After being spotted at Howard University’s homecoming, the South Sudanese college sophomore is getting ready for her “dream” career.
Anok Yai, a sophomore at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, was in Washington, D.C. last weekend for the historically Black university’s homecoming festivities when she was spotted by photographer Steven Hall who was taking photos of stylish attendees. After snapping a photo of Yai, Hall posted the photo to his Instagram account @TheSUNK, and added this caption: “Saw her right at the end of Yardfest. Stunning @anokyai”
In an interview with The Boston Globe, the 19-year-old South Sudanese student admitted that she thought it was an “average photo” and that she’d possibly gain a few new followers from the post. After receiving over 13,000 likes, the photo however ended up going viral, and Yai wasn’t prepared for what happened next.
“My phone just started vibrating rapidly for a long, long time,” Yai told The Boston Globe. “At first, I honestly thought someone made a meme of me or something.”
It was the exact opposite reaction with many commenting on how beautiful she was and how she deserved a modeling contract. Since then, Yai has been contacted by several modeling agencies and signed with Next Models on Tuesday.
Yai, who’s studying biochemistry, is planning to pursue model part-time while she continues college. “It was a dream that I always wanted, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen,” she shared with The Boston Globe.