We met on a Tuesday afternoon; it was my first time meeting Carissa Richard, the newly crowned Bexon Youth Queen. The fresh faced beauty sat across from me, somewhat inhibited—it was when we entered the studio, I got to see a new side of the Bexon queen—vivacious, bubbly; spirited.
It was clear that she was loving every minute of her new journey. According to her, “if I could sleep with my crown, I would.” Now there’s a sense of humour for ya.
The pageant (a fundraiser for an individual who needed help), took place on Saturday October 15, in the community; six girls participated in the first ever Miss Bexon Youth Pageant, with hopes of being crowned.
But it was Carissa who stole the show. The 18-year-old walked away with the awards for Best in Swimwear, Best Talent Performance, Best in Evening Wear and of course the title of Miss Bexon Youth 2016.
It was her outstanding performance in the swimwear and talent segment especially that secured her victory however. Though she was consistent throughout the night, (despite having a bad start), her talent, a drama piece centred on domestic violence, was her winning performance.
“I chose to focus on domestic violence because it is very common in today’s society,” she explained to me.
“I find that not much is being said on domestic violence so I decided to sit with my chaperone and together we came up with something. I could remember Barry (Hunte) saying it is important that the judges get the message so I ensured that I brought it across,” she added.
During our conversation I discovered that the queen was never the ‘feminine’ type. One would never guess!
“I always thought I had more male genes in me,” she said.
She continued, “My posture was very bad and my hair was always in a mess. I never wore make-up and I couldn’t walk in heels; I was more of an athletic individual,” she said, also adding that she was a lot sassier prior to participating in the pageant.
But according to her, the experience, one she describes as “wonderful”, has made her more mellow and confident and that she’s thankful for.
It was a friend who encouraged her to participate in the pageant however. And the encouragement turned out to be a wonderful thing for the young queen.
And now, she has her eyes set on other pageants specifically, Miss Valley Carnival Queen and the National Carnival Queen Pageant.
Speaking on her community, Carissa says that Bexon has a lot to offer.
“I want people to stop underestimating the community of Bexon because I believe we have a lot of talented, youthful individuals; our community has a lot to offer.People should stop judging us or underestimating us and stop seeing us as community that only has floods and accidents to offer,” the young queen said passionately.
“The residents are very creative, helpful and supportive individuals; they always come out in full numbers to support whatever we have within the community,” she added.
And according to one of the committee members, Siana Gaston, “This is not the end of Miss Carissa Richard.”
“We intend to go to the schools within the community to encourage the students—let them know that there’s a future ahead of them and that they can accomplish despite the hurdles that may come their way. We also want to assist the elderly. We want to focus on about five to six underprivileged elderly persons; to see what we can do to help them—whether it is financially or emotionally,” she explained.
And as for Carissa, resident of Sarrot, graduate of St. Joseph’s Convent and student at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, she intends to make the best of it all; the teenage beauty who enjoys socializing, music and extracurricular activities also hopes to pursue a career in political science and marketing in the future.
P.S, the Bexon Youth Pageant which was a tremendous success will now be an annual event.