- – Photos of 19-year-old college student Anok Yai recently went viral on Instagram.
- – Her photos caught the attention of people on social media — and modeling agencies.
- – Three agencies have already reached out, but Yai hasn’t committed to any of them yet.
Social media can be a powerful tool. Though it can often be a vehicle for trolls and negativity, sometimes it can make people’s dreams come true.
That was recently the case for 19-year-old college student Anok Yai. Photos of the South Sudanese student taken during one of Howard University’s homecoming events recently went viral and have led to some exciting career prospects.
The photos were posted on the Instagram account theSUNK and have since been liked over 11,000 times. But people didn’t just like the photo — they also widely shared the post in an effort to get Yai noticed by modeling agencies.
The Plymouth State University student told The Boston Globe she didn’t know what to expect when her photos first went viral.
“My phone just started vibrating rapidly for a long, long time,” she told the Globe. “At first, I honestly thought someone made a meme of me or something.”
The photos certainly spread as quickly as a meme, though the intent was much more positive. Yai says she’s heard from three modeling agencies so far, which is more than she ever expected.
“It was a dream that I always wanted, but I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen,” she said.
Though it’s unclear what she will do next, Yai told Yahoo Lifestyle that she’s taking her time to make the decision that’s right for her.
“I’ve had a few offers here and there,” she told Yahoo. “But I’m keeping my options open for now, before I make a decision on who I want to commit to.”
Whether she jumps headfirst into modeling or continues her studies, she seems to have plenty of promising opportunities ahead of her.
INSIDER has reached out to Anok Yai and theSUNK for comment.