Kierra Leggett | Editor-in-Chief

Sandra Dubose is more than just a pretty face.

At 38, she is an accomplished author, motivational speaker, performing artist and as of 2011 North Carolina’s first bald pageant queen.

While she has worked hard to obtain these accomplishments, Dubose gives credit to Iyanla Vanzant, who she has admired for 20 years.

A follower of Vanzant’s ministry, Dubose created an inspiration board last year with Vanzant’s picture included on it.

“I’ve had a picture of her manifesting,” said Dubose. “At the time I didn’t know where or when it was going to happen but I knew I wanted to meet this woman.”

With the help of a little “divine order” and “synchronicity,” Dubose’ s manifestations came full circle Monday, when N.C. State hosted its 10th annual commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. at the McKimmon Center with keynote speaker, Iyanla Vanzant.

Vanzant is the author of several books and has most recently gained exposure for her television show, Iyanla Fix My Life, which broadcasts on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Formerly named one of Ebony magazine’s “100 Most Influential Black Americans,” Vanzant has overcome a host of tribulations including being left motherless at age three, raped at age nine and becoming a mother at 16.

During Monday’s commemoration, Vanzant spoke not only of the hardships she has had to overcome but also offered words of wisdom, inspiration and solace to the N.C. State community.  It was the same quality of Vanzant’s words 20 years ago, which empowered a then 18-year-old Dubose to follow in her footsteps, and do the same.

Having over come her own obstacles including autoimmune disorder, Alopecia Areta, which she documents in her film Project Liberation, My Alopecia Story, as well as low self-esteem, Dubose has grown with Vanzant in her personal journey for self-betterment.

Dubose who was asked to sing “Lift Every and Sing,” the Negro National Anthem at Monday’s commencement felt that Vanzant was the “ideal” speaker for the night. “ I think everyone knows Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream” speech. Iyanla is such a clear example of pursuing the dream and overcoming things in life— she empowers others to be transparent,” said Dubose.

Vanzant referenced Dr. King, Jr. throughout her commemorative speech many times Monday night telling the audience, “Take the first step in faith, you don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the step.”

Dubose took steps toward fulfilling her dream of meeting Vanzant when during the celebration, she presented Vanzant with a gift of her book, My Crown and Glory.

Vanzant in return gifted Dubose with a single kiss upon her head.