Yasmeen Furman. Miss Georgia International 2017.
HOMETOWN | Acworth, Georgia
Interviewed by : Maryan Aiken. Publisher. PaperGlass Media
So, you’ve recently been crowned Miss Georgia International, tell me the journey before and after crowning? My journey towards the crown was a very mind opening and spiritual awakening for me. Not only did I prepare myself physically, but most importantly mentally. I believe having a healthy mental mind shows true preparation for being a state delegate for an International title. After being crowned Miss Georgia International 2017, I put my best foot forward into expanding my organization A Teddy’s Prayer.
In three words what are the key to winning the crown as Miss Georgia International? Being passionate, humble and authentic are the words that come to mind. Being passionate show’s how true this journey is to you, whether it be your platform or just your overall aura. Humble, is a word that I always push to every person I meet. I believe having a humble spirit gifts you positive energy for years to come. And last, but certainly not least, being authentic. If you are not true to yourself, you will not be true to the crown. Knowing yourself and loving yourself with no apologies is the best accessory to wear, with or without a crown.
Tell me more about a Teddy’s Prayer and how you expanded your organization? A Teddy’s Prayer was developed after my mother’s story. She told me how alone and voiceless she was because of her abuse. I wanted to change a child's life by providing them with a tool that is a great source for comfort. For my organization I gather donated, brand new teddy bears and place heart pouches on their chests, filled with words of encouragement or prayers. These bears are used for therapeutically purposes for children who have underwent abuse across the world. This organization started off as a dream and became my reality, so now I spend almost every single day, growing my organization by contacting different child crisis centers across the world and presenting them with my mother's story and proving to them how impactful these bears can be in a child's life.
You’ve recently celebrated your 20th Birthday! How are you a voice for millennials of today?
I’m a voice for my generation because I prove that you can help the world by simply being in the comfort of your own home. Nowadays, everything is fast pace and everyone wants to have success now, right this instant! I’m proving that you can do anything by being assertive of what you believe in. Everything can’t be handed to you and I have been raised to work towards my goals in life, whether it took me 5-minutes to 10 years. I never lost hope that I would be capable of being the person I am today. If I’m capable of developing my own organization that is internationally known within several months, you can do it to!
It takes a lot of willpower to do the things you’re doing now. If you could change the perception of millennials of today what would it be and why? I would most certainly change the older generation's views. We’re sadly looked at as being the “Lazy generation” and who lack ambition. In recent studies, we’re currently on track of being the most educated generation in American history and with the highest opportunities to climbing the corporate ladder. We’re capable of so much more than most people would think and to me, I believe that’s what makes us great. I have ambition, drive and passion for trying to make the world a better place for our future generations to come, and I feel that I am a prime example of what a millennial stands for.
What is your next step? I’ll be heading to Charleston, West Virginia to compete for the title as Miss International 2017, and I’m so glad to be able to be represent my home state Internationally. After internationals, crown or no crown, A Teddy’s Prayer would be officially known as 501(c3) Non-Profit organization and I’ll be headed towards a mission trip in South Africa in October! I feel extremely blessed to continually have opportunities to spread A Teddy’s Prayer and have my influential supporters by my side. With their love and knowledge I became the light for children in darkness, the voice for the voiceless and the armor to protect a child in need, one bear at a time.