Age: 24 | Height: 5’6″
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Katerina finds empowerment through her dreams. She believes that if everyone follows their dreams, our world will become a much better place.
Her dreams are her greatest mentors; they have taught her to be creative, work hard, and appreciate life opportunities.
At the young age of 17, Katerina moved to Canada from Kazakhstan with the dream of understanding the world of finance that will one day help Katerina bridge the gap in wealth distribution around the world.
Just four years after arriving in Canada and working multiple jobs, her dreams inspired her to graduate with a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Toronto.
Katerina is now a successful financial professional who continues to fuel her thirst for knowledge and self-development through continuing education and leadership courses.
Katerina is currently part of a dedicated team of investment professionals ensuring teachers of Ontario achieve a retirement free of financial worries.
Her dedication to achieve her dreams continues when not at work; she supports the United Way organization through corporate events and is as an active volunteer in the mentorship program with Big Brothers and Sisters of Toronto organization. While encouraging her Little Sister to find her passion in life and never give up on her dreams, Katerina hopes she will one day be able to promote her platform to youths around the world.
Katerina is highly energetic, lively and health conscious. She believes that being grateful fosters happiness and the desire to share with those around us. It’s as simple as a friendly smile, a hand given to a friend in need, or a fundraiser organized to benefit those who are not fortunate to be exposed to equal opportunities.
Sponsored by: Tea Va See tea house, KnE Studio Photography, Woody Michleb Yorkville, VIP Diamond Jewellery, Family and Friends
Languages spoken fluently (please include your native language if English is not your native language).
Russian and English
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?
My inquisitive mind thrusts for knowledge about anything and everything that surrounds me; traveling, literature and arts have given me the opportunity to expand my understanding of different cultures across the world. I try to understand what drives current events and developments in the world so that one day I can contribute to making the world a better place for less fortunate people and communities around the globe.
In my free time, I enjoy exploring the city of Toronto with my Little Sister (who I met through Big Brothers and Sisters), and experimenting in the kitchen with delicious healthy recipes.
List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)
I have formal training in piano, various dance styles, and drawing techniques. This training has helped me to understand emotions and beliefs exposed through various forms of art.
In what sports, if any, have you participated?
I practice yoga and enjoy jogging outdoors in the summertime. Yoga has taught me endurance and self-discipline. Jogging early in the morning and watching the city wake up charges me with positivity for the rest of the day.
Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?
My high school math teacher was an incredibly inspiring woman. Despite financial hardships teachers faced at that time, she always radiated positive energy and passion for teaching. She taught me courage and determination through her hard work to make ends meet – she ran a restaurant after school in addition to being a full time teacher. She encouraged her class to work hard on what we are passionate about and to never give up on our dreams.
What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?
My proudest personal accomplishment was the discovery of my true passions in life. Through this realization, I have been able to easily set and achieve goals, and embrace opportunities and challenges that come my way. I enjoy every step on my way to fulfilling my dreams by staying positive and focused on the final outcome.
What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?
I believe that there is an opportunity for personal growth in every step and experience of our lives. Every day is interesting if we approach it with an open mind and with desire to learn and contribute. The most interesting thing about me is my passion for life and determination in achieving my dreams.
What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?
My career ambition is establishing a pension fund for Canadians employed with non-for-profit organizations. I currently work at a provincial pension fund where I take every opportunity to learn how the organization functions and responds to challenges. I am also attaining multiple professional designations that will aid in building my credibility in the financial community and expand my professional network.
What would be your “dream job” in life?
My “dream job” would involve using the knowledge and experiences I have accumulated through the years to make a difference in someone’s life. Knowing that I can help someone with what I am passionate about brings a great feeling of fulfillment.
Are you currently a student?
Yes. Although I graduated from the University of Toronto in 2004 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, I decided to continue my education with pursuing multiple professional designations.
If yes, where?
I completed all three levels of examinations to obtain a CFA designation, and currently pursuing a CBV designation.
Area of study:
Finance and Commerce
Are you currently employed?
If yes, what is your occupation?
I am part of a dedicated team of finance and investment professionals ensuring teachers of Ontario achieve financially stable retirement. This career path attracted me with diverse analytical challenges it offers and the opportunity to be involved with securing teachers’ pensions in the future.
Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.
I was born and spent my childhood in Kazakhstan: a multicultural, and hospitable country. With over a hundred ethnicities residing in my birth country, I was very fortunate to be exposed to diverse cultures every day of my childhood. The best memories of my childhood lie in our local park where I would take long walks with my parents. During summer breaks I would go there to read my favorite books and enjoy the nature. To this day, I remember the courage and positivity my parents projected during the hard times our family was faced with. These memories fill me with optimism when I am faced with challenges on route to my goals.
List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.
When I moved to Canada and started university I got a job at a local coffee shop to pay for tuition. This coffee shop attracted people from around community in the evenings. I used to stay after work and listen to the stories about their life journeys. I met a lot of people with careers in finance and philanthropists who gave me invaluable guidance in making my career choices at that time.
List any volunteering you have done.
I am an active volunteer with the Big Brothers and Sisters of Toronto organization. I also participate in fundraising campaigns for the United Way, and I am currently organizing a fundraiser for SOS Children’s Villages.
What is your most unusual talent?
My most unusual talent is being able to relate to people and to understand their point of view in any situation. Through the many life experiences I have encountered, I have learned to always put myself in other people’s shoes whether I am listener or a speaker.
Where is the most interesting place you have been?
At the age of 14, I was got a chance to climb one of the highest mountains in Kazakhstan outside of the city of Almaty. We began the climb at sunrise wearing T-shirts. By sunset, we had reached the top of the mountain wearing winter jackets. It was simply breathtaking to be able to look down from the top of the mountain and see the whole city underneath.
What do you hope to be doing in ten years?
In 10 years I inspire launch and be an active contributor to a lifestyle center for teenagers from underprivileged families in Toronto. This center would facilitate the positive interaction between teenagers and give them an opportunity to learn to live balanced fulfilling lives. I also hope to establish a pension fund for Canadians employed with non-for-profit organizations.
Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?
I would like to add a message for all youths who are reading this page: Make time to figure out what you’re passionate about. Your passions and dreams make you unique. Once you know where you want to be, your life will become a more fulfilling and enjoyable journey. Do not let setbacks discourage you – nothing great ever comes easy. Embrace every opportunity you are given with gratitude. Everything is possible when you believe in yourself and work hard on what you’re passionate about.