BRAUN — Toronto beauty competes in Miss Universe Canada

Sasha Lombardi is as bright as she is beautiful.

Frankly, it’s a little daunting.

The Toronto native is just finishing her second university degree (her first is in social cultural anthropology) and has her eye on a Ph.D. in anthropology down the road. Like a lot of millennials, she has a highly evolved social conscience and devotes a lot of time to charity — work that’s taken her as far north as the Yukon and as far south as Jamaica, where she’s been involved with a Salvation Army orphanage for a few years now.

An accomplished equestrienne, Lombardi is also a contestant in the Miss Universe Canada pageant coming up Aug. 18.  Besides brains and beauty, she has the sort of family history that makes her the perfect pageant rep for Canada — she’s the granddaughter of Toronto’s own Johnny Lombardi, founder of CHIN Radio and an early champion of multiculturalism.

Sasha Lombardi (ENREST DOROSZUK, Toronto Sun)

We spoke to Lombardi a few days ago and can report that she is poised, charming, and very good company.

How did you get involved in Miss Universe Canada?

I competed for the first time 2016, so this is my third Miss Universe Canada. Maybe third time’s the charm. (Laughs)  I was modelling as a part-time job throughout university, and I saw an opportunity to compete in Miss Universe Canada — I’d never even watched a pageant before, but I was interested. I love pushing my boundaries, making myself uncomfortable, because I’ve realized that makes me grow as a person. I thought, ‘Why not? If I get to compete, then I do, and if not, I’ll move on.’  I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. I only had a couple of months to prepare …  so I just gave it my all. I did not place. I was actually most upset about not doing well in the humanitarian component, because I really put my heart into it, and humanitarian work means a lot to me. After that, I thought, ‘I learned so much the first time around, so let’s do again! And let’s do it properly.’ I found coaches, I have a coaching team … my head coach, we’re friends now. I call her my fairy godmother.”

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What’s the goal for contestants like yourself?

For me it would be the platform that would elevate (the charity work) I’m doing to another level. Miss Universe is the ultimate goal, because that is literally a life changer. I’d be able to take my platform to the universe! Through all this I have grown so much as an individual. Everything I work on for the pageant is applicable to real life. Even just last year, doing this interview would have made me a nervous wreck. But (pageant work) has really pushed me, and I didn’t even realize how strong and confident I am.  I like to say my coach really unlocked the light that was always inside of me. Everyone calls me Sasha Fierce now! (laughs) But when I first showed up for my initial consultation with my coach, I was mute … We do team building. It really makes you talk and dive deep — what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, what your fears are going in. So you really address things, head on.  Not every girl gets the crown, but just the journey itself is winning. I am so blessed and privileged that I can do this, and my mom has helped me immensely.

Is it fair to assume your charity work is part of a family continuum?

My grandfather, Johnny Lombardi, and my mother, Danina Lombardi, really inspired me as a child. They ran the Sick Kids Telethon and I watched them interact with people and really give back to the community, and encourage others to give back to the community … I have an initiative called The Givers Movement, and I’m working to encourage people to get involved in their communities — or abroad, if you want to travel — to give back. The Givers Movement was only named at the beginning of this year, but I’ve been doing the work for at least five years. I’ve been learning a lot about different charities, and I work with charities weekly, so it’s a huge part of my life …  Through The Givers Movement I try my best to direct people on how to give, where to give. I give them options, depending on what they’re interested in. Some people like writing cheques, some like to show up and get their hands dirty. I encourage people to get involved and I try to give them examples how, because I do it myself.

Sasha Lombardi (ERNEST DOROSZUK, Toronto Sun)

There’s also charity work in the Miss Universe Canada pageant?

Canada is unique, because I think we’re the only country with a humanitarian component in the pageant and we’re scored on our humanitarian work. This year we’re raising money for SOS Children’s Villages. Last year, I raised over $3,000. for Operation Smile. This year I’m just over $5700. for SOS Children’s Villages so my goal of $5,000 was ideal. I’m extremely happy!

You can help put Sasha into the Top 20 right away by voting for her in the People’s Choice Award

You can contribute to one of her sites for SOS Childrens Villages

Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies