Tyann Cheney clutched Trevona Thompson’s hand as the two teen beauties waited anxiously to hear who would be named Miss Teen Bahamas International Sunday evening.
After a dramatic pause, Thompson, who wore a red-fitted evening gown was called as the first runner up leaving Cheney to be crowned Miss Teen Bahamas International 2018.
With tears streaming down her face, Cheney took her first walk as queen in a pink, sparkling ball gown, while the crowd below screamed in obvious agreement with the judge’s decision.
Asked by Eyewitness News how she felt in that moment, Cheney said, “surprised but very, very happy”.
“I am so excited, it was so unexpected,” she said.
“It didn’t matter who won because if anyone of us won it would have made a difference to our country. Being in a pageant was extremely different. It was something that I never went through before but I was so excited that I did it and I am excited that I won so I can make a difference.
“If I can tell pageant girl hopefuls anything, it would be to always be yourself and try to make a difference.”
The sold-out event at the Courtyard Marriott poolside saw sophistication, style, youth and energy unfold, as the 10 teen girls vied for the crown.
At the end of the night, the decision came down to how well the five finalists, Aleandra Knowles, Cabricia Culmer, Rashawn Bowe, Tyann Cheney and Trevona Thompson answered the final question.
All the girls were asked: “If you were to be crowned Miss Teen Bahamas International, how would you use your platform to bring change?”
Cheney, whose platform was ‘Social Media’ said, she would teach teens how to use the social media for positively.
“My platform is not just a title but it is a reality that I have lived through and now that I can assist others. Social media shows my peers a negative way of life, it shows them that it is ok to take nude pictures or use foul language,” she said.
“I always carry a quote with me by Harvey Fierstein throughout my journey, ‘Never be bullied into silence, never allow yourself to become a victim, accept no one’s definition of your life but define yourself.’ If I were to win Miss Teen Bahamas International, I would like to further my cause by going into schools, communities and also churches to speak on my platform, to show the youths to love and value themselves.”
Cheney will go on to represent The Bahamas in Charleston, West Virginia, this July at the Miss Teen International Pageant.
She will also receive a scholarship to attend Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) for her tertiary education. The first runner up will receive a scholarship to the University of the Bahamas (UB).
All of the contestants, including the queen’s court, will receive other rewards throughout the pageant’s tenure.