FIVE Bahamian beauties are making their way to Nashville, Tennessee, this week to compete at the International Junior Miss Scholarships Programme.
The local pageant, International Junior Miss Bahamas which was held in February of this year, crowned five queens. They are De'Janell Dixon, Courtney Burke, Auriana Cooper, Charity Hyppolite and Andria Miller.
The programme grants six titles: Junior Princess (ages four to six ), Princess (ages seven to nine), Pre-Teen (ages 10 to 12), Junior Teen (ages 13 to 15), Teen (ages 16 to 18) and Miss (ages 19 to 24).
The Bahamian queens will compete against delegates from all around the globe including Australia, the Dominican Republic and Hawaii.
IJM is a programme designed to encourage positive achievements by helping to build self-awareness in girls and young women.
The pageant programme offers cash scholarships to the winners and awards are provided for academic achievement, volunteer service and spirit of participation. Additional scholarships are provided for excellence in talent, modelling, public speaking and other optional categories.
The local queens will compete against an average of 50 girls in their division during the international pageant. The competition consists of interview, fun fashion and evening gown segments.
Other optional contests are also held during the week where the girls can compete to win additional cash scholarships and gifts. However, those competitions do not contribute to their overall performance in the pageant.
While the IJM programme encourages healthy lifestyles, there is no swimsuit competition.
Director of the local pageant Dominicka Smith said the IJM is a great experience for young women.
"The benefits for a girl competing at IJM not only (include) winning awards and gifts, but the experience of networking and making friends worldwide. The exposure from travelling and meeting people during appearances that they make throughout the year of their reign is rewarding. They have the opportunity during their travels to be an ambassador for their country. They are also considered role models to all young ladies and their peers," she said.