Hometown: Windsor, ON
Born into a total of 2 out of 64 tribes in South Sudan, Willma Gendb learned the significance of unity in the community. She believes getting involved can help you learn leadership skills, understanding & respecting diversity, developing confidence and life skills that can help you in the future.
Originally, from South Sudan, Willma and her family moved to Canada in November 2004, and settled in Windsor Ontario. Now a proud Canadian Citizen, Willma says, “the best part about being a Canadian is that this country is strong, bold and beautiful.” Currently, she is a student at St. Clair College in the Business Administration-Human Resources. A beginner in the modeling industry, Willma has already been involved in the St. Clair College – Under construction fashion show, and was also in the final Chatty Collection Fashion Show that took place at the Windsor Star, November 2014.
Willma is an intelligent, courageous, and diligent woman who is not afraid to face any obstacle that comes her way. She believes that wisdom is an important factor which contributes in social harmony and peace. Willma hopes to incite people to be globally aware, and to know that the choices and actions one makes, no matter how minor and minimal they might appear to be, can impact the lives of others across the globe. She says it is very much like a butterfly effect.
As a role model, Willma hopes to inspire young people to understand their values in the community. She hopes to empower young people to develop the skills, and abilities to motivate oneself to seek righteousness for the good of all people. Willma says, “Working at Autism Ontario isa privilege, and an honor to work with children and adults with disabilities.” She proposes that people know about autism spectrum disorders. In addition, she explained that, “Learning all you can about autism and getting involved in treatment will go a long way when making equipped decisions for your child.” Willma has no doubt that life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the number of deeds you do in your life. If you do well, your good deeds will multiply; and your reward is greater in heaven.
In her spare time, she enjoys a wide varieties of hobbies which includes basketball, football and soccer. Willma encourages young people to exercise several times a week, because it helps maintain physical and mental health. Willma admits that it is very important to participate in 60 minutes of moderate physical activity daily to enhance time management and stress management skills, and improve overall productivity. Willma is an independent young woman, a pilot, and an ambitious contestant at the Miss Universe Canada 2015 competition. She believes that the pageant can give her a bigger platform to lend her hand to help people.
Willma believes that beauty isn’t hidden in the words of any beauty diet, or any fitness magazine article. Real natural strong beauty comes from within your heart. It blossoms like a rose in spring and it encourages an alluring, captivating, exquisite spirit that cannot be contained.
Languages spoken fluently (please include your native language if English is not your native language).
I am fluent in both English and Arabic, and partially in French.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?
In my spare time, I enjoy a wide varieties of hobbies which includes basketball, football, soccer and listening to music. I enjoy encouraging young people to exercise several times a week, because it helps maintain physical and mental health. I think it is very important to participate in 60 minutes of moderate physical activity daily to enhance time management and stress management skills, and improve overall productivity.
List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)
I have had training in Emergency First Aid & Adult/Child/infant CPR.
In what sports, if any, have you participated?
At Assumption College high school I was the forward/center for the girls’ basketball team. I participated in extra-curricular activities that included cross-country, track and field, volleyball, swimming, and badminton.
Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?
Someone that had the most impression on me is Willie Barrow. Willie Barrow was raised in rural Texas on a farm with her six siblings. Her father was a local pastor. In the 1950s she became active in the civil rights movement, working with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as a field organizer for marches and demonstrations. Willie Barrow was the first woman to serve as a national vice president of Operation PUSH, and in 1986, became the president of Operation PUSH, retiring in 1989. I feel that Willie Barrow demonstrates the characteristic of a role model to me, and that is why I choose to follow in her footsteps.
What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?
I believe that when you invest your time, you make a list of goals and carefully think before making a decision, whether it’s to make good grades in school, be a good athlete, and/or to be a good person, you have to work hard to accomplish good.
My strength did not come from lifting weights, my strength came from lifting myself up every time I was knocked down. I can’t express how thankful I am for the support system that surrounds me. With the help of Children’s Aid Society in Windsor, Ontario, I was able to grow and realize my full potential under their protection. Going back and forth from group homes and to my parents’ house was an obstacle and I wanted change.
On June 18th 2013, I was given a certificate of achievement for successfully completing the transition to independent living program within the youth opportunity strategy building. Later on I got my apartment, August 1st 2013 and that was the best accomplishment I have completed so far. On August 21st, 2013, I was congratulated for successfully completing the New Beginning Summer Job for Youth Program, and was also awarded a certificate by Wintex Service (Windsor Textiles) Ltd, for completing the required training for Emergency First Aid & Adult/Child/infant CPR.
I believe that everything that happens in life has a reason. People change so that we can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you can appreciate them when they’re right, and sometimes good things fall apart so that better things come together. I laugh today, when people say I have a perfect life, because they fail to see that strength and growth comes only through continuous effort and struggle. I am proud of myself because of the woman I became today.
What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?
While working in the summer of 2013 at the Geno and Liz Marcus Community Centre, I had an opportunity to save enough money to spend a getaway weekend with my girls in London, Ontario. The purpose of this trip was to surprise one of our girlfriends with reunification of her boyfriend and herself. During our stay in London we miscalculated how much money we had which resulted in us not having a way of getting back to Windsor. With no money at hands and our last night at the hotel room, we waited at a nearby McDonalds for a miracle. Anxiously sitting there, a man approached us and offered to buy us lunch and said that we looked hungry. Interestingly this man agreed to drive us to Windsor and in return wanted nothing but to “Pay it forward.” What I learned from this unique experience is that not everybody wants something from you. There are people out there that are willing to help others out of the kindness of their heart without any expectations. To me, giving back doesn’t mean you give others permission to take you for granted, it just means you check in with you motivation and give back because you want to; not because you’re expected to.
What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?
As a role model, I hope to inspire young people to understand their values in the community. My ambition is to empower young people to develop the skills and abilities to motivate themselves to seek righteousness for the good of all people. I want everyone to know that you can come from nothing and still be called somebody. I plan to accomplish this goal by being true to myself and staying focus on the task that lies ahead of me.
What would be your “dream job” in life?
I must say my dream job will be one that allows me to create a life that I don’t need a vacation from. My goal is to find something I absolutely love doing that supports the life style that is both beneficial to others and myself. My dream job would be winning the title of Miss Universe Canada! I believe the pageant can give me a bigger platform to lend a helping hand.
Are you currently a student?
If yes, where?
In what Area of study?
I am currently perusing my studies at St. Clair College in the Business Administration- Human Resources.
Are you currently employed?
If yes, what is your occupation?
I’m a hairstylist presently working at Adao Salon & Beauty Supply, located at 231 Wyandotte St E, Windsor, ON. As a hairstylist I provide clients with education on hair care needs, track records of inventory, building and maintaining strong customer relations, and responding to guest inquiries in a timely, friendly and effective manner. Working at Adao Salon & Beauty Supply, I am able to demonstrate and work independently and learned many skills as a hairstylist which include: below;
Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.
I was born in Omdurman Maternity Hospital, on January 1st, 1996. Prior to living in Windsor, I lived in Egypt, Cairo before coming to Canada in November 2004. Growing up it was just my mother, my brother and I, and they were everything I have. I watched my mom work extra hard to get us to Canada, and for that I am forever grateful for all the sacrifice my mother has made. Born into a total of 2 out of 64 tribes in South Sudan, I quickly learned the significance of unity in the community. I am the first born (daughter) in the family, so I feel that it is my responsibility to be a good role model for my younger siblings. My mother has always told me, “I am your mom and your dad, and I will continue to work hard for your brother and you, all that I ask in return is for you to find something for yourself and be happy.” I never forgot what my mother told me and that is why I am here to today, participating in the Miss Universe Canada 2015 competition.
List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.
Working at Autism Ontario was a privilege and honor to work with children and adults with disabilities. I propose that people learn about autism spectrum disorders, because learning all you can about autism and getting involved in treatment will go a long way when making equipped decisions for your children. In the summer of 2013, I was provided a job at Autism Ontario, through the New Beginning Summer Job for Youth Program, which taught me all that I didn’t know about autism spectrum disorder.
List any volunteering you have done.
I was recently volunteering in the Olde Sandwhich Towne Festival that took place last September. As a volunteer, I was required to stand by the gates, hand flyers and greet people. The Olde Sandwich Towne was established in 1797, and is one of the oldest, most historically signified town in Ontario. The Olde Sandwich Towne Festival is a celebration of history shared with the community and in which provides live musical entertainment, a classic car show, a parade, horse drawn carriage rides, a raffle prize and much more (Saturday morning).
What is your most unusual talent?
I strongly believe that to have the confidence to draw out your problems will help you solve them quicker. Human beings are incredible creation machines. I remember growing up, I used to find myself drawing in my spare time, and in fact I thought I was pretty good at it. I thought it was an unusual talent because I never had proper training to become an artist but I can draw.
Where is the most interesting place you have been to?
I love the color green because it is also the color of spring, renewal and rebirth. Green is an emotionally positive color, giving us the ability to love and nurture ourselves and others unconditionally. I consider myself to be a peacemaker, therefore, the most interesting place that I have visited is Parc National de la Pointe-Pelée, a national park located in Essex County in southwestern Ontario, Canada where it extends into Lake Erie.
What do you hope to be doing in ten years?
I hope to incite people to be globally aware, and to know that the choices and actions one makes, no matter how minor and minimal they might appear to be, can impact the lives of others across the globe. Within ten years, I want to see my goals and dreams come true. I hope to start a family of my own, and to have a stable job that I love doing. It would mean the world to me, to go back to my country as Miss Universe Canada, as it will enable me to make a difference in many people’s lives.
Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?
I cannot stress enough how thankful I am for this wonderful opportunity, and how excited I am to be a part of the Miss Universe Canada family. This opportunity, allows me to achieve one of my greatest goals, and that is raising national and international awareness. Thank you!