Pageant Queen Encouraging Environmental Impact in Haiti | Ashley Desmonsthene, Miss TransforMe Ayiti
In today’s society, we think of pageant girls as these very privileged ladies who sashay across a stage with a ballgown in hopes to wear a pretty crown. However, these ladies who participate in pageants are hoping to utilize their platforms to enact changes in their communities and across the globe.
Ashley Demonsthene, the winner of the TransforMe Ayiti 2020 pageant, student at Florida Atlantic University studying Entrepreneurship and International Business. She isn’t the typical pageant contestant. She never imagined participating in a pageant. “I was at school and saw the flyer for MTA that caught my attention. It stated the benefits of winning the title as well as the Haitian platform and I was all for it. I prayed for a shift in my life for the upcoming year so I’m assuming winning the title MTA 2020 was it”. Her favorite pageant experience couldn’t be compiled into just one experience. “because of what Miss TransforMe Ayiti truly stands for I would say the workshops and facilitators were one of the essential factors of the pageant that I will not forget. Now as for the actual pageant ceremony, one of my favorite highlights of the day was when Fayola, our pageant coach was hosting for the remainder of the night. She truly lightens up our (my contestant sisters & I) mood after months of preparation and pressure”.
The TransforMe Ayiti pageant isn’t the typical pageant. With a focus on the Haitian community and the events taking place in that country, this pageant utilizes opportunities to reach broader audiences by educating the community and others on what is happening. Demonsthene states, “this pageant brings thoughts and awareness of current situations in Haiti to the forefront. It helps participants boss up into entrepreneurial women but, most importantly contestants get closer to God as well. The whole system is distinctly different from other pageant systems”.
Ashley Demonsthene’s platform during the pageant was the betterment of the environment. In 2015 she went to Haiti and felt so strongly that the beauty of Haiti was being diminished by the trash. “with the aid of MTA, I was able to develop my nonprofit organization: Netwaye Peyi Ayiti. Netwaye Peyi Ayiti is a nationwide waste management organization that specializes in recycling, sewage systems, instilling environmental issues & improvements with citizens, by essentially, enhancing the sanitary conditions of Haiti.” Being able to help the problem of waste in the country would not only help continue to create opportunities for healthier and safer communities, but also allow the beauty of Haiti to continue to shine.
Demonsthene’s first project after being crowned is to get Netwaye Peyi Ayiti, her nonprofit fully established with licensing and incorporations to be operational in Haiti. She also plans to complete the academic program she is currently in which will allow her to obtain a license in esthetics. “I know this has nothing to do with MTA and pageantry, but! My end goal is to create a skincare line to service black women with common skin problems like hyperpigmentation and ingrown hairs. I desire for us colored women to embrace our God-given beauty by feeding our skin with natural products (such as Haitian Castor Oils) and nourishing our natural hair; final result equals external growth and internal progression spiritually”. She also is also working to establish the first stages of Netwaye Peyi Ayiti in Haiti, to make a major change environmentally.
In the next 5 to 10 years, Ashely sees much promise and success for her life, success being encompassed by physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual growth and continued development. “I see myself being an established entrepreneur with multiple streams of businesses being mainly based out of Haiti. I will see myself having a completely solid spiritual connection with the Most High. In, other words, within 5-10 years I’ll be working on Gods time; not my personal”. With so many plans and ideas in the works, Ashley Demonsthene is confident that her contributions will move mountains in Haiti and help bring together the community of Haitians worldwide.