Kadejah Bodden will represent the Cayman Islands at the international Miss Universe pageant 2019. She succeeds Caitlin Tyson, who held the title of Miss Cayman IslandsUniverse 2018.
The 24‑year-old Bodden Town beauty received her crown at the 2019 Miss Cayman Islands Universe pageant at The Ritz-Carlton hotel in George Town, Grand Cayman on Saturday night.
The title also brought her a $70,000 three-year educational scholarship, employment with the Department of Tourism for one year, and a 2019 Kia K3 for one year, among other gifts.
“People from over 100 counties around the world live in the Cayman Islands. With so much foreign influences, what does being Caymanian mean to you? Kadejah Bodden was asked in front on 600-strong crowd, to which she responded, “Being Caymanian means embracing Caymanian culture, history, art, food, but you know what, being Caymanian also means embracing the 100-plus nationalities that make up our island because without them we would not be the Cayman we know and love today.”
Bodden, who also won the titles for Best in Gown, Best Legs, and Best Smile, holds a master’s degree in regenerative medicine from Queen Mary University of London.
Before her win, the Caymanian model, who enjoys keeping up with current affairs, yoga, reading and paddleboarding, told Cayman Compass that her “journey up to that point had been intense and hectic, with a lot of training, but also rewarding.”
She also told the publication that “If she won the title, it would mean that she would be able to give back to the community, and she really wanted to see Cayman place this year in the Miss Universe Pageant.”
Kadejah Bodden will now go on to represent her country at the 2019 Miss Universe Pageant in Seoul, South Korea on December 19.
The top three finalists included Mariah Tibbetts, 25, who came in second for the title and won the People’s Choice Award, receiving gifts, and a $20,000 scholarship while Mahalia Seymour, 25, who took third place, won a $2,500 educational scholarship.
Samantha Dixon, 27, was named Miss Photogenic, and Aleka Beckford, 24, was named Miss Personality. Also taking part was Francine Wright from Bodden Town.