The 72nd Albany Tulip Queen crowned


Mayor Kathy Sheehan introduced the 2020 Albany Tulip Queen and her four court members at a press conference in Washington Park today. Congratulations to Kaya Rifenberg – Stempel who was chosen as the 72nd Albany Tulip Queen.  She will work together with her four court members on community service and literacy advocacy initiatives as the 2020 Albany Tulip Court.

These young women were chosen from a pool of dozens of nominees by a committee of local leaders through an extensive interview process based on their volunteer service, commitment to the local community and leadership skills. 

Tulip Queen:

Kaya Rifenberg – Stempel, Age 19, Latham

Kaya is a senior at the University at Albany where she enjoys learning about foreign languages and cultures. She is a lifelong Albany County resident and Girl Scout. She is a co-founder of Building a Better Colonie, an organization that seeks to encourage youth participation in local politics.  She is also a devoted wildlife advocate. She hopes to someday get involved in international politics as a foreign ambassador. Kaya is a member of the Tau Sigma transfer honor society and the Pi Delta Phi French Honor Society. In her free time, she loves to read, write, sketch, and play musical instruments. Above all, she values time with her family, especially her younger brothers. As a member of the 2020 Tulip Court, Kaya hopes to raise support for wildlife conservation projects and to spread knowledge about music, art, and foreign languages throughout Albany.

Tulip Court members:

Kimberly Guzman – Reyes, Age 23, Albany

Kimberly is currently working towards her associate of general studies at Maria College in Albany while working part time with Insta-cart.  Her volunteer experience includes assisting in the emergency department for Albany Stratton Veteran Medical Center, working as a teacher assistant,  volunteering at Hudson Park Nursing Home, as well as  preparing meals for those in need at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Albany. She enjoys hiking, cooking and yoga.  As a member of the 2020 Tulip Court, Kimberly’s goal is to make a difference in her community by being involved in activities that create positive change for all people. She hopes to inspire and be an example for future Latin applicants to Tulip Queen. 

Samantha Peck, Age 21, Albany

Sam is attending the University at Albany working towards earning her degree in psychology. Her volunteer experience involves participating in adoption clinics for the Mohawk Humane Society, volunteering at the food bank, walking in the Albany Pride Parade on behalf of the alliance for positive health , running a blood drive for the Red Cross and she has done countless service projects as a Girl Scout. Sam enjoys horseback riding, painting, reading, playing with dogs and cooking/baking. She also enjoys traveling and being part of new experiences.   As a part of the 2020 Tulip Court her goal is to better herself and her community. 

Maya Wilson, Age 21, Latham

Maya is a sophomore at Hudson Valley Community College where she is studying Human Services so she can one day be a Social Worker for a school. Maya works full-time at the NYS Assembly. Her volunteer experience ranges from the Regional Food Bank, making ribbons for Mothers Against Drunk Driving and most recently assisting at The Unity house for Domestic Violence. Maya was an avid cheerleader for Colonie Pop Warner where she participated in many fundraisers for her community. In Maya’s free time she takes pleasure in reading, health and fitness, and traveling. Maya was also a contestant in the miss New York USA pageant.   As a member of 2020 Tulip Court, Maya’s goal is to work with families of low-income and their children to help them acquire resources that they need.

Karina Wojnar, Age 23, Albany

Karina is a graduate from Siena College where she studied business, art, and dialogue. She majored in Interdisciplinary  Studies with a concentration in Social Justice & Global Citizenship.  She currently works as the Development & Membership Manager at Albany Center Gallery, a community arts non profit located in downtown Albany. Karina has volunteered with organizations such as the Boys & Girls Club of the Capital Area and the Sanctuary for Independent Media. In her spare time, Karina works as a yoga instructor, hikes, creates art, and rollerblades. As a member of the 2020 Tulip Court, Karina hopes to work with the community to provide needed resources and develop sustainable, impactful programming that amplifies the voices of the unheard through creative expression. 

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