Jamaican wins Miss Deaf International Contest

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The Jamaican Deaf Community erupted in ecstasy last Saturday night as news broke that their queen, Miss Deaf Jamaica - Cassandra Whyte, had won Miss Deaf International 2011 in Orlando, Florida.

It was the first time that a deaf contestant representing Jamaica was competing at an international event. Out of a field of more than 20 young deaf ladies, representing China, The United States of America, Peru, South Africa, Poland, France, Korea, Brazil, Cuba, Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Sweden, Mongolia and Switzerland, all competing at the 2nd Annual Miss Deaf International, an organisation whose aim is to empower deaf women worldwide, Cassandra walked away, the winner.

First runner-up was Miss Deaf Brazil, while second runner-up went to Miss Deaf France, and third to Miss Deaf Korea.

As the winner, Whyte will be the ambassador for deaf women worldwide.

The competition which lasted two days, from July 14-16, involved a swimsuit section, talent show, national costume section and evening gown.

Whyte, who was the winner of the inaugural Miss Deaf Jamaica last year, is a deaf social worker at the Jamaica Association for the Deaf.

Miss Deaf Jamaica, a new entity formed last year, aims to develop Deaf Jamaican women into role models, advocates ambassadors and spokeswomen.

Whyte's victory is expected to have a huge impact on young Deaf girls in Jamaica.

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