Ashley Florestal


Height: 5’9
Hometown: Montréal, QC
Languages: English, French
Occupation: Student at Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine

Ashley attended the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University during which she obtained her Bachelor of Commerce and opened a hair salon with her mother that remains successful today. While managing the salon, she decided to pursue her passion for health, leading her to study human nutrition at McGill University. She then decided to take her knowledge and dedication for health with her background in business towards a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree, where she will be entering her third year.

Ashley has strong leadership skills and compassion for others. She intuitively began volunteering in elementary school for her community and other organizations and has not stopped since. She has used the salon and her extensive education as a platform to raise money for various causes. When Ashley’s father tragically suffered from heart failure when in her late teens, she took care of him between her classes and extracurricular activities. This experience further propelled her passion for preventative and lifestyle medicine and has impacted her decision to become a Naturopathic Doctor.

Ashley’s hobbies include yoga, running marathons, weight training, cooking and modeling. Ashley also has a passion for traveling and believes that traveling is one of the best ways to be educated about the world.

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Q&A

What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?

My ultimate passion is traveling. I love discovering new cultures and meeting people along the way; every time I meet someone new I also learn something new. My other interests include health and nutrition.

List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)

Dance, drama, piano, saxophone

In what sports, if any, have you participated?

Tae kwon do, competitive cheerleading, dance, ringette, volleyball, soccer

Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?

My grandfather has been the greatest influence in my life. My grandfather was a colonel in the Canadian army and an electrical engineer. He is a strong believer in education and has always been my biggest fan, continuously encouraging and supporting me in my studies. He has given me great advice and guidance through my life journey. When my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in her sixties, my grandfather took care of her until the day she died. He is an amazing role model who has shown me the true value of compassion, hard work, love, and happiness in life.

What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?

My proudest accomplishment is having studied both business and science while opening a hair salon alongside my mother.

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 that has happened to me was being trained on a mechanical heart. While my father was awaiting a heart transplant, he received a mechanical heart which my mother and I had to learn the operation of. It was so strange to have a father who lived on batteries that had to be changed and recharged.

What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?

My career ambition is to become a successful and knowledgeable naturopathic doctor. During my studies of naturopathic medicine, I seize many opportunities to gain as much experience as possible. I plan on traveling to various countries to do medical humanitarian work. This year, I won a scholarship to go to Nicaragua and volunteer in a medical clinic.

What would be your “dream job” in life?

My dream job would be to have a private practice in a multidisciplinary clinic. I would like to dedicate half of my time to volunteering my medical services around the world. The other half of my time I would providing care and helping people in my community. I would also love to have my own brand of health products and raise a family on top of it all!

Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.

I was raised in Montreal, Quebec and had an amazing childhood. I have a younger brother whom I was and still am very close with. We spent most days playing outside and going on adventures in our neighbourhood. In my teenage years, my father became very ill. From the age of 16-21 I spent most of my time caring for my father while in school. Although this was tough, it taught me to be thankful for life and to embrace every opportunity possible.

List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.

I have had some interesting jobs as a brand ambassador and promotional model. As a brand ambassador, my job always changed; sometimes it involved being a secret shopper, sometimes I would attend parties disguised as a guest. Other times it involved walking around town and giving out samples, or dressing up in fun costumes at large corporate parties.

List any volunteering you have done.

In elementary school, I was in charge of Samaritan’s Purse where we prepared shoeboxes for children in need. In high school, I volunteered for the West Island Association for the Intellectually Handicapped, West Island Cancer Wellness Center, and Angels in Action where we volunteered for different events within the community. More recently, I have been using the salon as a platform for various fundraising efforts, the largest one being our Hair-a-thon event where we raised money for a young girl with Lupus.

Where is the most interesting place you have been to?

Nicaragua is the most interesting place I have ever been to. The most striking part was walking across the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua with only a backpack.

What do you hope to be doing in ten years?

In ten years I hope to be a successful naturopathic doctor, a mother, and the owner of a health product company. Success to me means having helped as many people as possible, all while being happy and having no regrets.

Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?

My favorite rule to live by: Look for something positive each day even if you have to look a little harder sometimes.

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