Elsie Owolo: Beauty and Brains Never Looked So Inspiring

| February 5, 2009

Elsie OwoloSitting across from Elsie Owolo, she is every bit the title-holder that she is: beautiful, eloquent, poised, well-mannered and very easy to talk to. Her smile is reflective of the passion she holds inside, and each word she speaks brings a renewed meaning to the idea of drive and perseverance.

Born to Nigerian parents in Rockwall, Texas, Elsie refers to herself as a first generation Nigerian American. She understands the sacrifices and struggles her parents have made so she and her siblings can have a better life. It is this awareness that fosters her passion for the youth, especially when it comes to their education – the platform upon which she ran and won the title of Miss Black Maryland USA 2009.

The 25 year-old black beauty moved to the Washington, D.C neighborhood two years ago to pursue a graduate degree in Political Science at Howard University as a climbing stone to pursuing her interest in politics, and to work “with the best of the best” on Capitol Hill. But that’s not the only thing Elsie has achieved since her arrival in the Nation’s capital.

Though she admits she initially had the same general misconceptions about pageantry that  everybody else has, Elsie says she decided to give pageantry a try after she found out that the general goals of the Miss Black Maryland USA pageant matched with her goals of becoming a better person.

“What I realized was that pageantry aligned with who I am and who I wanted to become in regards to truly becoming the best person I could possibly be – mentally, physically and educationally. Overall the pageant has made me the best person I could become. Physically, I wanted to get into shape and mentally to be mature and a better public speaker. And the scholarship money offered didn’t hurt either.” Elsie says with a smile.

And although Elsie could have chosen to be in any other pageant, she chose the Miss Black USA pageant for its positive influence on black women. The pageant which plays a positive role in encouraging the overall well-being of black women also seeks to mold contestants into becoming well-rounded individuals by focusing on their mental, physical (which is evident in its partnering sponsorship by the Dr. Ian Smith’s 50 Million Pound Challenge) and spiritual growth.

Her role as Miss Black Maryland USA allows Elsie to focus on youth mentoring, especially with high school seniors who doubt their potential and as a result are reluctant to go to college. “I want to get young people to understand that anything is possible as long as you set your mind to it and work hard to achieve that. I want them to understand that it’s not just enough to get into college, but to finish and get that degree.” To black women, Elsie hopes to be an inspiration by helping to boost their self-esteem and to let them know that the color of their skin does not limit them from achieving their goals in any way.

Without a doubt, Elsie’s win has had a positive impact on her general outlook on life and has strengthened her spiritual growth. “I understand that God has made me a certain way and I’m grateful for that. I love who I am and that’s all that matters.” Elsie, however, admits she was not always comfortable being who God intended her to be. And just like many women, she admits she was scared about her spirituality.

“I did not know how to perform the roles God had assigned to me. How to be the woman God made me to be, and how to nurture that in myself and now I do.” Pageantry has helped her to understand God’s greater purpose for her life and she is obviously very grateful for that.

But pageantry is not the only accomplishment Elsie has under her belt. She is currently on the staff of Congressman Timothy Bishop of New York in the United States House of Representatives, and is working towards receiving a graduate degree in Political Science. She loves working in congress because working with someone such as Congressman Bishop, Elsie says, has taught her what it means to serve people and what it means to be a good leader with respect for everybody and not just for those at the top.

Though Elsie one day sees herself running for public office, she says she has found a new passion in pageantry and not only wants to pursue that further, but wants to be excellent at it.

“Pageantry and politics have a lot in common. Because you want to inspire others and you can. People usually can’t make that connection, but, because I’ve done both, I can make that connection.”

Elsie will be joining other contestants in Washington, D.C. this August to compete for the title of Miss Black USA.  Afrikan Goddess wishes her luck and plans to be there to cheer her on. And who knows, our next feature on Elsie Owolo will be as the Miss Black USA title holder. To learn more about the Miss Black USA contest, visit http://www.missblackusa.org/

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AFRIKAN GODDESS MAGAZINE is a subsidiary of Afrikan Goddess Media, LLC. Our content is designed with the educated, professional, classy, charming and sassy African woman in mind. We encourage women to express their creativity and ideas through writing, and also serve as a platform for meaningful discussions and exchange of ideas.

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