Parkrose Rose Festival Princess proclaimed

Meet Parkrose 2016 Portland Rose Festival Princess Melissa …

In the Parkrose High School Theater, an enthusiastic student body and staff welcome this year’s Portland Rose Festival court.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Heralding the city’s “big party” of the year, the first outer East Portland Princess of the 2016 Rose Festival was announced at Parkrose High School on the afternoon of March 7.

Before the program got underway, Portland Rose Festival Foundation President Frank Chinn spoke with East Portland News about the historic Festival. “What I most look forward to is the way our city ‘comes to life’ as the Festival gets underway. More than all of the activities that are planned, it’s great seeing the interaction of people in our city with the Rose Festival.”

Portland Rose Festival Foundation President Frank Chinn says the Rose Festival Court participants are judged on being the “whole human”.

The Rose Festival Court isn’t a “beauty contest”, Chinn reminded. “This program honors outstanding young women. This competition judges poise, public speaking ability, and the substance of what each entrant has to say.

“Other factors involved include community volunteerism, school involvement, and contestants’ grade point average, as part of the criteria as well,” Chinn added. “It’s about being the whole human: Demonstrating diligence, perseverance, intelligence, and compassion.”

The school’s 2016 Portland Rose Festival court – Leah Coyle, Olivia Emmons, and Melissa Ibrahim – are enthusiastically welcomed as they arrive on stage.

Almost every seat in the Parkrose High School Theater was filled as the program began with the introduction of the Broncos’ court – Leah Coyle, Olivia Emmons and Melissa Ibrahim

The brief program started with the introduction of the Portland Rose Festival Foundation officials who were at the event.

Unitus Community Credit Union Mentor Karen Salman presents each Court member with a memento honoring their participation.

The Parkrose Court awaits the announcement.

Without further ado, the school’s 2015 Portland Rose Festival Princess – Cristell Gonzalez Perez – announced the young woman selected to represent the school in her stead, and who might become the 2016 Portland Rose Festival Queen of Rosaria.

Now wearing her tiara and robe, Parkrose 2016 Portland Rose Festival Princess Melissa Ibrahim faces the student body.

“I thank everyone who supported me through this process,” were the first words of Parkrose 2016 Portland Rose Festival Princess Melissa Ibrahim. “And, I thank good friends [Court members] Leah and Olivia, who have been with me through this journey so far.”

Here’s the 2016 Parkrose Portland Rose Festival Court: Leah Coyle, Princess Melissa Ibrahim, and Olivia Emmons.

Princess Melissa Ibrahim is a 17-year-old senior at Parkrose High who has been active in theater, in the school’s music honor society, and in the swim team, Tennis team, Debonaires, and the A Cappella Choir. She placed “Honorable Mention” in the Mt. Hood Conference for Water Polo, and was named the school’s Athlete of the Year three years in a row.

“I was really surprised and really happy to hear my name read,” Princess Melissa told East Portland News after the program. “All three of us did really well all the way through the process, which is quite involved and demanding.”

Princess Melissa said she’s looking forward to experiencing “all the program has to offer; and, especially, meeting new people. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity for ‘job shadowing’; as I want to be a pediatrician.”

Her favorite Rose Festival event, Princess Melissa commented, is the Opening Night Fireworks. “I personally love fireworks because they are just so beautiful and colorful. It is a great way to kick off the whole Festival and cause excitement.”

She plans to attend either Macalester College or OSU for a science degree to pursue a career as a pediatrician, traveling nurse or a nurse practitioner with a specialty in pediatrics. Princess Melissa’s educational aspirations will be helped by a $3,500 scholarship provided by The Randall Group, valid for any accredited college, university, or trade program, to help her reach her goal.

Congratulations to Parkrose 2016 Portland Rose Festival Princess Melissa Ibrahim, who now has a opportunity to become Portland’s ‘Queen of Rosaria’ in June.

Come and cheer on Princess Melissa at the Queen’s Coronation on June 11, starting at 8:30 a.m., at Veterans’ Memorial Coliseum, just before the Portland Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade begins. For tickets, event registration and more information, see the official Portland Rose Festival Foundation website: CLICK HERE.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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