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New Wilson HS Rose Festival princess: Deja Brooks

Former resident of Southwest Portland is aspiring pediatric surgeon


On March 19, Wilson High School’s 2013 Portland Rose Festival Princess Olivia Wallace passed her tiara on to the new student chosen to represent Wilson on the 2014 Rose Festival Court — Deja Brooks.

Brooks, 17, moved from Baltimore, Md. to Southwest Portland in the summer of her seventh-grade year, attending Jackson Middle School. She recently moved to Tigard, but stayed enrolled at Wilson, where she is hard-pressed to pick a single class as her favorite.

“I love leadership because we do stay busy with it, instead of a class we call it a lifestyle because we do stay after school and come to school early and you breathe and eat just leadership,” she said, grasping a bouquet of red roses and clad in a sparkling green gown. “When I’m not doing that, I just love going to my science classes and getting technical with everything. Whether it’s chemistry or advanced biology (I) love them all.”by: CONNECTION PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Deja Brooks, Wilson's new Rose Festival princess.

In addition to leadership, which she is involved with in her capacity as an Associated Student Body officer, Brooks does Mock Trial and Science Olympiads and is a member of the National Honor Society.

Brooks plans to attend college next year, majoring in biology or biochemistry with a view to pursuing a career as a pediatric surgeon.

When asked what message she has for her fellow students about representing them on the Rose Court, Brooks said, “I just want to thank them so much for choosing me, and I will try my hardest to be the best Trojan I can be.”

Brooks is one of 15 young women chosen from high schools in the Portland Metro area as princesses on the Portland Rose Festival Court. In April, Brooks and her fellow Rose Court members will attend after-school and evening orientation meetings, and beginning May 6, they will travel full-time six days a week for six weeks, visiting community events, business leaders, hospitals, senior living centers, youth organizations and civic groups. Court Members also receive one-on-one mentorship from Pacific Power’s senior management team — Brooks’ Pacific Power Mentor is Contract Administration Manager Shay LaBray — as well as a $3,500 scholarship valid for any accredited college, university or trade program and a complete wardrobe including shoes and accessories.

To be eligible for the Rose Festival Court, a candidate must be female; attend a 4A, 5A or 6A Oregon School Activities Association-ranked high school in Multnomah, Washington or Clackamas counties; be a senior graduating this June or a junior on track to graduate in June 2015; Have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA except in exigent circumstances; and have performed a minimum of 20 hours of community service during high school.

Hannah Anderson, Makenna McMillen and Goshi Meman were Wilson’s other candidates.