Youth activist, poet and visual artist from Brooklyn, NY Emicia Parker was crowned Miss New York Plus America last November and, as she prepares to compete with women from all over the U.S. this July for the title of Miss Plus America Elite, she is using her beauty queen status to improve the lives of young people.
Parker’s platform: "Empowering Underserved Youth ... Building Stronger Communities" comes from her unique life story of being adopted at 2 months old then being raised in a loving two-parent household where various foster children received refuge.
"My [adoptive] mom was a pillar in her community, even after her husband died, she continued to work in her community,” said Parker. "That is also when I am most happy. I don’t have to have makeup on or anything. I just need to be pouring into young people.”
While Parker was trained formally in the visual arts at LaGuardia High School of the Arts, better known as The Fame School, Pratt Institute and Fashion Institute of Technology, she is continuing her academic journey at the Bible school and seminary Nyack College so that she can minister to the needs of youth in her community.
Her youth work ranges from Girl Scout Troop-leading, poetry workshops to her new leadership role at Young Life.
"Their whole mission and purpose of [Young Life] is to do what the church is supposed to be doing,” said Parker. "We’re not going to wait for the young people to come to us, we’re going to go where they are.”
Young Life is a non-profit Christian organization that "loves kids regardless of their responses.”
Adult staffers reach out to middle school, high school and college-aged kids in all 50 of the United States as well as more than 90 countries around the world, but there is a New York City chapter that Parker has pledged her support.
Parker was also recently chosen to be one of the seven members of a group of civic-minded poets who work alongside former Senator, now Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams to promote poetry in the borough of Brooklyn.
As pageantry is mostly a means to promote her cause, Parker’s ultimate goal is launch a youth-based non-profit for the empowerment of young people.
To learn more about her cause and platform, visit www.emicia.com.