South Carolina Teen Becomes School’s First Black Homecoming Queen: 'I Was a Part of History'

Amber Wilsondebriano, a talented senior at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, plans to attend art school next year

<p>Patrick Hession</p> Amber Wilsondebriano and dad

Patrick Hession

Amber Wilsondebriano and dad

A private school in South Carolina has crowned their first Black homecoming queen in 155 years.

Amber Wilsondebriano, a 17-year-old at Porter-Gaud School in Charleston, recently made history by winning the honor, DuBose Egleston, the head of school, tells PEOPLE.

“Amber exemplifies all of these characteristics and is a wonderful example of a student who lives out our school mission each day by inspiring others to pursue lives of purpose, learning, and service,” Egleston says. “We celebrate Amber's election as she joins the many noteworthy homecoming queens we’ve had since our school became co-educational in 1972.”

He adds, “We are fortunate to have Amber as a member of our community, and we are pleased that Amber and her family have had such a positive and meaningful experience during their 12 years here on our campus.”

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The senior honors track student maintains a 4.66 GPA and co-founded several school clubs, including the school’s Black Excellence Society, according to ABC affiliate WJCL-TVUSA Today and CNN.

But as for winning the coveted crown, Wilsondebriano wasn’t sure it was a possibility — until it happened, she told the newspaper.

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"When I was nominated, I didn't feel confident I would win," she said. "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."

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The teenager's latest accomplishment seemingly did not surprise her mom.

"Amber is a very special child," Monique Wilsondebriano told USA Today. "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."

Related: Texas Teen Wins Homecoming King 1 Year After Sustaining Traumatic Brain Injury on Football Field

The aspiring artist, who is headed to the Savannah College of Art and Design next year, said she takes pride in the fact that she won the crown because “representation matters,” she told CNN.

“I knew that being able to show up as a role model would inspire so many young children, and I’m so proud I get the title of the first Black homecoming queen," she said. “I hope that young girls and young children can look up to me and hope anything is possible."

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