Kevie-Ann Peirre of Bodden Town was crowned the new Miss Teen Cayman Islands over the weekend.

It was 17-year-old Miss Peirre’s second time entering the pageant and she took full advantage of her experience to wow judges and earn votes to make her Miss Teen 2017-18. She wins a four-year scholarship – two years at a local education facility and two years overseas – from the Ministry of Education.

“I am very proud of myself. I put in a lot of hard work … especially it being my second time round … I am very happy,” said Ms. Peirre speaking with the Cayman Compass on Wednesday.

Outgoing Miss Teen Cayman Liana DaCosta, who is also a Bodden Towner, made her entrance at the Saturday night’s pageant in style, carried into the Lions Centre on a chariot.

First runner-up on the night was 16-year-old Arleny Connor, from East End, and second runner-up was West Bay’s Ashley Bush, also 16.

The show began with a dance performance by the six Miss Teen contestants.

Each contestant performed in the talent display. Ms. Peirre performed Andra Day’s “Rise Up.” Ms. Connor performed a medley of Michael Jackson’s songs and movements, and Ms. Bush demonstrated her talent on the baritone. Layah Ebanks, 18, from West Bay, recited a monologue from Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book-length essay “We Should All Be Feminists.” Thalia Naranjo, 15, from West Bay, who burst on stage in a costume lit by LED lights, was voted Most Improved by the judges and voted Miss Personality by her fellow contestants. Lian Ebanks, 16, from George Town, gave a soulful rendition of Alicia Keys’ “Superwoman,” crediting her mother for being a superwoman and teaching her to become one.

Miss Peirre said when she entered the pageant the first time, she gained self confidence. The second time round, it was to raise awareness of child abuse and childhood hunger in Cayman.

Starting at University College of the Cayman Islands this week, she is focusing on business administration and plans to become a graphic designer.

“I want to also be more involved with different organizations that support these childhood issues, such as Meals on Wheels and Feed Our Future. I have been involved with Feed Our Future, so I would want to start back with them again,” she said.

She thanked her sponsor Scotts Industries and her supporters, especially her mom Julie-Ann Folkes and dad Kevin Peirre.

“All the contestants gave outstanding performances,” Stephanie Scott, chairperson of Miss Teen pageant committee, said. “If I had to judge the competition, I could not have chosen between the contestants. They were all excellent.”

“Our panel of experienced judges did a good job in assessing the presentations of each girl and although there is always disappointment when one person wins over the other, I trust that the young ladies all see themselves as winners and embrace their more confident and self-assured personalities,” she added.

Miss Teen contestants will be invited to be part of the planning committee for next year’s pageant and to become mentors to new contestants by the Miss Teen Committee.

In addition, they will continue to be involved with community service through the Lions and Leo clubs of Grand Cayman. The committee is also considering a training session for parents to give them a better understanding of the pageant, its rules and judging criteria.

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