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Chichester finally graduates

Rosanna Chichester (right) during the graduation ceremony at H Lavity Stoutt Community College last weeklly 

Just in case you missed it; Miss British Virgin Islands 2013 Rosanna Chichester has come public to explain the ‘poor decisions’ that resulted in her graduating last week Thursday for the first time in her 27 years.

In a riveting and inspirational video on social media, she declared that there is no truth to public perception that she has been living a perfect life.

“I wasn’t perfect; I’m not perfect,” Chichester said.

“There is a story behind why I am the way I am today.”

She indicated that she missed her high school graduation because she did not meet the academic requirements, adding that she was not focused.

She, on some occasions, also sneaked away from classes at Elmore Stoutt High School.

“In primary school, I didn’t get to attend my graduation due to unfortunate circumstances. In high school, my friends and I made some poor decisions, and those poor decisions made me face some tough consequences – and that being not graduating with my friends [from high school].”

“Back then, we had what you called Supplementary [exams]. I had to do Supplementary because of skipping school and doing things that I wasn’t supposed to be doing while I was supposed to be in school. Yes I did it; OK; I did it… I did it and my mom could tell you because she caught me a few times,” Chichester confessed.

She explained that the turning point in her life came when her mother forced her to watch a live broadcast of the high school graduation in which she should have participated.

“I ended up watching the graduation in tears – crying, bawling; don’t want to watch it.”

Chichester later mustered the strength to start the mission of correcting her errors.

“Some people are born to follow; some people are born to lead. I had to realize that day [of the high school graduation] that I was born to lead and not to follow. That day basically changed my life… Because of that, I came out strong; I came out very independent.”

Chichester then attended remedial classes during the summer holiday. “My friends were away having fun on vacation, taking pictures and posting and all of that good stuff, and I was just in school in the summer.”

She eventually attained the academic grades required to receive her high school diploma.

“I ended up receiving my diploma – not the way I expected to, where I would graduate and be with my friends, and enjoy the experience, and do the whole cap in the air thing. I did not experience that at all… ”

With all that’s said and done, Chichester was a proud young woman last week Thursday when she and 189 other students graduated from the H Lavity Stoutt Community College.

“Finally, I made it. This is my first graduation,” she said with much elation in her widely publicized build-up to the big graduation day when she collected her Associate Degree.

Chichester, in the meantime, expressed hope that her story will inspire people throughout the British Virgin Islands – not only the females who are the focus of her Just Girls Foundation.

“I have decided that I need to make my story public because teenagers don’t wanna hear ‘don’t do this; don’t do that; that’s not good for you’. The truth is that they want relatable content; they want to know why…”

“So my advice to you is, make the right decisions. It’s gonna be tough; it’s gonna be hard decisions that you have to make, but make the right decisions,” Chichester said emphatically.

To top it all off, her mother, Jennifer Chichester, who sat by her side throughout her entire public revelation, urged persons to learn from mistakes made by others.

“It’s good to have your own experience from your own mistakes, but I like to learn from other people’s mistakes so I don’t have to face the consequence… You hold the key to your future; you hold the key to every decision that you are going to make in life. You don’t have to be influenced by the negative, because you have the key to your future,” the mother further said.

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