Miss Jamaica UK head named Caribbean ambassador
Barbara Ellington, Public Affairs Editor
The London-based Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts (BEFFTA) Awards has nominated June Daley, founder of Miss Jamaica UK, as its BEFFTA Awards Ambassador for the Caribbean.
BEFFTA annually honours film directors, actors, musicians, fashion designers, journalists and others for outstanding achievement in their fields.
Speaking with The Gleaner about the nomination, Daley, who was last year's BEFFTA's female Lifetime Achievement Award winner, said she felt grateful and honoured for the award as there are many people in the Caribbean who are not recognised for their work.
"This has given me a great opportunity to give back, especially to persons who are often overlooked in society, I feel very honoured and empowered and have a sense of satisfaction knowing that I have dedicated my time to helping other people in society," said Daley.
She said she was chosen for her vibrancy and passion for community work and because of what she has been doing for young women in the Caribbean and Africa, where her work is well known.
Daley, who is a well-sought-after judge for beauty contests in other parts of Europe and Asia, celebrates 25 years as president and founder of the Miss Jamaica UK pageant this year.
She told The Gleaner that she continues her work because she is inspired to see the young women soar to higher heights in their careers and she feels gratified when they return to say thanks.
"The contest is a great platform to help their self-esteem and boosts their confidence in the workplace," Daley said.
Some of the past winners who have gone on to successful careers are Dr Kurdell Espinosa, who at 17 said she wanted to be a doctor has achieved her goal; Dr Danielle Dixon; and Dr Salema Radford, who was born in a white neighbourhood and didn't know much about her Jamaican culture until the competition.
Karen Yap is now a successful businesswoman in Miami; Sanchia De'Cage is now a psychologist; and Janelle Raeburn is now vice-president of the pageant and a bilinguist working in a senior position in Canada for the Pan American Games.
"There are many who did not win, but they return to help and they use their achievements to give back and help others," Daley said.
The Miss Jamaica UK pageant targets young women who have a Jamaican heritage and live in the United Kingdom, testing their knowledge of the Jamaican culture.