Rewarding experience for new Teen Queen

Winning the Miss Teen Cayman contest is just the beginning for 16-year-old Jamie Rogers.

With high hopes to go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in child psychology – and one day enter the Miss Cayman contest – Jamie looks forward to accomplishing a lot during her rein.

The well-spoken teen, who also captured the people’s choice award at the recent Miss Teen contest, wants to impact the lives of other young people and bring more awareness about Cayman’s environment.

‘I am very passionate about Cayman’s environment and the go-green programme, which I think could be introduced a lot more in Cayman,’ she said.

‘The George Town landfill has been an issue talked about regularly and something needs to be done about it. (Cruise ship) visitors say they can see this big pile of rubbish on the skyline and the smell has also become more of a problem. In the next 10 years this will be a big problem for Cayman if something is not done about it,’ said Jamie.

Turning to Cayman’s youth, Jamie would like to see more programming designed for young people.

‘The biggest problem with youth today is we don’t have enough to do. I see where a lot can be done to get us involved in more activities,’ she said.

‘I would like to see a community centre opened in every district where we can go and interact with others through sports, homework study groups and various counselling sessions, where some of the issues we are facing could be addressed. This could be available to us in a safe environment with parental guidance.

‘Yes, we have the cinema and such places like King’s Gym but say, for instance, I live in East End, it is kind of hard for parents coming home from work to have to drive all the way back into town for teens to participate in these activities. And, then again, we have our gas issue, which adds to the stress of parents’ pocketbooks.’

Jamie said winning the Miss Teen contest was a big step accomplished through hard work, good role models and determination.

‘My Aunt Martha has always been my biggest role model. She has been everything for the past six years by going out of her way to accommodate my needs. She is a wonderful and tremendous person who encourages me in every way, and I am proud to look up to her.’

Jamie has her sights set on becoming the first Miss Cayman Islands to win the Miss Universe title. That is after receiving the Miss Cayman Tourism crown and re-entering the Our Little Miss contest.

‘About six years ago I attended my first Miss Teen Pageant and I always felt it was something I wanted to do. Just seeing other girls up on stage, being creative, dressed in beautiful gowns and just having fun made me go for it. But even though I found all of those things inviting, I knew that winning the Miss Teen pageant has a lot to do with having brains.

‘I still kind of ask myself how I remained so calm and collective after winning the crown,’ said Jamie. ‘All I can say is the emotions must not have kicked in. But honestly I felt relieved, excited, happy and honoured. Even though I thought I would be crying a little bit if I won, the excitement of all that had transpired, the hot lights and with my feet killing me, I just wanted them to call the winner.’

‘Yes there are nervous moments but I encourage other teens if it is something you want, you will work for it, the reward is knowing you went out there and did your best. It is a fulfilling and rewarding experience.

‘My biggest reward was creating a greater bond with friends and forging memories which will last a lifetime. I would not second guess entering and I say to all the other teens out there go for it.’

Jamie is the daughter of Stanley and Charlene Rogers of West Bay. She attends the University College of the Cayman Island.