Heads turn as Deanna Robbins the newly crowned Miss Jamaica World steps into Susie's Bakery and Coffee Bar. Unfazed by the attention the 21-year-old, who graduated from the University of West Indies last November with a double major in Environment and Biology, has dedicated most of her life to giving back to the less fortunate -- little surprise that she snagged the award for Beauty with a Purpose last Saturday, prior to being crowned. SO sips cocktails with the 5'10" beauty.
What are you sipping today?
A glass of freshly squeezed lemonade.
What kind of day are you having?
Today has been a long day. I've been running a lot of errands in preparation for the pageant. I have two weeks left in Jamaica before I leave for China.
Socialite or homebody?
I think I'm a bit of both.
Flats or stilettos?
I like wearing flats, but I also like dressing up.
In one sentence, how would you describe yourself?
Deanna Robbins is hardworking, disciplined and likes to achieve all the goals she sets for herself.
Why did you decide to enter?
I decided to enter because it was something I have always wanted to do. I believe that being in a pageant would give me a platform to be an advocate for the less fortunate. For instance, I currently teach underprivileged boys at the YMCA how to read. So I hope to get more support for their programme.
What was the competition like for you?
It was an amazing experience. It was very difficult at times because my schedule suddenly became very hectic, but it was definitely worth it in the end. I learned so much about myself and I met some great people along the way.
As the country prepares to celebrate its 50th year of independence, do you feel that there is more pressure on you as you prepare to represent the nation in China?
Everybody wants me to bring back the crown in this our nation's 50th year of Independence and also because we are expected to do so well in the Olympics. It definitely is a lot of pressure and it is also intimidating to have so much weight on my shoulders but I am confident that I can win and make my country proud.
Who is your favourite Miss Jamaica World?
I would have to say Lisa Hanna. She not only won the crown, but she has continued to excel even as a politician. She made her life about being a beauty with a purpose, which is the essence of a Miss World.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
My mother always tells me that everything happens for a reason. It may not be evident at first glance, but everything good and bad has a lesson.
What is your proudest achievement to date?
My proudest achievement to date would have to be winning Miss Jamaica World, because it was such a shock.
Who or what inspires you?
My mother inspires me because she is so determined. She has never made anything deter her from her goals.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Ten years from now I hope to become a physiotherapist or a medical doctor. I have always been interested in orthopaedics because I've had about three knee surgeries as a result of my passion for dancing. I became more appreciative of the field and quickly realised it was what I wanted to do in life. I also want to get married and have three children.
What's in your handbag?
My handbag is pretty empty today (smiles). It has my wallet, passport, house keys, lip-gloss and, of course, my BlackBerry.
What is your philosophy?
My philosophy is to find the good in every situation.