Meet the 2018 St. John Festival Royalty

One joint pageant for Miss St. John Festival Queen and Miss St. John Festival Princess will be held at 6 p.m. June 16 in the Winston Wells Ballfield.

Music will be performed by Cool Session Brass and the theme of this year’s festival is Resilient, Strong and Filled with Love and Esteem for St. John Festival 2018.

The pageant will challenge the modelling technique, talent, and eloquence of six young ladies. Two will be selected for the honor of presiding over events in the festival season and to represent the island of St. John in Carnival events held on other islands.

“I encourage everyone in the community to come out and support the young ladies. It has been a tough year, and these young ladies were brave enough to come forward and showcase their talent. They have all worked very hard” said Pageant Committee chairwoman Enid Doway.

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“We have not increased the price of tickets, we have only combined the two pageants, so you’re getting two pageants for the price of one. We have also made changes to some of the segments so that this year is fresh and exciting,” Doway continued.

This year there are two young ladies seeking the title of Miss St. John Festival Princess.

Kyerah Gumbs
Kyerah Gumbs

Miss St. John Festival Princess Contestant No. 1: Kyerah Gumbs

Kyerah is the 11-year-old daughter of Kiese Sam and Kyle Gumbs. She is a fifth grader at Antilles School, where her favorite subject is art.

She aspires to become an actress. Her favorite aspect of participating in a pageant is, “spending time with others and making new friends.”

A'mrii Jones
A’mrii Jones

Miss St. John Festival Princess Contestant No. 2: A’mrii Jones

A’mrii is the 9-year-old daughter of Abia Jones and James Jones. She is a fourth grader at New Testament Academy, where her favorite subjects are art and science.

She aspires to become the president of the United States. Her favorite aspect of participating in a pageant is, “being able to try new things.”

Four young women are vying for the title of Miss St. John Festival Queen.

Steffany Rivers
Steffany Rivers

Miss St. John Festival Queen Contestant No. 1: Steffany Rivers

Steffany is the 18-year-old daughter of Wade Rivers and Angela Rivers. She is a multilingual homeschooled student. She hopes to join the Air Force, then become a pediatrician. This is her first pageant, but it may not be her last. She has hopes to participate in Miss Universe.

Running for Miss St. John Festival Queen as an opportunity to build up her confidence, she said. With a past of being bullied, self-confidence and determination are qualities she holds dear.

“By doing this pageant, I hope that I can help others accept who they are. It is OK to be different, and it is OK if you don’t do what is expected of you.”

When asked of what inspires her, she spoke of her mother.

“My mother taught me to look myself in the mirror, and stand up whenever I fall,” she said.

Ge'Leah Browne
Ge’Leah Browne

Miss St. John Festival Queen Contestant No. 2: Ge’Leah Browne

Ge’Leah is the 16-year-old daughter of Marlita Hickson-Smith and Oge Browne. She is an 11th grader at Ivanna Eudora Kean High School. She plans for a future in cosmetology and the performing arts. She hopes to attend the Paul Mitchell School in Florida after completing high school.

The community and her confidence are at the forefront of her mind while participating in this pageant.

“This is something I wanted to do for the community. I also want to build up my self-esteem and confidence,” she said.

When she is lacking in these things, or when she is full of inspiration, she likes to write poetry. She feels that, “poetry is all around us.”

Niesha Somersall
Niesha Somersall

Miss St. John Festival Queen Contestant No. 3: Niesha Somersall

Niesha is the 17-year-old daughter of Julia Joseph and Eugene Somersall. She is a 12th grader at Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, where she is a cheerleader, a member of JROTC, and a member of the Nazareth Bay Chapter of the National Honors Society. She plans to study criminology at the University of the Virgin Islands after she graduates this month.

She sees running for Miss St. John Festival as an opportunity to build up her self confidence, and her greatest source of inspiration is her mother.

Chenijah Dawson
Chenijah Dawson

Miss St. John Festival Queen Contestant No. 4: Chenijah Dawson

Chenijah is the 17-year-old daughter of Avery Dawson and Sherise Phillips. She is an 11th grade honor roll student at the Gifft Hill School. She plans for a future in entrepreneurship and business enterprise.

Participating in this pageant is a personal challenge for her.

“I’m challenging myself. I have never been girly. I don’t do makeup and dresses, I wear jeans and sneakers. I think I am very versatile, and I do what I put my mind to.

The biggest influence in Chenijah’s life is her family. Her older sister participated in the 2014 Miss St. John Festival Queen pageant.

“I was there every step of the way when my sister ran, and the whole process really intrigued me,” she said.

When asked what inspires her most, she said, “my father’s determination.”

Shared content for Virgin Islands Source and St. John Tradewinds.

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