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Charlotte Amalie
Friday, October 7, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesYouth and Adults Prepare for Christmas Pageants

Youth and Adults Prepare for Christmas Pageants

This year’s Crucian Christmas Festival royalty will soon be decided, with elementary school students competing for Festival Princess and Duchess on Dec. 2 at St. Croix Educational Complex, and adults vying for Miss St. Croix on Dec. 9 at Island Center, according to the Christmas Festival Organization.

Competing for Miss St. Croix:

– Contestant No. 1: Naydyeyah Acoy-Thomas is a 20-year-old junior attending the University of the Virgin Islands and a graduate of the St. Croix Educational Complex High School. She was born on St. Croix on Oct. 23, 1992. Thomas attended Caribbean Dance School, Pointe Dance Academy and Music in Motion Dance School. She was a member of the Future Business Leaders of America and very active in sports during high school. Prior to transferring from Andrew College in Cuthbert, Ga., Thomas was the dance, cheerleading and step team captain. She also captured the title of Miss Andrew College 2010-11. During her second year at Andrew College, Thomas was diagnosed with diabetes and moved back to the territory to continue her studies in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship. Her future aspiration is to establish a motivational center in St. Croix’s secondary schools to enhance character development for the youth while teaching them the skills to be young entrepreneurs.

– Contestant No. 2: Rashauna Christopher obtained and associates degree in recording arts and a bachelor’s in music business from Full Sail University in Orlando. She is a photographer, model, graphic designer, singer and song writer. Christopher wrote four songs and named the collection “Letters to My People,” letters written to the people of St. Croix in the form of spoken word and song and created to encourage the people of St. Croix to hold steadfast to God in a time of great change. It was later made into a ballet at Cruzan Dance School’s 2012 dance concert.

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– Contestant No. 3: A’Jada Delana Burke, the last of six siblings, was born and raised on St. Croix. She was recognized by the National American Honors Society for placing in the top 100 in academic scores, worked for the Department of Justice in an apprentice-training program at Delegate Donna Christensen’s office, won the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation’s Laws of Life Essay Contest, for which her article “Father to Daughter” hangs in the St. Croix Paternity and Child Support Office. Due to her diligence, Burke graduated and was the president of the St. Croix Central High School class of 2010. Burke became one of 20 students to be accepted and admitted into the Pinnacle Career and Technical Educational Program at St. Croix Career and Technical Center. She also was crowned the first Miss Urban Teenz. Burke is a graduate of Texas State Technical College, where she was on the Dean’s List, Student and President List, while maintaining an A average. She plans to further her studies and attend UVI’s pre-med program.

– Contestant No. 4: Jo’liza John is a 20-year-old adventurous Virgo born on St. Croix. She is a 2010 graduate of St. Croix Educational Complex High School. John was 2009-10 Miss St. Croix Educational Complex and used her title to engage in various community activities. She was captain of the SCEC Marching Band Dance Squad, hosted a food drive for the devastation Haiti encountered in 2010, and mentored girls ages 11-14 at the Inner Changes Youth Group about self-esteem and confidence. John obtained a certificate in architectural drafting from the St. Croix Career and Technical Education School. She attended the University of the District of Columbia to begin her studies in obtaining bachelor’s in architecture to later utilize her knowledge to preserve and construct the many historical sites throughout the territory.

– Contestant No. 5: Jessica Willock is a 2012 graduate of the St. Croix Educational Complex High School and obtained a certificate in child care management from the Career and Technical Education School. She is a vivacious young lady and has been involved in dance, majorettes, track and field, cheerleading, and competed in eight pageants throughout the years. Willock attended the Music in Motion Dance School since the age of 2, twirled with the St. Croix Majorettes for four years, and began track and field in third grade and continued with the Junior Barracudas Track Team throughout high school. She was able to compete in Pennsylvania, Tortola, and won gold in Puerto Rico for the Poly Relays in track and field. Willock was a member of the SCEC cheerleading squad and marching band throughout her three years. As a toddler, Willock began competing in pageants and won Miss Toddler at the age of 2. She then competed in Miss Cinderella, placing first runner up, and Miss V.I. Royalty, winning best evening wear. She won 2010 Miss V.I. Hal Jackson’s Talented Teen and participated in the 2010 International Hal Jackson’s Talented Teens Scholarship Competition in Bermuda. In 2011 Willock placed first runner up at the Miss Virgin Islands Outstanding Teen Scholarship Competition. She is a college freshman.

– Contestant No. 6: Cliaunjel Williams is a 23-year-old graduate student attending UVI, St. Croix campus, pursuing a master’s in education with a concentration in administration and supervision. She was born on the island of St. Kitts and has been living on St. Croix since the age of 8. Williams obtained a bachelor’s in biology from UVI’s St. Thomas campus in 2009. She hopes to not only fill a void where there has been a lack of women of color pursuing leadership roles and careers in the sciences, but also to have a long lasting impact in the Virgin Islands community through her dedicated example and zeal for teaching, whether as a secondary school teacher, a school administrator, or a college professor of biology or nursing. Williams says she lives by this Bible verse: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

– Contestant No. 7: Iman Pristeen Hamilton dreamed of becoming a well-established local veterinarian up until she saw a modeling segment at a local pageant. About a week later Iman took part in a photo shoot with Cyndee’s Models in the Isle and was shortly after to begin training as a model at the age of 12. This 17-year-old native of St. Croix has attended Ricardo Richards Elementary School, St. Mary’s Catholic School, St. Croix Educational Complex High School, St. Joseph High School and was home schooled in 2011 until present. Home school gave her the opportunity to assist her parents who are both business owners. Hamilton received hands on experience on how the business works and other aspects such as financing and management. Hamilton’s modeling allowed her to train with Jason Gardener and participated in various modeling shows such as Couture Fashion Show at Divi Carina Bay, Summer Sizzle in St. Thomas, and V.I. fashion week in St. Thomas. In 2012 she decided to take a different route and signed up to compete for the 60th Anniversary of the Miss St. Croix Festival Queen Pageant. Even though this will be her first time participating in a pageant, Hamilton is no stranger to the stage and strongly believes that hard work pays off.

Duchess and Princess Contestants:

– Duchess Contestant No. 1: Markaisha Rhyner, Lew Muckle Elementary School first-grader, 6 years old.

– Duchess Contestant No. 2: Alayah Watly, Evelyn Williams Elementary School, 5 years old.

– Duchess Contestant No. 3: Kayla Nesbit, Pearl B. Larsen Elementary School first-grader, 6 years old.

– Duchess Contestant No. 4: Jahilah Carrol, Church of God Holiness K-5, 5 years old.

– Duchess Contestant No. 5: Sapphire Cruz, Ricardo Richards Elementary School second-grader, 7 years old.

– Princess Contestant No. 1: Helena Gonzales, Alfredo Andrews Elementary fourth-grader, 9 years old.

– Princess Contestant No. 2: Makeda Eleanora, Church of God Holiness third-grader, 8 years old.

– Princess Contestant No. 3: Unisa Williams, Juanita Gardine Elementary School fifth-grader, 10 years old.

– Princess Contestant No. 4, Markeymah Cargile, St. Patrick’s Catholic School fourth-grader, 9 years old.

The Duchess and Princess Contest will start 2 p.m. and tickets are at the door only. Prices are $12 for persons over 7 years old and $7 for persons under 7.

For the Miss St. Croix competition, tickets are $30 in advance for reserved covered seating, $35 at the door; and $25 in advance for general seating, $30 at the door.

Ticket locations are Urban Threadz, Essentric Shoe Boutique, Armstrong Ice Cream and Classic Style Boutique.

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