RIPON – Getting involved in the community is something that just comes naturally to Michelle Ambrose.
The Ripon High junior was recently named the student representative on the Ripon Unified Board of Education. She is the first person to hold the post since it was created at the urging of the student body.
So when she got the chance to make a run for the 2009 Almond Blossom Queen title, the decision was easy.
“I knew it would be another way to get involved with the community,” Ambrose said. “It’s something that I’m looking forward to being a part of.”
The daughter of Ray and Betty Ambrose, Michelle is also currently involved in the leadership program at Ripon High School, and is an active member of the JROTC.
When she isn’t reading up on board issues or hitting the books, Ambrose enjoys spending time with friends and working on an internship at Ripon Grace Community Church – as well as babysitting the two young sons of her neighbor.
And when she finally does walk across the stage with her high school diploma, Ambrose has ambitions of attending a culinary arts academy and opening her own bakery or diner – going right along with her hobby of cooking.
“Ripon is a great town, and I wanted to get involved,” she said. “Being a Almond Blossom Queen is a way to do that and have fun at the same time.”
Other candidates this year are: Kate Ballatore, daughter of Mike & Kelly Ballatore, Karmie Goforth, daughter of David Goforth and Kristie Watts, Courtney Bryanne Netjes, daughter of Mark & LaDonna Netjes, Alexsandra Patricia Marie Peralta, daughter of Ron & Janine Van Groningen, Kimberly Jeane Stegner, daughter of Vincent & Athena Engel, and Camila Sweaney, daughter of Russell & Debra Sweaney.
The Almond Blossom Festival is the last weekend in February.
The Ripon Chamber of Commerce is holding their 47th Annual Almond Blossom Kick Off and Tribute Dinner on Thursday, Jan. 15, at the Ripon Community Center, 334 Fourth St. starting at 6 p.m.
The Chamber is honoring Soroptimist International Ripon this year. The theme is “Serving 18 Years of Community Service”, and the grand marshal is Judy Tvedt.