PORTLAND, Oregon — The Rose Festival has been a long standing Portland tradition stemming since 1907 with multiple festivities. This year the festivities commence from Friday, May 26 through Sunday, June 11.The massive festival is put on by the nonprofit Portland Rose Festival Association, and includes three separate parades along with other festivities promoting the community within the Rose City.
The Rose Festival Court is made up of 15 students, historically all girls, selected from high schools across the Portland metro area. The program offers the students scholarships, mentorship, networking, volunteer and community outreach opportunities. All while promoting and carrying on the tradition of serving on the court.
This year court members will receive one-on-one mentorship with top women executives from the festival's presenting sponsor Unitus Community Credit Union, a $3,500 scholarship provided by The Randall Group valid for any accredited college, university or trade program, and a complete travel wardrobe including shoes and accessories.
Court applicants are interviewed by a panel of community judges and asked to provide a speech to their student body for voting. In addition to student body voting the candidates are judged in the following areas: character, communication skills, presence and the school vote.
Princess announcements typically take place late February and early March. After the selection process, court members attend training sessions outside of school hours. These sessions prepare the members on media training, networking, public speaking and more.
Part of participating on the court includes a lot of traveling. Court members are expected to travel five days a week, visiting community events, business leaders, hospitals, senior living centers, youth organizations, civic groups and participating in the Rose Festival's parades and events.
These are the requirements to qualify to apply to be a Rose Festival Court princess:
- Identify as a female
- Attends an eligible high school in Multnomah, Washington or Clackamas county
- Be a on track senior gradating in the current school year or junior graduating the following year
- Have a minimum 2.75 to 3.0 GPA (preferably 3.0)
- Completed 20 hours minimum of community service
Here are the 2023 Rose Festival Court princesses:
Princess Audriana Ethridge is a senior representing Ida B. Wells High School and born in Portland. She plans on attending a 4-year university after she graduates high school in June and possibly pursuing a Masters/ post-graduate degree. She enjoys reading and trips to Powell's Bookstore. She was a varsity cheerleader both her sophomore and junior years. She participates in Key Club, Red Cross Club, and No Place for Hate at her school.
Princess MaryMer Kansou is a senior representing Roosevelt High School. MaryMer moved to Portland from Hawaii in 2018. She plans on attending the Oregon State University to study marine biology and physical therapy after she graduates high school this spring. She cares immensely about mental and self wellness. MaryMer loves sharing her culture with others and believes in the power of unity. She enjoys reading and trips to Powell's Bookstore. She has played various sports and participates in Roosevelts Pacific Islander club.
Princess Abi Crowe is a senior representing Franklin High School. She was born in Portland. She plans on attaining a bachelors of science from Oregon State University, University of Washington or California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo). She enjoys running and has participated in the school's cross-country as well as track and field programs. She has held various leadership roles, enjoys creating art and exploring nature.
Princess M'Ryah Kelley is a senior representing Grant High School, and was born in Las Vegas, Nevada. She plans on attending a historically Black college or university and major in biology or kinesiology. She holds goals of becoming a physical therapist or athletic trainer. M'Ryah is an honor roll student and involved with the National Honor Society. She's also an active athlete on the varsity volleyball team, 2nd team all-league volleyball and Grant dance collective. She's active in her schools Black Student Union and holds an internship with Tappin' Roots. She loves anything and everything around music in addition to movie watching with her sister.
Princess Sierra Dedmon is a senior representing Central Catholic High School, and born in Portland. She plans on attending college and is exploring career options. She enjoys cheering and has participated in the school's varsity cheerleading program. She was awarded "Youth of the Year" for the metropolitan area in varsity cheerleading. Sierra loves spending time with friends and attending events at the Moda Center.
Princess Piper Winder is a senior representing Saint Mary's Academy and was born in Hunan, China. She plans on attending college to study electrical and computer engineering. Piper is involved on her school's varsity swim team and all girl robotics team, Beta Blues. She's been the co-leader of the Asian Pacific Islander Club. Piper enjoys spending time in nature, watching coding tutorials and baking.
Princess Elda "Nikkie" Hernandez is a senior representing David Douglas High School and born in Portland. She plans on attaining a bachelors degree from Portland State University in nursing. Nikkie plans on becoming a labor and delivery nurse. She enjoys painting, singing and has participated in the school's wrestling and softball teams. She values being an active leader at school and admiring the colorful roses at Peninsula Park Rose Garden during the summer.
Princess Lulu Kennybrew is a junior representing Benson Polytechnic High School and born in Chicago, Illinois. She plans on attending a historically Black college or university focusing in the healthcare profession. Lulu plans on working in psychology and mental health. She enjoys painting, dancing and has participated in the school's basketball and track and field teams. She holds a 4.0 GPA and is on track to be valedictorian. Lulu loves exploring downtown Portland in her free time.
More princess will be added as the Portland Rose Festival Association announces new court members
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