We sat down with Event Execution Committee Member, Naprisha Brown Ryan. See what we learned:
How did you get involved with the National Cherry Blossom Festival?
As a prerequisite to George Washington’s Event Management Program, I began volunteering with the NCBF in 2016.
Why did you want to join the Event Execution Committee (EEC)?
The NCBF is a staple event for our city. It was such a great honor to work with the festival in 2016 that I knew I wanted to become more involved in future years. I jumped at the opportunity to join the EEC as it is a unique blend between a leadership, learning and fun.
What is a fun fact about you?
My two great passions are volunteering and traveling. Several years ago, I had a unique opportunity with Habitat for Humanity in Africa. I look forward to the day when I can once again blend these two hobbies.
What is your favorite part about being a National Cherry Blossom Festival Volunteer?
Meeting all of the other wonderful volunteers and participants who travel the world to experience the NCBF. Hearing their stories and connecting around a common beauty is the best part of the festival.
Any words of wisdom to share with someone thinking about volunteering with the National Cherry Blossom Festival?
You are creating an experience that some folks will cherish their entire life. My best advice would be to show up with unapologetic enthusiasm!
What do you do when you’re not volunteering with the National Cherry Blossom Festival?
If I am not volunteering with another organization like the Children’s Defense Fund or Lansdale Associates, I am exploring the city. I’ve lived in the DMV area for 7 years now and there is still so much to see and experience.
What is your favorite National Cherry Blossom Festival Memory?
Last year when the SWFF event was canceled, all of the volunteers rallied to quickly overcome their disappointment and help in the execution of the event’s close. One of the tasks included preparing gift bags for the parade. The volunteers found an open space, played some tunes and executed on an assembly line. Despite the circumstances, the room possessed an infectious energy and exploded with pride.
Do you have any wishes for the National Cherry Blossom Festival?
Hmm.. Since the NCBF is such a vital and unique event to our city, it would be special to showcase local talents and vendors at the various events.