Siobhan ‘Faith’ Bowens, the 2021 Miss Edward C Gartland Youth Centre Pageant winner told FLOW in the Morning that she is still basking in her new found prominence, announcing a string of projects that she aims to accomplish before her term ends.
Discussing beauty with a purpose with Sheba Wilson, host of ‘She Will Lead’ - the FLOW in the Morning Tuesday show on Radio Turks and Caicos (RTC) - Bowens spoke of her entry into the pageant, being crowned the winner, the projects she intends to embark on, and how she managed to balance work with her final year of school at the Maranatha Academy.
“I entered the pageant because I wanted to challenge myself,” she told Wilson. “When I heard that this pageant was happening, I said to myself, ‘maybe this would have been a very good opportunity to grow and learn’, because when you are put in a tough situation, that’s when you shine the brightest. So that’s why I wanted to do it.”
She described the pageant as an amazing experience for her, revealing that she learned a great deal from entering.
“I am so thankful, so grateful every step of the way, because it was such an amazing experience to have met some amazing people,” she said, adding that the Miss Edward Gartland Youth Centre focuses primarily on growth and development of youth.
She said the contest taught her confidence and sisterhood, saying also that one of the takeaways for her was that she was taught to be herself.
“In situations like this and in competitions like this, it is easy to lose yourself, and fall into some fake standard in your head, but you have to be yourself, and that’s what helped us to shine, basically,” she explained.
She added that the pageant is designed to foster leadership and ambassadorship.
“…And that regardless of who walks away with the crown, every contestant is not only a winner, but also an ambassador,” she emphasized.
She joked about some of the things that she had to learn, including proper etiquette.
“I did not know that the world was that complicated,” she said, adding that for their preparation they were also addressed by a therapist, to assist them to cope with the pressures of not only the contest, but also life’s events.
She boasted that her platform is marine life, stressing that she wanted to create standards of marine preservation through mass education.
“I want to strengthen the bond, not just only with the youth, but I want to strengthen the bond between the people and the ocean…it is so important…and so you can expect to hear from me about this…I will be talking about it a lot,” she informed.
Bowens said her passion for marine life was developed through the Edward C Gartland Youth Centre, which she said worked closely with the Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR). It was through an expedition with the DECR and boating company Big Blue, according to her, that she developed a love for marine life, and Lemon Sharks especially.
In the meantime, Bowens said she has to balance the pressures of being a final year student, preparing to sit her external examinations, with the carrying out her mandate as the Miss Edward Gartland Youth Centre.
She said one of her mentors told her to get a book and to keep a log of her impending daily assignments, which she said got her to better manage her schoolwork.
Bowens said at this point she is focusing on her SBAs and other schoolwork, but still finds time for extracurricular activities, such as the school’s social clubs’ activities. She noted also that she has been planning several community projects.
In the meantime, she lauded the staff at the Edward Gartland Centre, saying they always create an atmosphere of love and acceptance.
“I love the Youth Centre so much because it is such a loving place. The staff there always give their 100 percent on everything. And I think that’s something that needs to be appreciated because they give of their best, and I can see that they are trying really hard to get in touch with the youth, and just giving their all,” she passionately declared, while encouraging her peers to join the entity.
“Come to the youth centre,” she pleaded. "Trying it out one day…I am sure you are going to love it. There is so much to do there. There are so many fun games and activities…it is always a learning process, and you will learn a lot, not knowing that you are learning. It is so fun to meet new people and new opportunities, and really, it is going to help on your job application,” she said.