Amber Wilsondebriano, a senior at Charleston’s Porter-Gaud High School, achieved the title of homecoming queen in 2023 through the votes of her peers.
While Wilsondebriano expressed confidence that she would secure the win, the moment her name was announced during the coronation was deeply moving for her. She felt immensely honored, knowing she had become part of her school’s history.
Students from diverse ethnic backgrounds eagerly took photos with her as the new queen. It’s essential to note that Porter-Gaud School, a college preparatory day school with over 1,000 students from first to 12th grade, was founded in 1867, just two years after the Civil War, as the Episcopal Holy Communion Church Institute, a school initially intended for white boys.
At the young age of 17, Wilsondebriano has earned recognition as one of Porter-Gaud High School’s top-performing students, boasting an impressive 4.66 GPA. She not only leads the Chinese and Art Club at the school but is also proud to be a co-founder of the Black Excellence Society.
Wilsondebriano explained that her senior class comprises fewer than 10 Black students, and the Black Excellence Society was established to create a safe and supportive space for Black students at the school.
Monique Wilsondebriano, Amber’s mother, acknowledged that while conversations about race can sometimes be uncomfortable, it’s essential to recognize the role of race in her daughter’s election as homecoming queen.
As for the Homecoming queen’s future plans, Amber aspires to major in painting at The Savannah College of Art and Design in the upcoming year. She dreams of illustrating and writing children’s books and hopes to own a business showcasing her creative work.
Amber is not only intelligent and humorous but has always been a friend to everyone 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,” her mother concluded.