Jaielean Jagrup, Miss Caribbean Maryland 2012 winner and franchise owner of Miss World USVI.

More than 15 years ago, Ruskin resident Jaielean Jagrup began her pageantry journey. She started at school pageants. By the time Jagrup graduated high school, she was offered the opportunity to compete in Miss Caribbean Maryland 2012 and won. In addition, she won Miss Caribbean United States in late 2012. Jagrup has also competed in Miss Caribbean World, Miss Plus Caribbean and more.

Jagrup shared what inspired her to get into pageantry.

“I had some strong women in my family who always told me to believe in myself,” she said.

Through her experiences in pageantry and being an active member in her community, a door opened for Jagrup to become the franchise owner of Miss World USVI (United States Virgin Islands) in 2019.

As a franchise owner, she recruits contestants from ages 16 to 25 as well as provides guidance on how they can become the best versions of themselves and more. In order to compete, one must have a residency or generational lineage to the Virgin Islands. It also focuses on giving back to the community, especially children in need.

These pageants occur every year. In 2020, the competition was cancelled due to the pandemic of COVID-19. This year, three contestants will be competing in Miss World USVI, which will occur in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands on Saturday, August 21. Those competing in it include Adisha Penn and P’Azhae Harrigan from St. Thomas and Nhaquifa Russell from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands.

The winner of the pageant will go to the Coca-Cola Music Hall in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Thursday, December 16, where they will compete in the 70th Miss World pageant.
Jagrup stated what the future looks like for Miss World USVI.

“I am praying that our pageant becomes one of the number one pageants within my territory of islands,” Jagrup said.

“With our contestants, I am hoping that they learn to just love their community and really get involved with it,” she added.

For more information or to preregister for next year’s competition, visit www.missworldusvi.com. Check out the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/missworldusvi.

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Tatiana Ortiz is a freelance writer with the Osprey Observer Newspaper. She began as an intern here in 2010 and has been writing since. Tatiana graduated from the University of South Florida in 2015. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. In her free time, Tatiana enjoys photography, biking and being with her family.