Age: 21 | Height: 5’6″
Hometown: Corner Brook, NL
Jennifer Grudić is a 4th year student at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador where she is majoring in Communications and Political Science and was also accepted into the Performance and Communications Media Diploma Program.
As a French Immersion graduate, she is fluent in both English and French and values the ability to converse in our nation’s two official languages.
Jennifer hopes to further her education by enrolling in a MBA Journalism program and eventually attending law school.
She is the eldest of three children and values the quality time she is able to spend with her friends and family.
She is also a self-professed animal lover with several pets of her own.
Jennifer can recall being a young girl and having lemonade stands at the end of her driveway with the hopes of earning enough money to sponsor a child in an impoverished country.
This generous spirit is still very much alive in her today as a young woman as she continues to pursue every opportunity to help others.
She is a dedicated volunteer and hopes to continue using her creativity and experience in marketing and event planning to help promote worthwhile charitable organizations.
She would like to use this opportunity to better the lives of Canadians by promoting healthy living, empowerment, compassion and respect while speaking out against hatred, discrimination and bullying. As a woman who embodies multiple ethnicities –Mi’kmaq, Croatian, Irish and English -- she has a first-hand understanding of the importance of acceptance and tolerance especially in a nation as diverse as Canada.
Jennifer has had a passion for the arts and performance since a very young age. She took voice lessons for 10 years, was member of her school’s concert band, and often competed in various music festivals. Her interests have expanded to include writing, filmmaking, and acting.
She is also very interested in fitness and nutrition and enjoys spending her time at the gym, practising yoga, running and engaging in outdoor adventure sports. After suffering a sports-related injury in 2010, Jennifer realized just how important it is to stay active and to take care of your body. This inspired her to become a certified personal trainer in order to help others achieve their fitness and well-being goals in a safe and effective way.
Jennifer lives by the quote “You must be the change you wish to see in the world” and hopes that this experience will allow her the opportunity to become a positive role model in the lives of others. She would love to represent not only her country at the Miss Universe Pageant, but also her home province as the first woman to hold the title of Miss Universe Canada from Newfoundland and Labrador.
Sponsored by: The Lazer Room, Family and Friends.
Languages spoken fluently (please include your native language if English is not your native language).
English and French
What are your interests and what do you enjoy doing the most?
I embrace any opportunity that challenges me intellectually, creatively or physically. I have a strong interest in the arts and performance, and will embrace any opportunity to express myself creatively whether it is through acting, writing, fashion, music or filmmaking. Another key component to my life is my passion for health and fitness. I love learning about nutrition and finding fun new ways to exercise and stay active. I am also really passionate about human rights and equality as well as various environmental and political issues. As a Communications and Political Science major, my education has opened my eyes to so many new and fascinating things and I hope to one day be able to travel and experience the world firsthand.
I believe that maintaining a balanced lifestyle with a wide variety of hobbies and interests is the key to happiness and success. Some of my favorite activities include snowboarding, doing yoga, reading, writing and exploring nature. I love being able to spend time with my friends and family and embrace the opportunity to meet new people. I am also an advocate for animal rights and love spending time with my pets, especially my two dogs Rosie and Zoey. I also enjoy spending my time volunteering and love the feeling that comes with knowing that my actions are going to help to improve the lives of others in need.
List any special training you have had (music, art, drama, dance, etc.)
I have been training with a vocal coach since age nine. I was a member of my school’s concert band for six year. I was recently accepted into the Performance and Communications Media program at Memorial University where I was trained in various acting, film, and performance techniques. I have also taken several dance classes over the years ranging from Jazz to Hip-hop.
In what sports, if any, have you participated?
I have participated in a wide variety of sports including snowboarding, gymnastics, cross country running, swimming, tennis and soccer, as well as various outdoor adventure sports such as kayaking and mountain climbing.
Name one person, other than your parents, who has had the most influence on your life. Why?
One person who has had an immense impact on my life is my “Nan” Ann McHugh. My Nan was born and raised in a small community called Flower’s Cove on the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland and Labrador. Having lost her mother at the age of 6, she was forced to take on many adult responsibilities including taking care of her younger siblings. She moved to Corner Brook where she met the love of her life and current husband of 53 years – my “Pop” Gerald. As the proud parents of six children, my grandparents worked extremely hard to provide for their family and always stressed the importance of hard work and getting an education. The thing that I am most proud of my Nan for is the fact that she is a Breast Cancer Survivor. Her strength, determination and positive attitude after having gone through such a life-altering ordeal is truly an inspiration. At age 75, she is still just as wonderful and active as I remember her being as a little girl when she would teach me to bake bread and knit clothes for my Barbie dolls. She just recently recovered from a full knee replacement surgery and is planning to enroll in a Zumba class. She inspires me to work towards my dreams and to always fight in the face of adversity.
What is your proudest personal accomplishment (other than participating in this pageant)?
While I am very proud of my academic and professional accomplishments, the accomplishment that I am most proud of comes from an experience I had in high school. In 2008, I was a member of a small group of students who were responsible for organizing a charity event to raise funds for a local infant who was undergoing cancer treatments. In the span of only a couple weeks we were able to organize a benefit concert and managed to surpass our goal by raising over $3000. I was really touched by this experience due to the way in which I was able to witness first-hand the power of human compassion and generosity.
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 that has happened to me in recent years is finding out about my Mi’kmaq heritage. It was an amazing experience to learn about my ancestors and to study family trees dating back almost 300 years. This also relates to what I view to be the most interesting thing about myself in that I am of Croatian, Mi’kmaq, Irish and English decent.
What is your career ambition and what are you doing or plan to do to accomplish that goal?
I am extremely interested in the fields of Communications/Marketing, Public Relations as well as Journalism. There are so many wonderful opportunities available in this world that it would be difficult to limit myself to one field. I will soon be graduating with a BA in Communications and Political Science from Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. I am planning on continuing my education in the form of a Master of Arts Degree in Journalism and perhaps by attending Law School in the future. I would like to equip myself with the knowledge and credentials that would enable me to have a substantial influence on the lives of others. I also have several years of valuable work experience and am always looking for new and exciting opportunities to broaden my professional skills.
What would be your “dream job” in life?
My dream job would be working as a television personality/producer. In working in the public eye, I believe it would be an extremely exciting and unique opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. Whether it is by producing a groundbreaking documentary, raising awareness about various global issues, or by simply being a positive role model – the possibilities to contribute to society are endless. In this great age of communication and technology it is easier than ever to reach out to others on a global scale through the use of various forms of media. I would love to be a spokesperson for several charitable organizations and I would cherish a career where I could use my creativity to make a positive change in the world.
Are you currently a student?
If yes, where?
Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador
Area of study:
Communications Major – Political Science Major – English Minor – Performance and Communications Media Diploma Program
Are you currently employed?
If yes, what is your occupation?
Field Specialist – Mosaic Sales Solutions / Game Crew Member – St. John’s IceCaps Hockey Club
Describe where you were raised and what your childhood was like.
I have had the unique experience of living in several different provinces including Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario and New Brunswick. Although I have lived in several different cities throughout Canada, the majority of my childhood was spent in Charlottetown, PEI. I lived there with my parents, my two younger brothers, my Black Labrador Retriever -Rosie-, as well as two pet cats. My childhood was really wonderful in the sense that I grew up in an area where I could spend the majority of my time playing outside with my friends and siblings. My fondest memories come from being outside in the snow and riding my bike around the neighborhood. I was always involved in several different sporting activities including swimming and tennis, as well as being involved in numerous community theatrical productions. Being the daughter of a teacher, I always remember being aware of the importance of education and often enjoyed reading and writing.
List any interesting or unusual jobs you may have had.
As someone who is interested in marketing and communications I have always been drawn to fun, unique and exciting job opportunities. I have had the pleasure of working for several different not-for-profit as well as corporate organizations as a Marketing Coordinator/Event Planner and Communications Officer. Some of my responsibilities have included organizing and executing various community events, maintaining social media websites, as well as creating the City of Corner Brook’s first-ever comprehensive Activity Guide. I currently work for Mosaic Sales Solutions and am a member of the Game Crew for the St. John’s IceCaps Hockey Club – both of which are incredible and exciting jobs.
List any volunteering you have done.
I have volunteered with, and continue to support several charitable programs and organizations including Amnesty International, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, World Vision – 20 Hour Famine, Kid’s Help Phone, The Canadian Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, SPCA, local Food Banks and Operation Christmas Child.
What is your most unusual talent?
Over the last couple years I’ve developed an interest in baking unique and creative treats which include elaborate cakes and cake pops. I like the idea of being able use my creativity to make something edible that my friends and family can literally consume and enjoy.
Where is the most interesting place you have been?
I have had the great privilege of traveling throughout much of Canada, The United States as well the Caribbean; however, one of the most interesting places I have been is located in my own home province. The L’Anse Aux Meadows National Historic Site, which is located in Northern Newfoundland, dates back to the year 1000 and is the only known Viking settlement in North America. This UNESCO site is the only undisputed instance of pre-Columbian trans-Atlantic contact. It is a truly mind-blowing experience to see actual physical traces of a civilization dating back thousands of years. It is difficult to imagine how these people could have survived the harsh conditions of Northern NL – their bravery and ingenuity is an attest to the resilience of the human spirit.
What do you hope to be doing in ten years?
In ten years I hope to be settled into a great career where I can feel as though I am making a difference in the lives of others each and every day. I believe that life is a journey of endless possibilities, so I hope to be in a position where I am able to push boundaries and challenge myself. I also hope to be continuing to lead a healthy lifestyle by practicing my love for fitness and nutrition.
Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?
I feel truly blessed to have been given this opportunity and I am very much looking forward to this entire process!