Miss Teen back after three-year hiatus

Empowerment a major theme of revived pageant

Miss Teen contestants visit the Brac.

For the first time in three years, on Aug. 27 at the Lions Community Centre, the Lions Club and Leo Club of Grand Cayman will host the Miss Teen Pageant.

Seven teens will be in the spotlight for the contest, now in its 36th year. Jada Ramoon, 18; Maya Smith, 17; 16-year-olds Kevie-Ann Peirre, Liana DaCosta and Kayleigh McLaughlin; Aleica McDonald, 15; and Nerissa McLaughlin, 14, will all take to the stage to determine who will take the crown from the reigning Miss Teen Cayman Tishay Heath.

The Miss Teen winner will receive a four-year scholarship from government that will cover costs for two years locally and two years overseas at the college of their choice. The girls will also receive trophies, gym memberships and gifts certificates.

The contestants, from left, Kayleigh McLaughlin, Maya Smith, Nerissa McLaughlin, Aleica McDonald, Liana DaCosta, Kevie-Ann Peirre and Jada Ramoon.
The contestants, from left, Kayleigh McLaughlin, Maya Smith, Nerissa McLaughlin, Aleica McDonald, Liana DaCosta, Kevie-Ann Peirre and Jada Ramoon.

The Lions Club of Grand Cayman decided some months ago to bring back the contest. In previous years, the Leo Club of Grand Cayman organized the Miss Teen pageant, but it was put on hold while the club made some membership changes.

This year, Lion Elesha Graham, chairman of the Miss Teen committee, is coordinating the pageant with other committee members. They are planning to build up the Leo Club with the Miss Teen girls as honorary members.

“We’re looking for an excellent show …. We’re hoping that the crowd does come out to support the young people because this is our future,” said Ms. Graham.

The committee has chosen the theme “Greek Goddess – Women of Tomorrow” because they want contestants to feel empowered and to empower others by their example.

In an interview with the Cayman Compass, Ms. Graham and committee member Alhana Hurlston said the pageant is now open to girls ages 14-18, rather than 15-17 as in previous years.

The committee hopes the extension gives the girls a little more experience if they want to enter the Miss Cayman pageant later on.Miss-Teen-1

Miss-Teen-2As a past Miss Cayman contestant, Ms. Hurlston said she had wanted to enter the Miss Teen contest, not Miss Cayman, at age 18. “How do you compete against 24-year-olds as an 18-year-old? I felt it was kind of challenging being up against girls that had more experience than me … changing the age will give the girls a bit more edge,” she said.

“The Miss Teen Pageant is put on by young people for young people. As young people, we also have to enhance our leadership skills, so this is also a learning process for us,” said Ms. Hurlston.

The committee also wants the girls to be ambassadors for the Cayman Islands.

Show tickets are $25 pre-sold and $30 at the gate. Tickets for children ages 6-12 are $15 pre-sold and $20 at the gate. Limited VIP tickets are available for $50.

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