Teacher, counsellor and now Miss Bahamas Professional title holder
She’s a teacher and trained counsellor and now she can add holder of a pageant title to her resume. Tiffany Danielle Johnson is the first person to capture the title Miss Bahamas Professional and she wants to use her position to make a difference with so much negativity going in the country.
“I want to do more to show people how to be better,”said Johnson, 25, after taking the time to absorbed the fact that she had captured the title over seven other women.”There is too much going on in this country for you not to want to do more and show people how to be better,”says the C.V. Bethel business teacher.”I am glad I have this opportunity to make a difference and I am excited to see what it will bring.”
Keeping in the forefront that the pageant’s mission statement is to promote professionalism in all areas of life among young women, Johnson’s platform tackles this aim in a unique way.
“The typical thing to do is to talk to young ladies in high school or college to instill a sense of professionalism, but I believe to be really effective you need to start even earlier and make it something that is second nature, so that professional does not become a coat to wear in some situations, but rather a personality trait that becomes naturally applicable to all areas of life. If I am given the resources to fulfill my goal I hope to focus on young children–those in K5 through grade six. Setting up counselling and leadership programs especially for them is something I want to do.
“As a teacher and a trained youth counsellor I know that there are counselling programs in place for older kids who have until high school already been left to their own devices so they have deep-set notions about themselves that is often negative and are led by peer pressure. While it is not too late to help them to learn better behavioral traits it is harder, and their problems are numerous. I believe if you can talk to young kids early and sit down with them to see what they want to do or be, you can help them channel their abilities so that they are already focused on their purpose in life.”
The new professional queen feels that as a society too many children are left to being just kids and adults too often assume the children don’t have a clue about life or what they want, but she says kids are smarter than adults give them credit for. She says adults should be trying to influence the children more positively at an early age.
She says if this is done, then society would not need to have major crash course programs which she feels are largely ineffective since many kids are already set in having things their way because they have been allowed free reign most of their lives.
The teacher who now holds the title of Miss Bahamas Professional, says finding out what kids are good at and encouraging them in that area early will give them a jumpstart in life, as well as give them a sense of responsibility, leadership and professionalism that will grow with them as they get older.
With varying responsibilities, Johnson is expected to attend numerous functions, representing the professional woman and engaging in speaking events to encourage the youth of both sexes.
“I am looking forward to this opportunity because there is nothing more beautiful than helping someone else find their own way to make a difference. I just want to make a difference, and I plan to do it,” she said.
Unlike beauty pageants where contestants are judged on their physicality as well as their intellect, Miss Bahamas Professional was judged on speech, interview techniques and business attire. Johnson’s qualities put her over her fellow contestants for the title, at the pageant held recently at the Wyndham Nassau Resort and Crystal Palace Casino.
Johnson believes she stood out among her peers because she chose to be creatively professional from the start. Instead of following instructions to the letter, she always found a way to spice up the competition while remaining professional at the same time.
“It[was]hard to stand out in a pageant like this where beauty, your talent or your ability to walk or wow a crowd is not the focal point or even important. You need to prove you are the professional woman and not just a pretty face so you don’t need to go over the top. As hard as it may have been, I think I was able to still do well to distinguish myself throughout the pageant. For instance during the pre-pageant interview instead of just presenting a simple resume as requested, I jazzed mine up so that it became an interactive portfolio. I always found it necessary to go the extra mile because I was always one of the last contestants to be judged at each stage. I knew that the judges were likely to be tired of seeing the same things again and again so I had to do something to shine. I think I always stood out from the beginning because I put a little extra effort to be creative. I was always on the borderline. . . maybe but it paid off.”
It was this creativity and bravery that not only won Johnson the crown on the final night, but also the respect and adoration of her students.
She says entering the pageant was a big step for her and that she had second thoughts at times, but says it was uplifting to hear her students encourage her daily. The newly-crowned Miss Bahamas Professional says that she was at her happiest when she realized that she had been taken out of the box and much more was expected of her not only as a teacher but as a person. She says that was one of the greatest and best lessons that she took away from the competition.
The new queen says that the crowning moment at the culmination of the pageant was a memory that will linger with her for years to come. She says after four months of rigorous training, seminars, rehearsals and preliminary events there was nothing more worthwhile than hearing her name announced as the winner of the Miss Bahamas Professional Pageant.
“I feel honored, distinguished, well-deserving”says the senior school business teacher.”It’s a great responsibility I now carry and I am really happy to have it. The pageant itself was an unforgettable experience and I thank God for it all. I learnt so much from this event and I still can’t believe I won. It is sinking in though and I am looking forward to the many opportunities that will spring forth from this achievement,” she said.