Yentel McGaw is a teen with lofty ambitions.
Crowned Miss Teen Cayman at a glittering ceremony last September, the 17-year-old is now in Trinidad and Tobago where she hopes to return with the coveted Miss Teen Worldwide title.
Yentel is competing alongside over 20 glamorous teens from around the world, including South Africa, Canada, Peru, UK and Argentina.
Describing how she feels about the pageant, the young beauty said it is like a rollercoaster ride.
‘I don’t know exactly what to expect, but I’m excited, anxious and a little scared all at the same time.’
The Bodden Town beauty, who also garnered Best in Gown, Community Spirit, Iliana De Laz Cruz award and Best Smile, said she has practiced hard to prepare herself for the international pageant and feels confident about winning the crown.
‘I feel I have everything in place. My coach and aunt, Pearlina McGaw-Lumsden, has been helping me rehearse my questions and putting my wardrobe together.’
During the week-long pageant, which concludes this Saturday with the coronation night, Yentel will compete in a variety of contests, including talent, intelligence, swimwear, evening gown, casual wear and country costume, in which she will represent Cayman’s National flower, the Banana Orchid.
The intelligence contest will be decided by an interview with a panel of judges, which will include Yentel answering six questions already given to her in advance of the pageant.
‘I feel most confident about the intelligence questions. I have rehearsed my answers and been practicing hard.’
If she wins the crown, Yentel will represent Cayman at a number of overseas events and functions.
The pageant also raises money for charity, as each entrant is required to take a gift from their country, which is sold at auction. This year the money will benefit a shelter for teens in Trinidad.
Yentel’s gift is a Caymanite Cayman Catboat sculpture by local artist Horatio Esteban.
Commenting on her reign as Miss Teen, Yentel said it has been a phenomenal experience.
‘It has been amazing. I have met so many people and learnt so much and I would really like to thank everyone who has supported me.
‘I’ve learnt to be a role model and realised the positive difference this can make.’
As Yentel’s reign comes to an end – she is currently helping 2008/09 contestants prepare for the September Miss Teen Cayman pageant – she says she will focus her energy on her education.
Having just completed her O’ Levels, Yentel hopes to attend St. Ignatius to study A’ Levels in Biology, Chemistry and English Literature with the hope of one day becoming an obstetrician gynaecologist.
And, of course, she has her eyes on the next crown.
‘I’ll definitely enter Miss Cayman in a few years time.’