Born in the midst of civil war, Angolan model Maria Borges lost her mother at 11 — the first in a series of heartbreaks she'd have to face.
Modeling was initially a way for her to earn some cash for university — but when she entered her first elite modeling competition, she lost. A scout in the crowd, however, spotted her and encouraged her to pursue her dreams of walking the ramps of New York like her idol, Naomi Campbell.
And so at just 23 years old, Maria became the first-ever black supermodel to walk the runway of Victoria's Secret's annual show — sporting natural hair.
On the back of her modeling success, Maria has used her platform for powerful philanthropy — from donating to orphanages and putting numerous Angolan children through school, to lending her voice to the plight of women’s health and gender equality.
In the end, the chaotic gunfire that characterized her birth has come to define her career trajectory — as she shoots for the stars and pierces through every barrier in her way.
What a wow.
Maria Borges is one of the best of us, and her journey inspires the rest of us. It shows us that it’s possible to overcome hardship and eventually bask in the warm glow of success.
I’d love to hear your story.
Between now and December 2020, the A+FAM team will be featuring the stories of some of our community members on our social media feeds. Tell us about your successes — how you beat depression, landed that job, or became the first person in your family to graduate from college. Whether big or small, each win counts.
And with our growing family of 266 subscribers (and counting), your story will inspire, motivate, and resonate with someone out there.
It gets better.
In exchange for the privilege of hearing your story, we’ll give you 20% off your next A+FAM purchase from our store. And if you agree, we’ll tag you on all the posts so the global A+FAM family can connect with you.
That’s 20% off anything in the store.
Go ahead. Help yourself.
Why are we doing this?
2020 hasn’t been easy. With all that’s been going on, sharing our stories is the fuel that keeps us going — our motivation engine. It’s easy to feel alone, depressed, and downtrodden in these times, but knowing that someone out there has gone through the same challenges you are facing (and overcome them) is the best anti-anxiety drug there is. The best of us tend to inspire the rest of us.
So, what do I have to do?
- Make a short video (under 2-mins) telling us how you overcame a recent challenge. Make sure you’re rocking A+FAM wear — get yours here.
- Send us your video and social media handles (for credit) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To hear all of the stories, follow us on Instagram for regular updates. We’ll schedule the submissions over the next few months and send you your discount code once your story has flighted.
You are one of the best of us.
And I can’t wait to share your story with the rest of us.
Terry and the team
P.S. Not sure where to start? Grab a few items from the A+FAM store before you begin.