Newspaper: Newsday
Date: September 3, 2003
Page#: Page 11


KAREN FRANCISCO, 25, daughter of the Mighty Sparrow

Sparrow's daughter bids to win Miss TT New York Pageant

KAREN FRANCISCO, daughter of the Mighty Sparrow, will attempt to sing her way to the crown, when she competes in the seventh annual Miss Trinidad and Tobago New York pageant, Sunday September 14, at New York City Technical College, 300 Jay Street, in downtown Brooklyn. Showtime is 7 pm.

Francisco who holds a BFA in Film from Brooklyn College will also be vying for the Best Talent award as she tries to follow in her father's musical footsteps.

"The birdie must leave a little talent in the nest," said pageant director Renee Cummings. "Karen is a powerhouse. She is a strong singer with great stage presence. She is a natural," Cummings added.

But hastened to add, "But don't be fooled, the competition is tough and the talent is very diverse. We have modem, hip-hop, ballet, and classical Indian dancers.

"We also have comedy, poetry, and an impressive rendition of Singing Sandra's' Ancient Rhythms.' So Karen, may be Sparrow's daughter but on the night of the pageant she is going to have to work and work hard," said Cummings.

This year, 14 contestants will compete for the crown, a $2,000 US cash scholarship sponsored by Point Fortin businessman Vince Huggins owner of National Staffing New Jersey, a round trip ticket to Trinidad and Tobago sponsored by BWIA, and thousands of dollars in personal care products, cosmetics, and fragrances.

The lineup includes Kimberley Augustine, 18, a criminal justice major at John Jay College studying to become an FBI agent; Leslie Brooks, 18, a youth leader with Sesame Flyers International; Tobago-born Crystal Chance, 18, pursuing a career as a New York City police officer; Karen Francisco, 25, daughter of the Mighty Sparrow, who holds a BFA in film from Brooklyn College; Janelle Jordan, 19, an information technology student at New York University (NU); Devil Knights, 25, an entrepre- neur, wife, and mother; Kashanna Morris, an 18-year- old hairdresser from Arima; Femi Pakeera, 18, daughter of singer Jenny Pakeera, with aspirations of a career in lan- guages and tourism; Carlene Primus, 20, a social science major at La Guardia Community College; Govanka Roopchand, 21, a finance and international business major at New York University's (NU) Stem School of Business; Gillian Rougier, 17, a trained ballet and modem dancer who attends Windgate High School in Brooklyn; April Sturgeon, 17, who recently migrated from Point Ligas, Couva; Catherine Sui, 25, a grants writer with a Harlem non-prof- it agency who holds a BA in English, and Nicole Valentine, 24, pursuing a master's degree in History at Brooklyn College.

"Anyone can enter a beauty contest, especially in New York where you can pretty much buy a new face over the counter but talent and intellect are priceless.
That's why Miss TT New York makes a difference in the Caribbean community. In particular, we are committed to enhancing the TT community, one woman at a time," Cummings said.