Amber Wilsondebriano is celebrating a historic senior year at her South Carolina high school.
The graduating senior became the first Black homecoming queen in Porter-Gaud High School’s 155 years.
“When I was nominated, I didn’t feel confident I would win,” Wilsondebriano said, according to USA Today. “However, throughout the week, many students told me they were voting for me. When the day came and my name was called, I was relieved and honored because I knew I was a part of history. I was elated the whole night. My peers made me feel special for the day.”
The historic crowning celebrates the teen’s exceptional contributions to her campus. The 17-year-old is a stellar student at Porter-Gaud who boasts a 4.66 GPA and several leadership roles. Porter-Gaud’s 2023 homecoming queen is a founding member of its Black Excellence Society, a club Wilsondebriano pitched to the school with five of her friends. Having less than 10 Black people in her senior class, she recognized the need to diversify the school and curate a safe space for Black students.
On Sept. 13, Wilsondebriano was present during the celebration of Porter-Gaud’s second annual breakfast dedicated to HBCU Week.
“I think opening this up to all people allows Black kids to feel less isolated,” she told WCSC about the event, which the Black Excellence Society initiated.
She is also dedicated as co-leader of the Chinese and Art Club.
“I’m so happy to have been chosen as homecoming queen for my character and achievements, not because of my race,” she said.
The aspiring entrepreneur, illustrator, and children’s book author plans to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design next fall as a painting major.
Wilsondebriano’s mother, Monique Wilsondebriano, can attest to her daughter’s talents and good character.
“She has taught herself how to paint,” Monique said. “It’s not surprising to me that the kids voted for her to become queen. She is a good friend and is very loyal.”
South Carolina became home for the Wilsondebriano’ after the teen’s father was injured due to the 9/11 attacks. The family launched their business, Charleston Gourmet Burger Co., and expanded its products to major retailers and supermarkets, including Macy’s, Whole Foods, and Walmart.
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