Abaco beauty Sharonique Russell, 20, is competing as Miss World Abaco 2017.
The Miss World Pageant is independently produced by the Miss Bahamas Organization (MBO), and the pageant is set for Sunday, July 30 in New Providence.
Armed with a philosophy to do her utmost in all aspects of her life to leave behind a legacy, this model sensation shares that her family is her everything.
“They are very supportive and protective of me, and have my best interest at heart, especially my father and brothers.”
As a first runner-up in the Supermodel of The Bahamas pageant, Sharonique is no stranger to pageantry. In fact, her reason for joining the Miss Bahamas pageant is because modeling is something that she is becoming increasingly passionate about.
“The principles that the organization represents have really inspired me in my personal life. Moreover, I strongly believe that the Miss Bahamas Organization can be the foundation that I’ve been looking for to make my dreams come true!” she added.
Historically, she observed that those who become Miss World Bahamas have been role models to young individuals.
“I intend to encourage our young people in the community to always go after their dreams. We all have challenges and make mistakes; however, every new day that God gives us is a chance to make a positive change,” she expressed.
“My platform is Child Protection, which is the protection of children from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. Firstly, I intend to educate the nation, and by extension, the world about the significance of the issues surrounding my platform. Children are our future. It is important to me to give all children an equal opportunity to meet their full potential and carry out their purpose. I believe that all Bahamians should assist in this effort and fight for the protection of our children.”
It is in the challenges faced by young people like her that Sharonique believes she has an advantage over the other contestants.
“I have personally endured many challenges growing up that now allow me to relate to and assist young children with similar circumstances. Helping children is my passion, and the reason why I chose Child Protection as my platform in the pageant.”
To her delight, the Miss Bahamas Organization partnered with Hands for Hunger at The Ranfurly Home for Children on June 24, and the contestants interacted with the children, encouraged them and also educated them about the importance of healthy eating by making them delicious smoothies.
“I will most definitely be going back because one day just wasn’t enough and I would love to know as much about them as possible. I also want them to know that they are loved, cared for, intelligent, and that they have a purpose,” she wrote on the Miss World Abaco Facebook page.
The contestants were also given the opportunity to travel to the island of Bimini where they participated in a professional evening gown and swimsuit photo shoot. They attended Jay Sean’s concert, travelled to Honeymoon Harbour and visited the world-renowned SS Sapona, a concrete-hulled cargo steamer built by the Liberty Ship Building Company of Wilmington, North Carolina, that ran aground near Bimini during a hurricane in 1926. The wreck of the ship serves as both a navigational landmark for boaters and as a popular dive site.
Overall, Sharonique reflected that the pageant means more to her than a crown and title. Her expectations are to continue learning and growing and to reach her full potential even after the pageant is completed.
“As Audrey Hepburn once said: ‘True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, and the passion that she knows.’ I wholeheartedly believe in this quote, and I live it every day.”
It is no surprise then that the most important lesson she has learned is self-worth.
“No matter what has happened or will happen, you never lose your worth,” Sharonique assured. “Although she is no longer here with me, the most influential person in my life is my grandmother. I carry her lessons with me daily, and I aspire to be more like her – with a heart of gold and as a God-fearing woman.”
Indeed, sacrifices have been made on her part being away from family and friends to travel to New Providence and other Family Islands to do the work of the pageant, she said. However, she accepts the sacrifices made as life changing because of the fun, learning and growth she has enjoyed.
In addition to her platform, there is something else that weighs heavily on her heart as it relates to our nation’s youth.
“I would love to see our country stop losing so many of our young people to violence. Youth are the future of the nation, and if we continue to lose them to senseless violence, what hope is there for the future?”
As her pageant experiences begin to wind down, Sharonique thanked everyone that has supported her on this journey especially her family, friends and the people of Abaco.
“You guys are amazing, and I can’t wait to make you all proud and bring the crown home,” she avowed.
In the meantime, the Abaco community can continue to show their love and support for Sharonique Russell by sharing her pageant experiences online, and by promoting her name and platform throughout The Bahamas. Sponsors and donations are always welcome as Sharonique requires funds in excess of $2,500 inclusive of pageant application, travel assistance and general pageant program items.
Confident, caring, intelligent and beautiful, Sharon is the daughter of Darren and Sharon Russell. Her hobbies include reading, updating her social media platforms, listening to music, having fun and spending time with the people she loves. She dislikes rejection and dishonesty. Her future goals are to attend college in New Providence to pursue a career in nursing, and to give back to her country through volunteer work.
For more information on the Miss World Pageant, contact Julieth Stuart-McCafferty, the Miss Bahamas Organization’s (MBO) Abaco Pageant Director at 1(242)533-2240; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.abaco.missbahamas.net.
Last year, Whender La France represented Abaco in the Miss World Bahamas pageant.