UAGC Prom Featured in NY Daily News

His Finest prom nite

Teen wins NYPD makeover

New York Daily News

28 May 2016


Brooklyn teen Rolando Diaz III, a senior at Urban Assembly School for Green Careers, won a NYPD essay contest entitling him to a pre-prom makeover at an Upper West Side salon and at Sephora on Broadway near 77th St.

A BROOKLYN teen’s pre-prom primping and preening was handled by the pros — thanks to the NYPD.

Rolando Diaz III, a gender-ambiguous 19-year-old, got a lavish send-off to his high school’s big bash Friday after winning an NYPD essay contest.

Diaz, a gay senior at the Urban Assembly School for Green Careers, identifies as an androgynous person.

In a deeply personal essay, Diaz detailed his struggles with growing up gay, being bullied by peers, and his dreams of being a fashion designer.

The teen’s touching words won the hearts of the cops at the 20th Precinct who were behind the contest.

“It’s amazing — I don’t think this would have ever happened,” Diaz said. “I didn’t expect this at all, I just thought the essay would have been the essay. It’s bigger than I thought.”

The tall, ponytailed teen with a shy smile will be able to look back with confidence after receiving the royal treatment at Robert Stuart Hair salon on the Upper West Side, opting for a Kim Kardashian inspired hairstyle and neutral light pink manicured and pedicured nails.

“Today has been different, I’ve never witnessed three people working on me at once,” Diaz said after being swept over to Sephora on Broadway near 77th St. for a professional makeover by a top artist.

“I’m very happy, I feel like a celebrity — I feel like Beyoncé,” he added.

Diaz, who will study Fashion Design at Parsons after he graduates, hopes to be volunteering at New York Fashion Week by 2020. And upon receiving his Bachelor’s degree, he aims to start building his brand, “III.”

Diaz’s dream is to “impact society by revolutionizing how people categorize clothing based on gender,” by creating a unisex clothing line, he outlines in his essay.

“I’m an androgynous person and I like feminine and masculine things,” Diaz wrote in his piece. “I want to be able to look back at my prom photos 10 and 20 years from now and be happy that I was confident/brave enough to wear what I wanted to wear.”

He planned on wearing a sleek black jumpsuit to the dance.

A group of officers, including Sgt. Espinal Perez of the 20th Precinct, who was one of the judges, looked on as Diaz savored the star treatment.

“We definitely loved his essay, he was definitely ‘it’ for us,” Perez said. “I think he’s a strong young man and I see him doing something in the future — I’m sure I’ll be wearing his clothes.”

Although Diaz was the only student to submit an essay ahead of the contest deadline, Espinal said his words were worthy of the win.

“In my freshman year of high school I was not comfortable being gay, and then every year I became more accepting of myself,” Diaz said. “I’m able to live my life in my own skin and be confident.”