University of the Virgin Islands students and staff are rejoicing after the reigning Miss UVI Jackeima Flemming captured the crown of the national Competition of Black College Queens.
Flemming, who was crowned Miss UVI in April, also won a $3,500 scholarship while representing her school and the territory during the competition held on Saturday in Atlanta, Ga. She competed among 19 other contestants from other Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and is the third UVI queen to bring the title home, according to a press release.
“I am happy that I achieved my ultimate goal of making UVI proud as a goodwill ambassador and Student Government Association president,” Flemming said. “I hope that I have inspired my student peers to remain resilient and rooted in the legacy of those before us. Despite the adversities, I am proud to say that UVI with its culture of student care and support made this happen.”
The sophomore majoring in marketing plans to further her education by completing a master’s in public administration and a doctorate in creative leadership for innovation and change — all at UVI.
The National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. hosts the Competition of Black College Queens as part of its annual Hall of Fame weekend.
Contestants vying for the title were judged in the following segments: Personal Interview, Oratory, Poise and Projection, Talent and Question and Answer.
According to the UVI statement, the focus of the competition is to provide opportunities for young women attending the nation’s HBCUs, “and help to better prepare them for the future, as well as gain self-awareness, self-confidence, individual pride, pride for their institution and a greater social awareness overall.”
“I am proud that my HBCU prepared me to excel, and I can now use what was instilled in me, as a national ambassador for all HBCU’s,” Flemming said.
Verna Rivers, dean of Students Affairs on the St. Thomas campus, said the division was “exceedingly proud of Jackeima Flemming for representing our university with poise, grace and intelligence.”
“As an institution of higher education dedicated to student success and committed to excellence, we stand confident in the university’s ability to produce leaders, innovators, trailblazers and global ambassadors,” she said.
Rivers also expressed her thanks to Hedda Finch-Simpson, dean of Student Affairs on the St. Croix campus and her staff Jana Austrie, Orngel Erksine, Trudi Golphin and eight UVI students who traveled with and supported Flemming throughout the competition, the release said.
In addition to support from UVI staff, Flemming also received coaching from Cresida Reid and Shayla Solomon.