On New Year’s Day, 90 Pasadena City College (PCC) students will oversee the 130th Rose Parade, an annual procession of around 40 floats coated with flowers, through the Tournament of Roses Intern Program.
An upwards of 70 million people around the world tune in to watch the annual Rose Parade event in Pasadena, California, and in recent years there has been around 100,000 attendees. This year, there will be 935 volunteers administering the large crowd.
The internship program was set up in 2009 by PCC professor Michelle Ireland-Galman, who was a member of the Tournament of Roses for 25 years. It was designed for students in Alpha Gamma Sigma (AGS) or Omicron Mu Delta (OMD) to get volunteer experience. Since then, it has opened up to all students from any local college, including those who live or work in a 15 mile radius of Pasadena City Hall.
There are 130 interns in the program this year, the majority of whom are PCC students. Some students who intern are from CalTech, USC and UCLA.
Internship applications opened in August and the interviews took place during the first week of October. Of the 31 committees that volunteers can join, interns are assigned to one of the nine available to them. Those include Alumni Social Media, three street committees, Decorating Places, Equestrian, Float Construction, Membership Development and Music.
PCC sophomore Nayleen Coldivar heard about the program in Ireland-Galman’s psychology class. When Coldivar was in high school, she tried out to become a Rose Princess in the Royal Court. This is her first year interning for the program’s Decorating Places Committee.
“[…] The responsibility is just taking the tourists around the floats, and telling them how it’s made, what’s on it, and how it’s built,” Coldivar said.
Coldivar noted that the interview for the internship was refreshing and reciprocal, unlike the time she was interviewed for the Rose Princess position.
Jose Lara Banuelos, a first year Civil Engineering major, is interning for the Music Committee. Banuelos found out about the program while searching for volunteer work.
“From a very young age, the Rose Parade has become a type of family tradition, and it’s always something that I really look forward (to),” Banuelos said, citing his influence for music and high school band as the Rose Parade. “So in a way, I wanted to give back.”
Banuelos will be present at the three day long band festival, where all of the band members performing at the parade will introduce themselves. Because he is bilingual in both Spanish and English, Banuelos will assist the band from Costa Rica.
Students who study automotive engineering are encouraged to join the newest addition to the program, the Float Construction committee. They will determine whether each float is safe to be driven on the road.
PCC Philosophy instructor Vanessa Schultz is the coordinator for the internship program and has been involved since its creation. One of the benefits of the program, according to Schultz, is the opportunity for students to make connections with other volunteers, which may assist them in finding work experience.
“[…] We have people from real estate agencies, from law firms, from accounting firms, from pretty much every business in Pasadena […] You’re opening the door for connections, options for mentorships, for possibilities that you might not even be aware,” Schultz said.
“Students who volunteer tend to have higher grades, they tend to be more dedicated,” Schultz said. “Being exposed to different people, different viewpoints, and different careers is actually a really valuable thing.”
The Rose Parade will begin at 8:00 AM on Jan. 1, 2019 on Colorado Boulevard.