Arielle became Miss Black Tennessee US Ambassador. At age 20, she created Literacy L.I.G.H.T.S., a literacy program to strengthen education in our communities. Read more about her journey below!
Arielle, tell us more about yourself!
I am a 20 year old college student at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS. I love to read and I have a passion for anything literacy related. My passion for literacy led me to becoming a double major in Secondary English Education and Political Science. I hope to be a classroom teacher for a few years and then transition into Educational Policy. I have five siblings—two maternally and three paternally. I looovveee Ice cream :).
What inspired you to participate in pageants?
I competed in my very first pageant through National American Miss as a Jr. Pre-teen semifinalist for the state of Mississippi. I placed as a top ten finalist, and I absolutely enjoyed my experience throughout pageant week. As I got older, I still had the desire to compete in pageants, but living in a single-parent household, I didn’t want to burden my mom with having to pay for them by herself, so I stopped competing.
How does it feel becoming Miss Black Tennessee US Ambassador?
It was amazing. I had spent my entire summer and Spring semester of my Freshman year looking for pageant systems to compete in. I came across MBUSAM, and I chose to apply for my system because of the strong community involvement aspect of the pageant’s values. I applied and completed an over the phone interview. A few weeks later, I received an email saying that I had received the title of Miss Black Tennessee US Ambassador.
What does being Miss Black Tennessee US Ambassador means to you?
Being Miss Black Tennessee US Ambassador means that I get to dive back into a part of myself that I have longed to get back to for such a long time. It means that I have the platform to continue making a difference in my community. It means that I am being watched and a lot of young girls are going to look up to me. With that, I must continue to represent myself and my system in the best way possible, so that I can lead the future of our society to also make positive change in their community whenever they can.
As an African American woman, you are paving the way for other African American young girls to follow your steps? What activities and plans do you have to continue to inspire other girls to do the same?
As MBTNUAM, I have developed my platform Literacy L.I.G.H.T.S (Literacy Lets Individuals Gain Height to Success) to strengthen literacy education in our communities and to propose a solution that will help decrease the educational gap in our country. Initially, I started my platform to bring awareness to the literacy deficit in reading and writing for our youth, but I’ve expanded it to include financial and digital literacy for college students and adults. Under my platform, I have partnered with several literacy advocacy groups such as the Lafayette Literacy Council and the School of Education at the University of Mississippi to help them promote their initiatives to families throughout the community. In addition, I’ve volunteered at local libraries and schools as a volunteer reader and classroom helper in English classrooms.
What are some future goals that you have for yourself and your career?
After I graduate from college, I want to be an Educator and an advocate for education and stronger educational policies that will help our students instead of hinder them. I also hope to continue my path with pageantry which will give me an even bigger platform to continue advocating. Eventually, I hope to graduate from Law School and work with Educational Policy or Civil Rights Law.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?
In the next 5-10 years, I see myself with more pageant reigns under my belt and my own non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring younger girls and creating pathways for them to higher education. I also see myself working either as an English teacher in a high school classroom or as an Attorney.
The purpose of the FabuLuxe platform is to help women feel fabulous and sophisticated. What advice or words of encouragement that you can give to our readers about feeling fabulous as a woman?
Personal IG: @queenchansy_
Country: United States