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Rose Princess Has Ties to San Marino

Arcadia senior Rose Princess Rukan Saif has presented a popular workshop on poetry writing and public speaking at San Marino’s Crowell Public Library. Mitch Lehman Photo

She lives in Temple City and attends Arcadia High School, but Rukan Saif—a member of the 2020 Tournament of Roses Royal Court—has at least part of her heart in San Marino. On four previous occasions, with more scheduled for the future, Saif has taught public speaking and poetry writing to elementary school-aged children in San Marino’s Crowell Public Library.

“The first time I walked into the Crowell Library, I couldn’t help but marvel at its pristineness,” said Saif, who is a senior at Arcadia High School. “I know this sounds like an exaggeration, but I can’t find another word to describe it. I decided to reach out to the Crowell Library because I wanted to present my workshops there. Also, the staff is so warm and congenial. They are wonderful.”

Rukan was not selected as the Rose Queen, that honor instead going to Pasadena’s Camille Kennedy, a senior at La Salle High School.

“Camille will do an exemplary job leading her court,” said Saif. “As for me, being chosen as a Royal Court member at all is honorable enough.”

Rukan is the daughter of Rumana Rashid and Saif Haroon, who were born in Bangladesh and later moved to the United States. She has served captain of Arcadia High School’s Speech & Debate team, been a member of the Percussion program and secretary of the school’s branch of the National Honor Society. But Rukan seemed most passionate when describing her work as the president of the on-campus service club “My Friend & I.” “We interact with many of the disabled students on campus,” she explained. “We all eat lunch together and participate in arts and crafts projects. It’s a lot of fun and also allows for a lot of positive interaction.”

With a seemingly permanent smile affixed to her shining face, Rukan is looking forward to the hundreds of official events she will take part in leading up to her New Year’s Day ride down Colorado Blvd.

“I feel so grateful to have been chosen as a member of the Royal Court,’ she told The Tribune. “The opportunity to be a role model for so many young children is surreal, and I can assure you that I will not take this honor lightly. My goal is to inspire them and show them that with the power of hope, the possibilities are infinite. I can confidently say that my sisters on the court embody this theme so well. It hasn’t even been a month since the Royal Court was announced, but the bonds we have fostered in this short time are nothing short of everlasting.”

Rukan has been invited back to the Crowell Public Library to reprise her workshop on January 11. 2020.


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