High school are some of the toughest years, but with the right attitude and humble personality, 2018 Homecoming Queen, J’Nyla English, has shown that it makes all the difference. When she came to Calvary from Bible Baptist her freshman year, she was eager for a new start because of some difficult experiences in the past.
“The transition [to Calvary] wasn't tough,” she said. “I was actually excited to leave because I didn't exactly have the best middle school experience.”
She had no problem fitting right in with her fellow peers and is grateful that students were so welcoming to her from the start. “I like the students at Calvary,” J’Nyla said. “We have some crazy ones and some nice ones, but the environment and how they welcome you is my favorite thing.” J’Nyla also mentioned how doing more activities has been a key to integrating herself into the student body.
“Getting more involved has made me feel like more a part of the Calvary family, like doing the musicals, and athletic training, and just even talking to different grades,” she said.
J’Nyla has come a long way since four years ago, and she has remained humble throughout the entire experience of being crowned queen. “I was very surprised when I found out my peers had voted me to be on homecoming court,” she said. “I was like am I being punked? Is this a joke? I was thinking there's no way this is possible.” She took advantage of this honor by scheduling appointments to ensure that she would look her very best and be ready to walk in front of all the students and parents at the dance. “I got a hair appointment, makeup appointment, and I bought a dress off of Amazon,” J’Nyla said. “I was like you know I might not win, but if I am going to be on homecoming court we got to represent, so I tried my best to look presentable like all the other young ladies.”
J’Nyla’s response to being crowned queen was emotional, and she was immediately surrounded by her peers with words of congratulation.“When everyone came up to me I was like wow, I did not know they thought of me as a friend or a person that they would want to vote for,” J’Nyla said. “It was really eye opening in my last year here to see that I was not alone and I do have other people that like me that I have not really talked to.”
J’Nyla also opened up about her opinions on how voting has resulted in the past, but how her opinion changed in light this year. She never pictured herself as someone in the spotlight, so when she was chosen this year it came as a big surprise. “I will say that in my freshman and sophomore year I thought Homecoming was strictly like a popularity contest, like you just choose the ones who are better looking, more popular, more athletic and the people that others favor more because they are in the limelight,” J’Nyla said.
Camila Parra, also a nominee for Homecoming Queen, has known J’Nyla for three years and was ecstatic when she heard her name called. “There is no one more deserving of representing the senior class. She embodies the kindness that I wish all people had,” Parra said. “Seeing her win was a victory for all of us.” Joshua Brewer, J’Nyla’s religion teacher, also had kind words to share.“She is one of the most caring and thoughtful students I teach. She commits herself to doing good school work, but more than that she has a heart for others,” Brewer said. “She cares for her fellow classmates, and cares deeply for others around the world. She is one of the most honest and genuine students I've had, and she was well deserving of being queen.”
J’Nyla has shown that Homecoming Queen is not about the way you look. It is not about how many friends you have. And, neither is it about trying to be someone you are not. “I think a Homecoming Queen should be someone who is not all about themselves, someone who helps other people and shows them kindness,” J’Nyla said. “Be respectful to others and do not be obnoxious, especially after you win. Do not think you are better than anyone else, just stay humble and stay true to who you are.”
As for the underclassmen who will have the opportunity to select a new queen next year, J’Nyla leaves behind some advice. “Do not choose that person just because they are popular or everyone else likes them. Choose someone who you think deserves to be there and deserves to have a chance to shine because the person that you vote for who is the most popular might have the worst personality and you just giving that person more fire and ambition to stick to their personality because they think it’s okay,” she said. “So choose someone different that deserves it and that has a nice personality because that goes a long way.”
Photo by Sam Seymour - Class of 2020