Nelson and Jesuit students are both first to represent their schools on 2022 Rose Festival Court


Two suburban high schools have their first representatives on the Portland Rose Festival Court, the festival announced Monday after naming the 2022 Metro East and Metro West princesses.

Metro East Princess Isabella Ellsworth, a junior from Adrienne C. Nelson High School, is the first court member from Oregon’s newest high school. The school named for the first Black justice on the Oregon Supreme Court opened this fall in the North Clackamas School District.

Metro West Princess Jenny Duan, a senior, is the first student from Jesuit High School to enter the annual competition and to be named a member of the festival court.

Ellsworth, the daughter of Chris and Kristen Ellsworth, was born in Portland and plans to attend a university to become either a pediatric nurse or a sports broadcaster. At Nelson, she’s been a varsity softball player and Student Council vice president of service.

Duan, the daughter of Xiaoyun Shao and Tong Duan, was born in Sacramento, California, and will attend Stanford University, majoring in symbolic systems. At Jesuit, she founded the Mental Health Awareness Club and served as Ethics Bowl captain.

After two years of downsized festivities during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rose Festival will bring back its big in-person parades and events in 2022, starting with fireworks and City Fair’s opening May 27 and culminating with the Grand Floral Parade on June 11.

The festival’s 2022 theme, Rose City Reunion, “is meant to capture the spirit of Oregonians coming back together to celebrate and reinvigorate our sense of community pride and togetherness,” according to the festival. During Tuesday’s livestreamed ceremony, Metro East and West candidates each gave a speech celebrating the Rose City Reunion theme.

Rose Festival Court announcements continue Tuesday with Benson High School’s princess announcement, Franklin High School on Wednesday and Parkrose on Thursday.

In all, the festival will name 15 young women to the court from Portland-area high schools. Each of them will receive a $3,500 scholarship courtesy of The Randall Group and one-on-one mentorship arranged by Unitus Community Credit Union.

The 2022 Queen of Rosaria will be crowned June 10 in Peninsula Park.

Watch the court announcement below and read more about Duan and Nelson, as told to the Portland Rose Festival:

Future education plans: I plan to attend a four-year university.

Career plans: I hope to become a pediatric nurse or a sports broadcaster.

High school activities and honors: National Honor Society, Key Club member, Student Council VP of Service and Class Representative, Varsity and JV Softball, Scrub Club member, helped the freshmen on the first day of school, currently tutoring a third-grader.

Hobbies and special interests: I am a competitive tournament softball player. I love shopping, hanging out with my family and friends. Even though I don’t get to do it as much as I want to, I love every chance I get to travel; either to somewhere new or a place I have already visited.

What is your favorite place to visit in Portland and why? In Portland, my favorite place to visit is the Oregon Zoo. I have made numerous memories and will forever have a lifelong love for it. As a child, I looked forward to the days that I got to visit and see all of the animals. Now as I get older, I get to experience the zoo with my younger cousins and see their joy for the place that brought me joy as a child.

What are you most proud of during your high school career? I am most proud of my academic excellence in high school. When it comes to school, my grades are very important to me and I do anything and everything to make sure I keep my straight A’s. My teachers have always said that I am a very dedicated student that cares about my grades.

What is your favorite Rose Festival event and why? The Junior Parade is my favorite event. It’s actually a legacy in my family. Our family home was a block away from the parade route. Throughout my childhood, I heard all the stories of kids decorating their bikes and the whole community coming together. My aunt and uncle participated, my mother marched in her school band, and finally, it was my turn! I was so proud to continue our family legacy. To me, it’s the best event at the festival.

Unitus Community Credit Union Mentor: Char Sears

Future education plans: I will be attending Stanford University as a part of the Class of 2026. I am majoring in Symbolic Systems, an interdisciplinary program combining the subjects of psychology, computer science, statistics, philosophy, and linguistics.

Career plans: I hope to pursue a career in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to one day lead a think tank dedicated to solving global issues with ethical AI. Ultimately, as an AI Ethicist, I aim to create a more just society rooted in values of freedom, respect, and dignity for all.

High school activities and honors: Mental Health Awareness Club founder, Ethics Bowl captain, Lead Ambassador, Asian Student Union leader, Spanish National Honor Society Officer, Diversity and Inclusion Student Council member, National Merit semifinalist, ACT perfect score, Honor Roll, recipient of multiple Academic Achievement Awards.

Hobbies and special interests: I’m a competitive epee fencer, avid reader, classical and jazz pianist, and YouTuber, but most importantly, I am a community-builder and advocate. On the weekends, you’ll find me at the Rose Haven Day Shelter in Downtown Portland or at the local VFW.

What is your favorite place to visit in Portland and why? I find peace at the Lan Su Chinese Garden in the heart of Portland’s Chinatown. It’s a lovely reminder of my culture and my extended family who live across the ocean. In the serene quiet of the garden, I am able to appreciate the present moment and experience a connection to nature and my community.

What are you most proud of during your high school career? I am most proud of the exhibit I collaboratively designed at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, which educates visitors about the connections between urban heat and racial justice.

What is your favorite Rose Festival event and why? My favorite Rose Festival event is the CareOregon Starlight Parade. It’s a wonderful reminder that joy, light, and community prevail both physically and metaphorically during times of darkness.

Unitus Community Credit Union Mentor: Megan Snyder

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