Sunday, January 22, 2006

All Hail to Miss Allison Bourne-Vanneck, Miss US Virgin Islands and Miss America Contestant

Allison Bourne-Vanneck
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
Age: 22

Antilles High School
The College of William and Mary-graduate-Business Administration

Platform Issue: Respect Us, Don’t Neglect Us: Transforming the Lives of Girls Emotionally & Physically through Sports

Scholastic Ambition: To obtain an MBA and a Masters Degree in Journalism

Talent: Instrumental: Steel Pan

Scholastic Honors: Hulen Willis Scholarship Recipient; Business Administration Dean’s Cabinet; The William and Mary Business Administration Excellence Award 2005

Career Ambition: To create a Television Network dedicated to women, sports, fitness and entertainment

State Competition Sponsor: Miss Virgin Islands Scholarship Organization, Inc.

Allison Bourne-Vanneck's commitment to athletics and service has been a constant theme throughout her life. She started playing golf at age 6 and went on to be the undefeated Virgin Island junior golf female champion, the 2001 Virgin Islands female amateur champion and three-time women's flight champion in the St. Thomas Open. As an honor student, she balanced academics and sports, as she co-founded Give Girls a Chance junior golf program. Through her accomplishments and service, Allison became in 2001 the first and only woman in Virgin Islands history to receive The Virgin Islands Daily News athlete of the year.

Allison continued competitive golf in college and became the first African-American woman to play collegiate golf at the College of William and Mary. Additionally, she served on the dean's cabinet in the business school, coordinated voter registration drives in low income neighborhoods and organized regional HIV/AIDS awareness fundraisers. During her senior year, she founded Girls in S.P.O.R.T.S. Enhancement Program. S.P.O.R.T.S. stands for Self-esteem, Perseverance, Optimism, Respect, Teamwork, and Self-confidence.

Her nonprofit organization helps prepare youth to pursue their dreams and educates them on the benefits of athletic involvement and opportunities. In May of 2005, she graduated from the College of William and Mary, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in business administration. Allison was also chosen as the 2005 recipient of the College of William and Mary Bachelor of Business Administration Excellence award, an award for public service both to the university and surrounding community.

Allison cites her strong faith and concern for people as her driving force to enhance the lives of others. Currently, she spends her time running her Girls in S.P.O.R.T.S. Enhancement Program, being a motivational speaker at Virgin Island schools, speaking with parents, the community and writing her sports column, Let's Go, Girls!, for The Virgin Island Daily News.