In the news: Janelle Woods-McNish
8/17/2017, 6 a.m.
Dorchester resident Janelle Woods-McNish will fly to South Africa in September to compete for the international Mrs. Universe crown. Woods-McNish holds the title of Mrs. North America Universe and is a national spokesperson for Children of the Night, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit committed to rescuing children from human trafficking and sex exploitation.
The international Mrs. Universe pageant celebrates its 40th anniversary in Durban, South Africa this year and seeks to highlight concerns and areas for positive change around the world. The event’s theme is “Empowering Women, Creating Change.”
The 2017 competition features 84 married women from ages 25 to 45 who represent 80 nations worldwide. All competitors are working to enhance their local communities through charity work, business development and global trade opportunities. They will merge their global reach in support of Dare2Care, a charity initiative that seeks to improve the lives of children.
A celebration and send-off for Woods-McNish is scheduled for August 17 at The Blarney Stone Restaurant in Dorchester. The event supports her personal cause — raising awareness of human trafficking and child sex exploitation. At the event, Woods-McNish will launch her new children’s book, “Grandma’s Crown: The Story of Queen Janelle” with proceeds to benefit Children of the Night.
Woods-McNish oversees community involvement initiatives at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, where she is the director of giving and service. She leads initiatives across New England and oversees, promotes and implements employee volunteer opportunities and fundraising for charitable causes. A graduate of Texas A&M University, she also received a master’s from Boston College and an MBA from Simmons College.
She lives in Dorchester with her husband, Hansley, and nine-year-old twins, Jasmine and Sheridan.