Red Cross hosts beauty contest to boost girls' confidence
Orantes Moore, Gleaner Writer
An eighth-grade student at Oracabessa High School in St Mary, Brittany Murphy, was crowned Miss Boscobel at a beauty pageant held last week by the local Red Cross Community Disaster Response Team in an effort to engage young girls and boost their confidence.
The contest featured a bevy of Boscobel-based adolescent beauties, but was eventually won by Murphy, who received a tablet computer donated by the MP for Western St Mary, Joylan Silvera.
After collecting her prize, crown and certificate of participation, Murphy, who hopes to become either a dermatologist or a criminal lawyer when she finishes studying, told Rural Xpress: "I'm elated and very pleased."
"Today was great. It was fun, and I think the beauty contest is a good idea because it can help to give you exposure so you get to know more people and move yourself forward."
In April 2014, the Red Cross in Boscobel partnered with local counsellor Fitzroy Wilson to host a spectacular social-services fair, which served thousands of local residents giving access to medical, dental, optical, and government services.
The union proved fruitful in many ways, so when Wilson asked for the Red Cross to attend the final of a cricket competition he was hosting, the president of the Community Disaster Response Team in Boscobel, Sharon Scott, saw an opportunity to try and connect with young girls in the area.
Scott explained: "Every year, the final of a big Twenty20 cricket competition is held at the sports ground in Boscobel, and we always take part by supporting local girls and encouraging them to have confidence in themselves, and, this year, we decided to hold a beauty pageant.The Red Cross team here is very loving and helpful, and we work hard to try and empower young people in the community, especially our girls."
Wilson noted that the only active Red Cross groups in the parish (Gully Road and Mango Valley) operate in his division and praised the charity for their work in supporting the most vulnerable members of society.
He said: "The Red Cross is very important to the community because if there is a disaster, we have our first responders who are trained and certified in first aid.
"Gully Road is prone to disasters, and there are socio-economic issues in that area such as the types of houses that are built, because people don't have the finances to put up decent structures.
"But the Red Cross has gone in there, sensitised the people and repaired roofs with hurricane straps. They are doing a wonderful job, and I always try to include them in whatever I am doing."
Wilson added: "Today, the main event is a cricket competition, which is mainly for big people, but we dont want to leave anybody out. We want to introduce cricket to the youngsters, males and females, because female cricket is on the rise worldwide.
"We try to fuse the two things, so the girls will come for the pageant, but also get to enjoy some exciting cricket, and it is working because we are seeing more youngsters coming out on Sunday evenings to watch matches."