Leifa Poulin

I love meeting new people, learning different things and I'm always willing to try something I've never done before, which is why the Miss BC World Program attracted my attention! I'll never forget just how welcoming Gloria, her husband Gary and their son Darren were when I arrived for my very first pageant experience as a contestant! They made me feel like I was part of the pageant family from the beginning! I have so many incredible memories from the pageant weekend and I have made lifelong friendships with amazing women from across BC who I likely wouldn't have met otherwise.

When I was crowned with the Regional Title of Miss Vancouver Island after humbly accepting the Miss Congeniality Award, I made it a personal goal of mine to participate in at least two community events per month for the year that I held my rein. This was all while working as a Nursing Assistant and going to school to take prerequisites for the LPN Program! I surpassed my goal for the year, volunteering with numerous organizations at over 30 different events and some as far as the Mainland! One in particular that I'll never forget was when I participated in a local Relay for Life event. This event has a lot of meaning to me that I hold close to my heart, especially after losing my biological father to cancer at the young age of 5. Unfortunately, I've lost my Nana and other family members to cancer as well. The Relay for Life event bring together teams of family, friends and colleagues to celebrate cancer survivors, remember those we’ve lost and commit to raising funds to fight all types of cancer.

Volunteering has always being part of my lifestyle. I've volunteered at the Salvation Army soup kitchen since I was 10 years young and still dedicate my time there on occasion. Some of the management there watched me grow up and they proudly sponsored me to compete in the Miss BC World Pageant. The Miss BC World Program provided me with a platform which gave me access to some volunteer opportunities that I wouldn't have experienced otherwise. I had the honor and privilege to be invited to community events and be a guest speaker at some! I was immeasurably occupied with the Canadian Cancer Society on many levels and I dedicated a lot of time to this organization because of the losses in my life. In support of those incredibly close family members that I lost to such a devastating illness, I raised $5,000 and had my head shaved – donating both the money and my hair to the Canadian Cancer Society so that people could benefit from it. Having my head shaved was also in support of some cancer patients that don’t have a choice when they lose their hair to chemotherapy/radiation treatments.

One of the most memorable moments for me as Miss Vancouver Island was just before I crowned the new Miss Vancouver Island for 2009. I was on stage and had all of my hair braided by other title holders then chopped off in preparation for having my head shaved. Faith, a little girl who was about 10 years old at the time and a cancer survivor gave me a beaded necklace that she made. I proudly wore this priceless necklace because each bead represented a year that she was cancer free! I'd love to see her again some day! Rick, one of the Police Officers from Tour de Valley was very supportive in this process - thank you Rick! A valuable lesson that I learned once my head was shaved was just how vulnerable some must feel with no hair whether it's from chemotherapy/radiation. I remember being treated differently because of the way I looked with no hair and I'll never forget those feelings and the emotions I had in those moments.

I work as a Licensed Practical Nurse and devoted the majority of my career thus far caring for patients in General Medicine and Oncology then I spent some time nursing in Geri-Psych. Currently, I'm working in Endoscopy which is a perfect balance of bedside nursing and patient teaching which I absolutely love! I also have a position with Nurse Next Door and additionally am an Independent Consultant with Rodan and Fields which allows me to help others with skin care concerns. A goal and a dream that I have in mind is to be very successful with my skin care business so that I can help build a clinic in a 3rd world country giving others health care that they deserve. Nursing is truly a passion of mine and I love my career! I am very fortunate to have found another true love, and that is my husband Brett! We'll be celebrating 13 years together this year and our plan is to start a family in the near future!

I would like to extend a thank you to the Salvation Army, Nanaimo for sponsoring me to participate in the Miss BC World pageant back in 2008 and I'd like to acknowledge and say a HUGE thank you to Gloria, Gary and Darren - you all have hearts of gold and do so much for others! Thank you for your passion and for creating such an outstanding program for women! I'd also like to thank my family, (my extended family - Miss BC World directors/team), friends and co-workers for your kind support!

I highly recommend The Miss BC Program to women of all ages who want personal growth and to make a positive difference with community involvement! This program may get you out of your comfort zone; however, you will be an improved version of yourself with new life skills that you can utilize on a daily basis and the lifelong friendships are priceless! I took away so much knowledge, and confidence from the Miss BC World Program!
Good luck to all future contestants - and remember, "just be yourself" and "it's all about inner beauty!"

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