costa Rica: provide education, preserve turtle nesting grounds, rebuild schools and hospital.
- International Language Association: Farsi School
- Tutoring recent Immigrants in English.
- Autism Program
- Rehabilitation Clinic
- Physiotherapy Clinic
- Brandons Eye Research Fund.
What is your most unusual talent?
My unusual talent is that I am very proud of is that I am a well known “Cat Whisperer”. I have an uncanny ability to connect with any feline friend. I provide shelter to many stray animals in general and help relocate them to loving homes.
Another talent of mine, which drives my poor mother absolutely mad, is that I have the ability to multitask at a ridiculously effective rate. For instance, I will quite literally wait until ten minutes prior to departure to begin getting ready for an evening out. My record time thus far is a little under eight minutes, which includes hair, makeup and clothing.
Where is the most interesting place you have been to?
Being a well traveled individual, makes this question exceptionally difficult. Out of all the beautiful countries I’ve traveled to all over in the world in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, South America and the Caribbean, I would have to say the most interesting place I had ever been to was my trip to Costa Rica. The volcano, sea turtle nesting grounds, zip lining 900 feet through the tropical rain forest, horseback riding through the mountains and relaxing in the hot springs was an experience I would gladly relive again.
What do you hope to be doing in ten years?
Becoming a universal humanitarian and political activist, who can not only be the voice of the oppressed but also be licensed to provide them immediate state of the art medical treatment that everyone in the world deserves to have access to. I believe that being a doctor and surgeon, is a life skill or a stepping stone to what I really want to accomplish in the future. Research is what keeps science moving forward and creates better physicians.
Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?
My vision of the future is very much like my present predicament, very fast paced, demanding and eternally rewarding. My father always said if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.
As a society I can always hope and pray that someone else will take on the challenge I have envisioned ahead. But if everyone has that mentality, the world would be at a standstill.
Miss Universe Canada would provide me the platform to make my dream a reality, while embodying the values of what makes me so proud to be a Canadian. I only wish that this title was merely worth an extravagant crown, gown and glory to me. Miss Universe Canada is only the beginning of making a world of a difference in a twelve month period and implementing changes that can last a lifetime.