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Stabroek News

published: Monday | March 24, 2008

On April 12, 25 of Jamaica's most beautiful girls will vie for the title of Miss Jamaica Universe 2008 (MJU). Let's meet some of them.

Doneika Plowright

22 years old



"I believe life is an amazing gift and it presents wonderful opportunities. I am happy to be a finalist in this pageant because it offers so many positives for me."

She identifies her best qualities as her optimistic nature and pleasant demeanour. An avid poet and songwriter, she attributes her bubbly personality to strong family ties and her upbringing in St Mary and Kingston. "I gained a plethora of experiences from my time spent in both parishes. St Mary has kept me grounded and humble, while living in Kingston has made me independent."

Plowright is a graduate of the Immaculate Conception High School and recently completed her Bachelor of Science degree in accounting at the University of the West Indies, Mona.

Lauri-Ann Ainsworth

25 years old



"I entered MJU 2008, to improve my confidence and poise. Were I to win, it would be a great opportunity and honour to represent my country on the international stage"

With her notepad and pen handy, Lauri-Ann stays glued to the Food Network channel eagerly jotting down exotic recipes and new techniques to master in her kitchen.

Lauri-Ann says the most interesting place she's ever visited was Korea.

An animal lover and volleyball pro, Lauri-Ann is the proud owner of three dogs and is looking to expand her canine family.

Crystal Gordon

20 years old



"Miss Jamaica Universe offers a wealth of opportunities for young women, and I look forward to a wonderful experience participating in this year's competition. It would be wonderful to represent Jamaica on the international stage."

A tourism major at Colbourne College in Kingston, Crystal is a true patriot. She already has a diploma in tourism from the University of Cambridge, so segueing to this competition was clear and obvious for her. "Tourism studies require that you have a natural flair for making international impressions and connections. I believe I own those skills and see the pageant as the perfect opportunity to express my devotion to my country and to represent it in the international arena."

Crystal loves fashion and spends her spare time keeping fit by dancing and playing basketball.

Latoya Samuels

21 years old



"This pageant is all about self development. It's an open call for beauties to raise the bar in areas of assertiveness and confidence."

A finalist in the 2006 Pulse Caribbean Model Search television series, Latoya Samuels has her heart set on breaking into the modelling industry and being a 'beauty and awareness' ambassador for Jamaica. "MJU, I believe, is the ideal stage to promote Brand Jamaica."

A family girl at heart, Latoya's fondest memories are of times spent with her brothers, "My brothers are my spiritual and emotional rocks.

They have always been there for me and they fully endorse me for MJU 2008!"

Kadia Campbell

26 years old



"I want to impress on the Jamaican woman the importance of being a 'go-getter'. When everyone else says it's impossible, do it and prove them wrong."

During her spare time, Kadia Campbell epitomises the true island girl by lazing on the beach and soaking up the sun.

Currently studying for her diploma at the Jamaican Institute of Management, the Piscean beauty is fervent about becoming an entrepreneur.

Living by her 'go-getter' philosophy, Kadia also has ambitions of venturing into criminology, "Jamaica is a beautiful country that is unfortunately plagued by severe social issues. I want to help to resolve some of the problems we have with crime."

Sherene Duncan

21 years old



"This pageant is known for its excellent outreach opportunities and I am wholly interested in aiding in the development of poorer communities."

Donations to Marigold Children's Home, the Mustard Seed Communities and the August Town Church of Christ, demonstrates Sherene's commitment to community service and inner-city development. She is enrolled in the economics degree programme at the University of the West Indies Mona.

In her spare time, she puts her energy in expanding her Christian- themed clothing line 'Fahdah'. "I launched it last April to a great reception in Half-Way Tree. I would describe it as 'Jamaican culture gear with a Christian flair' - It's my favourite personal project to date and I'm extremely happy with the response it has been getting."

Noelle Kerr

26 years old



"You don't have to ask where I'm from, what my nationality is or what culture I represent... By my smile, warmth and demeanour, you can tell I am a proud Jamaican woman."

Currently starring in The Fallen Angel and the Devil's Concubine, actress and photographer Noelle Kerr is also a presenter for Air Jamaica's Island Stylee. Adding a passion for travel and adventure to her love for acting, she has travelled to Denmark and climbed the mountains in New Mexico.

Of her numerous activities, dancing is what she enjoys most. "My passion is dance. I will dance 'till the day I die."

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