Teen emerges as one of St Mary's best hairdresser
BOSCOBEL, St Mary:
A community-focused teenager who spearheads local initiatives that engage disenfranchised young people has spent the last month celebrating after being declared one of the best hairdressers in St Mary.
Chevaughn Brown, a student from Boscobel, St Mary, last month collected a prize-
winner's trophy and $10,000
in cash following her victory
at the Social Development Commission's Creative Arts and Skills Festival (CASFest) in Port Maria.
Brown, 17, hailed the festival - which helps the parish's
residents transform their artistic talents into professional businesses - as a blessing that provides local citizens with a platform to raise their profile.
She told Rural Xpress: "CASFest is a great festival because it introduces you to a lot of people that can help you out in the future and gives you exposure so people can get to know you and what you are about.
"This year, they had a 'canerow' competition, and because I am one of the best 'canerowers' in my community, I decided to enter. Everyone was boosting a student from Marymount High School and another competitor was a professional hairdresser, so I thought I had no chance and really doubted myself.
"It was such a great feeling when I found out that I had won. I was so excited, nervous and anxious; I couldn't even jump around and scream. To be honest, I didn't know what to do with myself."
Brown's experience entering and winning the competition has clearly enhanced her confidence, and the gifted, young hairdresser urges other youngsters to always push themselves in their endeavours because they may be surprised at the results.
The Ocho Rios College student, who is also secretary of her local Red Cross Community Disaster Response Team, explained: "In the end, we were successful, but the whole process was a bit nerve-wracking, especially when I saw the amount of people who had come to the event.
"I really started to doubt myself, but then I remembered that last year, before I started doing a 5K walk, I doubted myself and we went on to win a prize for outstanding achievement. The truth is, it's all about trusting yourself. Never doubt yourself because you never know what can happen in the future."
Looking forward, Brown hopes to develop her hairdressing hobby into a professional hair studio while helping to cultivate young women in her area through sports.
She said: "Last year, I started a netball team for the girls in my community because I heard people saying that nothing good comes out of Boscobel, and I wanted to prove that wasn't true. We joined with some girls from Ocho Rios to build a stronger team, and now we are in the finals of a parish competition that will be played later this month.
"In terms of hairdressing, I started when I was in grade five because mummy combed my hair into plaits, which I didn't like, so that's what made me start. In the near-to-mid future, I'm planning to get a salon or shop that I can run alongside my main job because there are people in the community who depend on me to do their hair, and I can't let them down."