Amber Wilsondebriano, a student at a South Carolina high school, has become the school’s first black homecoming queen in 155 years.
The 17-year-old Porter-Gaud High School student was chosen by popular vote. She told USA Today “When I was nominated, I didn’t feel confident I would win. 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.”
Wilsondebriano shared that she had a ton of support both before and after being crowned. She expressed her gratitude for being picked not because of her race but rather for her achievements and character.
The teenager has a 4.66 GPA, making her one of the best students at the school. She is also a co-founder of multiple school clubs; the most notable among them is the Black Excellence Society Club, which she formed in response to the need for black kids in her school to join together and have a safe space. It is also a place where black students can come up with strategies to increase diversity at school.
“There are less than 10 black people in my senior class,” Wilsondebriano said. “When we have our meetings, every black student in the school can fit in one classroom.”
When Wilsondebriano and her friends presented the program proposal to the school directors last year, they accepted it right away. They have since shown their support by occasionally funding meals and offering a classroom for club meetings.
The young achiever is also the co-leader of the Chinese and Art Clubs and hopes to major in painting at The Savannah College of Art and Design in the fall. Her ambitions include illustrating and writing children’s books. She also hopes to one day own a firm and source her own work.
Her mother, Monique Wilsondebriano, called her a very special child, saying, “She has taught herself how to paint. She is such a blessing. It’s not surprising to me that the kids voted for her to become queen. She is a good friend and is very loyal.”
In celebration of her daughter’s victory, the proud mother posted her picture on Facebook with the caption, “She won!!!! Amber is The 2023 Porter Gaud Homecoming Queen !!!! First in the school’s history.”
Monique Wilsondebriano also told WGME, “Amber is smart, funny, and has always been a friend to anyone she meets. The fact that these kids, most of whom do not look like her, saw something special in Amber and voted her to be their homecoming queen means the world to us.”