Super Kid: Ismael Perez, Marysville Pilchuck High School
Mark Mulligan / The Herald
Marysville-Pilchuck High School senior Ismael Perez hopes to attend the University of Washington, a campus he admires. He says his goal is to become a surgeon. "It's that drive to be something better that keeps me going on," he says.
Mark Mulligan / The Herald
After a visit to the University of Washington campus early in his high school career, Marysville-Pilchuck senior Ismael Perez set his sights on attending the school after graduation next spring.
A: Pretty good, actually. It all flies by. I just remember back when I was a freshman. I remember it like it was yesterday.
Q: What classes are you taking?
A: I have Advanced Placement language and composition, chemistry, strength and conditioning, algebra II, advanced placement comparative politics and Spanish III. No slacking for me.
Q: Your principal, Andrew Frost, nominated you as a Super Kid. He said you had some challenges early on in high school.
A: I had some struggles. I wasn't as motivated. I took easy classes, and then I didn't even try in them as much as I should have, so my grade-point average stumbled. When I got to the end of sophomore year I opened up my mind to the idea of universities and realized I really needed to work on this. I kicked it in gear and my GPA is rising, and I'm on the right track.
Q: Did anyone talk to you about improving your grades or motivate you to try harder in school and go to college?
A: Yes, Ms. Sullivan; she's the on-time graduation liaison. She really opened my eyes. On top of that, my parents. They always wanted me to have something better than they ever did. My parents told me they wanted me to go to a university, that they didn't want me working dead-end jobs that pay just enough to get by, to live a good life and be able to show my children that education is probably your best tool in life.
Q: How much has your GPA improved?
A: It has gone up by 0.4. My goal is to bring it up to a 3.4, that's why I'm trying to keep my GPA semesters as high as possible.
Q: Where would you like to go to college?
A: Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, Washington State University and the University of Washington. The University of Washington would be my top choice.
Q: Why's that?
A: The environment. The campus is beautiful; it's huge. I've toured there. I've gone to conferences and after what I've learned they have so much help. I struggle in math but they have the right tutors. I just think I would fit in perfectly at that campus.
Q: You're wearing a Marysville-Pilchuck Tomahawks Football sweat shirt. Tell me about playing football.
A: I started back in eighth grade. At first I didn't really get it, but I continued playing it into my freshman year where I really kind of got the hang of it. Then sophomore year I was on junior varsity. My junior year I played varsity games under Friday night lights, and I also played junior varsity.
Since the start of my senior year, I've been so dedicated to it. I made every weight room, I've gone to every practice, I did their spring camps, every single one of them and put all my dedication into it. I'm the starting left guard on the offensive line.
Q: Would you like to play college football?
A: I would love to walk on or get recruited or a scholarship, especially at the University of Washington. That would be my dream right there.
Q: What would you like to study?
A: I am thinking about taking courses in pre-med and majoring in the medical field. My main goal is to be a surgeon. I like helping people and on top of that they make really good money. It's that drive to be something better that keeps me going on.
Q: You mentioned that you have a part-time job. Where do you work?
A: I work at Taco Bell. I've been working there since the end of February last year. I help my family pay bills, and I have to pay my own cellphone bill and car insurance and stuff like that.
Q: Are you into music at all?
A: Yes, music is a big part of my life, too. Not only do I listen while I'm studying or doing my homework, but it motivates me sometimes. Right before football games or wrestling matches I always put in the headphones and get jacked up. "Till I Collapse" by Eminem is that one song I flip on, and I'm like, "Yeah, I'm ready."
Q: Is there someone in your life who inspires you right now?
A: I have a lot of people who inspire me. Everyone around me who pushes me on is my inspiration. Ms. Sullivan, my parents, my siblings, I want them to see me achieve something great.
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