And your new Miss Hollywood for 2017 is….. Contestant number 15 Abby Omolafe!!!!!! March 11, 2017, was one of the happiest days of my life! Because it was the day I was crowned Miss Hollywood 2017 I began a journey that would change my life forever. Being crowned Miss Hollywood 2017 has given me a voice to continue talking about a subject that is very important to me; my platform. My platform is Until They All Have Home; Supporting the Orphan Epidemic All Over the World.
As you can tell from the title of my platform, working with orphanages is very dear to me. That’s because I am an orphan; I lost my parents when I was 10 years old. Unlike most orphans, I was lucky because my brothers and I were adopted by my maternal grandmother, and brought to America from Nigeria Africa. With over 150 million orphan worldwide and 17.5 million orphans in Nigeria alone. I understand firsthand the plight orphans have to face in Africa, like lack of access to basic necessities, Healthcare, education and a home to call their own. With no one to turn to and not having the resources to take care of themselves these children are the easiest targets for child laborers Human traffickers, and child sexual exploitation. And this happens all over the world. It is especially worse in places like India and China, the countries with the largest group of orphans. So, my grandmother and I decided to create an orphanage in the same home I grew up in, in Nigeria. We use creative fundraisers like fashion/talent shows, galas, and silent auctions, to raise money to provide for the orphans we take in, and the people hired to take care of them.
I have begun the same efforts here in America. When I first started to progress my outreach here in America I was amazed to find out that there is no official orphanage system in America and that we only have the foster care system. And with over 400,000 foster children in America, with very minimal resources.
I partnered with organizations like Together We Rise, and Olive Crest Agency, to help provide basic necessities for foster children. When I found out that foster children are given trash bags and have to pack their things using those trash bags it broke my heart, to think the things that we take for granted, some children don’t even have it. So I set out to change it by helping collect suitcases. This past
April I collected 44 suitcases, duffel bags, diaper bags and backpacks filled with toiletries, stuff toys, blankets and sanitary products for teen girls. Each and every suitcase was personalized to the age and gender of the child. I donated these items to the olive crest agency in Los Angeles County.
I know I can’t rescue all orphans and I certainly can’t give comfort to all foster children. But every time I think about the second chance I was given to be able to live like a normal kid and grow up without having to worry about where my next meal is coming from or how I have to sleep on the street. And to be able to even compete with Miss America Organization. I know it is my duty to help others like me and I will never relent from trying my best at helping as many of these children as I can. It really does take a person to say “we can” to make a difference. Helping these children is one of the biggest reasons why I'm thankful for my title and would love the opportunity to do even more work statewide as Miss California!”
by: Abby Omolafe – Miss Hollywood 2017