Hometown: Chatham, ON
Languages: English, Polish
Occupation: Customer Success Manager
Roxanne is a 26-year-old first generation Polish-Canadian born and raised in Chatham, a rural community in Southwestern Ontario. This small town girl is pursuing her big city dreams, and now lives and works in downtown Toronto. Roxanne is currently working for a start-up food tech company called ChefHero, as a senior lead in Customer Success. Her role is a mix of customer service, account management, and sales.
Aside from her full-time work in the food tech space, Roxanne is also modeling and acting part-time. You can find her strutting on the runway at various fashion shows in Toronto, posing at photoshoots, and acting on set of various commercials, films, television shows and Netflix series being filmed in Toronto and surrounding areas.
Roxanne holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice & Public Policy (C.J.P.P.), graduating with Distinction in 2015. She was recognized on the Dean’s List each semester for having obtained an average of 80% or higher during her full-time studies. Roxanne continued her studies at the University of Guelph, completing her Master of Arts in Criminology & Criminal Justice Policy (C.C.J.P.) in 2016. She received a generous scholarship to complete her Masters at the University of Guelph, and during her studies, was nominated by the Department of Political Science and awarded for the Board of Graduate Studies Research Scholarship. Throughout her university career, Roxanne was a member of the All-Girl Level 6 competitive cheerleading team, a student mentor for the Criminal Justice & Public Policy Academic Mentorship Program (C.A.M.P.), a volunteer note taker for the Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD), a Graduate Teaching Assistant for various undergraduate political science courses, and a Graduate Research Assistant.
Roxanne advocates for living a healthy and active lifestyle. You can find her crushing her fitness goals at boot camp three to four times a week, channeling her inner Roxy Balboa at boxing, running along Toronto’s Lakeshore, and finding her Zen at hot yoga. Health and fitness has provided Roxanne with an outlet to challenge herself physically and mentally.
Roxanne also loves to travel and has visited over a dozen countries, including Poland, Germany, Hungary, Austria, France, and China, among others. She is keen to explore, meet new people, try new foods and immerse herself in diverse cultures.
Roxanne will be bringing all of her best attributes, including her confidence, passion, hard work, perseverance, kindness, and generosity to Miss Universe Canada. If selected, Roxanne is determined to make Canada proud on the Miss Universe stage.
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?
Living a healthy and active lifestyle has always been important to me. I enjoy fitness, and you can find me attending boot camp on the regular, boxing, going on runs, and doing yoga. I also enjoy learning about nutrition. Health and fitness has provided me with an outlet to challenge myself physically and mentally.
I love to travel. I have visited over a dozen countries and am keen to explore, meet new people, try new foods, and immerse myself in diverse cultures.
I also have a passion for fashion, modeling and acting. In addition to my full-time job, I model and act part-time. I have done runway modeling for various fashion shows in Toronto, photoshoots, and have worked on the set of various commercials, films, television shows and Netflix series being filmed in Toronto and surrounding areas. I have been on the set of Netflix shows such as The Umbrella Academy, Titans, and Designated Survivor, among others, and have worked on campaigns for TSN, including CFL and TFC commercials and marketing campaigns. I really enjoy working in this industry, as I find it fascinating to see everything happen behind the scenes and then see it all come to life on the runway, in photos and on screen. Not to mention, I have had the opportunity to work with celebrities, meet new people, and learn more about the beauty, fashion and film industries.
List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)
- Dance (hip-hop, jazz)
- Runway and modeling workshops and training
- Social media branding
- Public speaking
- Leadership courses
- Acting & Improv
In what sports, if any, have you participated?
I was always involved in various sports and extracurricular activities growing up, including dance, gymnastics, track and field, volleyball, soccer, softball and horseback riding. I eventually found a strong love for cheerleading when I entered high school. I did not know much about the sport before I tried out for the team, besides what I had seen in movies, like Bring It On. This led to some memorable experiences, including becoming a captain of the co-ed cheerleading team in my senior years of high school and winning the Coaches Choice Award at the athletic banquet in grade 11. I continued cheerleading at the University of Guelph, where I cheered at home and away football games and competed both nationally and internationally with the All-Girl Level 6 cheerleading team – we called ourselves the Lady Gryphons! Through this experience, I made a lot of life-long friends, I got to travel and compete both nationally and internationally, and get involved in my school community and the city of Guelph.
Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?
Besides my parents, the one person who has had the most influence in my life would be my older sister, Justyna. Growing up, and still to this day, I have always looked up to Justyna – her confidence, independence, intellect, determination, and beauty. Justyna, who is 7 years older than I am, has always been a strong female role model in my life. She is always there to provide wisdom, share her insight and experience, provide valuable advice to guide me in the right direction, comfort me when I am sad, and build me up when I fall down. She has always been my personal cheerleader. She’s not only my older sister; she’s my best friend, my rock.
What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?
To date, my proudest personal accomplishment has been completing my Master of Arts in Criminology & Criminal Justice Policy at the University of Guelph in a year’s time, and being one of the first to graduate in my cohort! I was lucky enough to receive a scholarship totaling nearly $16,000 upon admission and throughout my studies, I was nominated by the Department of Political Science for the Board of Graduate Studies Research Scholarship and received an additional $2,000 towards my studies, which helped to cover nearly all expenses required to compete my Masters degree.
In order to make the most of my scholarship, I worked especially hard to complete my two-year degree in a 1-year fast track, all while working full-time as a graduate teaching assistant for several undergraduate political science courses and achieving A’s in all of my classes. Hard work, perseverance, long nights, and lots of caffeine involved!
What is the most interesting or unique thing that has ever happened to you and/or what is the most interesting thing about you?
Growing up, I was involved in theatre and was in various productions, in both Polish and English. I had the ability to memorize script easily and loved to perform. In the tenth grade, I was in the musical Thoroughly Modern Millie. After years of not being involved in acting, I have most recently pursued this passion again.
What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?
My career ambition would be to start an education technology company, with the ultimate goal of making education more accessible to students of varying needs, backgrounds, abilities and learning styles.
I plan to continue to gain further experience in the fields of education and technology before branching out and starting my own business venture.
Prior to my current position, I worked for the world’s leading learning company, Pearson Education, as a Student Support Specialist. I advised graduate and doctorate students completing distance education courses, and worked with an American college to bring their course offerings to the online learning space so that students could continue their studies part-time, and conveniently work from any location across the country.
For the past year, I have been working for a tech start-up. Working for a tech start-up has taught me so much about starting and scaling a business, working in a fast-past and unpredictable environment, and has sparked an entrepreneurial spirit in me.
With a passion and background in education and an interest in technology, I hope to start my own entrepreneurial venture in education technology within the next 5 years and to make a great impact in the education space.
What would be your “dream job” in life?
My “dream job” doesn’t exist yet. Not to mention, it isn’t described by a job title, but rather the characteristics of what the job would entail – autonomy, opportunities for personal and professional development, a position that will allow me to express my creativity, and collaborate with like-minded individuals who share the same standards, vision, and passions.
I want to have a successful career and to be a leader and role model, specifically to young women. I want to eventually be in an increasingly responsible position, and want to be able to provide my innovative thoughts and ideas and propose solutions towards big problems.
I have always been a self-starter, highly motivated, and hardworking. One thing that my close friends have always told me is that they could see me being a CEO or running my own company some day. In the foreseeable future, I could see myself being an entrepreneur, launching a business in education technology. I have always had a passion for learning and teaching others, as well as an interest in technology. I want to be able to bridge my interests and passions, and provide solutions to any gaps and barriers that exist in making education accessible for all.
Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.
Both of my parents and my older sister immigrated from Poland to Canada due to the political strife and economic difficulties of communism. They moved to Canada with only a few suitcases, not knowing the language, or having job prospects lined up; however, they had the hopes of building a better life, and they worked tirelessly to provide my sister and I with the love, support, and opportunities we needed to flourish.
I was born and raised in a small town in southwestern Ontario called Chatham and am first-generation Canadian. My parents made their best efforts to uphold our culture and traditions. Polish is my first language and the primary language spoken in my home. Growing up, we were part of a large Polish community. I attended a Polish Catholic church and was a member of the church choir. I also went to Polish school on the weekends, and was a part of a Polish Scouting and Guiding Association called ZHP (similar to girl guides or scouts). My heritage is very important to me and my family is something that I value most.
If there is one thing my parents taught me, it is how to persevere. Their hard work and dedication has always been an inspiration, and has shaped who I am today. Nothing worthwhile comes easy – it takes hard work, dedication, determination, and the will to continue and overcome any challenges and roadblocks you may face along the way.
List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.
One of the most interesting and fulfilling positions I’ve held was as a Disney character for a magical event.
For the past two years, I have been volunteering at an annual event in support of the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, dressed as Queen Elsa from Frozen. As a volunteer at the event, I played games, mingled and danced with the children. This event has not only been a huge success in terms of an enchanted evening full of memories for Wish children and their families, but has also been a success in raising funds for the Children’s Wish Foundation and helping to make more heartfelt wishes come true for children living with life-threatening illnesses.
List any volunteering you have done.
I have worked with and supported the following organizations:
- SOS Children’s Villages (March 2019 – present)
- Fairytale Land, Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada (March 2019)
- Motionball Gala in Support of the Special Olympics movement (February 2019)
- Princess & Superhero’s Dance Party, Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada (March 2018)
- Cardiac Kids, Sick Kids Hospital (2018)
- Sick Kids All-Star Gala (June 2018)
- Undergraduate Student Mentor, Criminal Justice & Public Policy Academic Mentorship Program (C.A.M.P.), University of Guelph (September 2014 – April 2015)
- Volunteer note taker for the Centre for Students with Disabilities (CSD), University of Guelph (September 2011 – April 2015)
- Volunteered at Camp Day to raise funds for the Tim Horton’s Children’s Foundation (2010-2017)
What is your most unusual talent?
I can cross-talk between English and Polish without any grammatical errors. If anyone ever listens to a phone conversation with my parents, they’ll hear me switch effortlessly between English and Polish – I guess you can say I speak fluent Penglish!
Where is the most interesting place you have been to?
To date, China is the most interesting place I have travelled to. This past September 2018, I had the opportunity to represent Canada on the international stage at Miss Tourism World in Hanzhong, China. It was my first time in Asia, and my first time competing in an international pageant. Throughout my time in China, I travelled to Beijing, Xi’an, Rushan and Hanzhong, where the final competition was held. In the final host city, I attended a series of activities, events, and conferences with the Tourism Bureau of Hanzhong to promote tourism to Hanzhong, and showcase the city’s rich history and Han culture. It was a trip of a lifetime, I met friends from all over the world, I got to visit the most beautiful places, and I learned so much about pageantry, valuable insight and experience I will bring to Miss Universe Canada in July!
What do you hope to be doing in ten years?
In the next ten years, I hope to be working towards building my own business in education technology, and working towards making education accessible by designing and developing accessible education tools that assists students of varying needs, backgrounds, abilities, and learning styles.
I hope to be financially stable, and have the ability to give back to my community and to make an impact on a larger scale. I have also dreamed of one day being able to provide a scholarship to deserving female students who are looking to pursue post-secondary education but may not be able to afford to do so.
Aside from a successful and fulfilling career, I hope to be a loving wife and mother, a leader in my community, and a positive female role model.
Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?
I would like to thank the Beauties of Canada organization for the opportunity to compete in the search for Miss Universe Canada 2019.
Last January 2018, I competed in my first ever pageant, the regional qualifier for Miss World Canada. I received the title of Miss District of Toronto and was selected to advance to the national Miss World Canada competition in July 2018. In September 2018, I, then, represented Canada on the international stage at Miss Tourism World in Hanzhong, China.
I have experienced so much personal growth throughout my journey in pageantry this past year. I have grown in confidence; I have had the chance to work on my public speaking and networking skills, and have had the opportunity to work with various charitable organizations and make a positive impact in my community.
What I love most about pageantry is that the journey is unique to each delegate and the experience is all that you make of it. If there were any advice I could give to my fellow delegates this year, it would be to be yourself, be confident and believe in your abilities, enjoy the experience, and make friends. This opportunity will be one to remember and we will make memories to last a lifetime.
I am beyond excited to be competing in Miss Universe Canada this year, to continue to grow and work towards becoming the very best version of myself, and to meet like-minded delegates from across the country that share the same standards and visions.
If selected as Miss Universe Canada 2019, I will represent my country with the best attributes I possess, including my confidence, courage, strength, hard work, honesty, kindness and generosity.