The Houston Caribbean Queen Pageant was founded by Kelly St. Rose and Shamah Lloyd; young Caribbean women from the island of Dominica. Kelly was born in Houston to Dominican parents and Shamah was born and raised in Dominica. Being raised in a Caribbean household, Kelly did not grow up as what one consider to be the “typical American kid”. For Shamah, moving to America at the age of 17 brought along a different set of struggles with being acclimated to a new culture, society, language and climate. Both experiences left each “feeling different” in a country that was not their home. As they matured, Kelly and Shamah came to embrace the feeling of “being different” and how it enhanced their lives. This journey of self-growth spurred their desire to help other young ladies of Caribbean descent learn to appreciate the distinct benefits of their upbringing.
The Houston Caribbean Queen (HCQ) Pageant provides a network for young women with a shared cultural background and seeks to reassure them that what makes them different is exactly what makes them special. The program revolves around the opportunity for personal enhancement through empowerment workshops which include: cooking lessons, makeup classes, etiquette lessons, public speaking sessions, health/fitness and financial acuity. The multiple workshops and events tackle issues that plague many foreign born/raised women. After completion our program participants are more confident, familiar with foreign experiences and equipped with the tools to boldly navigate their lives. In its short four year history, the program has mentored 40 young women, aged 5-30, who have blossomed under its advisement. Through tiredless dedication the directors have fundraised thousands of dollars and offered educational scholarships to participants to help them achieve their academic goals. The success of the 2015 program has led to the expansion to include 3 new divisions: Princess ages 5-11; Teen ages 12-16 and Queen 25-35; in hopes of positively affecting more lives in the Caribbean and Latin American diaspora.
Houston Caribbean Queen Pageant awarded the "2016 APEX Award for Cultural Awareness"
- Caribbean Chamber of Commerce
Executive directors honored as "2015 Caribbean Persons of the Year"
- One Love Caribbean Newspaper
Interview with KTRK-ABC 13’s “Crossroads” with acclaimed Journalist Melanie Lawson
- View Interview (here)