A Queen in Our Midst

July 01, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
New York City (July 2007)
On June 9, Art Institute of New York City student Chetney Stone rode in the lavishly decorated lead float as Queen of the 50th Annual Puerto Rican Day Parade. Chetney is the youngest queen ever (age 18), and the first to wear a traditional costume. She has been doing free-lance modeling for a few years, an excellent preparation for this role.

The competition provides young women between the ages of 18 – 25 with the opportunity to develop pride in their heritage and culture. The competition consists of three parts: swimsuit, evening wear and talent. Chetney’s evening gown and swimsuit were given to her by two of the designers she has modeled for. In the talent competition, Chetney’s offering was highly regarded by the judges. Clad in an all white leotard, she performed a “Praise Dance,” a combination of ballet and modern set to gospel music. One judge said, “You blessed my life with your talent.” Another commented, “You took this back to our African roots.”

As the winner, Chetney has already been interviewed on television and radio, and has made numerous public appearances. The parade is aired on television in Puerto Rico as well as in New York. “I looked at everyone’s face as the float was going by. The support from the crowd surprised me. I felt so loved.”

Chetney’s other passion is pastry. She has spent time in the kitchen with her mom and grandmother since early childhood. The New York Daily News and Macy’s awarded her a $1,000 scholarship, which will be applied to her tuition at The Art Institute of New York City where she is studying Pastry Arts.

Midge Elias
Director of Public Relations
The Art Institute of New York City
75 Varick Street 16th Floor
New York, NY 10013