Being an Almond Queen candidate just looked so glamorous to Morgan Scott.
Here were a handful of young women – groomed to be leaders in the community – that got to model the latest fashions; learn more about the community that has given so much to them; ride in the parade that serves as the focal point to an annual three-day festival that draws thousands to Ripon’s downtown streets.
And at the end of the day, she said, getting to be a part of something with so much tradition just seemed to call to her.
“I hope that I can get closer to the community as a whole and learn more about the place I call home,” said the Ripon High School student. “I want to get leadership skills from this experience and give back to my community.
“It’s always been something that I’ve been interested in.”
The daughter of Tamie and David Scott, Morgan describes herself as ambitious, outgoing and goal-oriented and aspires to pursue a career as a 911 dispatcher.
In her fourth year as a member of Ripon High’s JROTC Battalion – part of the drill team and the step team captain – Scott says that she enjoys building skills that will help her later in life and sees some of the same characteristics between the Almond Queen court and the program that she has dedicated herself to at school.
Likewise, what she has learned from the JROTC will help her through some of the things that she feels she’ll have to overcome.
“I was nervous about some of the things like giving the speech and some of the other parts,” she said. “But I’m confident that JROTC has taught me how to respond to situations like that. It is a leadership class and I speak in front of my fellow cadets all the time. I know I will learn things from this experience as well.”
She is the recipient of the Battalion’s Scout Award, Warrior Award and U.S. Army Recruiting Command Award and Achievement, and likes to unwind by riding dirt bikes, doing arts and crafts and playing soccer.
But there will always be a special place in her heart for the Almond Blossom Festival.
“The parade is always a lot of fun but so is the carnival – the rides and the games and everybody coming together to have a good time,” she said. “I like Ripon because of how small it is – it’s such a friendly place and you walk around and everybody knows each other and you run into people who are related.
“I’m just glad to be a part of this.”