ST. THOMAS – “…It is less about beauty and more about intellectual skill set and ambassadorial performance.” That’s how Che-Raina Warner characterized the 2016 Miss UVI Ambassadorial Competition, themed Broadway in Paradise. “I am proud to be one among a cadre of beautiful and intelligent contestants,” she said.

While the Voice doesn’t favor one contestant over another, we thought it would be interesting to see the competition through the eyes of one of our majors. Warner, 23, is a Communications junior at UVI set to graduate next spring and one of seven contestants who will be vying for the Miss UVI crown at an event slated for March 26 at the Reichhold Center for the Arts.

On weekdays, Warner can be seen around campus toting a heavy book bag and dashing from one class to another, which leaves one to wonder how she is fitting pageantry preparations into her hectic schedule.

“As a full-time student, as well as a student employee, I have had to sacrifice my time by juggling work, school and the pageant,” she said, adding that the essential key to winning the Miss UVI pageant is “the ability to demonstrate a balance between academia and talent.”

Every year, the UVI Student Government Association Queen’s Committee announces its search for “females who are interested in vying for the esteemed title of Miss UVI.”  Immediately on receipt of the advertisement in her campus email, Warner had signed up and earned a spot in the contest.

“This pageant is an opportunity for me to promote my platform and to pursue my goal to become an active ambassador for UVI,” Warner said.

Warner’s name is synonymous to pageantry; she has competed in and won several competitions in her native St. Kitts and, as a past title holder, feels she is poised to add this crown to her arsenal of regal head wear.

“I believe as a three-time title holder I am … positioned to execute well,” she informed The Voice, when asked what she thinks is her edge over the other contestants.

Warner added, “It is my foremost goal should I capture the title to create more visibility for the university by using my platform as an enrollment tactic. I will convincingly promote the importance of my platform while linking it to promoting UVI.”

While Warner has her eyes on the prize, she is preparing feverishly for the spotlight with the help of her support team.

“Pageantry is not an easy walk over and as such the preparations are never seamless, but I am working through it,” she said. “I have confidence in my support team to adequately prepare me for the upcoming pageant.”

The Miss UVI Ambassadorial Competition “is a tribute to young women striving for excellence through education and is designed to highlight the abilities, personalities, and intellect of our students,” according to the official UVI website. The winner of the March 26 contest will become UVI’s goodwill ambassador for the 2016-2017 school year.

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