MISS BVI 2013 – ROSANNA CHICHESTER

By :- Janette Brin

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What do you find at the intersections of brains and beauty?  We found 25- year old Rosanna Chichester, the 59th Miss British Virgin Islands of 2013.  This honest to goodness beauty and intellect did not always feel inspired to reach the top, but once she focused on her many talents, nothing could stop her.  You would never know that she was once a shy and inward girl!

The annual BVI Emancipation Festival attracts visitors from all around the globe. Initiated in 1976 with the Emancipation of Slavery, the Miss British Virgin Islands Pageant, has been part of the celebrations since then. This being the 60th year – note a historic fact that the Pageant was first held at the St.George’s Anglican Church. It is one of the many events held during the two-week festival, which specifically celebrates and benefits the young women of the islands.  It provides young ladies of the BVI with opportunities to achieve their educational aspirations through scholarships, and enhances their personal and professional growth in so many ways.

Before you jump to conclusions, today’s beauty pageants aren’t just about being beautiful and photogenic anymore.  Sitting down with Rosanna, we got to experience her combined magic first hand.  We found that the past competitions she has won require not just being a pretty face. In reality, it’s about a lot more than that. 

Rosanna began her ambitious desire and focus on becoming a success at everything she did by realizing that her shyness was not going to stand in the way of achievement.  She says that, “I have learned that we all face challenges in our lives that will either make us or break us.  In fact, staying focused on achieving the goal ahead is what pushed me to become the lady I am today.”

When asked how she would define beauty, Rosanna did not hesitate: “True beauty is not something you can see by looking at a person’s face or body - it’s what you see when you look into their eyes.  When someone holds inside pure and natural qualities like kindness. Beauty to me is someone being amazing without realizing it and doing something incredible for no other reason than it simply feeling like the right thing to do.  I think the most beautiful people out there are the ones who don’t even know they are.”

Today, this is the stuff that makes up a true beauty pageant contestant and winner.  But that’s not all.  For Rosanna’s career aspirations she looks ahead to becoming a clinical psychology counselor – her chances to achieve her goals are now many steps closer since she won a coveted four-year scholarship.  And while working full time as a Business Account Representative at CCT Global Communications, she also attends H. Lavity Stoutt Community College. She wants to go on to earn a Master’s degree in Psychology. 

Before you think that her beauty and brains were all that were recognized by the judges last year, she also walked away with the Miss Popularity prize award, as well as Miss Poise, Best BVI Promotion, Best Swim Wear, Best Cultural Costume, Best Evening Wear, and last but not least – Miss Intellect!

Rosanna, will go on to represent the British Virgin Islands at Miss Universe 2014. Wrapped in the blessings of her poise, passion, and intelligence she will surely be an outstanding ambassador of her country.  She is no stranger to pageant participation and has been in competitions for some time.  She will bring with her the prestigious title of Miss Teen British Virgin Islands that she won in 2007, and the St. Kitts Miss Haynes Caribbean Teen Pageant, where she garnered the Miss Photogenic Prize.

Along the way, being humble and courteous has also been a blessing for Rosanna who speaks to different schools and other civic groups to share her experiences.  One of her main topics is encouraging students to love one another, to be helpful and friendly towards each other.  She listens effortlessly to their stories about being bullied, or what they may want to do when they are grown.  Encouraging each and every one of them to believe in themselves, to have faith in their abilities and to know that they are capable of achieving greatness, is what brought her full circle in self- awareness. 

Included in her many philanthropic endeavors, she takes part in promoting cancer education, which was her chosen platform during her competition in the Pageant.  Getting the attention of her community to this deadly illness is part of her motivation - not just for women, but also for all of us.  Sadly, both her grandparents died of cancer. 

We are very excited to see this inspiring young woman take off in the direction of her dreams.  Rosanna Chichester is a winner in so many ways.  She walks in true beauty and she has a dream smile. In our conversation with her:       

POSH: Who is Rosanna Chichester?

I know myself as a creation of God, age 25 I am ambitious, strong minded, focus and independent.  I was once a very shy child growing up, I have learned that we all face challenges in our life that would either make us or break us. In fact, staying focus on achieving the goal ahead is what pushes me to become the lady I am today.

I competed and won the prestigious title of Miss Teen British Virgin Islands 2007. I went on to represent the BVI at the Miss Haynes Caribbean Teen Pageant held in St. Kitts the following year. I may not have came out victorious by capturing the crown at Miss Haynes Caribbean Talented Teen that year but I won the hearts of many and the Miss Photogenic Prize.

After graduating from Elmore Stoutt High School 2006, I went on to work in the Banking Industry from 2007 - 2014. Currently I am studying Human Services and Clinical Psychology counseling at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, upon finishing my studies I do look forward to furthering my studies to obtain my Master Degree in Psychology.

What attracted you to pageantry?

Pageantry to me was never about the crown or the sash, I always looked at pageantry as a way to help build my self-esteem.  Being shy growing up I always looked at the girls in pageants and wish I could walk, talk and stand tall like them. I said to myself one day that would be me on stage, for I was that young girl who looked at a queen as my role model on how to be a lady.

What attracted you to the Miss BVI Pageant in particular?

After I had won Miss Teen British Virgin Islands I knew that I wanted to compete for Miss BVI.  Given the opportunity to be an ambassador of my country once again and the chance to gain a scholarship to further my education, I worked hard to make sure that I would become Miss BVI.

What was your chosen platform and why?

I chose Cancer Awareness because the topic is dear to my heart and very close to home. Both of my grandparents died from Cancer and my mother is a Survivor of Lupus which is considered relatively close to Cancer.  I knew that I would wanted to educate young women within my community about this deadly disease, not only women but men as well.  I think that so many of us are not educated enough about Cancer and I chose the platform as well to reach out to my community to show my support to fight against it.

What success have you had as Miss BVI?

Being blessed with the opportunity to visit and speak to different schools with the BVI. I shared my experiences as a young girl growing up being so shy and bullied for being so small.  Bullying was one of my main topics in which I encourage the students to love one another, be helpful, and friendly towards each other. 

I listened to their stories about that they may have faced and stories about that they saw happening in school, what they did to help someone being bullied.  Hearing from the students about what they would like to be when they grow up, I encourage each and every one of them to believe in their self, have faith in their abilities and know that they all can achieve greatness.

Also being apart of the Cancer Society and being able to take part in many events to bring awareness to my community, from the Grand Gala Masquerade Ball held in partnership with His Excellency, the Governor.  Taken part in the Cancer run & walks events to bring awareness, and marching in the Human Rights Day Parade.

POSH: What have been some of your challenges in your reign and how did you over come them?

RC: I have not had any challenges thus far as Miss British Virgin Islands and I am blessed to have had such a positive and fulfilling experience, with my awesome team behind me I am bless for such an amazing reign as Miss BVI 2013.

POSH: What have you learned overall from your experience?

RC: Being humble and courteous I have learnt so much, taken pride in knowing I was given the role to promote and speak about my beauty home The British Virgin Islands. 

POSH: How would you define beauty?

RC: True beauty is not something you can see by looking at a person's face or body. It’s what you see when you look in their eyes. When someone holds inside pure and natural qualities like kindness, beauty to me is someone being amazing without realising it and doing something incredible for no other reason than it simply feeling like the right thing to do. I think the most beautiful people out there are the ones who don’t even know they are.

POSH: What are your career aspirations and how do you feel pageantry has or is helping you?

RC: My career aspirations are to become a Clinical Psychology Counselor.  The Miss British Virgin Islands Pageant has helped greatly towards my career goals in affording me the opportunity to win a four-year scholarship to elevate my education.

 

 

CREDITS:

Rosanna Chichester was photographed by Kevon Richardson

Hair & Make Up by: Phillip Krane Bernier

Costume Design: Carlos Roberto 

Swimwear: Trefle Designs

 

 

 

 

 

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