As a proud product of the U.S Virgin Islands Public School System, I want to highlight the incredible strides that our children and teachers in the islands go through to both receive and provide the best education. There is so much opportunity throughout the territory, yet it is not recognized locally and nationally. I want to help broaden the choices that young adults in the Virgin Islands have and make it a place where all career fields and dreams can thrive, without the automatic assumption that you must leave to achieve.
What IS YOUR FAVORITE U.S VIRGIN ISLANDS MEMORY>
My favorite USVI memory was watching the sea turtles hatch on Sandy Point in St. Croix. Learning that these magnificent creatures chose our amazing stretch of sand to lay their eggs, and in return, we provide them refuge and security during their hatching season gave me great joy in the natural beauty and attractiveness of our islands. Those memories remind me to be kind to nature and those who only wish to share the space we deem as ours. To this day, I always clip all plastic soda holders before recycling, just in case.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ASPECT OF U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS CULTURE?
My favorite aspect of USVI culture is the way we acknowledge each other, not as separate islands, but as a whole community. When Hurricane Irma hit St. Thomas and St. John, St. Croix stepped up to and put their effort toward hurricane relief. When Maria hit all of the islands weeks after, Virgin Islanders abroad got together to raise awareness to make sure these islands were never overlooked. The spirit of these islands are within us all and shows through the unity we all share.
IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
If I could have dinner with only one person, it would be Cicely Tyson whose parents, like mine, are from the island of Nevis. She received a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016 for her strong advocacy about human rights, education, teen pregnancy, and race relations. Her illustrious career on broadway, film, and television, compounded with her religious upbringing in a time where segregation was at an all time high, makes me want to ask her how she managed to become the powerhouse award winner she is. Idolized in many communities, she expounds on the importance of enhancing your craft. “When all else fails, you will land on your hard work, and that alone.”
WhAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE "CONFIDENTLY BEAUTIFUL"?
To be Confidently Beautiful means to wear the words you say as a badge of honor, to be proud of who you display yourself as and matching it to who you are within. Miss USA 2016 Deshauna Barber quoted words that I will never forget: “Your life isn’t yours if you constantly care what others think.” To be confident is to move in the direction you think is best. To be beautiful is to portray what you feel on the inside exactly how you want people to see you on the outside. Confidently Beautiful, to me, means that everything you work hard to gain is the satisfaction that you show in every step you take.
WhY DO YOU WANT TO BE MISS UNIVERSE UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS?
In becoming Miss Universe US Virgin Islands, I want to present our islands as an opportunity to enhance the gems that we have always had but never expanded. Virgin Islanders are doing amazing things home and all over the world. I want to cultivate that talent and express all the astounding accomplishments we can do right here in our island communities. From doctors to lawyers to activists and even media personalities, if homegrown Virgin Islanders can blend all their unique attributes, we as a territory would be a force to reckoned with.
TELL US ABOUT AN IMPORTANT PROJECT YOU'VE WORKED ON RECENTLY. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU? WHY WAS IT IMPORTANT? WHO DID IT HELP?
Recently I worked on expanding educational opportunities to bedside nurses in my hospital system in efforts to encourage nurses to become the change they want to see. Hospitals are usually comprised of an overwhelming majority of nurses, yet the administration that makes rules are that are typically catered toward business and finance workers. I am working towards emboldening nurses to care for their patients not only at the bedside, but to ensure their care is always coming from a place of compassion and willingness to serve.