Dynamic, resilient, persistent, and full of life; this is how those who know her best would describe Nova. However, asked to describe herself, Nova would emphasize resiliency and the power of faith in being able to change your circumstances. After her family fled a brutal civil war in South Sudan, Nova was sent alone to Canada at age 6 to be able to have a better life.
Leaving behind her mother in a UN camp in South Sudan and her father and siblings in Ethiopia, Nova uses her new chance at life in Canada as a driving factor in her mission to provide mentorship and support to children and youth in need.
By the young age of 15, with the help of the Youth Transition program in Alberta, she had already forged a life for herself: living independently, finishing school and learning the importance of guidance for youth. At age 18 she earned the manager position for the program because of her maturity and her drive to give back. Being separated from her family and growing up without her parents in Canada, Nova is acutely aware of the importance of fostering healthy development of children and youth from all walks of life. While continuing to work towards reuniting her family, she is continuously looking for opportunities to serve young Canadians as she is so grateful for the opportunities that being Canadian has given her. She is a youth mentor with the YWCA and a spokesperson for the Keep6ix program to help underprivileged youth who have been wrongly convicted to go on to live a constructive life.
Growing up, Nova shined as a natural leader. Having been involved with youth leadership programs throughout high school, she championed the importance of education for youth and helped their families foster that environment. She has always believed in the importance of a balanced and healthy lifestyle to promote both mental and physical wellness. As such she has always excelled in sport, competing competitively in volleyball, track and field, and basketball. This led to a full basketball scholarship out of high school. She continues to maintain an active lifestyle and practices mindfulness to remain focused on her goals – which, as you can imagine, are as big as her personality!
Through her persistence and disciplined goal setting she has become a published international model working in the fashion capitals of New York, Paris and Milan. Currently, she is SuperModel Canada’s 2017 1st runner up. Nova can be seen on the cover of Jamaque magazine’s latest fall issue. She is currently working as a model and actress who can be found in commercials for Dairy Queen, Toyota Corolla and Macy’s. Nova’s smile can light up any room and her charisma has established her as a sought after spokesperson for Keep6ix organization.
Nova looks forward to bringing her confidence and passion to the Miss Universe stage this year. While continuing to give back, she also hopes to use this opportunity to shine a light on the issue of families displaced and separated by conflict. Most importantly, she hopes that winning the title and your hearts would encourage other young African Canadians and people of colour to see the beauty in themselves.