Miss Manchester Festival Queen title, a dream come true for Shanice Walters
On Sunday, Shanice Walters’ childhood dream of entering and walking away with the crown in the Miss Manchester Festival Queen Competition became a reality.
From the small town of Litchfield, Grove Place, Manchester, the 23-year-old, who holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and teaches mathematics at the Belair High School, said this win is not just for her, but for everyone in her community.
“I am really elated to have won this title, to be an example coming out of my community, and to be there for young ladies and young men as well, to show them that even though you are from a regular community that is not well recognised, you can be great,” said Walters.
A crowd favourite at the grand coronation show, held, coincidentally, inside the Belair High School auditorium in Mandeville, Walters managed to cop four of the six sectional prizes – Most Active in Community, Best Talent Performance, Most Popular on Social Media, and Most Culturally Aware.
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Now the parish’s 37th queen since the competition was revamped in 1975 and restarted in 1985 after a 10-year break, Walters said she is now a more rounded individual, having been exposed to rigorous personal and professional development programmes.
“This competition took a lot of work. I had to learn to manage my time well as a full-time teacher and being so involved in my community ... I am so abreast with what is happening now, and it is such an eye-opener. You get to hone and improve your talent, and I am so very grateful and humbled to have won,” Walters said.
With the full support of her community, she is even more ready to take on her duties as parish queen, succeeding Miss Manchester Festival Queen 2021, Dr Dominque Reid, who is the reigning national titleholder.
Her official project, called Parent Parachute, is designed to bring together a community of parents who will use their experiences and knowledge to help others improve their parenting skills.
“Together [they] can learn to better parent their children, because many of the social issues that we face today are from improper parenting in our society,” she shared.
A member of the Rotaract Club of Mandeville, Mile Gully Benevolent Society, Litchfield Community Development Committee and youth fellowship at her local church, Walters is looking forward to inspiring many, one life at a time.
She encouraged those who desired to enter the competition to take full advantage of its opportunities.
“If it is even to improve your confidence, to find your talent if you [haven’t realised what you are good at yet], to be abreast with what is happening across the world, to be closer to your community ... . You are able to develop as an individual while being your true self.”
Walters wasn’t the only contestant who had her dreams of taking home a parish crown actualise on Sunday.
ST CATHERINE QUEEN CROWNED
In St Catherine, St Jago High School alumna Khdrea Jones was crowned Miss St Catherine Festival Queen. Jones, a journalist, says she hopes to implement programmes to assist the young and old.
“I will be using my reign to improve the lives of the youth throughout the parish. The aim is to bridge the gap between the elderly and the young. I am aware that training and educational programmes will be the tool to achieve the desired results,” said Jones.