Nassau, Bahamas - Miss Bahamas Earth, 24 year old Aquelle Francesca Plakaris will soon be leaving for Vietnam to take part in the 10th Annual Miss Earth Pageant.
Apart from a strong emphasis on environmental protection programs, MISS EARTH also aims to showcase and promote various tourist destinations. Every year, 80 to 90 candidates from all over the world compete on beauty and knowledge of environmental issues.
Miss Bahamas Earth, as her platform, created the "Youth Earth Ambassadors" within the school system in belief that educating the youth on the care of Mother Earth ensures her safety in the future.
Describe your childhood when you were growing up from 8 to 13 years old.
My childhood and growing-up years were spectacular and I would never forget the lasting memories. I grew up in a loving single parent home with my mother and younger sister. My fondest memories were spending quality time with my maternal and paternal grandmothers who taught me how to bake desserts, which I still enjoy doing. During my childhood, I enjoyed the arts & crafts, such as making ceramics and painting. Sunday evenings after dinner with my immediate and extended family, I enjoyed dressing in my mother's heels and dresses acting as a beauty queen. Also during my growing years, I developed a passion for learning about different cultures from around the world. Every day I, enjoyed reading because it was an enchanting get-away filled with magic, adventures, mysteries, princesses and princes.
What lessons did you learn from your childhood/growing years?
Lessons that I learned during the growing years of my life was to be appreciative and grateful for what I had. I also learned that hard work and perseverance always pays off at the end. My paternal Grandmother taught me to share my warm smile with others because that one smile could brighten their day. Finally, I learnt a powerful lesson from a former teacher “the power of dream lies within the strength of a dreamer".
What is your most memorable moment?
My most memorable moment was the day that I lost my best friend-My paternal grandmother, Rose Marie Plakaris. She always supported my dreams and aspirations, and even though I am not graced with her presence any longer, I know her love lives on inside of me. Besides teaching me how to bake, we enjoyed shopping together and even talking while watching the sunset on the beach or having a cup of tea.
What is your environmental advocacy?
My environmental advocacy is Marine conservation, which is the preservation and protection of ecosystems in oceans. It also focuses on the preservation of vulnerable marine species. I chose Marine conservation because of my love for my country’s beautiful waters, its coral reefs and the amazing species that know it as home. Advocates for marine life here in The Bahamas faces challenges each day in protecting our waters from destruction of coral reefs, fragmentation, pollutants, chemicals, and even poaching. One area of my action plan as Miss Earth Bahamas is to inspire the youth of The Bahamas on how to be environmental ambassadors and to work closely with Organizations that advocate the protection of our sea. Some of these organizations are Friends of the Environment, BREEF, and The Bahamas National Trust.