By Brenna Holland Herald Writer
Chris Damitio does it all. During his time at Archbishop Murphy High School in Everett, the senior has been involved with athletics, clubs, student government and service projects. Damitio aspires to be a pediatric surgeon and plans to attend the University of Washington in the fall. The oldest of six children, he inspires everyone with a willingness to try new things, diverse interests and dedication to the greater good.
Q: Tell us about your experience with Mock Trial.
A: Of all the things I did while at Archbishop Murphy, Mock Trial was my favorite. It brings together so many different people. It brings together athletes, drama kids, artists, the brains of the school — all different kinds of kids. We all get along really well, and it’s a lot of fun. It taught me about confidence, public speaking, how to show respect toward everyone and to digest a lot of information. Even now, when a teacher assigns an oral presentation everyone groans, I stand up a little straighter because I’ve been doing that in front of hundreds of people for three years now.
We placed second in the state finals. We lost to the eventual national champions, Seattle Preparatory. It’s all done in Olympia over a weekend with about 200 students from 30 different teams. It was a really cool experience to go down there and bring home a really big trophy.
Q: You’ve had a very successful high school career, and you’ve been involved in a lot of activities. Who would you say has influenced your high school career the most?
A: I would say as a teacher, Mr. (Isaac) Melum. I used to hate writing and I didn’t have a good background in English. The years I had him as a teacher he taught me so much. As I got to know him better, he taught me a lot of skills on how to manage my schedule so I don’t burn myself out. He helped me write my college essay and he helped me with scholarships. Mr. Melum really did a lot for me, and he is crucial to my success as a high school student and I know the things he taught me are going to be crucial to my success next year.
Q: What do you think you have done personally to be so successful thus far?
A: I put myself out there and wasn’t afraid to try new things. The first time I ever played football was my freshmen year. Mock Trial was a terrifying experience. ASB and getting up in front of all those people was a terrifying experience. I think that just taking a deep breath, stepping up and saying, “You know what, that sounds like fun. I’ll go try it,” helps a lot.
Q: You want to become a doctor. What other plans do you have for college or post-grad life?
A: I plan to study biology or biochemistry at the University of Washington. Then I want to go to University of Washington Medical School or medical school back east. I’m hoping to eventually become a pediatric surgeon. I have five younger siblings, so I’m around younger kids a lot. I work really well with kids. I want to stay in that mentor-or-teacher type of role, but I’m also really passionate about medicine. Being a doctor combines the two with pediatrics. I would also like to do a service trip, either to Africa, Asia or somewhere new through UNICEF or the Peace Corps. Doing a service trip would be a really fun and great experience.
Q: What do you hope to leave behind at Archbishop Murphy High School?
A: I didn’t know anyone when I came to high school. I was the only kid from my class at St. Matthews who came to Murphy. There were a select number of kids that took me under their wing. They gave me confidence in high school. I want to leave that behind for other kids. I really hope there are a couple kids that I convinced to do something they ended up loving or I helped them through a hard time. I hope they do that for the next kid and the kid after that. That’s what I hope to leave behind.
Q: As you leave Archbishop Murphy, what do you hope to take with you?
A: A lot of my friends will be going to UW with me. I’m actually rooming with my best friend, which I’m really excited about. I think I’ll take a lot of life lessons from here. Staying organized, because procrastination always comes back to bite you. I learned that the hard way. The value of friendships and the value of my faith, which is inculcated here. Service for others. That’s a big part of Murphy and I’d like to take that with me.
Overall, the lesson of being confidant in yourself. God gave you the tools to succeed. Your parents and teachers refine those tools. Don’t ever doubt yourself and don’t ever forget that you can do this. College may be a scary place but all you need to do is take a deep breath, because you have the tools to move forward.
Q: What do you like to do for fun?
A: My passion is baseball, I’ve played for 14 years now. I really like mountain biking. I read a lot and I like to do anything on or near the water.
Q: Tell us more about your family.
A: I’m the oldest of six kids ranging from the ages of 18 to six. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Sometimes it’s a lot of work. I’ve shared a room my whole life, but you always have a playmate. My family is really close.
A lot of my friends text me and ask, “Can I come over? I just don’t want to go home.” I feel kind of bad because there are a lot of days when I don’t want anything more than to just go home. I’ve been really blessed to have an incredible family that I actually like going home to and spending time with. That’s really shaped me into who I am today.
Brenna Holland: 425-339-5350; firstname.lastname@example.org.