By Coral King
Shakira President, a student of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, now wears the title - Miss Dream Castle after emerging from a field of eight beautiful and talented finalists to become only the third young lady to wear the crown.
The coronation took place at the posh Royal Regency Hotel in Yonkers, New York, on Saturday, June 23. Shakira could not hold back the tears of joy as she won first place ahead of First Runner-up Victoria Bowie (Miss Bagel Creations), and Second Runner-up Sasska Courtise.
President, who was sponsored by The Chi-Lites, was fittingly serenaded with a classic from the Ray, Goodman and Brown collection - “Special Lady.” She succeeds Kayla Sharon Porter, who successfully completed her tour of duty and gracefully gave up the crown.
Two contestants, Kathrine Jennings and Imani Thompson, share the honor of Third Runner-up. The contestants are African American and/or Caribbean, with four Jamaicans including Victoria Bowie.
With the pageant mission being “Celebrating the Beauty of Women of Color,” the young ladies were regal and stunning in elegant couture fashion by Barbadian designer Jewel Shannon.
The Miss Dream Castle Pageant was officiated by a distinguished panel of judges including experienced pageant, producer Eastwayne Haughton, CEO of Wayside Promotions and Investment LTD; former beauty queen Judy Villenueuve; television and radio broadcaster Howard Smith; Internationally famous dance choreographer, and teacher of Fine Arts and Performing Arts, Lia Daniele; and a producer of regional theatre and accomplished script editor, Chris Daniele of Center Stage Group, LLC.
When asked about the judges’ choice, Maxine Nolan, CEO of Pure Fame Media Inc., said “Naturally, I wanted our girl (contestant) to win. But I had a feeling the race was between Shakira and Victoria. The judges chose Shakira and I think they did a great job.”
The entertainment was headlined by Ray, Goodman and Brown, Jamaican crooner Noddy Virtue, and an eight-year-old singing wonder, Anaya Williams, who sang Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.” Music was provided by DJ Roy and DJ Oxtail of Road International.
Barry G served as Master of Ceremonies. President, who majors in Criminology, will serve for one year as reigning queen and spokesmodel of Dream Castle Villa Ltd., a hotel resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica, owned by the pageant founder/director, Gwen Williams.