In honor of International Women's Day, we met with the beautiful and talented Ms. Mfonobong Essiet. She is the reigning Miss Black Florida USA 2012, and in the running for the Miss Black USA title. Her involvements and platform aligns with the theme for the 2012 International Women's Day of Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures. She is a well accomplished young lady who continues to thrive for greater success.
See her credentials below:
M.D. Candidate 2015
M.S. '09 - Biomedical Sc
B.Sc. '06 - Biological Sc
Miss Black Florida USA '12
Miss Miami Gardens USA '11
Miss Africa USA '07-'08
Miss Nigeria USA '07
Miss Black and Gold '05-'06
Miss Sankofa '05
1. What is your definition of success?
Success is not an end point but recurring attainment. I define success as the ability to achieve one’s varying goals with the mindset that failure is not an option, while inspiring others to do the same.
2. According to your facebook profile information, you are a Beauty Queen, Model, Dancer, Medical Student, and a Humanitarian. How do you manage to perform all five roles, and execute them so well?
I attribute that to good time management skills and an analytical mind. It is difficult at times, however, I try to exert equal amounts of effort and energy into each task for the different roles. Most of all, planning ahead and maintaining good health has helped me find a proper balance without overwhelming myself.
Karen Swedenborg: Volunteering at Boca's Helping Hands in Florida. Serving food and speaking to children about how to achieve goals and being productive.
3. What are some projects you are currently working on that you will like to share with your fans?
Throughout public school systems, I have spoken to our youth about B.R.E.A.T.H.E., my platform, Be Remarkable Educationally And Take Healthcare Everywhere, where I encourage scholastic and personal achievement, helping them define/solidify paths to their goals as well as the importance of good health and taking a proactive role. Serving as The Miami Children Foundation, Inc. program director, I have continued hosting health seminars, and contributing donations to the underprivileged in several communities. I have been working with the organization 4 Children’s S.A.K.E. to launch their healthy me/healthy earth campaign. The organization is committed to providing services and activities for abused, neglected and / or abandoned children housed in foster care homes, shelters and centers in Broward County, Florida. Internationally, I will also continue various campaigns I began a few years ago regarding healthcare and education in Nigeria, specifically awareness campaigns with Leprosy and HIV/AIDS, and supplying books/school supplies where needed.
4. Tell us more about your reign as Miss Black Florida 2012, and your platform for the Miss Black USA Nationals.
My reign as Miss Black Florida USA 2012 has been a great one thus far! With the title I have been able to expand my role and promote The Heart Truth campaign and other national campaigns. My platform is B.R.E.A.T.H.E., Be Remarkable Educationally And Take Healthcare Everywhere. It reminds us that education and health are not only vital in the advancement of society but inevitable in sustaining life on planet earth. Therefore, my platform “B.R.E.A.T.H.E.” serves to encourage awareness among youth and adults to take a more proactive role in their education and healthcare in order to ensure a bright future. These two elements, education and healthcare, are the basic foundation to ensuring success, progress, sustenance and improvement of our quality of life. It is not simply my platform but a lifetime commitment. I look forward to an enjoyable and inspirational reign!
5. It is rumored that the Miss Black USA Pageant will be your last and final pageant; is this true and if so, do you feel that you have done it all? If No, what is next for you?
Yes, it will be my final pageant. I believe that I will have done enough to be satisfied. I have held several titles, including Miss Africa USA, which I believed was my last pageant at the time. However, I strongly identify with and support the mission of the Miss Black USA organization and cannot deny that attraction. Following the pageant, I will not be a contestant in pageantry, but rather to continue my humanitarian efforts nationally and internationally. I would have “done all I can do” in a sense to serve as a representative to two notable pageant organizations whose missions I hold dear to me.
Kayla Hardemon: Visiting the MLK Monument in Washington, D.C. on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and speaking on what it means to me and how it has impacted people of all walk of life in the United States of America.
6. As a young woman you must have had some experiences in life that shaped the way you view situations. Can you tell us about one life-changing experience in your life and how it has influenced your success?
Following high school graduation, a near-fatal car accident in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria left me in a coma with multiple injuries sustained including a lacerated liver, punctured lung, and multiple pelvic fractures. For the first time, I needed healthcare, which could not be provided as doctors, nurses, and lab technicians were on strike. My parents pleaded with hospital staff until I received x-rays, a blood transfusion, and was treated for malaria. The healing process was difficult and surprisingly swift without surgery. Termed the miracle child by hospital staff, I was soon sent home. I may have been discharged from the hospital, but I certainly was not discharged from my pursuit of a medical career, matriculating while still in a wheelchair. Learning to walk, run, and dance once more without therapy was considered unlikely but soon accomplished. I had an altered perspective on life after experiencing near perfect health, sudden disability, and attempts to return to good health. I was told continuously “You will not walk again without surgery.” That did not stop me; therefore, I live life knowing impossibilities are temporary mental hindrances society imposes on one another.
7. What are some of your career short and long term goals?
I am currently a medical student aspiring to serve as a thoracic surgeon. I find it an important aspect of life to give back, and will participate as a surgeon in various mission trips, possibly with Doctors for Africa and Doctors Without Borders.
8. What message do you have for your fans and other young women who look at you as their role model or inspiration?
You can create your own path in life and the sky is not the limit: Your potential is boundless. Your dreams and aspirations all come down to the decisions made each day while staying true to your morals and beliefs. My character is shaped by the obstacles I have overcome through perseverance and faith. You may have role models but do not try to be like them. Be better than them!
Diana Bien-aime: After speaking with a group of Norland Senior High School students, Women of Tomorrow, about achieving their full potential, planning and executing goals, and finding their passion/platform in life.
9. Do you have any other comments?
You can join me on my journey by visiting my website www.MfonEssiet.com , adding my fan page “Mfon Essiet” on facebook, following me on twitter “@Mmmmfun” and/or supporting me at the Miss Black USA Pageant on August 13, 2012! Find more information at www.MissBlackUSA.org . I would like to commend WILDE, LLC in their efforts to empower women and promote positivity. Thank you for what you do!
We commend Mfon on all her accomplishments and hope her story serves as an inspiration to many!
Social Media & Communications Coordinator