Winning Essay by Alexis M. from North Carolina attends Howard University
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"I possess beauty, character, talent, accountability, and vison. I am a Queen." I was taught this mantra when I was in middle school by Miss. Nadia Shirin Moffett. When I was in middle school I was selected to be a part of Miss. Nadia's organization, The Queen's Foundation. Miss. Nadia was not your ordinary woman; she was Miss North Carolina 2010. She used her platform to create this non-profit organization. This organization was different from others because she believed in carrying students through the program and keeping track of them for the rest of their lives. She wanted each of her participants to achieve their greatest dreams and aspirations, as well as defy the barriers that were placed on them based on their economic standing.

She has inspired me to be an advocate of service and to always reach beyond the stars. While we were in the program she taught us the concept of servant leadership. She taught us that in order to lead, you have to be willing to serve. She inspired me to help young women in my community. I began to understand that other women had the same inner problems as myself and I had the power to help. I realized that in order to help young women, I had to show initiative and be willing to lead. Now I am always eager to serve my community and communities around me.

She has also inspired me to be an advocate for self-love. Many young women lack confidence and this was one of the important values that she taught us. Confidence was something that I did not have when I started the program. I did not like my size, complexion, and shyness. But over a period of time I began to become more confident in myself. She inspired me to love myself for who I was and to love all of my flaws. She encouraged us to understand and appreciate our value. She always said, "who will love you when you do not love yourself."

Miss. Nadia started this organization for underprivileged young women. She picked inner city kids all across North Carolina to personally work with. She picked children that came from broken homes and were not confident in their own abilities. She also chose students who thought that they could only live up to their circumstance. She took us and then she molded us into confident young women, otherwise known as Queens. She was adamant on teaching us our self-worth in a society that often taught us the complete opposite. She told each and every one of us that she saw a firing burning in us that was so bright it was blinding. We could always depend on her to root for us on the sidelines as we played the game of life.

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