SSRI and the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council Announces 2016 Cherry Blossom Princess
Lauren Ryan
Her Excellency, Governor Gina M. Raimondo, along with Consul General of Japan in Boston, Tsutomu Himeno, will be in attendance for the ceremony on Friday, 9:30 am at the State House

The Rhode Island Cherry Blossom Princess in an important ambassadorial role representing the State of Rhode Island.

The State Society of Rhode Island and the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council are excited to announce that Lauren Ryan has been selected as the 2016 Rhode Island Cherry Blossom Princess. A native of East Greenwich, Lauren will represent Rhode Island in Washington, D.C., at the 2016 National Cherry Blossom Festival in the Cherry Blossom Princess Program in April. Lauren will also participate in various community programs and events in Rhode Island, including a crowning ceremony at the Rhode Island State House on Friday, March 4, 9:30 am at the State House.
“Growing up in Rhode Island, I was given a lot of opportunities – opportunities in the school system, in athletic programs, to volunteer and be an active part of my community in what I consider to be the most beautiful state,” stated Lauren. “Since graduating high school, I have left Rhode Island to explore new paths, and I am so humbled to have been selected as the Cherry Blossom Princess and to be able to represent all the amazing opportunities my home state has given me.”
While in Washington, Lauren will join young women from all over the country for a week in April to partake in educational, leadership, and cultural activities as part of the National Conference of State Societies’ National Cherry Blossom Princess Program. In addition, the princesses will meet with women leaders in the government and business sectors. One princess will be chosen at random to become the U.S. Cherry Blossom Queen, and will be invited to travel to Japan to on a cultural exchange trip and have the opportunity to meet with Japanese leaders. Previous U.S. Cherry Blossom Queens have met with senior Japanese leaders, including the Japanese Prime Minister, Speaker of the House, Members of the Diet, cabinet officials, and governors.
Lauren is a senior at George Washington University, where she is a Dean’s Scholar and on schedule to graduate in May 2016 with a degree in Biomedical Engineering. She serves as the President of the Theta Tau Engineering Fraternity and recently completed an internship at the University of Kansas Medical School working on Alzheimer’s research.

“As a woman in engineering, I have the obligation to inspire girls that they can do whatever they want in life and that they shouldn’t limit themselves in any way,” said Lauren. “I want to inspire young girls’ interest in STEM in any way I can, and I cannot wait to begin that journey at the 2016 Cherry Blossom Festival. “
“We are very excited to have Lauren as our 2016 Cherry Blossom Princess,” said Chris Simeone, the Chairman of the State Society of Rhode Island. “Her academic prowess in the Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) field, numerous leadership roles at George Washington University, and her aspirations to use the Cherry Blossom program to motivate younger generations of women to join the STEM fields, embodies the characteristics we look for to represent Rhode Island.”
Lauren developed an appreciation for Japanese culture while completing a summer internship at the University of Tokyo, through the Amgen Scholars Program. She has also participated in research at a radiation lab at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, as well as spending a summer working for the Rhode Island Department of Health.
“Again, Rhode Island has chosen another wonderful candidate for its Cherry Blossom Princess to represent us on the national stage,” said Robert Billington, President of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council. “What particularly impressed our agency was Lauren’s interest in engineering. This interest of Lauren’s will inspire other young women in Rhode Island to find the Science, Technology, Engineering & Math field as a career path.”
CONTACT: Chris Simeone, State Society of Rhode Island
(401) 243-7406, RIStateSociety@gmail.com
About the State Society of Rhode Island
The State Society of Rhode Island (SSRI) is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization in Washington, D.C., serving as a “home away from home” for Rhode Islanders and friends of Rhode Island. It offers opportunities to engage and network in the nation’s capital through social, community service, cultural, and educational events. It is intended to promote fellowship, goodwill, and amicable relations among Rhode Islanders who live in the Nation’s Capital, as well as preserve the history and traditions of Rhode Island