Clarendon Festival Queen looks to support young mothers
Twenty-five-year-old accountant Alecia Byfield was crowned as the 2019 Clarendon Festival Queen on Saturday, June 29, at the Glenmuir High School's auditorium.
Byfield, a resident of Palmers Cross, said that her decision to enter the competition stemmed from her zeal to provide support to young mothers.
"I decided to enter the competition after deciding to start a foundation for young mothers who dropped out of school [and are] going through postpartum depression with little to no help," she said.
The newly crowned queen said she believed that winning the competition was the medium via which she could attain her goal in bringing awareness to the graveness of postpartum depression.
The Denbigh High School past student told CENTRAL STAR that being a part of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC)-based competition served her positively, and also developed her interpersonal skills.
"The competition so far has taught me to be more accepting of people. Seven of us were vying for the title and it was seven different personalities, but we managed to accompany and work with each other's differences," she said.
Byfield said that her foundation, 'Get Inspired: The strength to Persevere', was conceptualised after a friend got pregnant during her final year in university.
She added that owing to academic commitments, she was unable to provide her friend with adequate, needed support.
The new queen, who describes herself as "a fervent volunteer", currently gives her service to the Positive Organization, Jamaica, and Youth for Change.
She also serves as the president of the 16th Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church Young People's Division.
The Clarendon queen added that her main focus now is the JCDC's Grand Coronation Show on August 1, where she will compete with other parish queens for the title of Jamaica Festival Queen.
Each year, the JCDC recruits young women who "are intelligent, culturally aware and poised and are seeking a platform to make their contributions to nation building."
Byfield noted that she has aims of launching her foundation later in August.
Byfield also won three sectional prizes: Most Culturally Aware, Most Active in Community, and Most Popular on Social Media.
Kimberlin Gauze finished as first runner-up and Monifa Pitt as second runner-up.