Yityish Aynaw, 21-year-old, made history last month by becoming Israel's first black Miss Israel 2013. Aynaw, an immigrant orphan from Ethiopia arrived in Israel as a 12-year-old orphan.
Both of Aynaw's parents are deceased. Her father had died years earlier. Her grandparents who were among thousands of Ethiopian Jews already living in Israel, arrived in Addis Ababa and took she and her brother to Israel.
Although Hebrew was a challenge, Aynaw was focused and determined to learn her new language. Hebrew was a requirement for new families. "It wasn't easy because I couldn't speak the language and I was put into a regular class without any help," Aynaw recently told the BBC World Service.
President Obama specifically requested that Aynaw be invited to attend a state dinner hosted in his honor at Israeli President Shimon Peres’ home, reports CNN.
According to Aynaw, civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Barack Obama are two of her role models.