Campus Student Feature: Josephine Lentner, Miss Panamerican Haiti 2022

Campus Student Feature: Josephine Lentner, Miss Panamerican Haiti 2022
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Welcome to a tale of passion, ambition, and resilience that effortlessly blends glamour with academia. Today, we delve into the inspiring journey of Josephine Lentner, a trailblazing Campus Scholar, content creator, fashion enthusiast, model, and pageant queen.

Josephine's story is not just about a spirited pursuit of multiple passions, but also a testament to the power of self-belief, hard work, and a profound love for one's culture. Let’s dive in.

Discovering Content Creation

Shortly after joining the Campus Scholars program in January of 2022, which is also the first ever Campus Scholars cohort to exist, Josephine decided to pursue not only her education but her passions for content creation and fashion too. Inspired by TikTok, Josephine realized that she could be doing what others were doing online, and took the time to start forging her own path.

“I just got tired of looking at people doing things that I had every capability of doing,” Josephine told Campus. “I'm extremely ambitious and very high achieving — it's who I am. And at the time, I really sat there and I said, ‘Well if these people can do that, what's stopping me? I can do that.’

Josephine shared that she started her influencer journey with a shopping cart from SHEIN, the clothes in her own closet, and a drive to start networking. Not long after, she told us that brands started to reach out and collaborate with her to make content as a micro-influencer.

When asked about how content creation has impacted her personally, Josephine highlighted how it affected her self-image for the better.

“I'm really happy I rode that wave because through content creation, in front of the camera, it taught me to accept myself for who I am,” she stated. “Everyone has a different connotation of beauty, but at the end of the day, I've learned to understand that beauty for me is 100% internal. If you feel that you are beautiful, no one can say anything to you about that.

Josephine's growing confidence began to open doors for her in the beauty world. She started to chase her dream of modeling, teaming up with photographers and going to auditions all over South Florida.

Soon, she had a big win - she got to be in two shows at her first Miami Swim Week. This was a big deal for her and it led to even more opportunities.

Josephine Lentner with Miss Panamerican Haiti sash, sitting posed in Haitian dress
Josephine wearing her Miss Panamerican Haiti sash and a dress representing the colors of Haiti’s flag.

Representing Haiti on the International Stage

Josephine got to be in more fashion shows, work with different brands, and got more exposure for her work – but the greatest opportunity of them all came when she talked with a mutual connection about an upcoming pageant.

“The pageant kind of just came completely out of nowhere,” Josephine said. “I met with a mutual who I didn't know very well, but she was in pageantry. She organizes a pageant, and she contacted me. I just thought, ‘This is a great opportunity to represent my country, Haiti,’ and before I knew it, it was May of this year and I was at my first pageant in California.”

Josephine was thrilled to be crowned Miss Panamerican Haiti by the Haiti Royalty Organization in 2022.

“I am a different form of representation that people are not used to seeing,” Josephine noted. As a biracial woman who immigrated to the United States with her mother as a child, Josephine is passionate about Haitian diaspora.

“One of my biggest platforms is diaspora unification,” Josephine stated. “I believe to love your culture and to know your culture is to know yourself.

Even before being approached about the Miss Panamerican International Pageant this past spring, Josephine has had a love for her culture and her country since she was very young.

She elaborated, “I've been involved in the Haitian community my entire life. My mother is an activist, and we are so proud of our country.”

And this past May, Josephine made her country proud! Throughout the week that she spent in California in preparation for the Miss Panamerican International pageant, she composed herself with grace, poise, and confidence.

By the end, Josephine earned 3 awards: Miss Congeniality, Miss Photogenic, and Miss Internet - the last of which guaranteed her a spot in the top 8 of 18 fabulous contestants.

And for the first time in the Miss Panamerican International pageant history, Miss Panamerican Haiti (Josephine) placed in the top 5, being the 4th finalist for the title “Miss Panamerican International.”

Josephine Lentner holding three awards at the Miss Panamerican International pageant
Josephine beaming after winning three awards at the Miss Panamerican International pageant.

In retrospect, she saw her journey as a full circle, starting from content creation inspired by TikTok, to modeling, and finally to becoming Miss Panamerican Haiti. She views her diverse experiences as an interconnected whirlwind, all contributing to the various roles she performs today.

“I've come to realize I didn't know anything about pageantry, but women in pageantry are phenomenal,” Josephine shared with a smile.

“They're extremely educated, well-kept, and well-poised. They have this certain confidence that I'm just so grateful that I was able to gain through my experience because I'm a completely different person than I was two months ago.”

Student Fun Fact: In addition to starting her modeling and pageantry work this past year, Josephine has worked with a non-profit literacy organization and written a children’s book called I Am Haitian Enough. “It is meant to encourage diaspora children and make them understand that being Haitian is not just whether you ‘look’ Haitian or you ‘sound’ Haitian — or you were raised in Haiti or in the States. It is really about your love for your culture and your knowledge of your culture.”

So how does a content creator, model, pageant queen, and college student find the time to compete on a stage and complete her class assignments?

Because Josephine is constantly on the move, she said, “My laptop is always with me and I have a personal hotspot on my phone.” Those two tools have been essential for her because they allow her to attend classes from anywhere – even from her car or while wrapping up a television interview.

“It’s hectic,” she stated. “but I feel like if you want something, you just have to do it.”

Another key point that has helped Josephine succeed in her academics and her arts is the support she received from Campus along the way. From the time the quarter had started, Josephine made it a point to communicate with all of her professors. Despite her worries, her professors were not only accepting but highly supportive of her endeavors.

“I was worried that they wouldn't be too accepting or that they would just be like, ‘Oh, this is stupid. No, you have to be in class,’ but they all saw it as a beautiful thing,” Josephine shared.

“They were like, ‘No, this is amazing. You're going and you're representing your country on an international stage. Please let us know how it goes.’ I was really grateful that they were able to accommodate me.”

Her professors created plans with her to navigate assignments, due dates, and class participation for the week that she spent in California. That continued level of support and understanding and support has helped her to keep on top of her studies, even when her commitments demand unconventional working hours.

Despite the challenging scheduling, she continues to strive for a bigger and brighter future while meeting her courses’ requirements.

“It's just absolutely amazing how understanding and supportive the entire Campus team is,” Josephine said. “I've never really experienced so much support.”

Josephine Lentner in Florida working on her school laptop during a photoshoot
Josephine working on homework on her laptop while at a shoot.

A Future Miss Universe?

Now that Josephine is halfway through her second year at Campus, her focus for the future is set on meeting the challenging goals she’s had from day one.

The first: to totally turn her financial situation around and change her life within a year.

“And I will,” she said confidently. “I intend on doing that because I have very big dreams, but I also understand that dreams deserve an aspect of realism.”

“I would love to be at the crossroads of beauty and business. I want to provide representation, not just for myself as a Black woman or biracial woman, but also for other Haitian women.”

As far as her future in pageantry goes, Josephine’s goal for next year is to start training for the Miss Universe pageant.

As she explained, “You have until age 28 to participate, and because I did a pretty good size pageant that a lot of girls transition to Miss Universe after, I can do it.”

That said, however, she also mentioned that there is quite a bit of competition for becoming Miss Universe Haiti.

“There are other extremely ambitious, talented, beautiful, all-encompassing women who are also wanting to do the same thing,” Josephine mentioned. “I'm friends with a lot of them, and I want to support them whenever they go as well.”

Josephine strives to be the best version of herself that she can be. Whether she is on a stage or in a classroom, her goals for the future mirror that same tenacity and drive that inspires everyone around her.

I want to do everything and I am not going to stop,” Josephine shared. “I'll be going to school, launching businesses, training for Miss Universe, doing a million things, but I'm happy doing that.”

Enroll with Students Like Josephine

If Josephine’s story resonates with you, or her words about Campus have caught your attention, be sure to check out the Campus online associate degree in business program or request more info here.

You can join inspiring students just like Josephine by applying to become a Campus Scholar today!

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