Avery Braithwaite, a junior from John T. Hoggard High School, was crowned the 2023 North Carolina Azalea Festival Princess during the 75th Annual North Carolina Azalea Festival Scholarship Pageant on Saturday, March 4th. The event was held at Kenan Auditorium on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Avery is the daughter of Drs. Adam and Heather Braithwaite. She and her court were selected from among 17 contestants representing 9 area high schools. The court members include the following: 1st Runner-Up from New Hanover High School, Emory Radford, 2nd Runner-Up, from John T. Hoggard High School, Johana Acosta-Castillo, 3rd Runner-Up, also from John T. Hoggard High School, Gracie Rogers, and 4th Runner-Up, from E. A. Laney High School, Madison Joy.
At Hoggard, Avery is Vice-President of the Junior Class, Executive Officer of the Youth Climate Action Coalition and Recruitment Coordinator for the Azalea Festival Youth Committee. She is also a member of the National Honor Society, Give Global, Mock Trial, and Youth and Government. Outside of school, she enjoys singing in the Girls’ Choir of Wilmington, playing the piano, and spending time with her family. In the future, she wants to do something in the legal field, with a focus in public policy and politics.
This year, Junior girls from area high schools competed for the title based on a private interview with judges, evening gown competition and on-stage presentation. The Princess is the recipient of the Beverly Anne Jurgensen Scholarship Award, named after the beloved Past President of the NC Azalea Festival.