Kora Hardy, the 2014 Miss Kenya USA, sat down with us for an interview earlier this week to tell us about how she has used her first place in the beauty pageant to spread awareness about autism.
Hardy decided to enter the competition after meeting Miss Kenya USA President Gloria McCarthy while competing in the slightly larger beauty pageant Miss Africa USA.
“I was glad to become a part of the organization and wanted to represent the beautiful, talented, Kenyan youth,” she said, noting that McCarthy had informed her that the Kenyan pageant had not been hosted for a number of years due to a lack of interest.
Hardy’s main goal when she entered the Kenyan pageant was not just to reignite the competition but also to try to give something back to her home country.
“Autism awareness is a passion of mine that grew more and more as I became aware of the lack of resources within Kenya,” said Hardy, who is now a promoter for the Kaizora Consultants – the only East African autism awareness center located in Nairobi. “I strongly support [Kaizora’s] work and I wish to one day join them in providing great services and support for families.”
Hardy is planning to travel to Kenya in April to volunteer for the Kiazora Consultants. She also has intensions to open up a Kenyan autism clinic of her own.
Hardy expresses hope for the Miss Kenya USA beauty pageant as a vehicle for social outreach. While her focus is on autism awareness, she says that the organization as a whole has the potential to do much more in the future.
“Our country needs us to be vigilant in expressing what we need,” she said. “I would want to see the next Miss Kenya USA to continue to represent Kenya and Kenyans within the diaspora with pride, grace and a true passion for change.”