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Abilene Christian University graduate crowned Miss Earth Bahamas

By Kristen Pope, Reporter, kpope@ktxs.com
Published On: Oct 28 2013 11:56:55 AM CDT
Updated On: Oct 28 2013 08:11:43 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

 Native Bahamian Vandia Sands took home the title “Miss Bahamas Earth” after competing in the international Miss Earth Pageant.

The pageant included contestants from more than 80 competing countries. The beauty event promotes preservation of the environment.

Vandia moved to Abilene when she was 17 to attend Abilene Christian University. She lived with her brother and his family.

"He made sure that I attended church regularly Wednesday and twice on Sundays,” Vandia Sands said. “You know I really thank him and his wife for that."

"I hope the world is ready for her,” ACU Upward Bound Academic Development Advisor D’Angelo Sands said. "With her getting this crown, it gives {Vandia} that platform to pay it forward and hopefully inspire {all women} to continue to follow their dreams until they become successful."

In college Vandia got involved in a modeling troupe and the step team. "I started in college with the Lynay program and that stands for “Love Your Neighbor As Yourself,” Vandia said. We had to obtain 40 hours of community service per semester, so I felt like that prepared me or propelled me to this point.”

When Vandia graduated from ACU, she returned home to the Bahamas and went on to compete in the pageant.

She said she’s excited about inspiring kids who were once just like her.

"That’s one thing with coming back home that I wanted to do,” Sands said. “I didn't want to just come here, start working and get a job. I wanted to give back."

For the next year, Vandia will represent the Bahamas as their environmental spokeswoman with a focus on protecting the country’s water and beaches.