Senior Spotlight: Dominica Manlove (CSU ’20)

With graduations for university students across Colorado underway, the Puksta Foundation is featuring “Senior Spotlight” profiles, a special series of posts to celebrate our graduating Puksta Scholars and their projects. We are truly impressed by the work these students have accomplished as Puksta Scholars, and we are so grateful to have this opportunity to share these profiles with the community so you can get to know our Pukstas a bit better.

Please join us in congratulating these students and wishing them luck in the future!

Today our featured Puksta Senior is Dominica Manlove, graduating from Colorado State University!

Dominica majored in Health & Exercise Science. She spent her time as a Puksta working to promote self-love, natural beauty, and respect among young women and girls. Reflecting on her Puksta experiences, Dominica shared the following about her project, ‘Be Yourself and Own It!’: A movement designed to defeat the perception of beauty and spotlight the uniqueness in being different and yourself! 

Society’s ideologies influence women of color and of mixed races to believe that they are not beautiful in their own skin if they do not fit a certain criteria, persuading women to change themselves in order to be “beautiful”. As a result, young, curly-haired women grow up without self-love for their unique hair, and often damage it in attempts to straighten it. The focus for ‘Be Yourself and Own It’ was to establish a curly hair movement. During this educational movement we were able to unravel beauty and self-love with young girls throughout the school year. I have had the opportunity to connect with cultural groups, women’s support groups and entrepreneurs for skin and hair care to bring together and showcase to young girls with hopes of encouraging self-love and self-happiness. We highlighted self-care tips from hair care to skin along with nutrition advice. We presented and displayed different hair and skin type journeys with hopes of bringing awareness and spreading self love to young ladies. With curly haired demonstrations, activists and stylists, we delved into culture and understanding through workshops. The ‘Be Yourself and Own It’ movement strived to influence love and passion for diversity throughout the community, and create a safe place where individuals were accepted for who they are. It was important to encourage uniqueness and uplift one another instead of making beauty a competition. I loved helping young women learn about themselves and their unique beautiful differences.

I would like to thank Puksta for making my vision possible, for believing in me and supporting me throughout my college journey.

Congratulations on the completion of your degree, Dominica, and thank you for your truly meaningful and impactful work in the community!