Name: Meron Bekure
Country you are representing: I’ll be representing the BEAUTIFUL country and the amazingly diversed people of ETHIOPIA!!!!!
Tell me something about yourself?: I was born and raised in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. I moved to the U.S. when I was twelve and in the 7th grade. Coming to America was one of the major transformations I encountered in my life, some for good and some for not so good. Though it was difficult at times, coming to this country had to be one of the best things that ever happen to me because I now have an opportunity to use my full potential to reach any goals and dreams I set for myself. I probably could’ve done good enough for myself if I was back home, but now that I am here, I have so many doors opened for me to help not just myself and my family, but my community, my country, and the continent of Africa. In the future, I dream to make a dent in this world and be the reason for the betterment of somebody’s life. On the negative side, having to leave all my friends, relatives, lifestyle, and just about every bit of my identity and culture I grew up in, had to be the hardest challenges I had to overcome.. It felt that I had to restart and recreate what I knew and was used to for twelve years and adapt to this culture. In the first 5 to 6 years, I had many difficulties assimilating, and embracing myself and who I am. But as the years went on, maturity kicked in and with god’s help, I learned from good/bad experiences to gain control over my life and embrace, accept and love myself and identity. Although I have come very far, there’s a long journey ahead of me to make myself into the woman I dream to be.
What has been the most significant accomplishment in your life?: Why? The greatest accomplishments in my life so far have to be sticking through the rough times in high school and making sure that I make it to college to further my education. Despite all my limitations, I made sure that I was accepted and enrolled in college, even if I had to put one feet in and one feet out for a short amount of time. Because of that, I have learned not to ever give up and let my situations guide my way, but to guide my life and chase after my dreams, even at time when it seems impossible!!
Who is your Role Model and Why?: My role models are my parents. I believe all parents have almost everything to do with the kind of person children grow in to be. Everything about me was nurtured and kept by my parents. They’re not perfect, but they sure did everything they could to assure that all their children have the opportunities they themselves didn’t have, making sacrifices left to right to make sure we are all on the right track. Watching them while growing up is the reason I believe in Love. They gave us all they have, without thinking for themselves, SELFLESSLY. Because of that, they are my role models that I thank god for each and every single day. Big ups to all the parents out there…!!!
What do you expect to gain by participating in the Pageant?: Participating in this pageant has already impacted my life. It makes me look at myself as a role model for others, which forces me watch my thoughts and actions, self-check on whether I’m actually walking and talking. It has also led me to learn many things from all the beautiful girls representing each country and has led to beginning of beautiful friendships. I hope to gain networking with many organizations to hopefully achieve my platform. Also, I would like to set an example for all the young African kids and inspire them to always reach the out of reach…
If you win Miss Africa Minnesota, what are your plans?: If I win, I would like to focus on youth and empowerment with an emphasis on young girls. With the YOUTH being the futures of Africa , it’s very important to make sure they’re on the right path and are getting the support they need. I see a lot of young kids getting involved in drugs, alcohol, and promiscuity at such a young age, girls getting pregnant when they’re barely out of middle school and high school, and become parents when they need parenting themselves. This has a lot to do with lack of education, not having a role model or someone they can discuss their issues with, misunderstandings and gaps between parents and their children, and the thirst of having somewhere to belong. It is my dream to see a better tomorrow, to stop the cycle of having the newer generations go through the same issues and hardships that you and I faced.
How do we promote our African Cultures?: I believe keeping and promoting our culture relies on whether we exercise it ourselves or not. We can promote ourselves when we’re able to embrace and celebrate who we are. We attract others to wonder and seek to know about our culture when we ourselves show pride in our identity. We show that through our actions. Specially being an immigrant in this country, we are faced with challenges that might make us feel inferior and out of place most of the times. So, making sure to appreciate and love our identity and roots in action would promote our African Culture. That way our great traits and cultures are passed down from generation to generation regardless of our setting!!
As a young African woman, what advice do you have for the other African youth in becoming tomorrow’s leaders?: My advice to our youth is to stay true to yourselves, don’t every set limitation to how far or high you can reach because your limitations will guide how far you can go. We are the futures of Africa, so the vision and goals we have for ourselves will impact the continent. Especially for those of us who are overseas, and have the opportunity to be educated and make something of ourselves, let’s work even harder to achieve our dreams and be a change factor for those who can’t dream. Let’s not get caught up working hard for all the temporary things, but put our goals and ideas of how we would like to bring about change to this world in front of our path and let that guide us to become something great.
Come and support Meron in winning the 2011 Miss Africa Minnesota.
Venue: Spring Lake Park High School Theater –1100 81st Ave NE,Spring Lake Park,MN 55432
Saturday November 19,2011 Time:6pm-11pm