GRAPHIC DESIGN STUDENT TAKES ON MISS EARTH SA
By: Sonam Bhagwandas
Born and raised in the heart of Pietermaritzburg, Julia Gramkow, a Graphic Design and Marketing Communications student, sets her sights on becoming the next Miss Earth SA 2013.
With great aspirations for her future, Julia hopes to one day take on the role of being a creative director for a South African based magazine and hopes to open an NPO for children. She believes that change begins with the youth and the children of this country.
We here at JournalismIziko spoke to Julia about her journey and experiences as a Miss Earth SA Finalist.
JI: What inspired you to get involved with Miss Earth SA?
JG: I am inspired by people, I have this passion to give to others less fortunate than myself. I have not had an easy life but from the dark moments, I have seen the bright and South Africa has so much to offer to its beautiful people.
JI: From your opinion what does it entail to be Miss Earth SA? What specific characteristics should one have?
JG: I believe the winner of Miss Earth SA should be eager to learn, enthusiastic to help wherever she can and be willing to give 100% of her heart and time. I firmly believe that if your heart is in the competition for the right reasons, you are a winner already.
JI: What characteristics do you have that would set you apart from the other Miss Earth SA Finalists?
JG: I consider myself gentle, yet firm. My mom has always said to my friends and family, “If Julia puts her heart in to it; nothing in this world can stop her.” I am very determined in all that I do. I take life seriously and see things for how they are not for how they may be presented. This realistic approach on life has strengthened me.
JI: You have been a part of many charity events, interviews, etc. since becoming a finalist. Which for you has been the most fulfilling experience and why?
JG: It is very difficult to name one as each project I have taken on has been very close to my heart, however I do think the most recent project I took on of planting 2000 vegetable seedlings and 5 trees at a crèche just outside Howick with the Singewenzi team was one of the most fulfilling experiences. I have never seen so many beautiful little eager faces so willing to learn and be a part of the bigger picture.
JI: How has your overall experience been working with so many different organizations and meeting many different people?
JG: It has been incredible to say the least. So many people want to help and be a part of the bigger picture. In the beginning of Miss Earth SA, I was nervous, However that leap of courage to ask for help and ask to help has been an inspiring experience. South Africans are so kind, I have always treasured the people in our country.
JI: What has your journey being a finalist taught you so far?
JG: This taught me that no matter how small your contribution is, it is certainly better than nothing. I believe if we all take this step in doing our small part in society, we can be the change we wish to see in the world.
JI: Have you faced any obstacles or challenges thus far in your journey as a finalist for Miss Earth SA? If yes, what have they been?
JG: My biggest challenge was time management with studies, But the truth is if you find something that you are passionate about just as I am with Miss Earth SA and the projects we take on, you will always find time.
JI: What will being Miss Earth SA mean to you?
JG: Miss Earth SA means fulfilling my outlook on life from a young age. I believe that Miss Earth gives one that opportunity to focus on community based work and our environment and give what you believe the world needs.
JI: What would your advice be to young girls/women who aspire to be in your position one day?
JG: If your intentions are real, go for it. Don’t sit back and watch the world pass you by, take that leap of courage that we are often so scared to take because I promise you, whether you make it to the top or not, you are a winner!
Being driven by her passion for the community and the people of South Africa, Julia has dedicated herself to helping those less fortunate and is determined to continue this as the next Miss Earth SA.