An aspiring activist who lived for two years in a home for abused and socially-displaced teenaged girls and a model who is the third generation in her family to enter the show are among the seven contestants for Miss SVG 2017.
The contestants were introduced to the media at an event where their sponsors sashed them on Tuesday in Kingstown.
The contestants for the June 3 show slated for Victoria Park in Kingstown are: Miss QuickCash, Bryanna Hadaway, 20, of Sally Springs; Miss Kendra’s Aluminium Products Ltd., Darisean LaBorde, 24, of Chateaubelair; Miss Mustique Co. Ltd., Nicolleen Lewis, 19, of Calder Ridge; Miss Agricultural Input Warehouse, Brittney Oliver, 24, of Calliaqua; Miss Jergens, Christal Oliver, 26, of Glen, Miss Flow, Jimelle Roberts, 24, of Belair; and, Miss Metrocint Gen. Insurance Co. Ltd, La-Donna Yorke, 21, of Cane-End.
Event organisers introduced Hadaway as a model and amateur photographer. “Entering Miss SVG 2017 is the fulfilment of a childhood dream,” the introduction said.
Hadaway later told iWitness News that she has been interested in entering the pageant since she was 6 years old.
Her grandmother, Dhaphney Frederick, and aunt, Nicole Hadaway, were contestants in the pageant.
“And I believe it is my fate to be a contestant as well,” she said.
Hadaway is entering the pageant 30 years after her aunt won the crown in 1987.
“You could expect something different, something Indian, something fun and something about women,” she told iWitness News.
LaBorde, who was described as “a self-professed”, dreams of pursuing a career as an architect”. She owns and operates a hair salon, having learnt the craft from her mother.
“You can expect nothing but the best on the night of Miss SVG 2017,” LaBorde, a graduate of the St. Joseph’s Convent Kingstown and the Technical College, told iWitness News.
The beauty, who studied building construction, aspires to become an architectural engineer.
By entering Miss SVG 2017, Lewis hopes to continue to be a role model for socially displaced women.
Lewis spent the last two years of her secondary school education living at Our Lady of Guadeloupe Home for Girls in Marriaqua.
The organisers of Miss SVG say that the lass is a firm believer that communication is the key toe resolving disputes.
She told iWitness News that this year’s pageant “is going to be sort of a change so you can expect fun, talent, sassiness.”
She is entering the pageant because she is interested in the university scholarship up for grabs, and encouraging young females.
“The theme this year is female empowerment and my cause is being the voice for rape victims, people who are abandoned and abused,” Lewis told iWitness News.
“I have lived in a home for girls and their stories give me the push to go forward because they see me as a role model. And I want to continue that, not only for that but children in the island who are like, ‘undercover’ and do not want to speak out. So this will be a great way to do that.”
Asked to say a little bit about herself, Lewis said: “I am fun, I am talented. Obviously, I am beautiful.”
Brittney Oliver has her sights set on a career in the hospitality industry and is no stranger to the world of pageantry, as she is the reigning Miss St. George.
“You can expect nothing but beauty and talent and intelligence,” she told iWitness News of what she would bring to Miss SVG 2017.
Brittney attended Bishop’s College Kingstown, then Technical College, where she studied hospitality.
She is a member of Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra and is interested in entering Miss SVG as she has “always had a passion of being there”.
The other Oliver in the pageant, Christal, describes herself as a firm believer in the power of education. She earned the accolade of national award recipient when she attained the third highest result nationally.
She is also the owner and creative mind behind Olive Art Designs, a bag design and manufacturing brand”.
Asked what patrons can expect from her at the pageant, Christal, who is a customer service representative at CIBC First Caribbean International Bank, said, “I’d rather keep it a surprise, but nothing but greatness.”
She said he is interested in entering Miss SVG 2017 because the pageant “presents a good opportunity for young women to develop themselves, personally and professionally and I thought never let a good opportunity go to waste”.
And if she wins the pageant, Roberts, who has a passion for the English language, will use the scholarship to become a speech and language therapist.
She credits dance for its contribution to her overall wellbeing and has received numerous medals and certificates including Most Outstanding Duet in the 2012 KCCU National Dance Festival.”
Roberts told iWitness News that patrons can expect “nothing but the best; simply put” from her on the evening of June 3.
She is a teacher at St. Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua and an advocate for the Girl Guides Association.
“I think the scholarship is a brilliant initiative and if I do get the scholarship, I am going to become a speech and language therapist. We don’t have a speech and language therapist in St. Vincent,” Roberts told iWitness News.
Meanwhile, Yorke “aspires to be the heroine in her own life story and has a passion for the performing arts and her dream of becoming a paediatrician”.
She told iWitness News that she is interested in the pageant because of the university scholarship.
Yorke said the other benefits include holistic development and the improvement of her communication and interpersonal relationship skills.
“La-Donna is very shy, she is very humble, … obedient, optimistic, and, I must say, she is very outstanding,” she told iWitness News.