Story and Photos
By Terry Miller
On Tuesday the Tournament of Roses announced the seven members of the 2017 Royal Court. Selected from a group of 34 finalists, the Royal Court will attend nearly 100 community and media functions, acting as ambassadors of the Association and the Pasadena community at large. Their reign will culminate on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017 with the 128th Rose Parade® 103rd Rose Bowl Game® .
The two Arcadia High seniors selected were Maya Kawaguchi Khan and Laurene Emiko Powers. Hundreds of parents, friends and well-wishers were on hand to cheer all the princesses on but apparently these two Arcadia girls have quite a loud fan base.
Tuesday’s announcement follows a month-long process with nearly 1000 people participating in the interview process. The Association’s Queen and Court Committee made its selections based on a number of criteria including poise, speaking ability, academic achievement, and community and school involvement.
“The 2017 Royal Court consists of seven extraordinary young women who are now ambassadors for America’s New Year Celebration,” said Richard De Jesu, Chair of the Tournament of Roses Queen and Court Committee. “Starting today, and through January 2, the Royal Court will participate in numerous events that will be treasured memories for the rest of their lives.”
Rose Princess Maya Kawaguchi Khan, 18, is a senior at Arcadia High School and lives in South Pasadena. Maya is a part of Arcadia High School’s Apache News, an online news channel, as a student producer. She volunteers with Union Station Homeless Shelter serving food to homeless people, Arcadia Recreation and Community Services coaching youth basketball and as a bible study teacher for elementary to middle school students. Maya enjoys going to the gym, trying new foods, watching movies, and exploring the city. She plans on studying Nursing and would like to attend Cal State Fullerton. Maya is the daughter of Yoko Kawaguchi; she has one brother, Alex.
Rose Princess Lauren “Emi” Emiko Powers,17, is a senior at Arcadia High School and lives in Arcadia. She is part of Arcadia High School’s Apache News, and Speech and Debate. Emi’s volunteer work includes Arcadia Assissteens, Girl Scouts, Methodist Hospital’s ICU and her church youth group. She enjoys Taiko Drums, bike riding, traveling, baking, and making those around her laugh. Emi would like to attend Syracuse University and plans on majoring in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Public Relations. Emi is the daughter of Fred and Candice Powers; she has two brothers: Jonathan and Michael.
The Announcement and Coronation of the 99th Rose Queen® and Presentation of the Royal Court is on Oct. 20, 2016 at the Pasadena Playhouse.