University of the Virgin Islands senior, Raven Phillips was crowned the 40th Miss UVI at the Miss UVI Ambassadorial Presentation and Coronation on Wednesday, Oct. 14, at John Brewers Bay, on St. Thomas. The coronation dubbed “Our HBCU in Paradise” is a replacement for the annually held Miss UVI Ambassadorial Competition.
Phillips, 22, was the lone contestant to vie for the crown this cycle. Four of the other contestants withdrew from the competition with concerns regarding dates and logistical changes, resulting from the current COVID-19 pandemic. The uncertainty of the University’s reopening and other restrictions also affected the other contestants’ participation.
Phillips, a native St. Johnian majoring in social science with a minor in psychology, hopes to highlight her platform of “Literacy Improvement” throughout her reign. “It is a community-based approach to addressing issues of literacy and reading comprehension in the territory,” according to Phillips.
“Through my platform, I hope to host events, plan initiatives, and attend stakeholder meetings to encourage reading amongst all ages in the territory, celebrate local authors and storytellers, engage the youth in essay and poetry writing, address issues of library access, establish community groups with a focus on traditional storytelling, and more,” Phillips said.
Miss UVI serves as an ambassador for the University. This role includes, but is not limited to, participation in UVI’s recruitment efforts, and representing the University locally and abroad. Miss UVI is also expected to maintain high visibility on UVI’s campuses on St. Thomas and St. Croix.
The Miss UVI Ambassadorial Coronation is presented by the Queen’s Committee of the UVI Student Government Association. The event is normally a competition and typically alternates between campuses.