Suddenly Stars: The 2018 Tournament of Roses Royal Court
Julianne Elise Lauenstein, La Cañada HS; Sydney Grace Pickering, Arcadia HS; Savannah Rose Bradley, Pasadena HS; Georgia Jane Cervenka, La Cañada HS; Lauren Elizabeth Buehner, Arcadia HS; Isabella Marie Marez, La Salle HS; Alexandra Marie Artura, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy
by Laura Berthold Monteros
One of seven amazing young women will be the 100th Rose Queen, reigning over the 129th Rose Parade and 104th Rose Bowl Game, which take place on Jan. 1, 2018. All of them will be Pasadena Royalty, serving as ambassadors for the Tournament of Roses and the City of Pasadena, as well as their own communities and schools. On Monday on the south porch of Tournament House, 37 finalists stood waiting for Pres. Lance Tibbet to announce the names of the girls chosen for this role. Each one is outstanding, as readers will discover, and lives out the theme “Making a Difference.”
Be sure to check out the gallery below for photos and more about the Royal Court announcement. For more articles on the 2018 Royal Court, visit our special 2018 Royal Court page.
Queen & Court Committee Chair Dave Link gave a brief history of the Rose Parade queens, and then called the name and number of each finalist. After they took their places on the south steps of Tournament House, Pres. Tibbet came to the lectern.
“We acknowledge the 99 special women who made this possible,” he said of the previous queens, and noted the high level of character and comportment they had established. Referring to the finalists, he said, “These young women have been making a difference in the community.” He opened envelopes and read the schools and names of the Royal Court members.
When the ceremony was over, we asked each Princess two questions: “What do you want to accomplish as a Rose Princess?” and “Why did you want to be on the Court?” Here are their answers, along with bios provided by the Tournament of Roses.
Rose Princess Alexandra Marie Artura told us she wants to lead by example and make a long-lasting difference. She has watched the Rose Parade ever since she was young, and wants to be a role model like previous members of the Royal Court.
Princess Alexandra is a senior at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and lives in Pasadena. She is currently president of the National Honor Society, a National Hispanic Scholar, and a member of the California Scholarship Federation, Mu Alpha Theta and La Vanguardia. She also participates on her high school’s cross-country team. Alexandra enjoys cooking and baking with her mom, skiing with her dad and brother, watching movies, spending time with her friends, and playing the guitar. Alexandra plans to study Health Sciences and would like to go to Boston University, Georgetown, USC, UCLA and many others. Alexandra is the daughter of Darren and Carla Artura; she has one brother, Sean.
“Making A Difference means changing something for the better, not only for myself but for others and for my community,” she said. “To me personally, I think that small differences are just as important as big ones. What matters is that we have helped someone to better their own lives, and hopefully that change is a long-term one.”
Rose Princess Savannah Rose Bradley told us, “I really want to make a difference.” She wants to inspire people. Growing up in the Pasadena area inspired her to try for the Royal Court , but she added, “My sisters love princesses.” She can now be their real-life princess!
Princess Savannah is a senior at Pasadena High School and lives in Pasadena. She is president of Xinos and Kudos of Gamma Lambda, activities commissioner for the Black Student Union and a writer for The Chronicle, the PHS newspaper. She is also involved with the Social Justice Club, Teen Court, Rose Ambassadors, and the 2018 Club. Savannah enjoys reading, hiking, traveling, camping, and spending time with friends. Savannah plans to study social justice, criminal justice, and psychology and would like to attend CSU Fullerton, UC Irvine, Cal State LA, Cal State Long Beach, Howard University, or Marymount University. Savannah is the daughter of Nathaniel and Kelly Bradley; she has three siblings, Tyler, Jazlyn and Ella.
“Making A Difference means everything to me,” she explained. “My goal in life is to make a difference, even on the smallest of scales. I don’t need to change the world, but it would be a privilege to be given the ability to change the world for even one person. Making A difference is not just about the large acts, but the small everyday acts we do for people that make a difference in the world.”
Rose Princess Lauren Elizabeth Buehner told us that she wants to “empower young boys and girls, to be an example.” She wants to bring the community together, observing that there is a lot to be done. “When I was 11 years old, I looked up to the Royal Court,” she said, which inspired her to strive to be role model. What impressed us is that this is the first time a Princess intentionally mentioned boys.
Princess Lauren is a senior at Arcadia High School and lives in Arcadia. She is president of the YMCA Youth and Government Santa Anita Delegation, publicity commissioner for the AHS Senior Men and Women, and a member of the AHS track and field team. Lauren enjoys board games, reading, baking, brewing cold brew coffee at home, and volunteering with young children, both locally and internationally. She plans on studying Political Science and/or International Relations and would like to attend Columbia University, Brown University or Georgetown University. Lauren is the daughter of Earl Buehner and Fern Billingy; she has a brother, Nathaniel.
“Making A Difference means creating long-term change. The most important part of progress is not what I personally do to make it, but ensuring that it can continue, even in my absence,” she said. “Making a difference also means having an impact on others. I want to foster a relationship with the members of my community, and empower them to make positive changes in both themselves and their surroundings. I believe that working with others toward long-term goals creates limitless opportunities for improvement, and truly makes a difference.”
Rose Princess Georgia Jane Cervenka told us she wants to embody the opportunity to serve as an example to young girls. Being on the Court comes naturally for her, since three of her babysitters were Princesses. We asked if they gave her any tips. She chuckled, “No!”
Princess Georgia is a senior at La Cañada High School and lives in La Cañada. She is vice president of the Best Buddies club, a member of the La Cañada Flintridge Youth Council, and a member of the LCHS Concert Choir. Georgia’s community involvement includes Girl Scouts and National Charity League. She is a captain of the LCSH girls’ basketball team and has played at the varsity level for three years. Georgia enjoys working with children and animals. Currently she plans to study engineering and would like to attend University of Michigan, University of Southern California, or Vanderbilt. Georgia is the daughter of John and Kerry Cervenka; she has three siblings, Franklyn, John and Lilah.
“Making A Difference means pursuing your passions in a way that allows you to create an impact that goes beyond yourself,” she said. “It means exploring your interests and what you love to do by setting an example for others to look to as inspiration and motivation. However, you don’t have to change the world to make a difference. Something as small as performing a simple act of kindness can result in the greatest repercussions. Making a difference is not always easy, but it is perpetually needed and infinitely rewarding.”
Rose Princess Julianne Elise Lauenstein said, “I want to do everything I can to help out the community.” Being on the Royal Court has been one of her dreams, and one of her grandmother’s dreams. Her grandmother encouraged her, as the only granddaughter, to go for it. Her grandparents told The Rose Examiner that she is a Gold Award Girl Scout. Read more about that below.
Princess Julianne is a senior at La Cañada High School and lives in La Cañada. She is a member of the French Club at LCHS and attends various Chamber of Commerce events serving as an ambassador. Julianne has been a dancer for 13 years, trained in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, and lyrical styles. She is a volunteer on the surgical recovery floor at Huntington Memorial Hospital, and a member of the Glendale Chapter of National Charity League. She enjoys cooking and baking, and playing the piano. Julianne plans to study biology or human physiology and would like to attend Boston University or University of Washington. Julianne is the daughter of Peter Lauenstein and Teri Daly Lauenstein; she has two brothers, Thomas and Michael.
“Making A Difference in my community has always been an important part of my life. I have grown up watching my parents volunteer and contribute to our community,” she said. “I have been blessed and afforded many wonderful opportunities and believe it is my duty to help others in need and improve my community. By volunteering, we can bridge economic and social gaps and learn to appreciate the value that we all possess.”
Rose Princess Isabella Marie Marez told us she wants to “bring people awareness about the issues in the world.” She is especially concerned about social justice. She said she tried out for the Court to get out of her comfort zone, which is playing softball and getting dirty and sweaty. “My family always supports me in everything I do,” she said. We noticed that she must be comfortable speaking to people to be chosen for the court, with which Princess Alexandra agreed enthusiastically.
Princess Isabella is a senior at La Salle High School and lives in Altadena. She is a leadership service commissioner at LSHS and a Youth Ministry leader. Isabella is a member of Support Our Troops Club, Key Club, Unbreakable Club, Hispanic National Honors Society and National Arts Society. She also serves as a Junior Ambassador for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. She participates in varsity softball, varsity golf and a travel/club softball team. Isabella enjoys painting, singing, golfing and hiking. She plans on studying social justice and human anatomy and would like to attend Seattle University, Manhattan College, Regis University, Villanova University, Drexel University, or Sarah Lawrence College. Isabella is the daughter of Jesse Marez and Christine Marez; she has four siblings, Alexandra, Jennifer, Justin and William.
“This year’s theme Making A Difference means a lot to me,” she said. “When I first heard about it I was very excited because making a difference is something I do every day within my school, family, and community. It’s out of compassion and respect for that person as another human being.”
Rose Princess Sydney Grace Pickering agreed with Princess Julianne about helping out the community. She first met the Rose Queen and Rose Princesses when she was a little girl at a Girl Scout event. The young women impressed her; now she will be that Princess who inspires other girls.
Princess Sydney is a senior at Arcadia High School and lives in Arcadia. She is dance captain of the Orchesis Dance Company, serves on ASB as performing arts commissioner, and serves as chair of the Student Counsel Apache Commission. Sydney has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten and is currently working on her Gold Award. She enjoys gardening, reading, drinking boba with friends, and watching Netflix. She plans to study International Relations or Global Studies and would like to attend Georgetown or UCLA. Sydney is the daughter of Brad and Mary Pickering; she has one brother, Wesley.
“To me, Making A Difference is about the ability to bring people together through acts of selflessness, kindness, and compassion,” she said. “It is about giving generously to others and not expecting anything in return. As a princess on the Royal Court, making a difference is about inspiring involvement, joy, and appreciation in community members.”
In addition to meeting the young women on the Royal Court, it’s always inspiring to talk to their parents and grandparents. We spoke with Donna and Alan Wright, Rose Princess Julianne’s grandparents. This was especially fun since Julianne had told us how her grandmother encouraged her.
Donna & Alan Wright
The Wrights have 10 grandsons and one granddaughter, Rose Princess Julianne Elise Lauenstein. Alan said he is “proud and excited” for his granddaughter. Having grown up with so many boys, Princess Julianne “holds her own,” Donna said. Some of the cousins are quite a bit older, and when Julianne gets all dressed up, she complains, “They never notice,” Donna added. We think they will notice now.
As a Girl Scout, she volunteers a lot, and has earned her Gold Award. Her project was to collect bicycles to give to children who never had one, and she collected 43. Getting the bikes was only the first step, Donna said, because they needed repair. “People chipped in to get them in nice condition,” but the kids didn’t know how to ride, so Julianne taught them.
We asked Donna what Julianne would do on the Court. “Whatever she wants to,” she affirmed. Grandma is looking forward to the Coronation on Oct. 18. “I will come to anything and everything I’m invited to,” she said.