Anok Yai, a 19-year-old student at Plymouth State University, signed with NEXT Model Management on October 31 after a photo of her went viral on Instagram, according to the New Hampshire Labor Leader. Yai and NEXT posted on Instagram to announce their new partnership.
Yai has started modeling part-time while she completes her current classes, her older sister, Alim, told the newspaper. She is currently studying biochemistry and still wants to become a doctor.
NEXT discovered Yai after being featured on Steve Hall’s “TheSUNK” Instagram page.
The pro photographer saw her at Howard University’s Yardfest event and asked to take some photos, calling her “stunning.” Both photos have been liked more than 20,000 times, and Hall posted a photo from Yai’s first professional shoot in Manchester, New Hampshire on Sunday.
For Yai, who dreamed of podiums and offices in New York as a child, according to the Washington Postit is a life-changing opportunity.
“Now I can speak my mind on certain topics and have people who will definitely listen,” she told the To post. “Now I can use my mind and talk to people about colorism and teach girls about self-confidence.”