Calais Resident Named Maine Cherry Blossom Princess

By Lura Jackson

 

Named as Cherry Blossom Princess for the state of Maine, Hannah Sivret attended a gala with Angus King as her escort in April in Washington, D.C. Sivret said that she and King shared an enjoyable conversation about their home state. King stated that meeting Sivret and her family was "really fun". (Submitted photo)  

When we are given the opportunity to imagine our potential, our belief in what we are capable of achieving can truly soar. Calais resident Hannah Sivret was given just such an opportunity recently when she was named as the Cherry Blossom Princess of the state of Maine. Along with the receipt of the honorific, Sivret spent a week in Washington, D.C. meeting with foreign and local dignitaries.

The Cherry Blossom Princess program is an international affair that sees princesses from every state and several countries attending a weeklong event that promotes and enhances their leadership and networking abilities. Along with attending distinguished galas, visiting embassies, and participating in the Cherry Blossom Festival, princesses meet with alumnae and inspiring female figures to gain an inclination of where a path of public office or service could take them. 

Blessed with a family of empowered females, 20-year-old Sivret didn’t have to look very far for the inspiration to apply for the program. Sivret originally learned about the Cherry Blossom Princess program when her sister, Katherine, received the title a few years ago. “I wanted to be a princess like my sister,” Sivret says with an endearing smile.To apply for the program, Sivret had to write an essay about what Maine means to her. In her winning statement, she wrote about the pleasure of spending time on quiet beaches that few know about, in addition to the joys of small town living. “The community is like a family here. Everywhere you go, you see someone you know. Everyone is friendly and welcoming,” Sivret said.

Along with the other winners from each state, Sivret and her family traveled to Washington D.C. in April for a weeklong stay. While there, Sivret attended a gala with Angus King as her escort. She met with Susan Collins, and the group of princesses had their photo taken with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan.

“It was a little nerve-wracking,” Sivret said. “Coming from a small town, I didn’t think I’d get to meet anybody that important.” She said that each person she met was very friendly and supportive.

Other highlights of the trip included meeting the Japanese ambassador, Kenichiro Sasae, and visiting the traditional Japanese tea house in the capital. “It was beautiful. It sits right on a little pond,” Sivret recalled of the tea house. The princesses also visited the Lithuanian embassy and had the opportunity to experience Lithuanian foods. 

 

Perhaps the most valuable part of the experience was networking with past Cherry Blossom Princesses and understanding who she could reach out to in the future. Sivret said that many princesses now work in D.C. on the hill or they are going to school in the fields of politics or business engineering. “It was inspiring. It opened my eyes that there is more that I can do,” Sivret said, describing her interest in working internationally.