By Sharon Salyer Herald Writer
Bradlee Liang was recently selected as the student of the month by the Snohomish County Chapter of the NAACP. Beth Lucas, the chapter’s secretary, said she first got to know Liang in his work as an employee at a local grocery store.
“He’s always got a smile on his face,” she said. “He’s always kind. He’s always such a good kid about everything.”
Lucas said Liang came to her attention because he was working and going to summer school so he could graduate on time. She said the chapter wanted to recognize him “for the great achievement he is making in his life.”
Q: So you’re interested in police work as a career?
A: I’ve always wanted to be a police officer to protect others. I’ve been dating my girlfriend a couple of years. Her father is a police officer. I went on a couple of ridealongs and really enjoyed it. I want to be part of the community that helps protect others.
Q: I heard you’ve made quite an academic turnaround. Could you talk about that?
A: My first two years of high school I was always that kid who was being a class clown. A teacher talked to me about how I really did need to get good grades to graduate high school. I had failed a couple of classes, and went to summer school to graduate on time.
Q: What classes did you fail?
A: Spanish, English and U.S. history and another semester of English — a full credit of English.
Q: Was that all at Cascade?
A: The first two years were at Everett High School.
Q: So the first two years were the most troublesome for you?
A: Yes. It wasn’t that it was hard or difficult. I didn’t comprehend that every class counts and school is not about fun.
Q: Was there some turning point for you?
A: Like daily getting into trouble. I finally sat down and said this isn’t going to work anymore. If you don’t pay attention you’re not going to go anywhere in life without education.
Q: You realized that on your own?
A: Yes, after listening to what Ms. Stefani Koetje, the assistant principal at Everett High School, had to say.
Q: Are you involved in after-school activities?
A: This year I took a year off sports to work at Albertsons. Previously I participated in football and wrestled.
Q: What position did you play in football?
A: Fullback and middle linebacker.
Q: Your job has allowed you to save up money?
A: Yeah, I just bought a car for myself. Now I’m saving up for community college.
Q: Which one?
A: I’ve been trying to apply at Everett Community College.
Q: Is there some adult who has influenced you?
A: Definitely. My mother. Kristy Dahl. My girlfriend’s father, Scott Kornish.
Q: Is there any advice you would give to other students who are struggling in school?
A: What helped me is I thought about if I didn’t have a high school education then I couldn’t get to be a police officer or have a good future. A little bit of hard work … it will pay off.