Pageant week at Miss Guinee North America was a week along of training and preparations for the professional world and the non-profit industry. During the week, I attended meetings, summits, African Heritage Month and a leadership conference where I had the opportunity to present my humanitarian work of providing elementary students with school lunches in Conakry, Guinee.
I went into the pageant week with the ambitious to work on my project, during the week, I found out that it is not as easy as I thought it will be for me to get my idea out there and sale it well. I needed to learn techniques and how to get my donor’s attention to invest in my project. One of the most important lesson I learned was “good things comes to those who wait”. Pageant week gave me the opportunity to broaden my horizons and think outside the box, it showed me that I have a voice that needs to be heard and I must be heard. As I continue to work on my project, laying out the blueprints and step by step guide of how I want to start my non-profit, I learned that with passion behind any work, anything is possible.
At the leadership conference held on the last day of the week, I had the privilege to meet the keynote speaker, MacDella Cooper, a Liberian-American woman that is the founder of the MacDella Cooper Foundation, where the foundation provides orphans with food, shelter; clothing and most importantly free education. She was born in Liberia and at the age of 12 had to evacuate due to the civil war. Cooper and her family moved to New York for a more sustainable life. She had the chance to model during her teenage years and graduated from college and took on the fashion industry in New York, however, at the end of the day when she would read the newspapers she would read disheartening stories about Liberia and how her motherland is suffering and she is living the American dream. So she decided to do something about the children that are suffering from the world because they are the nation’s future leaders and she started her foundation. Through it all one of the most important thing to Cooper is unity, she believes that we are one and we all have a common goal and we should work toward it together.
On the fourth day of pageant week, the contestants had the opportunity to attend the African Heritage Month Festivities in Silver Springs, Maryland. At the event, the United Nation’s Ambassador, Amina Ali, spoke to the group about agenda 2063, the plans that are planned for bettering Africa and empowering the women and increasing the social economics status. She also mentioned President Obama’s recent visit to Kenya and how he has empowered the youths to reach for higher education. President Obama’s visit entrusted the youths that there is still hopes in making it out of poverty.
Pap Falls, is an entrepreneur, I had the opportunity to interact with him during the conference, Falls owns a non-profit organization where disable individuals make jewelries and the proceeds from the funds go toward the education of disable youths, providing them with the proper equipment they need for survival. His aspiration came from his mother that always helped the needy and growing up he thought that he had to be rich to help others, he needed to own many things in order to give back and after a while he saw that he was not getting anywhere, he started making jewelries from cloths and one by one cottons becomes cloths.
The week was filled with powerful and phenomenal leaders that inspired me, and has truly contributed to my project, they have helped me grow and understand the industry I am moving toward. This has transformed me and encourages me to continue to thrive for my organization, I have learned that I do not need to have millions to provide help to others or fulfill my dreams.
My current view of the world is significant because I understand the daily battles people face every day and knowing that there is a lot of people out there are willing to help make the world a better place. My ambitions for public service has elevated, I continued on my humanitarian work and in the autumn of 2020, ten elementary students that lives below the poverty line will receive free lunch and each school year ten new students will be added to the program.