'A bright light': Friends remember Ottawa plane crash victim Stéphanie Lacroix
Lacroix among 18 Canadians killed in Ethiopian Airlines crash
It was her love of nature and helping people that led Stéphanie Lacroix to board the Ethiopian Airlines flight that crashed Sunday, killing all 157 people on board, her friends say.
The Ottawa woman was one of 18 Canadians who died when the plane went down outside Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, six minutes after takeoff.
Jessica Hyba and Pius Adesanmi, also of Ottawa, were among those killed.
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"Working for the environment was definitely just part of her calling," Jamie Lafrance, Lacroix's friend and former roommate, told CBC News.
She was always encouraging people to get involved and understand their impact on the environment and other people, he said.
"She was just too good of a person for this to happen to."
Originally from Timmins, Ont., Lacroix studied international development at the University of Ottawa and graduated in 2015.
She lived in Ottawa when she wasn't travelling the globe.
On social media, the university wrote she had been valedictorian and a residence co-ordinator.
Our thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of Stéphanie Lacroix, a uOttawa Faculty of Social Science alumna, 2015 valedictorian and former residence coordinator, who was among the victims of the tragic plane crash in Ethiopia.—@uOttawa
Since graduating, Lacroix had interned and worked for the United Nations and non-governmental organizations, according to Felicity Radan, Lacroix's best friend.
"[Helping people] was always just something that she was super passionate about, and there was never a question that she would do anything other than that," Radan said.
Lacroix had recently started a new position with the United Nations Association in Canada and was on her way to attend the United Nations Environment Assembly conference in Nairobi.
Four youths were part of a UNA-Canada delegation headed to the conference, the United Nations Association of Canada wrote in a statement.
"Our condolences and our thoughts and prayers are with the families, friends and loved ones of four talented young Canadians. This is a profound loss," the statement reads.
Radan said Lacroix wanted to devote her life to helping people, and that part of Lacroix's new position involved attending several youth conferences and bringing along youth delegates.
"She really liked to mentor people," Radan said.
"[She] was always just so kind and such a bright light in the world."