It is safe to say that 25 year old Jenelle Thongs is on her way to becoming a woman after her own heart. Hailing from the twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, this dynamic young woman is a true representation of living life to the fullest. Being a member of various groups in her school life such as RBTT Young Leaders, Junior Achievers, Mentorship Programme, Student Council, Choir, Drama, Track and Field, Team Captain, in both St François Girls’ College and Sixth Form Government Secondary as well as Class Representative and Peer Advisor at UWI, has undeniably taught her the ideals of leadership, teamwork, hard work, and diligence amongst others. As involved as she was, she still made time for her loved ones as surrounding herself by her family and friends is an integral part of not only her day but her very being.

Her studies in Biology at the University of the West Indies as well as her dream to pursue a masters in Biodiversity, Conservation and Sustainable Development in the Caribbean is all part of her plan to become an active member in both the zoological and environmental community. She hopes to increase efforts that protect, preserve and conserve the flora and fauna not only in her twin island but the region as a whole. This passion was fuelled at a young age when she first volunteered at the Trinidad and Tobago Society for the Protection of Cruelty against Animals and more recently with the company Event Engineers at their first annual “WilderNICE” event that celebrated World Earth Day. Her studies, coupled with both her work and volunteering experience has concreted her passion. Now, as a new member of Caribbean Youth Environment Network her visions of protecting, preserving and conserving our precious resources that make the Caribbean undeniably special while fostering Caribbean integration through partnership and corporation are definitely attainable.

Volunteering is another means through which Jenelle has decided to give back to her country. She recently volunteered at the Special Olympics which proved to be an amazing experience. It truly solidified the notion that giving of one’s time is one of the most valuable things one can do. As member of the NGO, Reach Out and Touch, her beliefs and values with respect to the wellbeing and holistic teaching of children, particularly those who come from less than desirable situations, has surely increased especially as an employee of the Ministry of Education.

Pageantry is close to Jenelle’s heart as she believes this forum can be used for personal growth, uplifting women, greater appreciation for one’s country and the ability to bring awareness on
various issues. As a survivor of child abuse she uses pageantry as a means of showing young men and women that their circumstance does not determine their outcome as she herself is an overcomer through the love of God. After a three year hiatus from pageantry in 2013 and returning in 2016, Jenelle has captured three local titles most recently Miss Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Queen 2017 as well as one international title, Miss Heritage International 2016 which was held in December 2016 in Sri Lanka. One of this avid reader’s favourite quote is “If you wait until you can do everything for everybody instead of something for somebody you will end up not doing anything for anybody” so she lives her life trying to be an inspiration to others and helping whenever she can, one day at a time. Jenelle’s ultimate goal is to utilize her skills to effectively become an upstanding citizen of Trinidad and Tobago that is actively environmentally and socially aware while promoting the three factors of sustainable development in the Caribbean via her personal life, professional life and through pageantry.

With all that has been said Jenelle truly hopes to exude the warmth of her people, bring smiles to everyone that she meets and leave a lasting impression in their hearts.