Seven contestants vie for IRF Queen’s crown
The 2016 contestants vying for the 80th International Rice Festival Queen’s title have been announced by Tessa Richard, Rice Festival Queen’s Contest Chairman.
The queen’s pageant will begin at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22, at the Louisiana Rice Mill/Supreme Rice Sound Stage located on the courthouse grounds.
Ali Bourque is the 17-year-old daughter of Monica and Frank Bourque of Gueydan. She is currently a senior at Gueydan High School, where she is a member of FFA, FCA, the 4-H Club, the GHS Cheerleading squad, the GHS softball team, the Drama Club and the Spark Club. She is also the Senior Class secretary and the FFA vice president.
A member of St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Bourque enjoys coaching peewee cheerleading, doing hair and makeup and spending time with her niece and nephews. She also enjoys camping with her family, riding horses and riding four wheelers.
After graduation from high school, Bourque plans to attend Louisiana State University at Eunice and major in nursing. Her sponsor for the contest is Brittany Broussard of Shetler-Corley Motors.
Gabrielle Ann Guilbeau
Gabrielle Ann Guilbeau is the 17-year-old daughter of Clyde and Karen Guilbeau of Lafeyette. She is currently a senior at Lafayette High School, where she is a four-year member of the LHS Lady Lions softball team, an LHS Student Council representative and a member of the Beta Club, the Key Club and the Link Crew. Guilbeau has been the recipient of the LHS Softball Adversity Award and named to the LHS Homecoming Court. She is a volunteer for the Special Olympics Swim Meet, Kiwanis Operation Child and Rebuilding Louisiana, a post-flood “Pack the U-Haul” project.
In her spare time she enjoys bargain shopping, playing softball, spending time in Destin, Florida, and volunteering in the community. She also has a love for LHS that shows in her school spirit. Guilbeau lives by the motto “A bend in the road is not the end of the road … unless you fail to make the turn.” Her sponsor is the Louisiana Cattle Festival.
Jimi Madison Joubert
Jimi Madison Joubert is the 17-year-old daughter of John and Kellie Joubert of Opelousas. She is currently a senior at Beau Chene High School, where she is a member of varsity soccer, 4-H, FFA, Peer Leaders, Drama Club and the Cajun Soccer Club. Her honors and awards include 4-H livestock awards, All-District and All-Parish soccer awards, an MVP soccer award, a 3.4 GPA award and three-year varsity soccer letter.
Joubert has been a dancer at Lisa’s Studio of Dance for 14 years. She also tutors special education students and assists them with their homework and schoolwork, and she is a volunteer for the City of Eunice.
After graduation, Joubert plans to attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she will pursue a degree in biology. Her sponsor is A-Cajun Crawfish House.
Jordan Nikole LeBlanc
Jordan Nikole LeBlanc is the 20-year-old daughter of Lance and Courtney Revia of Beaumont, Texas. She is currently a student at Lamar University, where she is pursuing a BBA in marketing. She is also employed at Prioux Chiropractic as a marketing assistant.
LeBlanc is involved with several non-profit organizations including Caring Cardinals and Loaves and Fishes, and she is the founder of the Princess Association. She was selected to be inducted into the Society of Collegiate Leadership and Achievement based on her academic performance. A member of the Praise Young Adult Ministries, LeBlanc also participates in the “Big Event,” a community-wide clean-up and restoration project. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, singing, playing the guitar, writing music, dancing and attending concerts and live music festivals.
Her plans after college are to continue her education in hopes of attaining a Masters in Communication and to continue to develop her non-profit organization. LeBlanc’s sponsor is Reneau Farms of Beaumont, Texas.
AnnaLisa Mariah Meredith
AnnaLisa Mariah Meredith is the 21-year-old daughter of John Meredith Sr. and Frances Meredith of Augusta, Arkansas. She currently attends Arkansas State University - Beebe, where she is majoring in agricultural business and plans to graduate in 2017.
During her high school years, Meredith was involved in FFA and FCCLA. During her time at ASU-Beebe, she has participated in Phi-Beta Lambda and served as vice president, been a member of the AgriClub, served as vice president of Collegiate Farm Bureau and been a member of Collegiate FFA.
Her honors and awards include winning Fashion Design Silver and Gold Awards, being named representative for Phi-Beta Lambda ASU-Beebe Harvest Fest Court and winning first place in fundraising for the Angel Tree. In her spare time, Meredith volunteers for AETN, Fund a Flag, Meals on Wheels, Keep Calm and Stop Bullying and physical fitness promotion. She is also a board member of the Augusta Days Festival and involved with TailFeathers and the Tamales Festival. She loves cooking Cupa Cupa Cupa, her favorite rice dish, tending her pepper garden and learning about the history of festivals. Her sponsor is the Arkansas Rice Festival.
Brooklynn Rena Mire
Brooklynn Rena Mire of Rayne is the 18-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jackie Prejean and Mr. and Mrs. Jody Mire. Currently a Senior at Rayne High School, Mire is a member of the RHS Student Council, captain of the RHS cheerleading squad, a Beta Club member and an Interact Club member, and she is also involved with HOSA. She was honored to be selected as a delegate to Louisiana Girls State, named Student of the Month, was a member of the 2016 RHS Homecoming Court and was a delegate to Louisiana Youth Seminar.
Mire is a member of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Mire. She enjoys being active in her community by volunteering at the Rayne Farmers Market and children’s events in Rayne such as the Fright Fest Halloween Carnival. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her nieces and nephews, binge watching Netflix and working out. Her plans following high school graduation are to attend McNeese State University where she will pursue an undergraduate degree in health information systems. Mire will then continue her education in hopes of attaining a MBA with a concentration in health care. Her sponsor for this year is the City of Rayne.
Heather Elise Trahan
Heather Elise Trahan is the 21-year-old daughter of Sid and Elisabeth Trahan of Crowley. She is currently a student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette where she is an accounting major. During her high school years, Heather was involved in Student Council, the National Honor Society and the yearbook staff. She was a member of the Crowley High School cheerleading squad, the powerlifting team, the cross country team, the track team and the softball team. She was also the first female pole vaulter for Crowley High School.
Trahan is a member of the UL-L accounting honor society, Beta Alpha Psi. Her honors and awards include CHS honor roll, Student of the Month and numerous softball awards, and she has earned an associate’s degree in applied science as well as an accounting clerk certification.
Trahan is a member of the Rice Museum Restoration Project and St. Michael Catholic Church. In her spare time she enjoys duck hunting, fishing, baking, cooking and gardening. She is also training for her first marathon. After graduation, she plans to become a Certified Public Accountant and would like to own and operate her own bakery one day. Trahan is being sponsored by the Crowley Professional Women’s Club and is representing the City of Crowley.
Contestants will be judged in interview and stage presentation.
Crowning the 2016 International Rice Festival Queen will be Festival Honoree, Charles William Abell, Jr.
The 80th Rice Festival Queen will be presented with cash scholarships and will represent the International Rice Festival at the Washington, D.C., Mardi Gras Ball and the Rice Millers Association Convention being held this year in Carlsbad, California.A $500 scholarship will be awarded to one contestant based on academic performance.