Carisa Peart wants to be first Miss Supranational
Carisa Peart, the recently crowned Miss Jamaica Supranational 2022, is hoping that her performance at the grand coronation of the pageant in Poland next month will bring great jubilation to Jamaica's 60th independence celebration.
"When I think about Jamaica, my country, and it is our 60th anniversary this year, I feel like it would be one of the most heart-warming gifts to the people of Jamaica," said Peart who grew up in Keith District, St Ann before migrating to the United States of America at age 13.
She said that her journey in pageantry started in her teenage years, having developed an affinity with the television series America's Next Top Model and told her father she was interested in modelling. Although she graced runways and stunned photographers with her vibrant smile, by the time she was 21, Peart shared she fell out of love with the art and abandoned her stilletos for her academics. She read for a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice at Monroe College and is currently pursuing a master of arts degree in communication at Liberty University.
The 27-year-old told THE STAR that she feels honoured to be the country's flagbearer in Poland, and plans to represent the black, green and gold to the best of her abilities.
Miss Supranational is an annual international beauty pageant that is run by the World Beauty Association. No Jamaican has ever won the crown.
"I think winning Miss Supranational would be a life-changing opportunity, especially given the fact that they have never had a black woman represent their organisation. Iit would be such an honour to be able to pave the way," Peart said.
Pushing her campaign for the crown, Peart holds true to the old Jamaican adage 'wi likkle but we tallawah'.
"I really want Jamaicans to tune in to the finals to see that we have the opportunity to be aspirational and inspirational to everyone around the world. I'm going there with a lot of excitement," she said.
Her first attempt at pageants saw her placing in the top 10 of the 2021 staging of the Miss New York, USA contest and she was evidently not daunted by that result, as she went on to enter Miss Jamaica Supranational thereafter. Humbled by her victory in the local leg of the competition, Peart said that the feeling is still surreal. She intends to use the platform to advocate for greater mental health awareness and support for victims of crime, through her Healthy Lives Mentorship Programme.
Mental health, in particular, is one that hits home for Peart as, at the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, she was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety. She is hoping that, through her work, persons will develop the courage and confidence to share their own story with no judgement.
"It is okay to ask for help and not be afraid and think that you have to live life alone. It is also learning the acceptance perspective that depression is a normal thing, a part of our lives that one in three people will experience depression or mental illness. That is what brought me to my own platform, through Miss Supranational, to actually help young men and young women in my country," Peart said.