Saskia Brown wins Culture Queen pageant
Poised, confident and culturally aware were just some of the many attributes used by the three-man judging panel to name Saskia Brown the winner of the inaugural Miss Youth for Change's Culture Queen 2016.
The 19-year-old, who hails from one of Clarendon's toughest community - Bucknor - says the title of Culture Queen is her platform to reach out to disaffected and marginalised youths across Jamaica.
"In one's journey there is always this one incident that changes our lives forever. This is my defining moment to make an impact on society,'' an elated Brown told THE STAR after edging out seven other contestants in the recent pageant at the May Pen Primary School. "There are so many vulnerable youths in our society ... youths who have vast potentials but lack the motivation to excel. So this is my opportunity to reach-out to this demographic as Jamaica Culture Queen."
The pageant's convenor, Dei-Rasi Freckleton, said the contest was conceptualised on the premise to foster better civic and cultural awareness, especially among young female, and is a fundraiser for various youth-centred educational projects.
Freckleton, who is the founder and president of the youth's advocacy network Youth for Change, and is currently a Commonwealth Youth Secretary General, pointed out that the inaugural pageant, which also saw Ebony Irons and Kerone Miller winning second and third places, respectively, will be a calendar event to promote culture and civic pride.
"I believe that too many Jamaicans aren't aware of our authentic Jamaican culture and are sometimes too receptive of an alien subculture," Freckleton said. "Therefore, as responsible change makers, it is our civic duty to promote good cultural awareness, especially during ... you know, our Emancipendence celebrations."