Daena Soares is Jamaica’s New Miss Universe 2021

Jamaica has a new Miss Universe for the 2021 staging of the pageant. She is Daena Soares, a 22-year-old graduate of the University of the West Indies, who was crowned over the weekend.

Soares was selected by the pageant judges from a field of nine other contestants on October 31, 2021, at the Riu Montego Bay Hotel in St. James at the 70th staging of the event.

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Trishanie Weller, Miss HTG Engineering Consultants Limited, was named first runner-up and Lauren Less, Miss Donna’s Caribbean Restaurant, the second runner-up.

The 22-year-old, who wore the sash Miss Icon Megastore and held the Miss Universe Jamaica Central title, was crowned by Miss Universe Jamaica 2020 Miqueal-Symone Williams.

Soares hails from Jamaica’s Breadbasket Parish, St Elizabeth and was recently awarded a bachelor of basic medical sciences from The University of the West Indies. She took home two sectional prizes — Most Photogenic and the Congeniality Award, which she shared with Weller.

Commenting on her win, Daena Soares, a medical aesthetician, told The Gleaner Flair,“I’ve been watching pageants for so long, and you know you always imagine how would I be if I was up there and I was crowned. I really didn’t expect to cry, I didn’t really expect to be shocked, but I found myself each time it was being announced, you know top five, top three, I was just so overwhelmed… It felt so amazing, and I was just so overwhelmed.”

A past student of Hampton Girls School in S. Elizabeth, Soares acted on the advice of her father and entered the pageant.

“I believe pageants also afford women the platform to really develop themselves and to help to develop their communities. So, I want to implore all the girls out there if you’re interested in joining a pageant, please do. It’s an amazing opportunity,: she said.

Soares said she has a passion for women’s affairs and plans to channel her energy in that direction during her reign.

“Well, my platform is all about advocating for disenfranchised women and girls. My current focus is teenage pregnancy and it’s so rampant here in Jamaica. I want to target these young women because sometimes they fall off the tracks of society, and I think it’s so important to help them reintegrate because I think that women can truly help to develop our society much more,” she explained.

Soares, who is from a large family of three older sisters and two younger brothers, described herself as a “bookworm”. She was also an avid swimmer while attending high school.

Soares will compete for the Miss Universe 2021 title at the pageant’s 70th-year milestone staging in Israel this December.

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