50 Most Beautiful People for 2011: Page 41 of 50

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Age: 30
Hometown: Trenton, N.J.
Political Party: Independent 
Relationship Status: Single

Since her career as a high-school track star, Ify Ike, a policy fellow for Rep. Donald Payne (D-N.J.), has always been well-rounded.

“I was trained to be an all-around athlete,” said the former Junior Olympics contender, who competed in nearly every track event and also played tennis and basketball. “I loved being able to help the team.


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“I’m definitely not the health nut … I’ve never been a gym-membership person,” said Ike, who now prefers playing team sports and kickboxing to stay active. 

“My body loves feeling nauseous,” she said, her full lips splitting to reveal a huge smile. “It feels so good to be alive, to realize how much you can push yourself.”

This sense of self-motivation has seeped into Ike’s studies as well. A talented undergraduate at West Virginia University, Ike went on to earn a law degree at The City University of New York School of Law, a master of laws at George Washington University, and a master’s degree in communications studies from WVU. 

Ike's first name is short for Ifeomasinachi. Her family is from Nigeria, and her name is a translation of a Bible verse that says "every good and perfect gift comes from above."

Today, this dynamic attorney is an urban youth advocate, a weekly blogger and an active member of her church. She leads a spoken-word group, having penned poetry, prose and, most recently, a screenplay. 

“I’m hoping one day to hold a little gold bald man on the stage,” Ike joked. 

Yet this mid-Atlantic native’s greatest desire is to one day return to Brooklyn — where she used to live while working on Wall Street. 

“Brooklyn is my heart. All roads lead to Brooklyn,” said Ike, her flawless skin glowing and her eyes wide and warm. 

“I used to have dreams of owning a brownstone and being like the Cosbys,” Ike laughed. “But that dream entails five kids and a husband, so we’ll see. I still want the brownstone, though!” 

Yet judging by Ike’s record, it seems almost obvious that this dream — and any others she has — will surely come true. 

—Becki Steinberg 

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