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Sunday, December 10, 2023


SPB crowns junior as winner in competition

The Student Program Board carried on their new tradition with the second annual Mr. UH competition and crowned another stand-up guy as the winner Thursday evening.

Thirteen men entertained a crowd of more than 200 in the University Center as they competed for the 2012 Mr. UH title.

All proceeds from the event were donated to the charity of the winner’s choice.

SPB Special Events Chair Kelly Poblete and Student Government Association member Rani Ramchandani orchestrated the event with specific goals in mind.

“Me and Rani’s initial goal was to make Mr. UH a new tradition here,” Poblete said. “We knew we wanted to raise money for charity. We wanted to unite the campus and get everyone to give back to the community some how.”

Ramchandani was all smiles as she crowned biochemistry junior Derick Maduka-Okafor this year’s Mr. UH and announced the event raised $1,400.

“This being our second year, it not only unified the student body but it had a philanthropic element, which is giving back to a charity and this time it’s a local charity which makes it that much better,“ Ramchandani said.

Ramchandani also had a few positive words for Maduka-Okafor.

“He personally puts his time out there. For me, I was so happy,” she said.

The contestants had to endure three categories: swimwear, talent and formal wear. Maduka-Okafor came out on top as he won the hearts of judges and the students, who also had a hand in the judging process by sending in their votes via text.

Maduka-Okafor humbly thanked the crowd and chose to donate the money raised from the event to the True Gospel Men’s Home.

“I chose True Gospel Men’s Home because it truly touched my heart,” Maduka-Okafor said. “I wanted to give the money to a place that really needed it — a place that doesn’t get as much shine as some of these major corporations.”

Maduka-Okafor’s charity began when he created the HEAR organization two years ago and put on its first event where the organization raised more than 500 canned goods to give to the Houston Food Bank, before he expanded his philanthropy elsewhere.

“It’s a place for men that are going through the trials of alcoholism, drug addiction or they just hit rock bottom and are being rehabilitated through Christ,” he said.

“They don’t know we’re doing this. We actually are not going to tell them.  They personally know me so I’m trying not to show up. I want my group to go and present it to them. I want them to not think that it came from me, but the general well-being and the good of people. That’s the image I want to portray, people giving back.”

The founders and many volunteers who helped execute the event this year hope to come back as alumni to find a bigger and better Mr. UH competition.

“Ultimately for me, it was about giving the people a good show, letting them have a good time knowing it was meant for a good cause,” said Master of Ceremonies Domonique Champion.

“As for our second year, I think we’re on a really good roll right now.”

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