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Rose Festival season is underway, and Franklin High has chosen its Princess!

DAVID F. ASHTON - Introducing 2018 Portland Rose Festival Franklin High Princess, Amaya Gustave. In the brand new and elegant Franklin High Auditorium, the school's ambassador to the 2018 Portland Rose Festival was announced on Wednesday afternoon, March 14.

"Every year, our candidates to become our Portland Rose Festival representative has gotten better and better; I'm very excited about all three of these talented young ladies," exclaimed FHS Principal Juanita Valder.

"Whoever is selected, she'll be a fabulous representative of what we have to offer here at Franklin," said Valder, just before the special program started.

Candidate Emma Friemark was escorted on the stage by Spencer Kimber, followed by Amaya Gustave escorted by Jeremy London, and it was Augustin Tiana who escorted candidate Cory Thompson.

After a brief introduction concerning the Portland Rose Festival Foundation, followed by the introduction of officials at the program, the ceremony revealed that FHS junior Amaya Gustave had been selected this year.

Princess Amaya smiled as FHS Vice Principal Emily Mather placed on her head the tiara, and assisted her into the royal robe.

"The time I've been involved in this already has been really eye-opening," Princess Amaya told THE BEE. "I was super shy, and participating in this brought out a lot of my confidence and personality – as I went through the judging, preparing a speech, practicing my presentation, and improving my public speaking.

"But, I decided to do this because I really want to represent my school, and get involved in the Portland Rose Festival to represent Franklin's diversity and the community we have here. I belong to so many different groups and organizations, and this allows me to bring what I've learned working with those groups," Princess Amaya smiled.

Above all, the new Princess said she looks forward to working with her mentor, and being involved in community service, as well as having the opportunity to make new connections throughout the community.

"I'm so thankful that people really believe in me, and I gained the strength and confidence to really believe in myself, too," Princess Amaya remarked.

She plans to attend a four-year university, go to veterinary school, and make a career as a veterinarian; she will be aided in that effort by a $3,500 scholarship provided by The Randall Group.

Wave to her during the Portland Rose Festival Starlight Parade the evening of June 2; and cheer her on at the Queen's Coronation on June 9 at 8:30 a.m. in the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

For information about Portland Rose Festival, see their website: www.rosefestival.org

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