WITNESSING young girls in her community fall pregnant at an early age prompted 25-year-old Verenaisi Rokana to address issues faced by youths.
Originally from Sasa Village in Ba, the Fiji National University student will vie for top honours during the Digicel Ba Riverside Carnival scheduled for next month.
Ms Rokana has a diploma in secondary education majoring in English and iTaukei language, and is pursuing her bachelors degree in the same field. She said the carnival would be a great platform to bring youth related issues directly to the public.
"My family thought it was a good opportunity and asked me to enter," Ms Rokana said.
"Teenage pregnancies and drug abuse are among the most common problems faced by our youth and I want to educate young people regarding this."
According to Ms Rokana, the number of young girls falling pregnant needed to be reduced.
"I hope I will be able to make an impact regarding this."
She said training for the pageant was well at this stage.
However, the biggest challenge for her would be facing a different crowd when the carnival nears.
"The audience will be different because I am used to speaking to students at school. This will be a great opportunity as it will help boost my self-esteem."