Jamesette Anglin reflects on a growth year as Miss Teen

Jamesette Anglin might be only 17
years old but as Miss Teen Cayman Islands she has the poise and presence of
someone far older.

The West Bay teenager is in the
final days of her reign as Miss Teen 2009/10. She won the title last August in
an emotionally charged pageant, winning the coveted title over 11 other

Sixteen when she began her reign,
Miss Anglin said that the year has been a rollercoaster one, an experience that
has given her many special memories and has allowed her to grow.

“Even though I’ve sang publicly for
years, I’m quite a shy person,” she said.

 “Miss Teen involves up to 15 appearances a
month – fashion shows, government events, such as the swearing in of the
Premier, some of which I’ve had to give speeches at.

“I have to keep in mind that I’m a
role model for other teenagers and so have to make sure my behaviour reflects
that at all times,” she said.

Miss Anglin said that the
opportunities that have come from being Miss Teen have been something the
average teenager can only imagine.

“I’m invited to a lot of cool
events and a lot of opportunities have opened up to me,” she said.

  “One of
the most standout moments I’ve had through my reign as Miss Teen was when I was
asked to sing the National Song at the opening of last year’s JazzFest.”

Shy she might have been but,
ironically, she has always loved performing. “I started singing when I was five
years old at Sister Shauna’s Pre-School in West Bay,” she recalls. From that
point on, the young Miss Anglin began singing in earnest.

“People heard about me singing and
asked me to sing at events and talent shows.

“I won Little Miss Pre-Teen in
2003/04 and won with the Greatest Love of All,” she recalls.

These days she performs in her high
school band at private functions across Grand Cayman.

Last year she was one of the lead
singers in Batabano festivities.

Having been a performer for most of
her life means that she can usually conquer her nerves. This knack has come in
useful during her official engagements and helped her relax and enjoy the

“If you enter this competition you
have to have poise; if not, on winning you will learn it.

“People will always be watching
you. So poise is not just looking relaxed yet elegant, it also means being well
dressed and being a good conversationalist,” she said.

One of her last big appearances
before her reign ends will see her competing in the United Nations International
Pageant in Montego Bay, Jamaica, 10-18 July.

Looking ahead to late August when
she gives up her crown, Miss Anglin recommends that anyone interested in
entering the pageant should find out more about it.

“I prepared myself for the role by
volunteering for fundraising events in my local community and volunteering in
local camps as a mentor and camp co-ordinator,” she said.

“Miss Teen has a lot to do with
being involved in your community and giving something back.

“It’s a wonderful experience and
the winner will learn a lot of things. If you don’t have manners, by the end of
the competition you will have them. You will learn to have stage presence,
confidence and becoming a young lady. It’s like a finishing school which takes
you from being a teenager to becoming a young adult,” she said.

Being a spokesperson for Miss Teen
is a role she quickly took to and found rewarding.

“Basically, there are a lot of
people who will come to know you. You gain a lot of respect by becoming a Miss
Teen but with respect comes responsibility. I’m an ambassador for my country
and take it very seriously.”

She said that, with the support of
her family, being Miss Teen has made her grow up.

“My family help me out with
transport to engagements and make sure I’m on time to events. I’ve learned to be
far more organised through being Miss Teen.

“My mother Deyanira Anglin always
makes sure I’m on time and well turned out and my aunt Miriam Rodriguez is always
there for me and paid for any expenses connected with Miss Teen. As well as
being supportive with my music, she’s my friend and mentor.”

Balancing her Miss Teen
commitments, her social life and school also takes discipline, which she has
learnt, as well as following Miss Teen rules.

“I have a curfew of 10pm on
weekdays and 11pm on weekends,” she said. “If I want to be out any later than
that, I have to call someone from the Miss Teen Committee and ask permission,”
she added.

“I’m not allowed to have tattoos or
unusual piercings and need to ask the committee if I want to change my hair
colour,” she said.

After high school, Miss Anglin hopes
to attend Savannah College of Art and Design, Georgia to major in its
performing arts programme while minoring in music business management. She will
be able to go using the two-year scholarship she won as part of her Miss Teen
prize package.

She hopes to have a music career
once her studies are complete. The ambitious teen also wants open her own music
school in Grand Cayman one day.