Jamaica Gleaner

HOW MJW CHANGE MY LIFE

On Au­gust 15, a new Miss Ja­maica World will be crowned, and one young woman’s life will be changed for­ever. Be­ing a part of the com­pe­ti­tion has been a life-chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for the nu­mer­ous con­tes­tants, and to­day, Out­look caught up with for­mer queens t

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Cindy Break­s­peare, Miss Ja­maica and Miss World 1976

As the of­fi­cial grandma of these young women in this year’s com­pe­ti­tion, Laura But­ler re­lies on me for ad­vice and I en­joy­ing see­ing the trans­for­ma­tion the girls go through.

The com­pe­ti­tion is a tremen­dous door opener that al­lows us to travel as Miss World at some­one else’s ex­pense. The com­pe­ti­tion ex­pands your mind and gives you the value of al­ter­na­tive lifestyles, re­li­gion, cul­tural philoso­phies, ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ences, and sets the bar for the rest of your life.

Not a day goes by that some­one doesn’t say ‘Hi’, al­most 40 years later, and be­cause of that, I am forced to con­tinue to put my best self for­ward at all times.

San­dra FosterMah­food, 1991

The con­test al­lowed me to travel all over the world to many dif­fer­ent coun­tries where I was able to meet peo­ple with vary­ing cul­tures. It was a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence rep­re­sent­ing Ja­maica and I’m grate­ful that I was given that op­por­tu­nity.

Gina S. K. Har­gi­tay, 2013

To ex­press how the Miss Ja­maica World com­pe­ti­tion has changed my life would take far more time and space than I can af­ford here. But I can sim­ply say that the per­son I am to­day is com­pletely dif­fer­ent from the per­son I was be­fore I en­tered the com­pe­ti­tion.

As soon as I got through elim­i­na­tions and be­gan the train­ing process, I be­gan to change. I be­gan to grow, to ma­ture, to see the value in learn­ing to man­age my time, learn­ing to speak about any topic, learn­ing about my home – Ja­maica, and so much more.

Af­ter win­ning the com­pe­ti­tion, I re­alised that the growth I had ex­pe­ri­enced un­til then was only the be­gin­ning. What is most amaz­ing about the com­pe­ti­tion, and win­ning it, is that you can mould your ex­pe­ri­ence to achieve any­thing you want. The plat­form you earn as Miss Ja­maica World al­lows you to do that.

For me, that path was public and mo­ti­va­tional speak­ing, and with­out the Miss Ja­maica World com­pe­ti­tion, I prob­a­bly would never have even dis­cov­ered a skill that now I can’t even imag­ine not us­ing for the rest of my life.

Danielle Crosskill, 2011

Be­ing crowned Miss Ja­maica World in 2011 was an ex­tremely proud mo­ment and sig­nif­i­cant turn­ing point in my life. My plat­form through­out the com­pe­ti­tion was early-child­hood ed­u­ca­tion, and this con­tin­ues to be the driv­ing force in my life and goal for Ja­maica’s fu­ture.

I am cur­rently at Reach Academy where I am a Kinder­garten teacher, and I also of­fer pri­vate tu­tor­ing classes. Work­ing with young chil­dren has en­abled me to re­ally ful­fil my pas­sion and vi­sion that I cam­paigned for dur­ing my reign as Miss Ja­maica World. I could not be any hap­pier in this field. I get to do what I ab­so­lutely love.

The com­pe­ti­tion process also al­lowed me to step out of my com­fort zone and be­come a more con­fi­dent in­di­vid­ual. All that I learnt along the way helped me to de­velop my public­s­peak­ing skills, and has helped me to be com­fort­able in my own skin and has taught me so much about the per­son I am to­day.

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