Mahlet Wondayehu
Mahlet Wondayehu
The Portland Rose Festival has announced the 2017 Rose Festival Court. The Queen of Rosaria will be named June 10, before the Spirit Mountain Casino Grand Floral Parade. In March, the 15 members of the court were announced at Portland high schools, including at St. Mary’s Academy and Central Catholic.

St. Mary’s princess Luchanna (Lucy) Sagoo, aa senior, was born in Portland to Bhupinder Sagoo and Jeanne Sheets-Sagoo. She has one sibling. Sagoo eventually plans to pursue a law degree and serve as a lawyer or in politics. She is a member of the Marian Singers, an athletic scholar and gave a TEDx Talk focusing on the physical, emotional and philosophical effects of music on the world.

A former member of the volleyball team, Sagoo has directed and edited a film and been involved with the Women of Color in Action Association. Her favorite place to spend time in Portland is Bipartisan Cafe.

Sagoo recalls sitting on her grandmother’s lap as a child, watching “as the magic of the Starlight Parade lit up her face. To this day, nothing makes me happier than to remember this feeling as I watch the same magic scene pass by on those lighted floats.”

Central Catholic named Mahlet (Mahi) Wondayehu as princess. Wondayehu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Kebede Amera and Elsa Mekonnen. She has two siblings. The senior intends to study biology in college, with the goal of becoming a pediatric pulmonologist. Wondayehu has been involved with her school’s health sciences and biotechnology program, Upward Bound and math club. She’s co-president of the multicultural club and a member of the African-American Student Union.

Wondayehu enjoys museums and immersing herself in photography and cooking. She loves to hike and volunteers each week at the Clackamas Service Center. Wondayehu’s favorite spot in Portland is the Hoyt Arboretum.

The Grand Floral Parade is the Rose Festival event she savors most. “The beautifully crafted floats express diversity in creativity and design,” she said. “Every year is a memorable and breathtaking experience I feel lucky to witness.”

Each member of the 2017 Rose Festival Court receives a $3,500 scholarship provided by the Randall Group.