beauty Danielle Hamilton, Miss City of Port-of-Spain 2006,
models for Simply Garnett and Lons Fashions.
Danielle Hamilton is committed to using her crown to help
change the stigma that envelops Laventille.
Hamilton who was recently crowned Miss City of Port-of-Spain
sat down at the Guardian for an interview where she described
herself as bubbly, down to earth, confident and caring.
However, it was the last of these four qualities that
was most evident during the interview, as she spoke casually
of herself and passionately about her hopes for Laventille
and the people who reside there.
Hamilton was born and grew up in East Dry River, Laventille,
specifically the area called Leau Place. She moved out
of the community a couple years after both her mother
and grandfather died. This, however, has not affected
her desire on bringing change to the place she still calls
want to help my community of East Dry River because although
I may no longer live there I still consider it my homeafter
all most of my family still live there, she said.
Hamilton is a student at the School of Accounting and
Management where she is pursuing a marketing degree, but
she says her first love lies in child psychology, which
she plans to pursue shortly after completing her first
In response to why she wanted to pursue this particular
area of study, Hamilton said: I love children and
in recent times I have found that too many children in
our country are suffering at the hands of adults and there
is virtually no one to help them over come the trauma.
Hamilton said that after winning the Miss Port-of-Spain
title she realised that she could try to use this very
title as a vehicle to put things into place and there
was no better place to start than in her own community.
She said both the area of Laventille and the people who
live there have always had to deal with tainted images
because of the high level of crime that exists.
the fact is not everyone from Laventille is involved in
crime. It is like every other community that has its good
as well as its sore points.
Hamilton said over the years, the community has been negatively
labelled because of such an unfortunate misconception.
She said she aspired to change it, however, by getting
assistance from the relevant authorities to implement
programmes in the area with an emphasis on the youth.
Some of Hamiltons ideas for the area include counselling
workshops for young mothers and sessions for the children
of the community whose parents could not afford to send
them to school.
reasoning behind these programmes comes from the fact
that there are a lot of teenage mothers in my area, so
if professionals can come in and talk to them about safe
sex and proper parenting skills this would help change
attitudes, said Hamilton.
These sessions she said, should be free, but if there
were a cost that had to be attached, it should be minimal
since many people would not be able to afford it.
She said she believed this would help keep youth off the
streets because she believed socialisation was a key factor
in the development of all people.
Hamilton said: Before the end of my reign as Miss
Port-of-Spain, I intend to change as many opinions about
Laventille and its residents as possible, by helping people
within the area to show the society that good things can
and do come from Laventille.
would like to think that our society is bigger than allowing
a few rotten apples to spoil the entire bunch.