The former Miss Montserrat 2014 and current Miss Jaycees International Sharissa Ryan is preparing to hand over her crown to a new queen. But this won’t be the last pageant for the very popular queen. She’s about to compete in the first Miss Regal International on Antigua in August. Discover Montserrat caught up with Sharissa before she heads off to the shows.
Q. How has your Jaycees reign been Sharissa?
A. My reign as the Miss Jaycees International Queen has been amazing. I’ve had so many opportunities over the past year to continue my platform which was to encourage young children to get involved in sports, music and education. I also have had the chance to make appearances at events such as Miami Carnival 2015 as a Grand Marshall. One of the most meaningful experiences this year was attending the JCI 55th Conference which showed me the vast scope of community service work that the group does each year. This has deepened my desire to continue to serve my community.
Q. Did you always plan to look for new pageants to enter after Miss Jaycees?
A. Yes, I always planned to continue my participation in pageants. After winning Miss Jaycees International last year it has opened the door to invitations to several other pageants. I enjoy participating in pageants; because they are great way to network and make new friends.
Q. What has attracted you to Miss Regal?
A. What attracted me to Miss Regal is their aim to celebrate the “Modern Woman; Beautiful, Strong, Intelligent and Moving Ahead.” Their slogan resonated with me because I see all of those attributes in myself and other women here in Montserrat.
Q. The month-long schedule seems very intense. What are some of the activities planned?
A. The duration of the pageant will be held for 27 days during the period of July 18th. In addition to competition days there will be a welcome dinner, photo shoots, – August 13th 2016 in Antigua & Barbuda. The Final Competition will be held on August 13th however there will be Preliminary Competitions which will include national costume, talent, swimwear, evening wear and question and answer, appearances at Antigua Carnival 2016, press and media appearances and much more.
Q. Tell us about the competition and what this can mean for you and Montserrat.
A. This is the first time that Miss Regal International will be held so whoever wins the title will be the first ever Miss Regal International Queen. In addition to cash prizes the winner will also be the face and the spokesperson for the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Society and the Homeless Awareness Organization. For me this is a huge opportunity for a chance to grow my professional experience as well as fulfill my commitment to community service. For Montserrat, this competition allows for visibility on a larger international platform.
Q. Who owns the Montserrat franchise for Regal?
A. Coretta Ryan, owns the franchise for Miss Regal International Montserrat while Antiguan designer Calvin Southwell owns the Miss Regal International organisation.
Q. Does this mean we can have future local competitions here to represent the island?
A. Yes, in the future it does mean that a local competition can be held to select a delegate to represent the island in future competitions.
Q. Sharissa you’ve been home now for more than a year, how are you adjusting and what do you miss most about New York/US?
A. I have adjusted well to living in Montserrat. What I miss most about New York is conveniences like going to the movies.