Class of 2012: Born in India, she values two worlds

For Navpreet Kaur, her Indian culture remains important.

The Lake Stevens High School senior attends classes every Sunday for most of the day at the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple in Marysville. She studies Punjabi, practices playing the harmonium in a traditional religious Indian music class and learns Bhangra, a Punjabi-style dance.

“Our parents make sure that we’re really into our culture,” she said.

Navpreet, 17, was born in a village in Punjab, India. Her family moved to California when she was 8 and shortly after moved to Bellingham. The family moved to Marysville a few years later, and she went to school in Lake Stevens.

As a sophomore at Lake Stevens High School, Navpreet served as an associated student body senator. She liked it so much that she joined a leadership class in which she planned assemblies and different school spirit days. She eventually became the senior class president and worked to organize the homecoming dance in October.

Navpreet also took multiple advanced placement classes, was part of the school’s Key Club, belonged to the National Honor Society and joined Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.

Navpreet plans to attend the University of Washington and hopes to become a pediatrician. “I really love working with kids and I also enjoy science, so it seems perfect for me,” she said.

She also plans to continue to take classes at the temple in college and one day expects to enter into a marriage arranged by her parents.

“It’s something I’ve always expected, I guess, so I’m used to the idea,” Navpreet said. “When I first moved here, people would question me if I was OK with it because all they’ve known is ‘love marriages’ and to me, I’ve grown up with the idea so it’s not foreign.”

The Lake Stevens graduation ceremony is Tuesday. Navpreet expects it to be bittersweet.

“I feel like because I’m involved in the high school so much that there’s going to be a lot of stuff that I do miss but then again I am excited to start college,” she said.

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