Unitus is thrilled to support the bright young Princesses of the Rose Festival Court during the festival’s annual eight-week mentorship program. In our third year serving as Presenting Sponsor of the Rose Festival Court and Queen’s Coronation, Unitus employees will comprise 14 of 15 Rose Festival Court mentors. While our mentors are glad to share their personal and professional knowledge to guide their Princesses, some say they learn more from these brilliant young women than the Princesses learn from them. To find out more about the mentorship program, one of the most celebrated aspects of the Portland Rose Festival, we spoke with mentor Karen Salman, Operations Support Manager at Unitus.
Who are you mentoring?
Her name is Mayranni Cervantes and she is a senior at Parkrose High School. For starters, she is involved in M.E.Ch.A, Link Crew and Symphonic Band. In addition to that, she is on both the varsity basketball and varsity volleyball teams. She has been recognized as Athlete of the Month and received the NCAA Academic Achievement Award. Mayranni plans to attend a four year university followed by graduate school, and later run her own private veterinary practice.
What is involved in being a Princess mentor?
There are various activities we participate in with the girls. These include a community partner volunteer activity, friends and family reception, financial education seminar and my favorite, the job shadow. Each mentor sets up an afternoon for their Princess to job shadow in the field they wish to pursue. We also keep in touch with them as the season progresses to encourage them, hear about their adventures and offer help or advice as needed. We form a special bond with these girls that lasts beyond the court season.
Why did you choose to become a Princess mentor?
I believe strongly in the Rose Festival Court program. The opportunities and the skills the program give the girls are wonderful. It also rewards them for all the hard work they have done in high school.
What surprised you about the experience?
How busy their schedule is! Wow, they are on the go from the early morning until late in the evening most days. Before I joined the program I had no idea the girls got out of school at the beginning of May and were participating in court activities 6 days a week until the coronation in June.
What was your favorite part about your time as Princess mentor?
By far it’s watching the transformation of the girls. They are more mature, poised and confident by the end of the court season. It really is an incredible transformation.
Learn more about how Unitus is involved in the Rose Festival program.