Get to know Miss Guyana Universe contestants – Xamiera Kippins and Ariella BasdeoName: Xamiera KippinsAge: 20Height: 5’11″Occupation: Model, fashion blogger, and Creative Director at Struckturetheblog.comEducation: Bishops’ High School – class of 2012; 10 CSEC subjects, three CAPE subjectsTalent/skills: My talents are dancing, sketching, cooking, creative writing and design, photography and editing, yoga.Interesting facts: I am not a very good singer but I love to sing out loud; my mom and I have the same smile; I love cats, they are magical; my strange addiction is garbanzo beans and I love Broadway musicals.Academic honours/leadership positions: District Young Women Leader (Beehive) at the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (2011-2012)Academic/community/professional associations or clubs: None.Community service experience: International Day of Service Clean-up Campaign; fun chats and discussions with young girls and boys from the Girls Rock, Boys Rule Foundation about self esteem and personal hygiene; and the walk against domestic violence led by Traits Model Management.Goal/ambition: To be Miss Guyana Universe 2016; to attain my Degree in Management Studies; to achieve enlightenment; to have a family; to be a mentor to young girls for a year; to go on an African safari; to help 10 persons each achieve one life goal and to sing a song with a dear friend on the Gershwin Theatre Stage.My goals as Miss Guyana Universe 2016: To be a great ambassador of Guyana; to shed light on the struggles young girls and women face in society; to be a positive role model and a beacon of light and truth to everyone I meet and to fulfil all other responsibilities as Queen.Previous pageant experience: No prior pageant experience.What places have you travelled to? I have travelled to four countries. They are Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Curacao and The Dominican Republic.What primary message or concern would you advocate as Miss Universe Guyana 2016? As Miss Universe Guyana 2016, my message would be aimed at creating positive body image and establishing higher self esteem in young women.Why should you be Miss Universe Guyana 2016? I believe I should be Miss Guyana Universe 2016 because I am a force of nature. It is a great responsibility. I am driven and I possess the heart, elegance, poise and confidence to do so. It is my dream.Name: Ariella BasdeoAge: 24B5’7 1/2Occupation: Administrative AssistantEducation: University of Central Florida – Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Prelaw Track with a specialisation in International Relations and Global Studies, 2016; Valencia College – Associates Degree in General Studies, 2013; Lake Brantley High School, 2010Talent/Skills: Ballroom dancerInteresting facts: I was the first person to represent Guyana for the Miss Global Organisation, where I placed in the Top 20 and was awarded Miss Enterprise.I am also, signed to three modelling and talent agencies. This year I was given the opportunity to join the Caribbean Passport Newspaper as a fashion, fitness, and lifestyle columnist. I have been a competitive ballroom dancer since the age of 14.Academic honours/ leadership positions: Valencia College, Dean’s List; Team Lead for JV Dance Team, 2007; Lake Brantley Honour StudentAcademic/community/professional associations or clubs: Founder/ Owner of Warriors of Hope, a campaign to build awareness and aid in suicide prevention. Owner of “Warriors”, an organisation that helps persons with suicidal thoughts. Ambassador for The Caribbean VoiceCommunity service experience: I have volunteered with many organisations: The Diabetes Association, Relay for Life, and most currently, The Guardian Ad Litem.Goal/ambition: My goal is to bring happiness to all those who enter my life. My ambition is to become an International Attorney.Previous pageant experience: In 2015, I was selected to be the first person to represent Guyana in the Miss Global Pageant, which took place in the Philippines. I placed within the Top 20 and won the special award title of Miss Enterprise. In the spring of 2016, I was also deemed as Region Four’s ( Demerara Mahaica) ambassador.What places have you travelled to? I have travelled to 10 out of the 50 states of the USA. I have also been to the Philippines and Guyana.What primary message or concern would you advocate as Miss Universe Guyana 2016? My main concern is to promote self-love.Why should you be Miss Universe Guyana 2016? I should be Miss Universe Guyana 2016, because I am confident, driven, motivated, willing and able to do what is necessary to build the Miss Universe Guyana brand. Once I am crowned, I will be ready to implement my 365-day plan to bring home the ultimate title of Miss Universe 2016 for the country of Guyana.