Hometown: Brampton, ON
Rachel Albi was born and raised in Brampton, Ontario. She currently attends Queen’s University as a student in the Concurrent Education Program. She graduated on the Dean’s List with her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in 2014 and is currently earning her Bachelor of Education. Rachel has a passion for teaching and working with children. She recently worked as a youth counsellor aboard a cruise ship in Alaska. Rachel has dedicated much of her time giving back to the community through volunteering with a number of charitable organizations such as the MS Society of Kingston and Free the Children. She was on the Make A Wish Foundation committee in Kingston where she helped organize fundraisers to grant wishes for children.
Rachel has always had a passion for the arts, whether it be dancing or acting. She has been a competitive dancer for 18 years and has been trained in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, hip hop and ballroom. She has taught dance to students ranging in ages three to twenty-five and helped run Queen’s Dance Club during her time there. In regards to acting, Rachel has been taking acting classes for her entire life. She worked at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida as a Character Performer in 2013. Health and fitness is very important to Rachel, as she believes in living a very active lifestyle. She has played a number of different sports including basketball, volleyball, soccer, horseback riding, and curling.
Rachel’s biggest accomplishment to date was starting the Queen’s U Compliments initiative. As a result of creating this initiative, Rachel was named one of MTV’s Top Ten Drivers of Change in Canada this year. This title was given to ten young Canadians who were recognized for creating positive change in their communities. Rachel was also featured in Time Magazine, Maclean’s Magazine, Canada AM, and a number of other media outlets. Queen’s U Compliments is a Facebook page which allows students at Queen’s University to anonymously compliment one another. It invites users to write positive comments to one another in a bid to combat bullying and build a supportive student community. This initiative has spread to more than 100 other universities across North America, Europe and China. It has made campuses around the world into more positive spaces and demonstrates the power of kindness.
Overall, Rachel wants to be a role model for the younger generation. She wants to empower young women to pursue their passions and achieve their goals. It is important for girls to know that they can become capable, independent and intelligent women by embodying the qualities of dedication, passion, and perseverance.
Languages spoken fluently (please include your native language if English is not your native language).
English and conversational French.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?
I have a number of interests which consist of dancing, playing sports, volunteering, and traveling. Health and fitness are very important to me; therefore, participating in a variety of dance styles and sports allows me to lead an active lifestyle. I also love to give back to the community and provide help to those in need. Volunteering gives me the opportunity to contribute to the betterment of my community and spread awareness about important issues. Finally, traveling is what I enjoy doing the most because I love meeting diverse people from different parts of the world. I have been fortunate to travel extensively throughout North America and Europe and thereby experience different cultures.
List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)
I have been a competitive dancer for 18 years and have taught classes for students ranging from 3 to 25 years of age. I have been trained in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, hip hop, and ballroom. I have also been acting for much of my life. In 2013, I worked as a character performer for Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida where I developed my performing capabilities.
In what sports, if any, have you participated?
I have played basketball since I was twelve years old and have continued to play throughout high school and university. I have also participated in a number of other sports including volleyball, soccer, skiing and curling.
Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?
My grandmother has definitely had a significantly positive influence on my life. I was very lucky to get to live with my grandmother while earning my Bachelor of Education this year. She has always supported and encouraged me to follow my dreams. She has experienced many hardships throughout her lifetime; however, she has demonstrated how to work through such challenges with grace and optimism. Ultimately, she has taught me how to appreciate my blessings and to always treat others with kindness above all else.
What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?
My proudest personal accomplishment is being named one of MTV’s Top Ten Drivers of Change in Canada this year. I was honoured with this title for working to create positive changes in my community. I have been involved in my community as a driver of change by starting the initiative called Queen’s U Compliments. This is a Facebook page which started in September 2012 that allows students at Queen’s University to anonymously compliment one another. It invites users to write positive comments to one another in a bid to combat bullying and build a supportive student community. The compliment is posted on the receiver’s wall for all of their friends and families to see. This initiative has spread to more than 100 other universities across North America, Europe and China. It has made campuses around the world into more positive spaces and demonstrates the power of kindness.
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 would have to be when I worked at Walt Disney World as a character performer. I loved performing every day and making memorable experiences for guests in the parks. It was the most magical time of my life and I am grateful for the experience.
What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?
My career ambition is to work in education as either a teacher or principal. I have always loved teaching and feeling like I helped inspire the younger generation to follow their dreams. I attended Queen’s University for the past four years as part of the Concurrent Education program. In this way, I was able to complete teaching placements throughout my undergraduate degree and gain more experience in the classroom. I am currently earning my Bachelor of Education which I will complete in May. I plan on pursuing a Master’s of Education in order to further explore my passion for teaching and hope to one day work in the Ministry of Education. It is my goal to make a difference in my students’ lives and demonstrate that hard work and perseverance will allow them to achieve their goals.
What would be your “dream job” in life?
My “dream job” in life would be to develop curriculum for Disney English, which is a language training program in China. I love working for the Walt Disney company as they provide truly magical experiences for their guests. I would love to combine my two greatest passions, Disney and teaching, by working for Disney English in the future. Walt Disney said “If you can dream it, you can do it,” and I try to embody this by promoting the idea that you can achieve anything with passion and dedication.
Are you currently a student?
If yes, where?
Area of study:
Last year I graduated from Queen’s University with my Bachelor of Education (Honours) and I am currently earning my Bachelor of Education.
Are you currently employed?
If yes, what is your occupation?
I am a tour guide for Queen’s University.
Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.
I was raised by wonderful and loving parents in Brampton, Ontario. I am the eldest of three daughters and my sisters are my best friends. Family was always very important in our household; therefore, most of my childhood memories consist of family vacations and spending time together. I was fortunate enough to get to travel extensively in my childhood, which sparked my passion for travel. My family has had a significant influence on my character in a positive way. My parents have always encouraged me to pursue my passions in life. I am so grateful to my parents for teaching me the importance of a good work ethic and courage of conviction. I learned that any challenge can be overcome which enabled me to develop my ability to thrive in the face of adversity.
List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.
The most interesting job I have had is definitely working on a cruise ship! I work seasonally as youth staff which consists of supervising the children aboard the ship. It allowed me to work with children as well as travel the world. It is the best job for any travel lover, as you wake up in a different city every day and meet many diverse and interesting people.
List any volunteering you have done.
During the past year I was on the Make a Wish Foundation committee at Queen’s University. We organized a number of events and fundraisers in order to raise money to grant children’s wishes in the Kingston community. It was a very rewarding experience and I plan to continue my involvement with this organization in the future. I have also volunteered with a number of other organizations throughout my life including:
- Ontario University Fair
- Free the Children
- MS Society of Kingston
What is your most unusual talent?
I have a photographic memory which allows me to recall almost anything I have read. This is my most unusual talent in that I can recite odd information that I have not looked at in years! For example, I can recite the periodic table of elements from beginning to end and name every country in the world in alphabetical order.
Where is the most interesting place you have been to?
The most interesting place I have been to is Alaska. I worked in several Alaskan cities in August 2014, including Juneau, Skagway, Whittier, and Ketchikan. I got to explore glaciers, interact with whales, and pan for gold. Alaska was such a breathtaking and scenic location to visit and I am truly grateful for the experience.
What do you hope to be doing in ten years?
In ten years, I hope to be successfully established in my career in the field of education. In my personal life, I hope to have started my own family with a husband and children. I think that being a mother is the most rewarding job in the world and I look forward to experiencing it one day. I also think that now more than ever, it is possible for a woman to have a successful career and family. I aim to achieve this balanced lifestyle by experiencing both professional and personal successes.
Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?
I am so grateful to Beauties of Canada for the wonderful opportunity to be a Miss Universe Canada delegate. This experience has been so rewarding already and I want to thank everyone who has supported me on this exciting journey.