MIAMI (WSVN) - A South Florida nurse is proving she’s got beauty and brains. When she’s not in the hospital, she’s gracing the pageant stage.
Ramina Ashfaque looks like any other health professional — scrubs, a mask and constantly on the go, but take this Jackson Memorial Hospital nurse outside and you can see she’s got more than just a little pep in her step.
“I don’t even know how I do that. honestly. It’s crazy,” she said. “I mean, I work so much over here, like 12-hour shifts. By the time I get home, I’m exhausted. I have to do interview prep, I have to do walking coaching. I have so much preparation that my four to three days off here is not enough to prepare for this.”
From Miss West Broward USA to Miss Florida and Miss World Florida, she soon took her quest to international beauty competitions, winning Miss Pakistan World in 2016.
Since Pakistan does not allow beauty pageants, this Canadian pageant is for women of Pakistani heritage around the world.
But a personal loss had this Florida International University communications graduate putting her modeling and world travels on hold.
“Someone very close to me passed due to negligence of a nurse. so that hit me hard,” she said, “so I went back to nursing school. I put everything on hold. I stopped everything completely the last two years, and here I am today. I’m really proud to be a nurse here.”
She’s ready to represent her parents’ native Pakistan at the Miss Grand International 2021 in Thailand in December.
The reigning Miss Grand Pakistan, Ashfaque’s platform, is spotlighting the harm of violence against women, but she said just participating in and winning beauty pageants is a potent symbol for women and girls.
“Pakistani girls can be more bold, be more confident, show their voice, voice themselves because they’ve been so suppressed, and I’m very happy to be that person to open the doors up for them,” she said.
Before that next pageant, she’ll be pacing the floors of Jackson and giving comfort to South Florida patients concerned about COVID-19 or any other health issue that lands them there.
“It feels good to be able to help calm people down and build confidence for them that they’re going to be OK,” she said.
This marks the ninth year of the Miss Grand International Competition. The pageant is set to take place on Dec. 4 in Phuket, Thailand.
Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.