Meet Vanessa Nansamba – 2019/2020 Queen

Vanessa Nansamba is the 2019/2020 Miss Uganda North America Beauty Queen. The 25 year old Medical School aspirant won the Miss Talent Competition at the 2019 Beauty Pageant, which was held in her home town of Chicago at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on August 30th 2019, before going on to give the best answers in the final rounds to take home the crown.

Vanessa currently holds a BA in Biological Sciences and a Masters in Biomedical Sciences. She plans to apply to Medical School. She has done mental health research among minorities and taught at a college. “My multifaceted identity as a first-generation Ugandan American woman who grew up in a Christian and Islamic home fostered a mind eager to learn,” she mentions in her profile. “I have had the privilege of being exposed to people of diverse backgrounds. Those experiences shaped my view on becoming the person I envisioned myself to be.”

Vanessa’s work with the Behavioral Health Initiative at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine has inspired her platform of promoting mental health. She wants to use the Miss Uganda North America Platform to “bring [mental health] awareness to the Ugandan community at large.”

“I plan to start discussions normalizing therapeutic practices by utilizing resources already within the community.

As part of her thank you message after winning the crown, Vanessa says “Thank you everyone for your support – I would not have made it this far without you. During my reign, I want to leave a legacy in my community of achieving and maintaining mental wellness. I plan to start discussions normalizing therapeutic practices by utilizing resources already within the community. Overall, I aim to reduce the stigma around mental illness, increase the awareness of methods for managing mental health, and improve access to quality healthcare.”

Congratulations Vanessa! We wish you a successful reign.

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