Jamaica Observer / Living by its tagline: Enhancing Lives Through Beauty, Miss Universe Jamaica Organisation will be awarding four scholarships to the University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC, this year. The scholarships, valued at US$64,000 each, are for the three title winners who will be selected at the grand coronation spectacle at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in St Andrew on August 24. The main title winner will be Miss Universe Jamaica, who will represent Jamaica at Miss Universe, and there will also be selections for representatives to Miss Grand International and Miss Intercontinental. A fourth scholarship will be awarded to a needy Jamaican through the Miss Universe Jamaica pet charity, the GOGETTER (Giving Our Girls Economic Tools To Enrich & Reward) initiative. Eligible candidates will be invited through the media to apply and the scholarship will be awarded based on need and academic achievement.
“The fact that there are three main scholarships and three international titles, among other great prizes, up for grabs this year means that there is more to go around in this year’s pageant,” said national co-director Mark McDermoth. “And we hope that a greater number of quality contestants will come out in full force to compete, as we see this year as very special, being our sixth staging of the pageant and a great milestone for the Uzuri International/Miss Universe alliance.”
The pageant is being dubbed the Island Energy Miss Universe Jamaica, Beauty Fashion & Wellness Pageant in homage to title sponsor Island Energy Drink, and will be truly a beauty, fashion & wellness affair with the many added elements this year. This includes the exciting wellness bazaar being staged at Eden Gardens Wellness Resort & Spa, an official sponsor. The bazaar features an outside broadcast, wellness seminars/presentations, beauty lectures, fitness demonstrations, and interactive fashion and wellness gear activities designed to extend immeasurable promotional mileage to valued sponsor partners and provide wholesome entertainment and information to those interested in a wellness lifestyle.
Another element that has made a dramatic difference for the Miss Universe Jamaica brand is the preliminary pageants held across the length and breadth of Jamaica to comb the island for that special title winner. This year the Central pageant in Mandeville was resumed as a boutique event after two years of dormancy, and Jessica Jeffrey emerged the title winner for that region with an automatic spot in this year’s national line-up. Miss Universe Jamaica West will be added to the programme next year and will be staged in the Negril area.
“The standard of beauty and talent coming out of these preliminary pageants is outstanding, so much so that this year we had to make changes to accommodate the competitive level of finalists in the Miss Universe Jamaica East and Northwest pageants. Instead of the one contestant who gets an automatic spot at the national level, we were forced to award two automatic spots at the Northwest finals in Montego Bay on July 1 and three automatic spots at the East finals in Kingston on July 7,” said national co-director Karl Williams.
The other 2018 preliminary pageant winners are:
Miss Universe Jamaica Northeast, Ashly Thomas;
Miss Universe Jamaica Northwest, Lanae Gillette;
Miss Universe Jamaica East, Kadejah Anderson; and,
Racquel Service, Miss Diaspora USA,s was also awarded an automatic spot at the national level.