n a breezy evening on Tribeca Rooftop in New York City, you could hear the soft background music, clinking wine glasses, and hearty laughter emanating from individuals from all walks of life gathered to celebrate a selected group of Stony Brook University alumni for the remarkable impacts they have made in our world.
Ofonime “Elfonnie” Inokon-Anusionwu, previously honored in 2021 as one of the Top 34 Women from Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, stood out in the crowd as an entrepreneur creating a unique brand in the global digital and fashion space and giving back through her nonprofit, weCare Africa. Little wonder why she would be among the “40 under Forty” recognized by her alma mater, Stony Brook University.
Known for winking at a challenge and stepping out of it unruffled, Elfonnie interestingly studied Health Science at the university which set a solid educational background for her now thriving multidisciplinary career. She then obtained a master’s degree in civil engineering––with a focus on environmental and water resources, from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
“The caliber of this year’s honorees is a true testament to the power of a Stony Brook education to make an impact not only in our own community, but around the world,” said Stony Brook University President Maurie McInnis. “I am inspired by the strides that these remarkable alumni have made so early in their careers.”
Other than her inspiring career, Elfonnie was also recognized for her influence on society. As Editor-in-Chief of Style Rave, she trains writers across the globe and sharpens their editorial skills to become an asset in the digital publishing world. As a philanthropist, the multi-talented professional advocates for girl education, especially in marginalized areas in Africa. Leading by example, she creates educational opportunities for the girl child and also awards merit-based university scholarships.
Through weCare Africa, the honoree is passionate about infrastructural development for rural schools, providing potable water and sanitary facilities. Through her non-profit, she has also donated relief materials to orphanages, internally displaced persons camps, and less-privileged people in rural communities in Nigeria.
In a bid to promote mental health awareness in the global black community and beyond, a section of Style Rave is dedicated to the subject of mental health, an important but often neglected and stigmatized aspect of health and lifestyle. Staying true to her commitment to improving the mental health of her Style Rave audience, Elfonnie works closely with her husband, Reagan Anusionwu, who’s the owner of SouthEnd Psych, a tele-psychiatry clinic, which provides care for individuals with mental health-related disorders.
The last of six children, Elfonnie is married to Reagan and their union is blessed with two beautiful children. One of her admirable traits is how she prioritizes her home irrespective of her overflowing schedule. Among other awards, this Stony Brook 40 Under Forty recognition is well deserved and the beginning of more wins to come. She started Style Rave with her sister, Uni (as she’s fondly called), and they have both gone through the storms of entrepreneurship without relenting. Still on her family, Elfonnie maintains close ties with her mother and many other loved ones, who are always present cheering her on. It’s no surprise that success like hers is the outcome when you have a strong support system as she does.
The mother-of-two strives to live a balanced lifestyle; setting aside time to work out and being aware of her diet and environment could be one of her secrets to success.
As a fashion entrepreneur, her style game is one for the books—simple, reserved, and classy. Her fit for the Stony Brook recognition is proof of this as she graciously walked on the stage in a Smythe cargo pocket longline blazer, Theory white button-down shirt, White House, Black Market skirt, styled with Mach & Mach leopard-print embellished double bow silk pumps, Balenciaga earrings and Alexis Bittar clutch (gifted), to receive her award.
Elfonnie credits her career growth to the solid foundation she received at Stony Brook.
“The work I did in my health sciences writing class at Stony Brook gave me the tools to pursue my passion,” she said. “Without that class, I never would have had the confidence to begin my blog, which has developed into a media-to-shopping company.”
She continues to build a brand that inspires people to become more stylish, build confidence and make better lifestyle choices. Elfonnie strives to create opportunities for young professionals and lends her voice to the betterment of marginalized people. Congratulations to her on her Stony Brook 40 under Forty recognition.
Check out more photos from the event…
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A creative writer with a voracious appetite for fashion, beauty, lifestyle and culture. As one who's passionate about the advancement of the woman, creating content that inspire smart style and living, and positive lifestyle changes is a calling I take seriously. At Style Rave, we aim to inspire our readers by providing engaging content to not just entertain but to inform and empower you as you ASPIRE to become more stylish, live smarter and be healthier. Follow us on Instagram @StyleRave_ ♥