Clockwise from top left: Emily “Emi” Wagner, Samantha Teshima, Hannah KC Mukai, Kylie Tamura and Maya Isaka will be vying for the title of Northern California Cherry Blossom queen this Saturday. (Photo by Mark Shigenaga)

SAN FRANCISCO — Five candidates will vie for the title of Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen on Saturday, April 8, at the Cowell Theatre in Fort Mason, 2 Marina Blvd., San Francisco. Doors open at 5 p.m. Program starts at 6 p.m.

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Following are profiles of the candidates:

• Samantha Michiko Teshima (サマンサみち子てしま), 26

Sponsor: Signature

Hometown: Danville

Creative Expression: Piano performance

Hobbies: Making charcuterie boards, editing other peoples’ CVs, dancing, piano

Education: UC Davis (BS in pharmaceutical chemistry, minor in professional writing); University of the Pacific (Doctor of Pharmacy)

Community Organizations: California Pharmacists Association (CPhA), California Society of Health-System Pharmacists (CSHP), Diablo Society of Health-System Pharmacists (DSHP)

Employment: Postgraduate year 1 (PGY1) pharmacist resident training to be a clinical pharmacist; pharmacist consultant — I started my own pharmacy consulting company passion project, TeshRx, that focuses on writing, editing, and creating digital clinical pharmacy content.

Professional Aspirations or Goals in life: I am a proud second-generation pharmacist, driven to deliver exceptional patient care and redefine leadership and mentorship in pharmacy.

Maya Isaka (マヤ井坂), 23

Sponsor: Japanese American Museum of San Jose

Hometown: San Jose

Creative Expression: Ukulele

Hobbies: Painting, surfing, ceramics, soccer

Education: UC Irvine (BA in business economics, BA in psychology)

Community Organizations: San Jose Nikkei Resisters, San Mateo Clay Life, UC Irvine Tomo No Kai

Employment: Project coordinator at Intuitive — I facilitate medical device usability studies that aim to get product design feedback from customers in the field.

Professional Aspirations or Goals in life: I aspire to be in a leadership position that designs medical treatment that is accessible and easy to use for all providers and patients.

Emily “Emi” Wagner (絵美里ワグナー), 19

Sponsor: Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California

Hometown: Hayward

Creative Expression: Photography

Hobbies: Photography, cooking vegan shojin ryori, traveling, cat mom

Education: San Francisco State University (B.A. in molecular cell biology), anticipated graduation year: 2025

Employment: University student, part-time worker at Amakara Sushi

Community Organizations: Rescue Coalition Spay and Neuter Project (volunteer), Sakura Gakuen (Japanese School events volunteer), Sycamore Congregational Church (Bible Day Camp volunteer), Hayward Area Recreation District (leadership volunteer), eLoha Japanese School (student, 2008-2014)

Professional Aspirations or Goals in life: My long-term career goal is to pursue a line of humanitarian work in homeopathic medicine as a pharmacist.

Kylie Katsuko Tamura (カイリー克子田村), 25

Sponsor: Concord Buddhist Sunday School

Hometown: Concord

Creative Expression: Perform a song in ASL

Hobbies: Basketball, singing in the car, annual family trips, photography, golf

Education: University of Oregon (BA in economics)

Community Organizations: Japanese Student Organization at University of Oregon, Japanese American Religious and Cultural Center in Concord (JARCC), Concord Buddhist Sunday School, Concord Shinwakai, Jr. YBA, Diablo Basketball (2002-2012), East Bay Rising Suns (2010-2016), Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC)

Employment: Team lead at Vaco — I manage a team of seven working in content localization and project management.

Professional Aspirations or Goals in life: I aim to continuously be open to new opportunities to grow and develop, professionally and personally, and to approach them with a positive mindset.

Hannah KC Mukai (ケイシー ムカイ), 23

Sponsor: Sho Chiku Bai-Takara Sake USA Inc.

Hometown: Fresno

Creative Expression: Cello

Hobbies: Cello, charcoal drawing, crocheting, cat mom, advocacy & grassroots organizing

Education: UC Berkeley (BA in sociology)

Community Organizations: The Young Buddhist Editorial (YBE), Tsuru for Solidarity, Japanese American Citizens League-Northern California Western Nevada Pacific (NCWNP) District, Kakehashi Program, Sr. Young Buddhist Association (YBA), Japanese Community Youth Council, Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, UC Berkeley Nikkei Student Union, Sigma Phi Omega (Asian American interest sorority),  Jr. Young Buddhist Association (YBA), Medaka no Gakko (Parlier), Girl Scouts Troop 305, Central California COBRAS Basketball, Fowler Buddhist Dharma School

Employment: Assistant director, parent and family philanthropy at UC Berkeley

Professional Aspirations or Goals in life: I will use my diverse experience in higher education, fundraising, and community organizing to implement innovative change for a mission that I am deeply passionate about.

The Queen Program is part of the 56th Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, to be held April 8-9 and 15-16 in San Francisco Japantown. The parade will take place on the last day. Info:

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