By Caribbean News Now contributor
LONDON, England -- A London teenager with St Kitts and Nevis roots is representing the twin-island federation in the first ever Miss Teen Caribbean UK contest.
Renee Cocker, 17, whose grandfather is from Saddlers Village in St Kitts and moved to the UK in the 60s, hopes to inspire the younger generation through her involvement in the competition.
“I mainly want to gain confidence and exposure and to be a role model for young girls as well,” she explained. “Life is not just about going out to parties; you can do things like this as well which can be really beneficial.”
Renee, who lives in Forest Gate in East London, has had etiquette and salsa lessons in preparation for the competition on Saturday, August 16, at the Brixton Academy.
She will be in the running for two awards -- the people’s choice award, which members of the public can vote for now, and the judges’ vote, which will be decided on the night.
Renee, who is currently studying beauty therapy at the London College of Beauty Therapy, is looking forward to taking part in the team dance on the night, giving a talk about St Kitts and Nevis and reading a self-penned poem.
“To be able to say that I was part of the first competition and, if I win, to be the first winner would be really special,” she added.
Renee’s mother, Brucine Francis, said she is proud that Renee is part of the inaugural competition.
“She is quite shy and reserved so I think it will be a great opportunity to develop her public speaking and meet some high profile people,” she said.
Renee has seven aunts and uncles who were born in St Kitts and Nevis and one of her relatives is married to the country’s first prime minister on independence, Kennedy Simmonds, often referred to as "The Father of the Nation".
To vote for Renee, visit www.missteencaribbeanuk.com