Allan Nevala, senior, Henry M. Jackson High School

Techie: Freelance Web designer who has done the coding or design for more than a dozen sites, from school projects to contract work for small businesses and his family’s church. “It’s for fun.” Got into it after a Web design course at school two years ago. “I thought it was pretty cool.”


But for all that: Doesn’t plan to make it a career. Wants to major in sales and marketing. “I really enjoy working with people and talking about computers.” Hopes one day to have own business.

Top secret: “As a little kid I came up with all sorts of inventions.” One is a “cleaning device,” but he won’t get any more specific than that because he doesn’t yet have a patent.

Extracurricular activities: Tech Corps, a community service group that builds computers for needy families. Technology Student Association, a competitive group focused on areas such as Web design and structural engineering.

Achievements: Took fourth place in a regional DECA competition. Also a Technology Award from his school’s career-technical department. Earned his CompTia A+ certification, which took about a year and $300 of his own money.

Family: The middle child of seven kids.

Interesting fact: He is Finnish-American. Mother immigrated to the United States in the late 1970s to marry his father, also of Finnish descent. Visiting Finland this summer. Last time was at age 9. “The things I remember best are the candy and the friendly people.” He and siblings speak Finnish with mom at home.

So introduce yourself: “Paivaa, minun nimeni on Allan!”

Beats the ‘burbs: Goal is to graduate from college, then move to Finland or Minnesota. “I think it’d be nice to have a change … Living in the suburbs is pretty boring, unless you’re going to go buy a computer.” Adds that he’s sick of the weather here and wouldn’t mind a Midwest winter. “I can stay inside – I am a computer guy.”

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