Tarah Takes Heart - Miss Black NJ '18
Hi, everyone! My name is Tarah-Lynn Saint-Elien and I am your Miss Black New Jersey 2018. Woot woot! This campaign is to 1. help me get to nationals in Washington, DC and win the crown for Miss Black USA 2018 in August 2018! And 2. Fundraise for the American Stroke Association (more on the good stuff later).
Okay, cool Tarah. Who are you, though?
I am a 22 year old speaker, writer and fashion influencer empowering young women to conquer their life obstacles with faith and style through my platform, Adorned in Armor . I created AIA so that I could vivaciously serve as constant encouragement for young women going through the best and worst in their lives. After less than a year, I was nominated by my readers and chosen as a finalist for the Best International Fashion Blogger in the 2014 Cosmopolitan UK Blog Awards. Adorned in Armor currently boasts a community of over 10,000, with Instagram at the forefront. (Let’s connect, btw @adornedinarmor ! Insta’s my favorite!)
In 2016, I graduated Summa Cum Laude from Rider University with a 3.9 GPA, 6 honors and my BA in Communications. I am currently getting my Master’s at Syracuse University in Journalism Innovation.
My website actually started out as an assignment and transformed into something bigger than myself. I was going through a tumultuous time with my mom being in the hospital yet again. She’s been ill for about 17 years now, having 8 unsuccessful surgeries and is unable to walk. One day (around the same time my blog was birthed), I came home from school to visit her in the hospital with my dad and 3 younger siblings. We quietly crept into her room, as we found her sleeping. We stayed there a little, unmoving, so we didn’t wake her. She awakened and smiled upon seeing us. She opened her mouth and nothing came out. When sound did come out, she was saying random words. Confused, she couldn’t remember her children’s names.
I immediately left the room so she wouldn’t see me crying. My siblings followed suit. My dad embraced us, telling us that we’d be going home. On our way out, he gestured at a nurse to check on my mom, telling her “something wasn’t right.” In the background, my mom was calling after us. Well, she was trying to. As I entered my dad’s car, she called and I tentatively answered. My mom assured me, she knew our names and didn’t know what was going on. Neither did we.
Early afternoon, we found out my mom had a stroke..and that it could’ve been prevented, had the nurse checked up on my mom the night before.
Now, she suffers from memory loss and her eloquent speech is sometimes replaced with stuttering. One thing that remains is her JOY. And so, I chose Stroke Awareness as my platform in honor of my champion of a mom! She's honestly why I am here today.
Even in her constant suffering, my mom has been my number one cheerleader and the biggest positive influence in my life. Bills don't stress her out, pain doesn't diminish her smile...absolutely NOTHING wavers her faith in God. That being said, it is my duty to serve the stroke community and hopefully be the same inspiration for them. I will be speaking at events, visiting stroke support groups, heading out on marathons and fundraising with The National Heart Association here in New Jersey.
I am dedicated to giving back 10% to the American Stroke Association.
Thank you so so much for reading - don’t hesitate to ask me any questions you may have. I’m beyond honored to be your NJ queen and can’t wait to serve you! Please support my cause as I reign this year! Any donation matters and if you really feel you can't, I'd greatly appreciate you sharing my GoFundMe. Your support means the world to me.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
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