Miss Bermuda 2011 prepares for Miss World
There's more to Miss Bermuda Jana Outerbridge than meets the eye.
The 22-year-old graduated from Tennessee State University with a degree in psychology; and volunteers regularly at Wind-Reach, a recreational and development facility for the disabled.
Since winning the coveted pageant title in June, she's been working to instil confidence in the Island's young people, speaking at graduations and charity events.
And in the weeks ahead she will be preparing for her biggest challenge to date taking the stage alongside 120 other beauties in Miss World on November 6.
Miss Outerbridge believes “this experience was meant to be for me”. She said she is thankful to have been given a platform to serve as a role model and help others in need.
She credits her parents Glenda and Gregory Outerbridge Sr; the women of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; and university professor Jocelyn Irby for believing in her.
But she said her rise to becoming a well-balanced young lady was not without its challenges.
Miss Outerbridge was adopted by her parents at the tender age of three months. “I am not sure what my life would look like without them. I am truly grateful for them and for believing in me,” she said.
She hopes to encourage others in similar situations to embrace any positive parental figures they have in their lives, even if they are not their biological parents.
“That is one thing I hope I can have an impact on other people as well,” she said.
“I do not come from a perfect situation but I have used every opportunity and challenge that has come my way and have decided to turn it around and use it in a positive way.”
In preparation for the upcoming pageant, Miss Outerbridge has been running and “doing lots of lunges” to prepare physically.
She has also been taking yoga classes to help prepare mentally for her moment in the spotlight.
The former Cabinet Office intern is also staying up to date on issues happening around the world by watching British Broadcasting Company (BBC) news, in case any questions arise about global affairs.
“Other than that I am just talking to myself and staying aware that I can do it. It will be a challenge but I know I can do it.”
Though Miss Outerbridge is occasionally compared to the Island's 1979 Miss World winner, Gina Swainson, she said there is no pressure to follow in her footsteps.
“When people speak to me they always say I remind them of how she was, her poise and elegance, and I hope to exude that in the competition.
“But I believe this is a different day and I am not competing at the same time that she was competing. Still I believe the package I am delivering is unique and I am comfortable with that no matter what the outcome is.”
Miss Outerbridge said she has been feeling “anxious and excited about the opportunity that is about to present itself”.
She added: “Right now I am not nervous. I feel confident about myself and what I have to offer and hopefully I stay that way throughout the time leading up to the competition.
“One thing I will say is I made a decision before this happened that, regardless of the result, I would always stay true to myself. And I think I have remained the same.”
The recently crowned Miss Bermuda is calling on the community's support to help her raise cash to compete in an international pageant.
Twenty-two-year-old Jana Outerbridge will be the first beauty queen to represent the Island in the Miss World pageant since 1997.
She has organised two fundraisers in a bid to garner support for the November 6 competition in London, UK.
Monies raised will help pay for necessary wardrobe items, which must include at least six formal gowns, six cocktail dresses, business suits and athletic wear.
Miss Outerbridge doesn't know the exact figure needed for her competition wardrobe, but said just one dress worn in the Miss Bermuda pageant cost her around $750.
“I am seeking Bermuda's support as I start my journey on October 18 to the 61st Miss World pageant. I hope they feel it in their hearts to give anything that they can to this cause. I believe that I have the qualities needed to be Miss World, however there are many expenses to make this happen.
“I know that we can come together as a community and support the efforts of putting Bermuda back on the map in this international competition.”
She said extra funds raised would be donated to WindReach, a charity close to her heart where she has volunteered for the past year. Additional money will go towards future Miss Bermuda pageants.
Miss Outerbridge hopes the community will contribute to her cause on Wednesday. The beauty queen plans to dress as a mannequin and stand on Reid Street from 11am to 2pm.
“What I will be trying to promote is to show the community I can't go to the competition without the best appearance possible to represent our Country.
“Hopefully that will inspire people to donate to the cause.”
Next Saturday she will be hosting a party at Docksiders on Front Street.
DJs Smokey and Aztec and Vybez Alliance will be playing a variety of music and “will be catering to everyone who comes to ensure they have a good time,” said Miss Outerbridge. There will be free drink giveaways, with the event kicking off at 10pm.
So far, the Department of Tourism has come to her aid by sponsoring her plane tickets.
Goslings' and Docksider Restaurant and Pub have also donated their supplies and facility for next weekend's party.
Tickets to the Classy Assured Red Edition event will be on sale at Kit and Caboodle. Donations can also be made to HSBC Bank account # 003036365012.
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service