Calden James and Mya Walwyn made history inside the Sir Rupert Briercliffe Hall in Road Town last night when they were crowned the first Mister and Miss Elmore Stoutt High School.
The two crowd favourites are twelfth graders – the group targeted this year in the pageant that was previously known as Mister and Miss Fifth Form.
In the female version of the competition, Kayla Grant and Jerely Jean-Jacque were named first and second runner-up, respectively. The other contestants were Kylah Maduro, and Shiann George.
Mya, who is the daughter of education minister Myron Walwyn, copped six of the 10 sectional prizes to win the crown.
She won the Queen of Social Media award, Most Photogenic, Most Poised, Miss Intellect, Most School Spirit, and Best Evening Wear.
“I feel overwhelmed [to have won]… Being in a pageant, I feel like I have grown. There was a lot of pressure with the talks being ‘she is only going to win because her father is the minister [of education]’. But, being in a pageant, I was taught to block out what everybody else has to say and to just push forward and do my thing,” Mya told journalists after the pageant, adding that her father was supportive of her quest for the crown.
“I feel like I can’t do a good job like what he does, but I feel like I am closer to the point where he is. He was being a true father. He told me no matter what happens do your thing and we will be proud of you at the end of the show – win or lose,” said the 17-year-old who has hopes of attending the H Lavity Stoutt Community College, then Florida University to pursue a degree in Management Studies.
Meanwhile, in the male contest, 18-year-old Calden James copped six sectional prizes to best the other two contestants – Mariq Romney and Joshua Langford.
Calden won the King of Social Media Award, Determined to Succeed, Most Poised, Mr Intellectual, Most School Spirit, and Most Dapper.
I did it for my grandmother
The young king, who dedicated the win to his late grandmother, said he is happy that his hard work has paid off.
“It was a good experience. I didn’t do it for the fame or anything like that. I did it for my grandmother because she actually passed away December 30 and was buried last week Saturday… Everything was for her.”
While noting that pageantry can teach multiple life lessons, Calden encouraged other young men to get involved.
“Pageantry prepares you for the outside world – not only for women but for men as well. It shows you how to be grammatically correct; it shows you good posture, respect [and] how to be on time. If you weren’t on time, your points would have been deducted; so you had to make sure you were on time for every single thing. It teaches you that in pageantry life and in real life.”
Calden added: “Next year [the pageant] is open to 10, 11, and 12-Graders. So I would tell them do what you have to do; anything is possible. Reach for your dreams. Nobody can tell you stop. Nobody can tell you don’t do this; it’s up to you. So, if you believe in your mind that you can do this, do it.”
Other sectional winners
In addition to Mya, other sectional prize winners in the female competition included Kayla Grant who won Miss Congeniality, and Best Talent. Shiann George copped the Miss Personal Development title, while Kyrah Maduro was awarded the Determined to Succeed accolade.
Besides Calden, other sectional winners in the male version of the contest included Joshua Langford – Best Talent, and Mr Personal Development. Mariq Romney was awarded Mr Congeniality and Most Photogenic.
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