One Wartburg alumna is out to conquer the negative stereotypes while simultaneously giving as much as she possibly can back to her community.
JuTone Owens graduated in May of 2014, and wasted no time in striving to achieve her goals. JuTone is enrolled in graduate school at the University of Denver, works for child protection services, and perhaps most notably was named Miss Black Colorado US Ambassador
The competition isn’t an ordinary beauty pageant. While it’s still a pageant, it puts a focus on outstanding service and being an ambassador and role model for not only the African American community but women everywhere, Owens said.
As Miss Black Colorado U.S. Ambassador, Owens has an obligation to be culturally responsive to the African American community of Denver and Colorado. These duties include making sure the needs of children and adults are met both politically and poverty wise.
While she is heavily involved in service now, Owens said she hasn’t always been so community oriented.
“In high school I was a bit of a troublemaker and wasn’t engaged at all, then a group of African American women started a program called Girls in Action,” Owens said. “Since then I’ve been able to build and grow.”
Owens continued her newfound love for service when she attended Wartburg, where her passion was a perfect fit for the schools emphasis on giving back to the community.
“Wartburg helped me see that everything we go through is temporary and everybody needs somebody to help them realize where they want to go. Wartburg gave me that community that helped me thrive,” Owens said.
Owens was involved in the Black Student Union, choir and cheerleading. She said these groups helped her form her view of the world.
“I saw that the world is not an evil or bad place. There are people here to help and knowing that as I’ve gone through school has stuck with me and let me know I can’t be selfish,” Owens said.
Another factor in shaping Owens life goals was her work with children at Bremwood, the home for troubled youth in the Waverly area.
“I like working with children because I consider myself to be youthful,” Owens said. “I’m learning so much about development and how much a child needs to be successful in the world.”
Her work with youth has helped her realize her ultimate goal of starting a non-profit organization that incorporates 24 hour childcare, a rec center, and therapeutic services for children and adults in need.
Jenna Vogen, Owens’ coworker at Bremwood, spoke highly of Owens’ tenacity and resiliency.
“Where most would sit back and let the world win, she fights back and it shows her passion, determination to succeed, and her drive. Those are just three of the things I find most amazing about her,” Vogen said.
Vogen said she has no doubt that Owens is deserving of her title as Miss Black Colorado U.S. Ambassador, and thinks she is the exact type of person to be in such position.
“She’s got such a big heart,” Vogen said. “I don’t think she’d be just a great ambassador to the African American Community but to all people in general.”