Mr Arouca Aquil Ramsahai will represent Trinidad and Tobago at the Mister Grand International on November 25 at the San Fernando Academy of Performing Arts (SAPA).
Ramsahai won the Mister Grand TT male pageant on November 4.
Ramsahai said the experience was an eye-opener. "First time being in a male pageant and it totally changed my perspective. I din't know it was such a great platform to advocate and send messages of positivity throughout the nation."
Ramsahai said he had a modelling background "but with Suveer's (Mister Grand TT 2021) guidance, we were able to excel in the pageant to become victors."
He said his biggest challenge was balancing his work regime and pageantry.
Ramsahai, 24, is in the TT Regiment. He said he has not really shared his pageantry experience with his military cohort.
"I try to keep it separate, mainly because, when I'm in the military, nothing should distract me. I don't want to give them any excuses that I cannot perform my duties. Because it is duty and service before self.
"When I'm in work I'm working, and when I'm out of work, I'm Mister Grand TT."
His advice to other young men who are considering pageantry, is "You have to make up your mind to face a lot of negative criticism, but never be intimidated by what people might say. Draw from deep within and find that confidence and believe in yourself to show that confidence to others."
As he prepares for the Mister Grand International, Ramsahai said, "The heat is on. I have been practising Q&As, I've been looking at my competition, studying them like a subject. I've been doing photoshoots. I was the last to enter the race so I have a lot of catching up to do."
Ramsahai said, "I am doing this to show the youths of this nation that besides the negative entities in their communities, there are people out there that could exemplify what it means to be a true role model, and promote holistic development in the youths."
Organiser of the event Suveer Ramsook said Mister Grand TT was a tremendous success, over 375 people attended. For the international pageant he expects over 500 attendees. The pageant is run by Stolen Productions Ltd, the franchise holders from the Philippines.
Ramsook said, "For me, it's all about giving TT a good production and showing them that Mister Grand will always bring entertainment and light, and while advocating for change could always be fun, it's about enjoying the process of just being yourself."
Both men agreed the highlight of the TT final was how the crowd cheered for the men on stage.
Ramsahai said, "I believe throughout the final, I won the favour of their voices, that was the highlight for me. I wasn't expecting to have such a moving crowd, that they were calling my name, it was really emotional."