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Seven Will Compete for Miss St. Croix Crown

Nov. 6, 2005 – The Crucian Christmas Festival beauties are ready for competition. On Dec. 18, one young lady will be crowned Festival Queen and begin her year-long reign. The Festival Committee recently presented seven teenagers who are vying for the much sought after crown. Pageant chairperson, Merlisa George, said this year's event would be packed with excitement and quality performances. "It is going to be an all around better show," George said.
Here is some information on the contestants:
Francilia Benjamin is a 17-year-old graduate of the St. Croix Educational Complex attending the University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix Campus. She is a part time employee of the Virgin Islands National Guard. She said the Guard would help her pay for her education. She plans on continuing her education at Florida State University. Benjamin founded the first female support group in her high school and sees herself as a role model for young women. She said the Virgin Islands community should support, push and motivate young people to do their best in life.
Vanessa Kramer is a19-year-old Educational Complex graduate where she was a member of the school choir. She plans to attend Andrews University in Michigan as a pre-med student. Kramer, who knew since she was a child she would go into the medical field, is the oldest of four siblings. She correctly predicted the gender of her all her younger brothers and sisters. She describes herself as "loving and joyful" and hopes that one day the Virgin Islands will provide more positive activities for young people.
Amberky Lynch is a 16-year-old senior at the St. Joseph High School. She entered the pageant on the recommendation of friends and family and said that the experience will build her confidence and time management skills. Lynch is already confidently juggling her responsibilities as class vice president of the international honor society, and as a member of several other organizations a groups including: the Zeta Phi Beta youth group, Youths of the Millennium of the Friedensberg Moravian church, Upward Bound, and the Caribbean Dance Company. She is also a tutor with Youth With a Promise. Her goal is to study forensic pathology to find out why criminals "do what they do."
MaCherie Marcado is a 16-year-old senior at the St. Croix Educational Complex. She has been a student with Music In Motion dance group for 11 years. While she continues taking lessons in the group, Marcado instructs younger students, age 7 to 11 in dance techniques. In the future she hopes to tour around the world with a prestigious dance group. She said, growing up in the dance company taught her poise, etiquette and has built her confidence and communication skills. Marcado is one of the founding members of the school newsletter, which is working on its first publication.
Roanna Parris is a 16-year-old junior at Central High School. "Once you believe in yourself you can reach your goals" is the motto she lives by. Parris wants to be a pediatrician or a fashion designer later in life, but for now she is concerned about the quality of life of her peers. "My peers have problems in their homes. Many live in abusive households, their parents are not there for them," Parris says. She lends a supportive ear to her friends who open up to her. Parris spends her free time teaching pre-kindergartners in her church and is part of the church choir, youth group, and the Future Business Leaders of America.
Marjorie Pemberton is a 17-year-old Educational Complex senior. She is the cheerleading squad captain, member of Accountants on the Rise and the St. Croix Majorettes. She has always aspired to be a Miss St. Croix contestant and was encouraged to run by her mother who also participated in beauty pageants. Pemberton believes in keeping a positive attitude and that "smiles are contagious." Her future goals are to attend college and eventually get a law degree and be a judge. "There are a lot of innocent people in jail," Pemberton said, and she wants to make a difference in their lives.
Zydmarie Sanes is a 17-year-old CHS senior. She is cheerleading captain and class public relations officer. Sanes plans to study public relations so she can apply that knowledge in the Virgin Islands helping local entertainers to connect with record companies to jump start their careers. She describes herself as a multitasker and advises everyone to not underestimate her or the young people of today.
The show, which will be held at Island Center, starts at 5 p.m. Ticket locations and prices will be announced soon.

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