A queen and her jewels

A queen’s regalia traditionally consist of a crown, sash and scepter…all outer trappings of royalty.

However, when you see Shartajaye Wright, the 2011-2012 Miss Texas Southern University standing tall on the Tigerwalk, you might notice something different about this campus queen.

It emanates from inside and brings a smile to her face; she has a glow even and a certain confidence.

Wright is on a mission. She is adorning herself, not with the typical glitz, glamour, and bling, but something far more precious – a group of 20 young women whom she regards as her “Crown Jewels.”

The “Crown Jewels” is an initiative Wright created this year that consists of freshman and sophomore girls, who sit in on weekly seminars and workshops, where they discuss a myriad of topics.

“It teaches the young ladies and the next generation to be academically poised, academically prepared, socially grounded and spiritually grounded,” Wright said.

Starting as early as freshman orientation, she recruited various young women to be a part of the “Crown Jewels” program.

Wright enacted an application process to get to know her future jewels. She made sure not to put limits and constraints on the participants.

“What makes it so beautiful is that there are so many walks of life who may have had children already or who have gone through different financial circumstances or who are not necessarily the traditional college student per se,” Wright said.

She considers this dynamic group of young women that she put together to be an extension of her and reflect everything that she believes in.

“Crown jewels [are] traditionally an asset to the queen,” Wright said. “It’s everything that makes her royalty.”

They actually represent Miss TSU and everything I stand for, so that’s why I call them my jewels. Without them you don’t see a platform. You don’t see what I stand for, and you don’t see my character, enthusiasm or my passion.”


The queen has a deep connection with her jewels. They stand alongside her in all of her endeavors.

“Whatever event that I have been exclusively invited to on campus, they come as well. There’s always a reserved section for Crown Jewels.”

This program is just another part of Wright’s “G.R.E.A.T.N.E.S.S.” platform.

Even as her “Crown Jewels” engage in weekly two-hour seminars, where they learn about self-esteem and expectations, she has much more in store for them.

“The crown is just a platform to serve, and Miss TSU is a servant at heart,” Wright said.


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