Fineza Mangombe

My name is Fineza Mangombe, and I’m 30-year-old. I currently live in Maryland, But I was originally born Angola.  I came to live in the United States at the tender age of 7 years old with my mother, aunt, and siblings. I’m currently working on obtaining my master’s in psychology: Specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis.  I also work Full-time as behavior therapist providing ABA therapy to children with Autism/ developmental disabilities.  My hobbies include singing, dancing, traveling, watching documentaries, and hanging out with my friends and family.

From a very young age, human behavior and psychology has always been a very intriguing and interesting topic to me. I took a AP course psychology course in high school, and initially fell in love with the field and knew I wanted to have a career in the field where I can help people struggling with mental health, life difficulties, trauma, etc. improve their quality of life.

My platform is to raise awareness of autism in Africa.  Autism has recently become an alarming a global health concern. Practitioner and research have dedicated towards continuing in developing research knowledge, and effective treatment on Autism. Currently the Applied Behavior Analysis, is one the most effective and evidence-based treatment in treating individuals with autism.  Sadly, children and individuals living with autism in African have limited to no access to effective treatment, clinicians, and acceptance in their communities.  Often individuals with autism and other related disabilities are stigmatized by their families and communities. They often hidden away from access to same educational and social interaction as other typically developed children and individual.  Much of the challenge in raising more awareness is rooted in cultural taboo about mental conditions/ illness in Africa.  Often individuals with disabilities, mental conditions are considered cursed or possessed.  Families often hid their children and families with disabilities and mental conditions to prevent stigma from society.  This very dishearten for me because I have hand-on experience in witnessing the tremendous and life changing effective that can be made when children with autism are treated with effective and evidence-based treatment like Applied Behavior Analysis.

 As a future Miss Africa USA, my goal is to work with non-profit organization such as the Global Autism Project and other related organization that work towards raising more awareness as well as train individual in community in how treat autism around the world including many African countries. I will be to attend seminars and developed workshops that spread awareness on autism in Africa.  I will also talk about my professional experience in working with children with autism and teaching them language, communication, social, and adaptive skills to improve quality of life.  To change the Global autism perception in Africa, through raising awareness and knowledge about

 My goal is that through advocating and raising awareness about Autism, I can play a part in the development of laws that ensure public education, effective treatment, and global perceptive for individual with autism in Africa.
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