Hometown: Ottawa, ON
Sarah McArdle was born in New Delhi, India and moved to Canada at just 5 months old. She is now in her 2nd year at the University of Ottawa and is studying Psychology. She previously studied Second Language Teaching (DLS) at the University of Ottawa and graduated high school with the Dramatic Arts High Skills Major and the French Immersion Certificate.
Sarah’s mission is to re-define beauty. She strongly believes that true beauty comes from within, and that self-confidence and loving yourself is the key to happiness. In 2011, she created Love is Stronger than the Pressure to be “Perfect,” a group whose goal is to promote awareness about eating disorders and to support healthy body image. Through the group, she has taken on a number of projects, including running workshops on stress management for Grade 8 health classes.
Sports have always been a big part of Sarah’s life. She has participated in a wide range of sports – from diving, to figure skating, to wrestling, to volleyball. She played on various soccer teams for 9 years, and spent one year volunteer coaching two young children’s teams in a community league. Sarah has been with the performing dance group Viva Mexico for 6 years. Most recently, she has begun both football and competitive cheerleading, which she loves!
Sarah has always found fulfillment in giving back to the community. In 2007, she began volunteering at St. Vincent Hospital and logged over 200 hours in her three summers there. She has also volunteered for local telethons for the Ottawa Heart Institute and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. She currently volunteers at Goodlife Fitness’ JUMP! Childminding, among many other things.
Languages spoken fluently (please include your native language if English is not your native language).
I am fluent in English and French. I hope to become fluent in Hindi and Spanish within the next couple of years.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?
My interests include acting and sports (especially dance, soccer, and cheerleading).
List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)
I have quite a bit of experience acting in theatre as well as in film and television. I graduated high school with a Dramatic Arts High Skills Major and the Miss Vera McCloy Award for Dramatic Arts Students.
I have also been a part of a local Mexican Folkloric dance group called Viva Mexico for 6 years.
In what sports, if any, have you participated?
Throughout my life, I have had the opportunity to try many sports, including diving, wrestling, and figure skating. I played on various soccer teams for 9 years. I have also recently begun cheerleading, which I love! Staying active has always been important to me because of the ways it promotes health, both physically and mentally.
Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?
My younger brother Joshua has always been a big influence in my life. He has always been very supportive of everything I do and has taught me resilience.
What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?
My proudest personal accomplishment is the success of my bracelet fundraiser earlier this year for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario’s Eating Disorder Programs. It was truly an honour to give back to a program that has helped so many young people find a happy and healthy place in life through re-learning to love themselves.
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 about me is the wide variety of activities I have participated in. For example, in the same year I was both a city Spelling Bee champion as well as a city wrestling champion. Having been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to try so many things has given me a diverse perspective of the world.
What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?
My goal is to become a psychologist, specializing in adolescent health. I am currently studying Psychology at the University of Ottawa. As practice in a sense, I have had the opportunity to present workshops on stress management and coping strategies for Grade 8 classes at my former high school.
What would be your “dream job” in life?
My dream job is in fact to become a psychologist. I enjoy helping people and guiding people through difficult times in their life would be very rewarding.
Are you currently a student?
If yes, where?
Area of study:
I am studying Psychology at the University of Ottawa. I had been studying Second Language Teaching (French) for a year and a half prior.
Are you currently employed?
No, I am currently a full-time student.
Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.
I grew up in Ottawa, Ontario with my father, mother, and younger brother. I always lived in neighbourhoods that were filled with lots of kids my age, which helped me learn social skills at a young age. I also lived near a community centre that was next to a couple of sports facilities, where my parents encouraged me to try any class I found interesting. This led me to be able to experience a wide range of activities, some of which I still practice to this day.
List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.
My most interesting job to date was the year I spent being a Page in the House of Commons. Each year, only 40 graduating high school students from across Canada are chosen to be in this enriching program for first-year university students. It was an honour to be able to witness how this area of Parliament runs first-hand in a way very few people are fortunate to.
List any volunteering you have done.
Volunteering has always been important to me. For three summers, I was a youth volunteer at St. Vincent Hospital in Ottawa. I have also coached two children’s soccer teams and I volunteer at telethons for the Ottawa Heart Institute and CHEO. Furthermore, I have volunteered with the New Edinburgh Players through acting in a play as well as doing behind-the-scenes work in a couple of other plays. This year, I was a backstage co-ordinator for a local charity fashion show called Runway for Hope. I currently volunteer at Goodlife Fitness in their JUMP! Childminding. Finally, in 2011, I created a group called Love is Stronger than the Pressure to be “Perfect.” Through this group, I promote healthy body image and self-confidence. I have organized a bracelet fundraiser for CHEO’s Eating Disorder Programs and I have presented workshops on stress management and coping strategies to Grade 8 health classes.
What is your most unusual talent?
My most unusual talent is my ability to “remember everything.” For some reason, I am able to clearly remember events and conversations, even if they seem relatively casual. This often makes other people feel special when I am shopping for a gift for them, for example, because I am able to recall an item they once mentioned they liked months ago.
Where is the most interesting place you have been to?
The most interesting place I have ever been is in the political parties’ lobbies in the House of Commons. I was able to hear and witness things that very few people get to. I also had the opportunity to meet and talk to some of Canada’s most influential people.
What do you hope to be doing in ten years?
I am currently studying Psychology at the University of Ottawa. In ten years, I hope to have begun my own practice which focuses on adolescent health. One particular program I would like to create is a support group for people who have just left or are beginning to leave the hospital treatment system. I believe it is important for recovering patients to continue to receive community support to help minimize the risk of relapse. This will be one of my ways I am doing my part to create a happy and healthy future.
Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?
Being Miss Universe Canada is much more than a title and a crown. I believe the qualities of Miss Universe Canada are confidence, integrity, passion, and optimism. Displaying these characteristics is what makes a woman a good role model. Having a strong inner beauty radiates through to the outside and cannot be ignored.