THE crowning of Miss Teen Jamaica took place recently at The Courtleigh Auditorium. It was a night for showcasing the talents and beauty of 15 of Jamaica's teenaged girls.
They represented schools from all over the island and certainly did not disappoint their parishes or the judges.
The evening started with the girls reciting the biographies of some of the world's most powerful and influential women, such as our Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Oprah Winfrey.
It was a nice opening for the competition as each girl vied for the first-place prizes that included a $500,000 scholarship to The University College of the Caribbean, a trip to Florida, and a gift certificate courtesy of SoftSheen Carson.
For the swimwear segment, the girls modelled cute two-piece swimsuits. The talent segment really showed off the girls 'unique talents -- from 13-year-old Nickada Plummer's piece entitled Education A Di Key, Kelsey-Jo's sign language excerpt from Katy Perry's Roar, to Zalika's hilarious dramatic piece on skin bleaching.
The girls dazzled in their evening wear. It was their chance not only to show how gorgeous their dresses were, but to show off their modelling moves.
Nimoy Bailey of Happy Grove High was crowned best dressed.
Intermittent performances were provided by Keith Shepherd and Nekeisha Barnes.
Shephard had the crowd laughing at his witty pieces including one called Me Want A House Fi Live Ina.
Barnes, of course, had the crowd up on their feet with her high-energy performance.
With all the entertainment and fun, though, there could only be one winner and that winner was Meca-Gaye Francis, second place went to Kelsey-Jo Sharpe and third place went to Zalika Francis.
The second- and third-place winners recieved a $300,000 and $200,000 scholarship to the University College of the Caribbean respectively. All three girls received the Peta-Gaye Foster Trophy.
Seventeen-year-old Meca-Gaye Francis of Campion College said her ambition was to become a sociologist and an author.
She said her reason for entering the competition was to exercise her passion for Jamaica and contribute to its development.
Kelsey-Jo of Immaculate Conception said her ambition is to become a speech pathologist and her greatest wish is to be recognised as an international pageant girl.
Zalika Francis, 16, hails from Bog Walk High School, her ambition is to become a registered nurse in the army. She entered the competition to show her peers that they are capable of doing anything.
While it was a stupendous evening for the new queen, teenAGE spoke to the outgoing queen Nayanda Dixon about her most memorable experience during her reign.
"My most memorable experience during my reign was visiting The Christian Boys Home. It opened my eyes to what they were going through as wards of the State," she said.
Indeed, this year's queen has a world of wonderful experiences awaiting her.
— Shantal Pellington