“I grew up watching the Tournament of Roses Parade every New Years Day and always dreamed of being part of it,” said Michelle Kaye Washington, a first-year student at Pasadena City College (PCC).

Washington, who is active with Encompass Organization, Project Light, Ryman Arts, HROCK Choir and HROCK missions at PCC, will be doing just that this year. After enduring an intensive month-long interview process, the Pasadena native was selected as one of the seven members of the 2011 Tournament of Roses Royal Court.

In 2009 during her senior year, Washington participated in the Tournament of Roses Royal Court proceedings but did not make it to the final seven.

This year, she was chosen out of 1,100 young women. All of the young ladies women had to go through a rigorous review of public speaking, poise, academic achievement, community involvement, and personality.

“Being a Tournament of Roses Princess means taking part in history,” Washington said. “It means being a role model for my peers and being able to inspire others to pursue their own dreams and ambitions.”

Before attending PCC, Washington went to Maranatha High School and was part of a group of classmates who won in the Tournament of Roses’ “Roses on Parade” art contest. In high school, she was also was president of the art club and a member of the speech and debate team as well as the swim team and was involved in the school musical.

She plans to one day operate her own company that will provide opportunities for students to earn art scholarships.