Kiana Rouchon, the reigning Miss Black Florida US Ambassador is always on the move. Literally. When she’s not visiting elementary schools to inspire little ones, she’s present at youth empowering events, eager to lend her voice and use her platform to inspire and encourage.
Even before she earned the tiara that sits firmly on her head at every event she attends, she was a busy woman. Currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in psychology at Florida International University, with the goal of becoming a licensed professional counselor, Kiana is what a professional psychologist would call a staunch survivor. If you’ll read on, you’ll see what I mean.
As you get to know Kiana through her interview responses, you find out that she’s an avid reader, and a searching soul who knows very well that she does not live on bread alone, or in her case—on quinoa alone. She’s proof that dark days don’t have to be followed by even darker days. You only need to believe, and work hard—work very hard, and then enjoy the fruits of your perseverance.
Kreyolicious: Tell us about yourself.
I am a 20 year-old, young Haitian female who wants to impact the world! I’m a youth advocate, writer, vegetarian, go-getter and in love with Jesus. The quickest way to my heart is a burrito bowl from Chipotle—just kidding—maybe. My only goal is to make Christ known and glorify him in all that I do.
Kreyolicious: How did you learn about the pageant?
I learned about the Miss Black US Ambassador Scholarship Pageant in 2013 while I was mentoring under an organization named Strong Women, Strong Girls. My co-mentor messaged me on Facebook with included. At first I was a bit hesitant because I never competed in a pageant and was not into pageantry at all! But once I read the mission statement, I was sold. This system was built to be more than a pageant. They were giving young Black women an opportunity to change their communities and at that point, I knew I couldn’t pass on it.
Kreyolicious: Did you have some jitters about entering?
Not at all. I applied in one day and left the rest up to God. If He wanted me to be crowned, it would happen… and it did! It’s been an interesting and amazing journey ever since.
Kreyolicious: What went through your mind as you were being crowned?
“Thank you, Lord!” is what I said on August 21, 2013 and still continue to say. It is only the beginning of His great plan for my life!
Miss Black US Ambassador Kiana Rouchon being presented a certificate for her participation at an elementary school’s Career Day festivities. Photo: Creative Image Photo
Kreyolicious: What’s the most exciting thing that’s happened to you since your crowning?
I would say actually competing in the pageant competition was one of the most exciting weeks in my life. I met so many positive, like-minded women and created the sisterhood of a lifetime. I also conquered a major fear in that one week: stage fright. Years ago, I would tremble while holding a mic or even walking on stage! At the pageant, I had confidence like never before. It was my first time modeling and performing a poem in front of a large crowd and I did it with a huge smile on my face.
Kreyolicious: You know before interviewing you, I decided to look up the meaning of your name. One source states that its origin is Hawaiian for “moon goddess”. Another source says that it means “living with grace.” Did you know this?
I actually did! I was so happy to find that out. Grace is a beautiful attribute.
Kreyolicious: Do you feel pressure to live up to those meanings over the course of your life/from now on?
I don’t know if I would consider myself a “moon goddess”. [Laughter] But, I strive to be graceful daily—in speech and deed. To me, living with grace is an extension of the grace that God gives us every day. A graceful life is honorable!
The reigning Miss Black Florida US Ambassador at an event in Miami. Photo Credit: Creative Fame Photo
Kreyolicious: Lot of us look back to our high school years, and think back to something our parents said that, I don’t know, seemed to make no sense at the time, but now makes plenty of sense. What was it for you?
“Mind your own business.” [Laughter] I say that because I was a big eavesdropper as a kid. Now that I am older and wiser, it easier for me to read between the lines and decode things, which can be a blessing and a curse. The difference is that now I don’t have to eavesdrop to know too much!
Kreyolicious: Speaking of your parents, how do they feel about your being a beauty queen?
My parents are so supportive. They both grew up without much support from their families in their career/academic endeavors and as a result had to change paths. My parents want the best for my brother and I so any opportunity that will help my us to thrive professionally and academically, my mother and father are there to help navigate us. They are my biggest cheerleaders.
Kreyolicious: How do you stay connected to Haitian culture?
Living in South Florida makes that very easy for me. I am connected to many Haitian professionals in my community so I am constantly updated on what is taking place within entertainment and politics. On a deeper level, I just listen to my elders’ stories! Their tales of trial and triumph as well as their yummy home-cooked meals makes me feel proud to be Haitian.
Kreyolicious: Everyone who’s successful has had to overcome an obstacle—if not obstacles. Was that the case with you? .
I know I have a purpose in life because I was a delayed pregnancy. I was born a month late. [I got] robbed at gunpoint and went through depression, suicidal thoughts and self-harm as a pre-teen. I shouldn’t be alive, but I am still here—thanks to God! I was depressed as a result of rejection and feelings of inadequacy as a child. In middle school, some boys would make fun of me because of my dark skin and it bothered me. In 2008, I almost lost my little brother to a strange illness and nearly flunked my freshman year of high school because I was distraught from that experience. That planted seeds of bitterness, anger, strife and rebellion in my heart. I was quite the agnostic growing up, but all I remember is telling God at 15 years old: “If you exist, if you are really out there… please save me from this hole that I am in.” Fast forward a couple of years, I was president of the first graduating class at Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High. Go Sharks! I’m a mentor to 100 little girls, a Miami Dade College Honors grad, Miss Black Florida US Ambassador 2014 and still be a big sister to a 16 year old brother who is alive and well! If I could sum it all up in a quote: “before a breakthrough, some things must be broken!” I had to be broken to be made new.
There she is…Miss Black Florida US Ambassador…
Kreyolicious: This is something I ask of practically every beauty queen that I interview…What is your personal definition of beauty?
True, genuine beauty shines from the inside out. Our physical features only enhance our beauty and can be used to express it respectfully. A beautiful woman is gentle, quiet, fearless, selfless, cheerful regardless of circumstances, encouraging and virtuous. Make-up, nice clothes and great hair is okay, but it cannot cover up the ugliest personality. Think about it: if we took pictures of our souls, minds, attitudes…would we still be beautiful?
Kreyolicious: Now…that’s a great question for all of us to think about…Natural hair and processed hair…what’s your take?
I don’t have a preference, to be honest! I believe that decision depends on the woman. Natural hair is not “better” than extensions or relaxed hair and vice versa. I think people tend to look down on people and judge them based on their hair—or appearance, period—which isn’t fair. I am very happy that black women are embracing their natural roots, though! It is a wonderful thing to walk into a room full of naturalistas.
Kreyolicious: Let’s play a little game, okay? We’re going to imagine that you have your own advice column and I’m going to play your secretary. I love my job because I get to read all the emails coming in and sorting through them. We’re going to pretend that this is one of the emails coming in for the “Ask Kiana” column, okay?
Let’s do it!
Kreyolicious: Okay, awesome. Here goes. Ahem. “Dear Kiana: I am in my senior year in high school. I’m not sure what to do. I love to write, but I’m not sure this will get me anywhere. On the other hand, I know nursing is one of the happening fields out there right now. Should I apply, and then once I make enough money in that field to support myself, I can try to go for a writing career. I don’t want to struggle. ‘What do you think, Kiana?’ Sincerely Yours, The Nursing Scribe.” ‘What’s your advice to this loyal reader?
Dear Nursing Scribe…Writing is a beautiful gift and not many people have it. Take advantage of your craft and start now! Pursuing higher education and a career in Nursing is a great aspiration and I encourage you to achieve your academic goals. In the meantime, find opportunities for your to exercise your love for writing; does your college of choice have a newspaper or writing club? Are there any spoken word events or poetry contests being held in your city? Do you journal often? Is there a topic that you are passionate about that could be written about in a book, magazine or blog? In this day and age, the opportunities are endless. You never know where your writing can take you! You might even find that you didn’t need extra money to get there; all you need is motivation, consistency, patience and passion. Yours Truly, Kiana. [Smiles]
Kreyolicious: Wow, Kiana, as your humble secretary, I have to say that this is some seriously fab advice…What measures do you take to stay fit and looking your best?
My vegetarian diet certainly helps a lot! I stopped eating meat right after my 19th birthday weekend and never went back. Being Haitian, it seems impossible to live on a plant-based diet, but I beat the odds! Eating in portions and drinking in between bites keeps me from overeating—not that I do…but sometimes the food is just too good! [Laughter]. Cardio exercise—spinning, running, etc—helped shed a lot of pounds before the pageant competition and drinking green tea also burns a lot of fat, not to mention it keeps my skin clear.
Kreyolicious: Girl, do you visit Haiti often?
You know, I have not been to Haiti once in my life! Isn’t that unfortunate? I have large families on Mom and Dad’s side who live in Haiti and would love to visit them in the near future.
Kreyolicious: Do you chill to some Haitian music sometimes?
Only when my mom listens to it! I love Nickenson Prudhomme and K’Dans though…music that gets you up and dancing the night away!
Kreyolicious: Have you ever read a book that changed your life…just made you think differently?
Two years ago, I read a book called Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman. It changed the way I walked and talked! I had just gotten serious about my faith and Kyle breaks down the difference between religion and a real relationship with Jesus Christ. That matters because we live in a world that brands Christians as overly pious, intolerant hypocrites. Jesus says that the world will know his people by their love and prioritizing “religious ways” over-renewed minds can prevent us from that. Christians aren’t responsible for what people think, but we have a bigger responsibility—to walk in love and truth as bold, faithful representatives of Christ here on earth.
Giving some inspiration and encouragement to some youngins. Photo Credit: Creative Fame Photography.
Kreyolicious: What songs do you listen to…when you’re looking for a track to motivate you…you know that song that you feel personifies who you are as a person.
I am a huge fan of Lecrae. An old song of his, “Background,” is my life story right now. Because I am naturally ambitious, there are times when I try to control and organize every part of my life. I am learning to let go and let God take center stage in my life while I stand in the background, trusting Him to work out everything for my good.
Kreyolicious: What’s next for you, missy?
I have a heart for this generation and youth in general. I do hope to counsel children and teens at my own mental health practice one day, but I am not going to sit around waiting for that day to come! I do the best I can to inspire young people as a blogger for , Inc., an ambassador of change and a woman of God. I believe that every day is an opportunity to make a positive impact, whether it’s in one person’s life or a thousand lives. Whatever is next for me, I’ll use it to do that and more!
Pageant Photo Credit:
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Last Updated on August 30, 2023 by kreyolicious