Hometown: Toronto, ON
Leigha was born in Toronto, Ontario but is of Hungarian, Croatian, and Scottish descent. Despite being an ethnic hybrid, she is very proud to be Canadian because of the opportunities and diverse culture the nation provides. She is the product of a trajectory of goal oriented individuals on both sides of her family who migrated to Canada and improved their livelihood by becoming entrepreneurs. Leigha carried on the legacy of having a hard work ethic at an early age by delivering the newspaper, mowing lawns, shovelling snow, and working as a janitor in her community. Being highly independent, as soon as she was of age she became employed at a local boutique where she worked part time after school and on weekends.
Leigha has always valued education immensely. She began reading and writing at the early age of three, and was homeschooled on and off. When she was in public school, she maintained high grades, placed first in many athletic competitions, and took advantage of extracurriculars. She broadcasted announcements, sang in the choir, ran cross country, and even learned calligraphy. Leigha also volunteered extensively in her community from a young age. She implemented new strategies in the marketing division which led to an increase in sales of a junior achievement start up company. Having a propensity for teaching others, she volunteered with an elementary school where she taught kindergarten students how to read.
Being adventurous and prizing education, upon graduating high school Leigha ventured to Montreal, Quebec where she earned her Baccalaureate of Arts degree in English Literature with Honours. She was also elected as Vice President Internal for her departmental student association where her role was to encourage a sense of community and provide networking opportunities for students in similar fields by planning and executing social events. Before graduating university, she published multiple articles in a local newspaper and blog where she covered a variety of topics such as news, sports, entertainment, and health.
All of Leigha’s achievements and efforts have not come easily, but are the result of epic motivation, hard work, and the ability to overcome hardships. She emerged from humble circumstances, was bullied at school, endured domestic violence, and was diagnosed with a chronic illness. Despite the challenges she faced during her upbringing, she always found the silver lining in her situation and sought to empower and uplift those around her. Leigha prides herself on being down to earth, genuine, relatable, charitable, kind and empathetic. She believes that love conquers all, and that the most beautiful kind of giving to others are those moments when no one is around to witness it. Leigha is currently pursuing a career in broadcast journalism, and hopes to use her candidacy as a platform to raise awareness of issues such as bullying, domestic violence towards children, and sufferers of chronic illnesses to elicit a positive change.
Languages spoken fluently (please include your native language if English is not your native language).
English and Français, un peu!
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?
My interests include yoga, healthy cooking, playing the piano, hiking, watching hockey, reading and writing. I am very keen on being hospitable to those in need, even in the smallest of ways such as lending a listening ear, holding a door open, or helping someone carry their groceries. I also really enjoy making others around me laugh!
List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.).
- Royal Conservatory Piano
- Dramatic Arts
In what sports, if any, have you participated?
- Cross Country Running
Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?
My Uncle George has had the most impact on my life because his mentorship in the form of wisdom, encouragement, and charismatic humour has played a key role in pushing me to full heartedly pursue my goals. He has always taken the time to guide me through a thorough analysis of an important decision so I make the most informed choice possible. His own achievements, such as being a recurring Boston Marathon athlete, have set an example for me to always strive to be the best version of myself and to never settle for less.
What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?
My proudest personal accomplishment is that I am the first woman in my family to receive a university degree, with Honours, and be accepted into graduate school. I attribute my scholastic prowess as a personal accomplishment because I have always prioritized education despite the many factors in my life that threatened to compromise my learning.
What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?
When I was an infant I had to have a minor facial surgery because I was born tongue tied! What is most interesting about me though is that I do not have a myopic view on life and I am prone to thinking existentially. I find myself continually amazed at how vast the universe is and how there are so many people that I will never have the opportunity to meet, yet they will live their own entire unique lives.
What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?
I am currently pursuing a career as a television anchor in the sports or entertainment realms. When I was in grade eight I auditioned to do the morning announcements at school, and got the role. The teacher in charge told me to mark his words, that one day I would be an announcer of sorts. At the time, and for many years to come, I nonchalantly disregarded his remark. When I suddenly discovered my unquenchable desire to be a broadcast journalist during my studies in university, I immediately began cultivating my passion. With a ton of persistence and self-educating, I became a published journalist before graduating university and gained an excellent rapport with the Canadian talent that I interviewed. Besides applying for behind the scenes positions in the newsroom in the hopes to increase my article writing and editorial experience, I am anticipating to begin graduate school for journalism this Fall.
What would be your “dream job” in life?
My dream job is to be elected as the prime minister of Canada. I am confident that I have the leadership skills necessary to make critical weighty decisions, and the charisma to be a spokesperson to elicit positive change. I want to be an ambassador for the pillars of the Canadian community which are democracy, freedom, and embracing each others differences to urge countries around the globe to follow Canada as a microcosm for peace amongst all nations.
Are you currently a student?
If yes, where?
Area of study:
Are you currently employed?
Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.
I was born downtown in the heart of Toronto, Ontario, and raised with my one older brother in the suburb of North York. I was homeschooled on and off making my transition in and out of public school difficult. I was bullied at school for being different, and faced domestic violence simultaneously. Around the time the legal system intervened in my family, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness. Despite the hardships I endured in my childhood, I managed excellent grades in school, won many accolades for my athleticism, and made various sports and extracurricular teams. I always managed to find the silver lining in my situation, and used my tenacity to uplift and encourage those around me.
List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.
- Newspaper Carrier
- Snow Removal
- Brand Ambassador
- Piano Lessons
List any volunteering you have done.
- Reading to kindergarten students at McKee Elementary School
- Junior Achievement: Marketing Division for a student run jewelry company called “Bling It”
- V.P. Internal for the Concordia Association for Students in English
- JMSB Marketing Case Competition: Finding marketing solutions for a software company
- Campaigner, Federal Election 2011
What is your most unusual talent?
I can play some songs on the piano with my eyes closed! I am also very talented with finding natural remedies for common minor ailments.
Where is the most interesting place you have been to?
Travelling to Cuba was one of the most enlightening experiences I have had. I roomed at a quaint resort, and journeyed into remote areas where I met some endearing locals I will never forget. To see a culture and environment not fully infiltrated by mass consumerism and a Westernized lifestyle was truly surreal.
What do you hope to be doing in ten years?
In ten years I hope to be fully submersed in my journalistic career and using my voice to elicit positive change in my community. I would also like to start a business with a charitable component that supports the education pursuits of children, youth, and young adults who are survivors of domestic violence. Since I adore children, I also hope to be married and starting a family of my own in ten years time!
Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?
I would like to extend my gratitude to Miss Universe Canada for choosing me as a national delegate this year; I am excited, humbled, and honoured simultaneously. I am first and foremost competing as an ambassador for my fellow Canadian women to encourage them to never stop believing in the power they hold to reach their goals and make a positive change in their community. I am also vying for Canada to win the crown at the Miss Universe Pageant, because I truly believe this is the year that our diverse and peaceful nation is recognized and celebrated on a global level.