Miss UVI, Che-Raina Warner, 2016-2017 queen of the University of the Virgin Islands, used her extraordinary grace, intelligence and talent with the spoken word to win the title of Miss National Black College Alumni (NBCA) Hall of Fame – becoming the second Miss UVI to achieve that distinguished honor in three years.
Warner competed against 27 other college queens from Historically Black Colleges and Universities across the nation between Sept. 21 and Sept. 25, in Atlanta, Ga., at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. In addition to winning the crown, Warner won the “Hats and Heels” segment of the competition.
“The 2016 competition of black college queens was phenomenal,” said Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., chairman of the board, National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc. “The poise, beauty, and intellectual brilliance of the young ladies who competed made us all proud. Che-Raina Warner, Miss UVI, stood tall above her competitors and walked away with the coveted crown, marking the second time in three years that the reigning Miss UVI has won the title.”
“I am extremely proud of Che-Raina Warner, Miss UVI, for achieving this outstanding honor of being selected as Miss National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame,” said UVI President David Hall. “She represented UVI in a magnificent way, and now she will represent Historically Black Colleges and Universities.” He continued, “HBCUs have played an important role in the past and will continue to in the future. Che-Raina’s accomplishment is a compelling reminder that UVI prepares our students to become world leaders and make significant contributions to society.”
“UVI has demonstrated once again that it is not just producing academically capable students,” Warner said. “We are well-rounded individuals as well.” She continued, “It was a distinct honor to serve as a goodwill ambassador for my University. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to represent UVI on an international stage.”
Warner, age 24, is from St. Kitts and attends UVI on the St. Thomas Campus. She is a junior majoring in communication. Her career aspiration is to become a journalist, reporter and news anchor. Her platform, “The Beauty Myth,” has the acronym D.R.E.A.M.S. (Developing a Realm of Educated Ambitious Motivated Sisters) which she plans to promote intensely throughout her tenure as Miss UVI, and now as Miss NBCA Hall of Fame as well. Warner’s hobbies and interests include reading, learning foreign languages and writing poetry.
The NBCA queen contestants are judged in four categories, including talent, poise, image and personal and private interviews. In the interviews, the contestant has up to two minutes to introduce herself and discuss her platform. As Miss NBCA Hall of Fame, Warner will serve as a national representative and advocate of HBCUs. She was awarded a $5,000 academic scholarship and other prizes.
“Our team consisted of goal-driven individuals that were fully committed from day one, and we devoted our time effortlessly despite whatever obstacles arose,” said Leon Lafond, UVI Student Activities director, who accompanied Miss UVI to the national competition. “We consistently demonstrated that hard work pays off. Kudos to all who were integral parts of this accomplishment for Ms. Warner, the University and the wider Virgin Islands community. We are especially grateful to the USVI Department of Tourism, Lisa Wynne-Magnuson of the Virgin Islands Etiquette & Leadership Institute, co-advisor Ashkisha Maduro, student supporters Aaron Gumbs and Joel Drew, and hair stylist Deidra Hendrickson. This collaboration truly emphasizes why we are ‘Historically American, Uniquely Caribbean and Globally Interactive. ”
The NBCA queens competition is sponsored by the NBCA Hall of Fame organization, which is dedicated to the growth and development of HBCUs through scholarships, internships, training and technical assistance, alumni recognition, and programs to encourage humanitarian involvement.