BY JAKE PEARSON
Daily News Writer-
She’s the pride of Flatbush – and could be the first Miss Teen USA to hail from New York in nearly 30 years.
Lisa Drouillard, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, was crowned Miss Teen New York in November and is hoping to be crowned national beauty champ in July.
“I feel like I’ve been living my dream every day,” said Drouillard, 19, a St. Francis of Assisi High School grad.
“I feel like I haven’t gotten there yet but I do know that I inspire every child in my neighborhood.”
Drouillard – the daughter of a public school teacher and a nutritionist – grew up in the same house on Winthrop St. where she lives today with her parents and three older brothers.
Since winning the New York title in November, she has become the talk of the neighborhood – and a point of pride for Haitian immigrants desperate for good news after last year’s earthquake.
“The earthquake traumatized everyone, whether they are living in Haiti or New York,” said City Councilman Mathieu Eugene (D-Flatbush).
“To see that young lady succeed and become who she is is a remarkable thing and it’s a very strong and powerful message for the young Haitian people.”
A freshman at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Drouillard has been speaking at local schools and preparing for the national competition in the Bahamas.
“I have a sense of pride being Haitian,” said Drouillard, whose mother came to New York as a child and whose father arrived in 1985.
“I’m proud of myself because I’m going to college, I’m being successful…and that’s very touching to me.”
Drouillard’s dad, Gene, and her mom, Yolanda, said they couldn’t be prouder of their only daughter, who has been modeling and entering pageants since she was 14.
“I told her to go for it, to follow her heart,” said Gene, 55, a Kings County Hospital employee who enrolled his daughter in the Barbizon School of Modeling in Manhattan.
Some immigrant parents, he said, “want you to be a lawyer, a doctor or stuff like that, but we just want our kids to be happy.”
Yolanda, 51, a sixth-grade teacher at Public School 189, said her students – who are mostly Haitian – ask about her daughter every day.
“All my teacher friends do, too,” she said. “They say, ‘She’s going to make it! She’s going to make it!’”
To rank Drouillard’s Miss Teen New York profile, visit www.missuniverse.com/missteenusa/members/profile/591698/year:2011