A: I started attending Sky Valley in eighth grade because it offered an environmental science class. I wanted to take it because it's interesting to me. I liked that the class went on field trips once a week.
Q: Are you interested in pursuing a career related to the environment?
A: Not anymore. In my junior year, it stopped being interesting to me. I am going to teach elementary education. I think it's fun to educate young people and share knowledge. I am planning to go to Corban University in Salem, Ore.
Q: Tell me about your participation in the Snohomish County 4-H dog program.
A: I have been in the program for eight years. I got leadership skills from being president, vice president and an officer in the past five years. I helped by mentoring younger members and learned to plan an event. These events were fundraisers, like the mini dog show and community service activities. We usually did two events at a minimum per month.
Q: I heard you raise dogs in the program. Can you tell me more?
A: I worked with three of my pets and one service dog. I trained the dogs every week, and I had to groom them. I've trained the service dog, Geddy, since June 2010. He was an 8-week-old black Labrador retriever. I trained him for the nonprofit Canine Companions for Independence.
I trained the dog by taking him to school and to weekly training classes. I had to be more strict with him and take him everywhere to socialize him. He was very good. One time I forgot him under the table at school because he was so calm.
Q: Is that the only work you do with animals?
A: I go to the Sno-Isle Tech Skills Center for the veterinarian assistant program. I have always loved animals since I was little. I am interning at a veterinarian clinic in Snohomish from Monday to Friday, and I am learning the skills to be a vet assistant. I am just really interested in helping animals. If I didn't want to become a teacher, I may become a vet.
Q: Do you have any other extracurricular activities?
A: I participate in the Envirothon, which is an environment competition where five-member teams from different schools do tests in forestry, aquatics, soils and wildlife. We do an oral presentation on a subject.
I have done it for three years. Last year we got first place in county and second place overall. This year we got fifth place in the state.
Q: You also do a lot of outreach work through your church.
A: I am involved with the Central Christian Church in Snohomish. In February, I did a 17-day trip to Kenya where I visited orphanages and delivered school supplies and toothbrushes. I visited the Kibera and Ruben slums in Nairobi. We did a feeding program, visited churches and schools and worked with Christian ministries in Africa.
I also did mission work in San Diego, and I went to Togo in 2008 where I visited an orphanage and a vacation Bible school for kids.
The work allow me to see how fortunate we are in living in America where we take too many things for granted.
Q: Is your faith important to you?
A: Very important. It's the basis of everything that I do. I try to do everything to bring glory to God. I started my mission work in 2005 and I hope to continue after summer.
Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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