Senior and first time candidate, Jozlin Molette, stepped far out of her comfort zone on February 9, 2017 for Eastern New Mexico University’s Mr. and Ms. Black Pageant. Driven by the need of a new experience, Molette was eager to celebrate her African-American heritage and get further involved during her last year as an undergrad.
“I’m more of an onlooker instead of a participant,” said Molette. As a freshman in 2013, Molette wanted to compete in the pageant but decided against it as she was not quite ready to break out of her comfort zone. This year, she decided to take the leap and become a candidate amongst five other contestants.
Celebrating the history and heritage of various backgrounds is important at Eastern and Mr. and Ms. Black ENMU is one of many events held to help celebrate African-American culture. Molette believes that this competition is an important piece to the puzzle. “It gets students excited about being African-American and gives us something to participate in besides just going to events,” and, “it represents ‘us’ the students,” said Molette.
Mr. and Ms. Black ENMU gave candidates the opportunity to mingle with other students while demonstrating the love of their African-American heritage. Creative displays in the Campus Union Building (CUB) allowed students to come and meet their potential Ms. Black ENMU. Molette created a black and gold tri-fold poster board meant to catch people’s eye and represent royalty. Her display included information about herself, her involvement in the Portales and Eastern community, and her life on campus.
Although Molette did not win the overall competition, her favorite part of the pageant was getting to show her creativity, seeing her idea come to life, and ultimately trying new things. The support and kindness from other candidates and voters also made for an overall positive outcome for this first-time nominee. “This year is all about being my best self and so far, I think it’s going pretty good,” said Molette. The undergrad looks forward to continuing her journey towards graduation and leaping out of her comfort zone as a graduate student next fall.