When she entered the 2023 Miss Universe Jamaica Northwest pageant Shaday Forsythe had two things on her mind. One was to overcome her anxiety and the other, to highlight her initiative to assist the youth within her community.
On Sunday night, she beat seven other competitors at Half Moon Conference Centre in Montego Bay for the Miss Universe Jamaica Northwest title.
"I suffer from anxiety and I also didn't have much confidence when it came to public speaking. But being in the pageant helped me to overcome those fears. Going into the national finals, I know I will improve even more, " Forsythe disclosed in an interview with the Jamaica Observer on Tuesday.
Along with her runners-up Sashagay Marks (second place) and Milissa Fletcher (third place), the ladies are automatic finalists in the national Miss Universe Jamaica pageant.
She added: "I wanted to develop myself and to enter into a new stage of my life. I wanted a change and I didn't know where to start until the Miss Universe Jamaica Northwest pageant was recommended to me."
The 20-year-old marketing executive who resides in Montego Bay — she is originally from Trelawny — says she is passionate about helping others.
"I am most passionate about self-development to many of our youth, who have wasted their potential and I seek to kick-start my initiative, which is called Project Z, to elevate youth. I've also created a website to assist with this cause," shared Forsythe.
A past student of William Knibb Memorial High School in Trelawny, she went on to pursue an associate degree in marketing at the University Commonwealth Caribbean and guest services at the Heart College of Hospitality.
Natalie Morris has been the pageant manager for the past three years.
"We had 22 entrants this year, which we eliminated [down] the number to 8. The top three have been given automatic placement in the national finals and this speaks to the growth potential of the young ladies. I am optimistic that they have the drive to represent as ambassadors to make a positive change through this platform," said Morris.