Of course, their resumes are excellent, with lists of academic achievements cluttering the page with references to community service and hard-earned skills.
All of which led them to be chosen from among hundreds of applicants to be this year’s Queen of Roses and Royal Court. Impressive, yes, but is there anything that might surprise people about Nadia Chung, the 103rd Pink Queen, and her 2022 Royal Court?
Here are some facts they shared with us:
Queen Nadia Chong, a student at La Cañada High School, serves as president of several clubs, such as the show trial and concert choir, and as a secretary to the English National Honor Society. What many people don’t know is that although Nadia is now working on the pre-professional classical ballet track, she didn’t start training until she was thirteen years old.
“I wrote my mother a persuasive letter to convince her that I should study ballet,” said Queen Nadia. “And I didn’t mind that I was in a junior class with three-year-olds and I was 13. I learned that if you have a goal, you have to believe in it and you can reach it.”
Jeanine Briggs Of John Marshall Fundamental High School in Pasadena he is president of the Broadcast Club and Storytellers Club and vice president of the Black Student Union, involved in everything from the National Honors Society to the Drama Club and Lake Avenue Church.
“People are surprised when I tell them I’m Dutch,” she said. “My mom is Dutch. I have dual citizenship and yes, I speak Dutch.”
Mackenzie Street, a freshman at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy in La Canada, wants to introduce high tech to her love of fashion.
“I want to integrate fashion and technology and produce sustainable fashion, working with recycled materials and 3D printing,” she said. Meanwhile, she’s hunting down thrift stores like the ACTS Thrift Store in Pasadena, which helps the nonprofit social services agency Friends In Deed.
Abigail Griffith From Pasadena High School he loves to dance, sew and make origami. A worship leader at Lake Avenue Church, she is passionate about architectural preservation and works as a cashier at Brick and Flour in Pasadena.
“People might be surprised to find out that I am bilingual,” Abigail said. “I speak Spanish fluently and I was in the dual integration foundation class at Blair School.”
Ava Feldman From South Pasadena, she created a mentorship program for third graders to receive her Gold Award, the Girl Scouts’ highest honor. She is also the co-leader of the South Pasadena High School girls’ tennis team, and the yearbook editor.
“I am an extroverted introvert,” Ava said. “I really like talking to people, but I also like staying in it.”
Arcadia high school student Swetha Somasundaram He lives in Temple City. She teaches Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance that she has studied since she was seven years old.
“But I’m very shy, and I hate public speaking,” she said. “I had to push myself to be argumentative and talk fast.”
Student at La Canada High School Well Walden He also has a long list of posts and interests. But most pressing, amid her duties at the royal court, is to make a tea set for her mother.
“I love ceramics,” said Jada, “and I’m going to make a tea set out of a large speckled teapot for her because she loves tea.” “It wouldn’t be a surprise, she knows I do, and I hope she likes it.”
Jada said she herself was surprised by the transformation her life had taken this year. She was looking forward to spending New Year’s Day with her family, and perhaps getting an up close look at the Rose Parade floats after the show. Instead, you’ll ride one, Princess Rose Court waving to millions in a world watching.
“You never know where you’ll end up,” she said.