Q&A: Mrs. Virginia American

Dhomonique Murphy of Arlington on July 10, 2020, was crowned Mrs. Virginia American during a competition held in South Hill.

Dhomonique Murphy of Arlington on July 10 was crowned Mrs. Virginia American during a competition held in South Hill.

Murphy is the president of The Right Method LLC; the founder of the non-profit Readers2Leaders; and the author of three books while also being a three-time Emmy-winning television journalists.

Murphy and her husband, Frank, are parents of two young sons. The Sun Gazette recently checked in with her about the pageant victory and her outlook on life.

What role do you think pageants like this have in the 21st century? Some people are critical of the concept, but is that because they don’t understand the big picture of what the pageants stand for?

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion – that’s what makes America great! I believe pageants can be a wonderful personal development and learning tool, not to mention the gateway to a lot of opportunities.

The key is to pick a pageant system that resonates with you; a pageant system you are aligned with. There are so many systems out there: some are academic-based, some are more fashion-forward, others celebrate career accolades.

Pageants teach women many things. Among them: courage, confidence, self-care, public speaking, networking, leadership, interview skills, the importance of eating well and staying active and fit. There are many skillsets women take away from competing in pageants.

You began as a TV host at age 14. What drew you to doing that, and If you had to do It over again, would you also have gone down that path?

Great question! I will answer the second part first. YES, YES AND YES!! I love being a journalist; it is a passion and a love I discovered very early on. Very few things give me greater joy than being able to tell the stories of the people I meet.

I was put on this earth to inspire people to achieve greatness, and that is my driving force. I have been so incredibly blessed in my career to have earned three Emmy Awards for my work.

This year, I created my own television company and have been privileged to have interviewed some of the most notable people on the planet. Check us out at TheRightMethod.com. We have some exciting things about to launch, so subscribe today to get access and get inducted into our Founding Members Circle (hint, hint, spoiler alert: big perks).

My very first television gig was hosting a show called “Whatever” that aired on the NBC affiliate in Minneapolis (KARE 11). I was hand-selected out of thousands to co-host with six other teens. The format of the show was very similar to “Entertainment Tonight,” but the focus was stories of interest to teenagers, told by teenagers. I got to interview lots of celebrities and go to movie premieres, but I also got to tackle tough topics on the show like teen bullying and eating disorders. I hosted the show for four years before going off to pursue a career in broadcast journalism full time. 

Your business – Theirghtmethod.com –works on the theory that all people seek five things: love, purpose, health, financial independence and respect. What do you think is the biggest challenge in front of people in obtaining them?

Simple – believing in oneself.

We all have these mental blockers. I like to call them “splinters in our mind.’” You know, that little annoying voice that always tries to stop you in your tracks; that voice that creates doubt. “You can’t do that…you’re going to fail…what if you fail…what will people think…what will people say…what if they laugh at me…? SOUND FAMILIAR? Of course it does because this is an internal battle that every single human on the planet deals with.

When was it that we accepted the notion that we can’t be XYZ, or that we can’t live an epic life? Where did we get the notion that we essentially have to give up…work some job we don’t really love, make a salary that isn’t the ideal – work, work, work with little recognition or appreciation for a company that you are helping to build up (by the way).

They key is to change your mindset. You have more potential than you could ever imagine. You deserve to be healthy, make however much money you want, have respect, have a purpose in life and have abundant love. Most people are looking for the tools but have no idea where to start. That is why I created my company.

You can work with me directly, but I also align you with the who’s who of business, entrepreneurialism, motivation, holistic living and charity. The name “The Right Method” is a paradox; there is no “right” method, you have to find what’s right for you. You will find it on this platform. We take the guesswork out of it and bring all the leaders to you. Find the ones that resonate with you the most.

Tell us a little about Readers2Leaders (TheYellowBox.org) – what is the goal and how has it been impacted by the current economic pandemic and associated challenges?

Awe, my passion project! There’s no greater gift than service to others. I created Readers2Leaders because there is a dire need for books and quality reading materials for children in urban settings.

Here’s a shocking statistic: One in four children in America will grow up not learning how to read. Readers2Leaders puts thousands of books into the hands of children in underserved communities. We do this by donating Kindle e-readers to the kids. The devices are loaded with thousands of books, so all kids can find books that they like.

The goal is to take this program national and partner with a major corporation such as Amazon. (Amazon, are you listening?!) We are always looking for individual donors and corporate sponsors, as well. If you feel compelled to help, please do. You can help make a major different in communities across the country. The URL is TheYellowBox.com because nonprofit is known for its bright yellow boxes. We deliver “boxes of sunshine” to the front doorsteps of the homes of children in underserved communities. It’s a fun concept and the kids absolutely love it.

“Dhomonique” is an unusual spelling of a first name – do you find that having a name that’s somewhat unique serves a plus, a minus or a little bit of both as you go through daily life?

Haha, it depends on what age you would have asked me that question. In all honesty, growing up I did not like it at all. Why? Because no one ever pronounced it correctly. Everyone would call me “Dominique.” The correct pronunciation of my name is “Doe-ma-nique. “

I remember being a child in grade school – the first day of class was always my least favorite. That’s the day the teacher does roll call so he/she can learn all the students’ names. I would always know when my name would be next because the ease of the flow of reading could come to a screeching halt and then I would see the teacher squint at the sheet of paper in their hands and say, “Sorry if I butcher this. Is it…ahh…Da-HO-minic…Daugh-mo-NIQUE? The kids would snicker and I would sink down into the floor hoping I could just disappear for a moment.

I can laugh at that now – in fact, it made me a terrific speller early on!

My name is unique, and it definitely makes me stand out. I have pride in my name; in fact, I am the only “Dhomonique” on the planet. Don’t believe me? Do a Google search. Yep, the only one. I wouldn’t change it now for anything.

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