NCU student heads to Miss Universe Jamaica

Observer staff reporter

Monday, July 16, 2018

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester- Winning the Miss Universe Jamaica Central title here two Sundays ago (July 8) has earned 18-year-old Jessica Jeffrey a spot in the Miss Universe Jamaica competition next month.

The BB Coke High School alumnus and mass communication student at Northern Caribbean University (NCU) emerged the winner from 10 contestants.

“I was surprised and I am extremely happy,” she told the Jamaica Observer Central.

Jeffrey also walked away with a $20,000 cash prize, a $30,000 gift certificate, the gift of swimwear, a gift basket, and the award of a dinner for two.

While the Miss Universe Jamaica title is the main award at the final in August, earning a position up to third place could result in her taking the title as Miss Grand Jamaica or Miss Intercontinental Jamaica, respectively.

At any of those levels she has the chance to compete in the pageants internationally.

Winning any of the titles at the final in Kingston means one of three scholarships is available to her to complete an undergraduate degree programme at a US-based university.

Mark McDermoth, national director for Miss Universe Jamaica, said that that the pageant geared towards the central region started in 2014, ran for two years, but was on a break until it restarted this year.

“We wanted to homogenise the brand; we needed some time for review,” he said.

McDermoth said that the brand is not only focused on the pageants but also encourages the contestants and others to give back.

Jeffrey said that one of the areas that she is keen on is assisting children by embarking on education-related projects.

Shanique Thompson, an accounting major at Northern Caribbean University, took second place in Miss Universe Jamaica Central and the award for Best Evening Gown, while Ayanna Powell, a nursing student at the same Mandeville-headquartered, Seventh-day Adventist-operated tertiary institution, took third place and the Best in Swimwear award.

The Miss Universe Jamaica final will be held at Jamaica Pegasus hotel on August 24.

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