More than 3,000 women have served as Cherry Blossom Princesses since 1948 and today this network of women leaders across the United States and world includes executives and entrepreneurs in many fields including government, business, media, education, and the arts.
On May 22, 1963, the Pi Alpha Kappa (PAK) Sorority was founded as the membership organization for Cherry Blossom Princesses past, present, and future. The Greek letters stand for Prigkippissa Anthous Kerasias or “Daughters of the Cherry Blossom.” This organization offers Cherry Blossom Princess Alumnae a way to share memories, connect with other women leaders, and give back to the community. Membership in PAK is automatic for all past Cherry Blossom Princesses and Queen and brings with it a lifetime of activities, opportunities, and memories.
We are hoping to bring more activities and programing to the alumni association in the years to come and hope you will join us!
Gigi Galbraith, President, PAK Alumna
Are you an Alumna and not connected to our private Facebook page?
Click here to join: then message with your name, State/Territory you represented and year. We'd love to have you as part of the group!
PAK Aluma Board of Directors
President - Gigi Galbraith
Vice President - Noelle Verhelst
Treasurer - Olivia Cox
Secretary - Madeline Meininger
Aurilla (Dee Dee) Fusco
WHAT ALUMNAE HAVE TO SAY
"During the week-long program, we met with senior women who worked at what was then called Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive (WPNI - now Washingtonpost.com). I followed up with one of the presenters who had handed out her business card and I ultimately was offered an internship for the summer before my senior year of college. At the time I thought that I wanted to do public relations, but through this opportunity I discovered a talent - and love - for special events. It became the focus of the first 10 years of my career and still impacts the work I do today. I would not have been able to participate without the help of the New Jersey State Society. They were organized, supportive, and as it turns out - life changing. If I had to pay personally for all of the events that week, I would not have been able to participate. I hope today's young women will continue to benefit from this wonderful program and network." Elizabeth Claps, New Jersey 2004
“Coming into the program, I had no idea what to expect. After the first day, I was so glad I chose to apply. I’ve made such good friends who I genuinely want to stay in touch with, feel more connected to my role as a female leader in our country and learned many new things about other cultures such as Russian, Japanese and Lithuanian cultures. I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to become a better leader, meet amazing women with similar goals, and learn about other countries and how we are all connected.” Emily Foo, New York 2019
"Cherry Blossom Princess week has been one of the most special weeks of my life. I also met some truly incredible women in my princess class and at the events. We got VIP treatment to places I would never imagine visiting, like the Japanese Ambassador’s Residence and met with Members of Congress on personal level. We also spent a day giving back to the community by visiting schools and reading to children, which I really appreciated. I am so proud to be a Texan and I’m grateful to the Texas State Society for sponsoring me this week. I’ve made so many new friends and can’t wait to visit them all soon." Shreya Banerjee, Texas 2018
"When first presented with the opportunity of being a Cherry Blossom Princess I was hesitant. The title, the wardrobe restrictions, the lack of notoriety (information from previous participants) turned me off from the program. However, upon seeing the opportunities I would be faced with I changed my mind. I decided the program would provide me with unbelievable networking possibilities and would be a wonderful learning opportunity. With one day left in the program I am pleased to say I know I made the right decision. I have met so many strong women through this experience and attained so much valuable and applicable advice and I cannot recommend this program enough. You do not need to be a future politician, lawyer or lobbyist to reap the benefits of this program. As an artist interested in the business side of the industry, I know that all young women can profit from this experience." Kaitlin Barker, Louisiana 2018
"The Cherry Blossom Princess Program has been the most rewarding, humbling and empowering experience. This program is much more than being a princess for a week, it is developing leadership skills, learning how to serve as a diplomat, how to conduct proper networking, learning about other cultures and much more. I recommend this program to everyone." Sophie Czerniecki, New Jersey 2018
“I am so glad I participated in this program because I wouldn’t have made the friends I did or experience the many wonderful events we attended. I learned a lot about leadership and presenting myself in front of a large group of people and I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn that if I hadn’t been a cherry blossom princess. I would definitely recommend this program to other girls in the future. The Cherry Blossom Princess Program is a once in a lifetime opportunity and it was one of the best decisions I made." Jeri Freirich, Missouri, 2019
“I cannot emphasize enough how the Princess Program is so important and valuable to today’s society. This is a program that brings young women leaders together. We as a group go through so many cultural and professional experiences and along the way, met so many women – inspiring role models. From this program, I easily felt the empowerment amongst the princesses, and I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to meet everyone.” Alicia Zeng, Nebraska, 2019
"I am not the kind of girl who feels comfortable in a dress and heels. Yet, this week, I met amazing young women very different from myself who continually prove to me that even a “simple small town girl” belonged in D.C. What blew my mind was knowing that every woman here was accomplished and ambitious. We have allies in each other rather than competition." Abeeha Shamshad, Ohio, 2019