The 2012 Tulip Queen finalists

tulip queen finalists 2012

Jerry Jennings, Nicole Branchini, Millie Condon, Nicole Dama, Emily Finnegan, Jillian LeFevre, Tulip Festival chair Marcus Pryor

From a group of about 100 nominations, the field for this year's Tulip Queen is now down to five finalists. Names and bios are after the jump.

There's something delightfully retro about the Tulip Queen. The semi-finalists are picked by a panel of judges that includes former Tulip Court members. The finalists are then chosen based on their interaction at the annual Tulip Tea (that's right, it's a competitive tea party) and "their community service and leadership skills as well as their knowledge of Albany."

We remember going to a real estate open house years ago at which the seller's daughter had been the Tulip Queen. They had a framed display in their hallway commemorating her selection. You could tell how proud they were. It was great.

This year's Tulip Queen will be crowned May 12 at the Washington Park Lakehouse during the Tulip Festival. She and the other members of the court will work on education and literacy initiatives during their year reign.

Bios via the city of Albany press release.

tulip_queen_2102_finalist_Nicole_Branchini.jpgNicole Branchini, Age 22, Slingerlands
Nicole is a 2011 graduate of the University of Albany, holding a degree in History with a minor in Education. She currently works as a graduate assistant for the University of Albany's Athletic Department. Nicole's volunteer experience includes work with Relay for Life, Guilderland Youth Lacrosse, the American Cancer Society, the AIDS Council and Adopt-a-Family. She spends her free time reading, cooking and playing sports. Nicole would like to turn her knowledge of communications and her love of coaching and mentoring into a career as a high school or collegiate athletic administrator. As a 2012 Tulip Court member, Nicole plans to help provide opportunities for area youth by developing programs that combine athletics and academics.

tulip_queen_2102_finalist_Millie_Condon.jpgMillie Condon, Age 19, Watervliet
Millie is a student at Siena College, double majoring in Education and French. She is currently employed at the Rudy A. Ciccotti Family Recreation Center. Millie has volunteered her time as a North Albany Girl Scouts leader, a Siena Bonner Service leader, the co-host of WVCR's ChangeMakers radio show and with the Albany Boys & Girls Club. In her spare time, she enjoys art, movies, reading and running. After obtaining her degree, Millie plans to pursue a career in teaching and one day become a school principal. As a member of the 2012 Tulip Court, her goals are to create strong new programs for the Mayor Jennings Literacy Campaign and to be an excellent role model for young people in the Albany community.

tulip_queen_2102_finalist_Nicole_Dama.jpgNicole Dama, Age 21, Albany
Nicole is a senior at the College of Saint Rose, studying Public Communications with a minor in Social Justice. Nicole's volunteer experience includes work with Habitat for Humanity, the Mid-Hudson Children's Museum and the College of Saint Rose's Friday Knights program and Reach Out Saint Rose Day. She enjoys theatre, singing, photography, kayaking and exploring Albany by bicycle. In the future, Nicole hopes to do communication work for a social justice organization and eventually become a motivational speaker. As a 2012 Tulip Court member, she would like to help young people develop their leadership skills and self-esteem while inspiring an interest in reading.

tulip_queen_2102_finalist_Emily_Finnegan.jpgEmily Finnegan, Ages 20, Albany
Emily is a junior at the University of Albany studying Political Science and Globalization Studies. Her volunteer work includes educating children in India and participating in a Habitat for Humanity project in Guatemala. Locally, she is a board member for the Albany Student Association's Committee of Community Engagement, serving organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House and Autism SPEAKS. Emily is a member of UAlbany's Cross Country and Track and Field teams and enjoys cooking and dancing in her free time. After graduating in 2013, she hopes to empower students through either non-profit or public service work. Her goals as a member of the 2012 Tulip Court are to serve as a mentor to local children and to promote a sense of community in the Albany area.

tulip_queen_2102_finalist_Jillian_LeFevre.jpgJillian LeFevre, Age 22, Ravena
Jillian graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2011 with a degree in Business Management, a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Electronic Arts. She has volunteered as a children's dance instructor and with summer literacy programs, the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Kids Giving to Kids and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. In her free time, Jillian enjoys painting, photography, music and outdoor sports. She plans to attend graduate school and would like to attain a career incorporating marketing and electronic arts. As a 2012 Tulip Court member, she hopes to inspire a love of reading in local children through the Mayor Jennings Literacy Campaign and to establish a ballroom dance program to help kids develop their confidence and self-esteem.

Tulip Queens nominees must be between the ages of 18-23, residents of Albany County, and "never married." The winner gets a $5000 scholarship. The court members get a $1000 scholarship.

The current Tulip Queen is Karen Colehour.

A few years back we had tea (the non-competitive kind) with 2009 Tulip Queen Juliana Hernandez.

photos: Michael Panzarino of M.A.P. Graphics


Never married? Really?

Jillian LeFevre's dress OR Jennings head

which is more orange?

William Blake said, "Exuberance is beauty."

William Blais says, "Beautifully Exberant!".

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