Alpha Academy, St Catherine High students are Mr and Miss Jamaica High School competition winnersMonday, December 09, 2013
By Anika Richards Online Reporter email@example.com
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Eight weekly workshops that brought boys and girls from several high schools across the island together, culminated in a grand coronation show of the Mr and Miss Jamaica High School Competition recently at the Holy Childhood High School in Kingston.
Deanna Clarke of the Convent of Mercy Academy and Christopher Allen of St Catherine High School took the 2013 titles of Miss and Mr Jamaica High School, respectively.
Second runner-up for the Miss Jamaica High School title went to Aneishka Parish of Ocho Rios High while Chanise McIntyre took the first runner-up slot. For Mr Jamaica High School, Dwayne Hartwell of Bog Walk was second runner-up while first runner-up position went to Dwayne Walker of Oberlin High School.
Clarke told OBSERVER ONLINE, after being crowned and claiming six of the 10 sectional prizes, that participating in the workshops over the eight weeks was a “life-changing” experience for her.
“The experience for me has been very life-changing,” Clarke shared. “I have learned a lot of things that I will surely apply to my life and see how I can best improve myself.”
The 15-year-old, who said her philosophy is “life is about choices and its consequences, so choose to live emotionally pure”, added that she is confident that what she and her fellow contestants learned throughout the programme, will help them to grow as better ladies and gentlemen in the future.
Allen echoed similar sentiments, telling OBSERVER ONLINE that he is now a better leader because of the programme.
“I have learnt a lot, I have become a better leader and there are so many lessons I gathered in the workshops that I intend to use to move forward,” the top 2013 male contender, who copped seven of the 10 sectional prizes, said.
He also used the opportunity to reaffirm his commitment to working with Clarke in their capacity as titleholders to ensure that other students are exposed to the lessons they learnt throughout the programme.
Member of Parliament and State Minister in the Ministry of Technology, Energy and Mining Julian Robinson, who spoke at the event, also lauded the programme saying that it plays an important role in developing young minds
“Competitions of this nature are important,” said Robinson. “They are not beauty contests per se, but they are about encouraging discipline, they are about encouraging deportment, about encouraging teamwork and the kind of life skills which all of our students need to prepare them for the world of work.”
Paul Abrahams, convenor of the competition, which is in its sixth year, emphasised that the programme is not a beauty pageant but a programme that focuses on inner beauty and grooming students to become better women and men of tomorrow.
“You must be able to read and write well, you must be able to dress well, you must also be able to present yourself well, whether at work or at play or at home,” Abrahams told contestants, parents and teachers during a praise and worship session before the start of the show, emphasising that the programme is about coupling education with lifelong skills.
He said the competition started with 24 schools but had dwindled to 19 schools, with two schools, Tivoli Gardens and Oberlin High School, entering only male contestants. Abrahams however noted that entering boy only was welcomed because the programme seeks to mould young boys.
Over the eight-week period, students from high schools as far as Ocho Rios came together in an effort to harness their talents, build their self-esteem as well as to promote discipline and help to build awareness and self-confidence.
At the workshops students received life skills training, as well as training in areas such as customer service, grooming and etiquette, and capacity building.
Abrahams said emphasis is placed on values and attitudes and that there is also a mentorship component to the programme, which saw individuals like Miss Jamaica UK 2013 speaking with the students.
According to Clarke, one of her most memorable experiences was the real talk sections during the workshops; one which stood out in her mind was when Abrahams told them that while growing up it’s not every boy or girl one meets they should endeavour to kiss.
The coronation, which featured a talent showcase, uniform parade as well as a section for creative pieces that saw students modelling items of clothing made from newspaper, shower curtains, phone cards, magazines among other products, kept the audience entertained.
Though disgruntled by the one-and-a-half-hour delayed start to the programme, attendees did not seem as perturbed at the end of the show.
Schools which participated in the event include: Convent of Mercy Academy, Camperdown High, Vauxhall High, Excelsior High, Gaynstead High, Bog Walk High, Trench Town High, Tivoli Gardens High, Charlie Smith High, Clan Carthy High, Cumberland High, Pembroke Hall High, Papine High, Mona High, St Andrew College High, Charlie Mount High, Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), Old Harbour High, Donald Quarrie High, St Catherine High, Oberlin High, and Ocho Rios High.
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