"I am in a position to be a part of a big, dynamic change."
Aryana Bosh's ('21) eyes sparkle as she outlines her game plan as Miss Black Texas 2023. The alumna, who graduated with a bachelor's in rehabilitation studies, was awarded the title of Miss Black Texas 2023 in August. She will represent Texas in the Miss Black USA pageant next year.
"Earning this title means that I can fully implement the change that I've always dreamed of being able to create," she says. "I'm very happy to do the work to help the community."
Due to COVID-19 and monkeypox outbreaks, the pageant was held online. At that time, Bosh also was in her second semester of occupational therapy school at Texas Woman's University. Juggling academic responsibilities and preparing for the grueling process of the pageant took a toll on Bosh, but the support of her family and her faith in God is what helped her ultimately win the title.
"The whole experience just taught me to be passionate about what I want to do, and to just be very confident in my ability to go out and do it," she says.
Bosh's platform for Miss Black Texas focuses on two main issues: food insecurity and homelessness.
On a 2015 trip to New York, her eyes were opened to the lack of resources for those who were going through tough financial situations and were left homeless. After that trip, Bosh began noticing the same problem all around her: whether it was while she was grabbing a bite in downtown Dallas or exploring Denton as a student at UNT. She couldn't help but see how much change was needed around the community.
"The trip to New York was my first time traveling out of state and the amount of homeless people I saw bothered me a lot," she says. "It's just not right for a human not to have a place to live or not know where their next meal is coming from."
Now, Bosh's position gives her the power and resources to address issues that she is passionate about. She is currently in talks with several organizations around Dallas and Denton, such as Lovepacs and Dallas Hope Center, about organizing donation drives and fundraising events throughout the year.
As a student at UNT, Bosh was heavily involved with student clubs such as Women of Gold, National Society of Leadership and Success, and HER Campus, where she organized two donation drives in collaboration with Shurrun's House Sober Living Transitional Homes for Women. She also was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Alpha Z Omega.
After she earns her doctor of occupational therapy degree from TWU in 2025, she plans to work as a pediatric occupational therapist. She says that her degree also plays a major role in her position as Miss Black Texas.
"With my degree, I'm not just learning how to treat people with disabilities, but also learning about advocacy, how to use my voice to speak up for others and what I can do to make modifications that are inclusive for everybody. These skills will really help with my role as Miss Black Texas as I focus on service and leadership when I go out to the community."
Bosh hopes that her story will give other women the confidence and faith to do what they are passionate about.
"If you have a goal or a dream, go for it, don't let any outside noise or what people might say hinder you," she says. "You always are more than enough to go after what you want."