2009 Mrs. Illinois Plus – DePaul Alumna in the News

11 May
Nikeya Young

Nikeya Young

If you were at DePaul University anytime from 1999-2003, you might’ve seen Nikeya Young (LAS ’03) around campus or heard her singing alto in the DePaul Gospel Choir. You might have known her has Nikeya Green [she married fellow alum Rodney Young Jr. (COM ’08) in March]. But even if you don’t know her yet, there’s a good chance you will soon—Nikeya was just crowned 2009 Mrs. Illinois Plus! She’s actively pursuing a modeling, acting and music career and has been featured in Plus Model Magazine, Venus Divas Magazine and on Chicago’s own NBC Channel 5.

Demon Tracks recently caught up with the busy Mrs. Illinois Plus and asked her about her commitment to her community and her experience with pageants.

DT: Your pageant platform is “Beauty and Brains Against Breast Cancer.” Why is this cause so important to you?

NY: Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women besides skin cancer! Therefore, it is very important to me, and the other Illinois Plus America delegates, to encourage women to get their yearly exams and do self-examinations. Although breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, it doesn’t have to kill you. If women get their check-ups and detect it early, they can survive! As the 2009 Mrs. Illinois Plus America, I will continue to encourage women to take care of their bodies and get breast exams regularly before it’s too late.

DT: I know there’s at least one other issue that’s close to your heart. Can you tell us a little about your experience with the social empowerment organization X’Change Modeling?

NY: I joined X’Change Modeling in early 2008, and it is an awesome organization! It promotes acceptance for the plus-size woman… We’ve done numerous fashion shows, community service activities, magazine articles, etc. to encourage plus-size women to accept and love themselves. We also strive to help society expand its idea of what beauty is, and to stop pressuring teens and adults to fit into a certain mold/size! It’s been a wonderful experience.

DT: Sometimes pageants get a bad rap (think “Drop Dead Gorgeous” or “Toddlers & Tiaras”). How do you respond to that sort of negativity?

NY: This is my third pageant and I’ve had nothing but positive experiences. People who feel negatively about pageants probably had one bad experience and then swore off ALL pageants, or maybe they saw some negative pageant stereotypes played out in television and in movies and then assumed that all pageants are like that. Every pageant is different. I tell people who are thinking of entering a pageant to speak with the pageant’s director, ask questions, and then go for it if they’re interested. Pageantry is an awesome experience! You meet tons of friends, learn a lot about yourself, gain public speaking skills, and so much more.

DT: Thanks, Nikeya. And good luck at the Mrs. Plus America Elite pageant in July!

NY: Thank you for this interview! It’s been my pleasure. If readers want to follow me, I’m on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. My online model portfolio can be seen at www.modelmayhem.com/missnikeya.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: