WASHINGTON – Howard University graduate student and reigning Miss Tanzania USA, Monica Haule, has been hard at work with her pageant coach studying current and world events, and busily preparing for the next stage in the quest for a new crown: Miss Africa USA.

Haule was born in Illinois and has lived in Texas, but her family roots are in Tanzania. Haule said she took interest in the Miss Africa USA pageant not long after she won her current title, Miss Tanzania USA.

“My involvement in the pageant is a way to inspire other young girls and women, especially those who are African,” said Haule, who is pursuing a master’s degree in the School of Social Work at Howard. “It’s never too late to start living your best life now.”

The Miss Africa USA Pageant was the brain child of Lady Kate Njeuma, the pageant organization’s chief executive since its founding in 2005. The competition began as a Georgia-only competition. At the time, there were no national pageants to celebrate the beauty, diversity and accomplishments of the modern African woman. As it has grown, the pageant has provided its own platform to bring culture, knowledge and the pride of African people to the forefront.

Haule has had a lifelong passion for pageants. As a child, she won the Miss Mississippi National Pre-Teen title. She said she enjoyed the experiences so much that she decided to return to the stage as an adult.

The Miss Africa USA Pageant will be held at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Silver Spring, MD on Sunday, Nov. 13. As a finalist in the pageant, Haule is pressing hard to triumph. She said success depends in part on generating support in the competition’s online poll.

She is asking fellow students for support. Contestants are listed on the “Finalist” tab at the homepage of the Miss Africa USA website www.missafricaunitedstates.com. Visitors are allowed to vote for a contestant once they join the site. Voting ends on Nov. 13, the day the new queen is crowned.