The late orator, Robert South stated: “Defeat should never be a source of discouragement but rather a fresh stimulus.” Guided by this principle, my pageant coach enrolled me into a three-week boot camp to prepare me for the 2014 Miss Jaycees International Pageant in Antigua and Barbuda. My mental and physical fortitude was tested when I suffered symptoms of the chikungunya virus, just days before the pageant.
Knowing what was on the line, I dug deep and pushed forward, and on Friday August 1st, I was crowned Miss Jaycees International 2014 among a sea of supportive patrons at the Antigua Recreation Ground. I was elated and covered with great pride as I became the fourth St. Kitts-Nevis National Carnival Queen to capture this prestigious 53 year old title for my Federation, following in the footsteps of Ithlane Archibald (1984), Nicole Gumbs (2001) and my Glittering Reign counterpart, Iantavian Queeley (2011).
Pageantry is no easy task and so prayer is the dominant key to success. All glory and honor to the Lord. I am blessed to have wonderful and compassionate parents and grandparents like Keithley and Mavis Armstrong and my grandmother, Dora who kept me grounded throughout the journey. I greatly appreciate my brothers, Kemarri and Yehudi Armstrong, and my biggest fan, my sister Tamisha Cranstoun.
My success would not have been possible without the selfless commitment displayed by my world-class team. Sincerest gratitude is extended to my diligent pageant coach, Ozelle Martin of Glittering Reign Pageant Coaching & Consulting and my makeup artist, Kimberly Ward of Island Beauty Entertainment. Thank you for constantly finding innovative ways to motivate me, even the moments when I had to experience tough love. A special thank you to Julie Martin, Heidi Slack, Kirah Griffin, Natasha and Sandra Berridge whose advice is priceless and enormously appreciated.
I am thankful for the assistance of Yonik Brand; Alphonso Henry; Vanessa Pinard; Iantavian Queeley; Kerith Kentish; Aviar Charles; Asha DeSuza; the client care team at the Royal Bank of Canada Wellington Road Branch, Chantel Challenger; Faith Benjamin; Jeffrey Joseph; Trent Sargeant of Burn It, Paul Grey; my modeling trainer, Jason Amory; my health and fitness trainers and support systems: Gavin Skerritt, Levar Flanders, Mandy Herbert and Glenville Rogers.
A hearty thank you goes out to the St. Kitts-Nevis National Carnival Committee especially Miss Brenda Lawrence, Mr. Sylvester Anthony and Ms. Nisharma Rattan-Mack. I am thankful for the support of LIME St. Kitts-Nevis. Your sponsorship enabled me to be fully prepared for these two prestigious pageants.
All of the members of the Miss Carival Beauty Shows Committee and the JCI Antigua Pageant Committee should be congratulated for empowering Caribbean women through pageantry. Thank you to all my supportive relatives, friends and fans. Your unwavering support and kind words drove me to victory. I yearn to make my reign as Miss Jaycees International 2014- a memorable one and I hope to promote music education, regional integration and women empowerment throughout the Caribbean region and the Diaspora.