Cherry Blossom Princess Program
**NOVEMBER 1, 2017 -- Deadline for 2018 Cherry Blossom Princess Selection by State and Territory Societies**
The Cherry Blossom Princess Program is a cultural, educational, and professional development program for women leaders ages 19 to 24 held each year during one week of the National Cherry Blossom Festival© in Washington, DC. It is sponsored and managed by the National Conference of State Societies (NCSS), the non-profit, voluntary umbrella association for State and Territorial Societies in the National Capital Area. The 70th Anniversary Cherry Blossom Princess Program will be held April 7-14, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Since 1948, State and Territorial Societies along with many Embassies and Consulates in Washington, DC have enabled more than 3,000 young women leaders from across the United States and world to participate in this program and the celebration of the unique and enduring friendship between the United States and Japan. As Cherry Blossom Princesses, these young women represent their respective states, territories, and countries in both public and private events held each day across the Washington, DC area and engage with leading government, business, arts, and media leaders and role models. In the past decade alone, the Cherry Blossom Princesses have met with First Lady Laura Bush; President of the Kennedy Center, Deborah Rutter; former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi; U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; Cmdr. Yvette Brown Wahler; and Red Cross President and CEO Dr. Bernadine Healey; among others.
At the conclusion of the week-long Cherry Blossom Princess Program, a new United States Cherry Blossom Queen is chosen at the Official Cherry Blossom Grand Ball and Sushi Reception by a random spin of a wheel of fortune from amongst the Princesses representing States and Territories. The following morning, the newly crowned United States Cherry Blossom Queen and her Japanese counterpart, along with the State, Territory, and International Princesses are invited to participate in the National Cherry Blossom Parade® and the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival.
For more information about this program and/or to receive information about participating in the 2018 Cherry Blossom Princess Program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE UNITED STATES AND JAPAN CHERRY BLOSSOM QUEENS
YUKI SHIMONO -- JAPAN CHERRY BLOSSOM QUEEN
Yuki Shimono is the 26th Japan Sakura Queen. Yuki was born in Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture. A graduate of St. Andrews International School in Bangkok, Thailand, she is currently studying at the International Christian University in Tokyo majoring in Media Communication and Culture. She loves doing ballet and playing golf. Yuki is the daughter of Masami and Yuji Shimono.
SAMANTHA OLSEN -- U.S. CHERRY BLOSSOM QUEEN
Samantha Olsen is the 2017 United States Cherry Blossom Queen and a native of Harrisburg, South Dakota. She is a graphic designer for the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington, DC and holds a M.A. in Exhibition Design from The George Washington University and a B.A. in Classical Civilizations and Philosophy from Gonzaga University. Samantha is the daughter of Joe and Nancy Olsen.