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Announcing NJ Cherry Blossom Princess Carissa Smith of Bloomfield, NJ


Friday, April 5, 2019

Carissa Smith, formerly of Bloomfield, NJ, and now digital press secretary for the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform, has been selected to serve as the Garden State’s Cherry Blossom Princess at National Cherry Blossom Festival activities in the Nation’s Capital for the week April 7th-13th.

Carissa was chosen by the New Jersey State Society (NJSS) of Washington, DC. for her record of community service and professional and academic achievement. She will serve as one of the princesses from the 50 states and US territories in the annual Cherry Blossom Festival Princess Program sponsored by the National Conference of State Societies.

In addition to attending many cultural and educational activities, including a Women’s Empowerment Conference on April 8, Carissa will attend the Congressional Reception on Capitol Hill April 10, the Cherry Blossom Princess Grand Ball, April 12 and the Cherry Blossom Parade, April 13.

“We were very impressed by Carissa ’s commitment to helping others and her remarkable record of accomplishments,” said Donise Cameron Dukes, president of NJSS. “We know Carissa will represent New Jersey with great distinction and serve as a role model to others as she continues to succeed on Capitol Hill and lead in the community.”

As an Essex County native, Carissa’s passion for politics came from her grandfather, Russell Smith, who served as Rutgers University-New Brunswick’s Administration Manager for many years. He always encouraged her to be involved politically and to be engaged locally.

Carissa is a proud graduate of Bowie State University and this May will be a graduate of American University’s Women & Politics Institute. Carissa started her career on the Hill serving as an intern for Senator Robert Menendez. She later became communications and program associate for the US Association of Former Members of Congress and press secretary and legislative correspondent for Rep. Joyce Beatty of Ohio.

Carissa believes that young women should have strong voice in politics which is why she is committed to uplifting and empowering the next generation of women policy makers. Just this March for Women’s History Month, Carissa coordinated an exclusive roundtable featuring local Girls Scouts in the D.C area and Women Congressional Members to discuss what true leadership looks like. Among her many community-based activities, Carissa serves a youth volunteer track and field for the New Wave Track Club of D.C. and is a member of New Bethel Church.

Princesses are selected for their leadership, academic achievements, and interest in community and world affairs. One queen will be chosen from among the princesses by a spin of a wheel at the ball and will travel to Japan to represent the United States

NJSS is a Washington DC-based nonprofit founded in 1941 to foster educational, cultural, charitable and social activities among individuals with ties to New Jersey who work in the government, military and the private sector in the Nation’s Capital. It is affiliated with the National Conference of State Societies, which jointly sponsors the princess program along with the Japan Cherry Blossom Association.

NJSS CONTACT: Nancy Fatemi, Executive Director, 202 580 9775