Strawberry Princess Kaelyn Aguirre Connects to Lebanon Through Sports, Community

Kaelyn Aguirre first saw the Strawberry Festival Princesses in sixth grade, when they visited her school and sparked her interest in the court.

Aguirre said she’s enjoyed visiting schools the most, often finding kids who recognized her from coaching. Her favorite part of the festival itself is the rides and treats such as funnel cake.

“I actually have never been to a coronation,” Aguirre admitted. “I think that’s so weird because now I kind of wish I did so I could see what I’m getting myself into!”

Aguirre is friends with former Princess Elizabeth Baker, who gave her a breakdown about interviewing and what she would be doing as a princess.

“Something I would say to future princesses (and) the younger generation is to really be involved in your community,” Aguirre suggested, “and not to be afraid to take big steps even though they are scary.”

Aguirre is also passionate about volleyball, which she plays in school in addition to coaching and refereeing games outside of school. In fact, Aguirre’s whole family is into sports; respectively, her five younger siblings play soccer, swim, run track, dance and do gymnastics, and their dad used to coach soccer for the middle school.

“(My biggest inspiration is) probably both of my parents because they’ve gone through different paths throughout their lives,” Aguirre added, “and they still come out being the most confident and being the most uplifting people.”

Currently, Aguirre is working on getting a pharmacy technician certification, then she plans to work for Samaritan as a pharmacy tech before heading to college for a medical assistant license and a nursing degree. She said she loves kids and hopes to specialize in pediatrics or the newborn intensive care unit.

In school, Aguirre said she especially enjoys language arts and history, as well as the health career course offered by her high school, which is what “pushed” her to want to be a nurse. After several health classes, she started job shadowing and eventually found out about the option of working as a pharmacy technician.

According to Aguirre, she’s also passionate about suicide prevention, especially having lost a friend to suicide, and she’s walked with the local suicide prevention community.

“I have been working with Boys and Girls Club for three years and I have recently just started working with the athletics department; that’s one of my ambitions,” Aguirre said. “One of the things that I love the most is working with the kids in this community, it’s really inspired me to be a princess.”

Aguirre said she loves how close-knit the Lebanon community is, although moving here from Southern California was a bit of a culture shock.

“You can go to Walmart and see everybody that you know. Then other times, it’s like, oh, I’m in my pajamas,” Aguirre laughed.

Later this year, Aguirre plans to travel to Greece for four weeks, her first adventure outside of the US.