Super Kid: Christina Gaebel, EdCC Running Start

Christina Gaebel is back with her family in Everett after several months as an intern in Texas with TheBlaze, an information and opinion network founded by radio and TV talk show personality Glenn Beck.

Question: How did you get the internship? And what did your work entail?

Answer: I applied for so many internships this past year. Basically, I was a TV production intern. The first month I did content research for the shows. Later I got to work more closely with the actual producers. TheBlaze is involved in TV, radio, online streaming and publishing. It’s owned by Beck’s Mercury Radio Arts. The producers I was shadowing were working on his TV program.

Q: Did you get to work with Glenn Beck?

A: I did get to meet him. I didn’t work directly with him. I worked with a staff of about 50 in his studio in the Dallas area. When I was shadowing producers, I would help with the guests they had booked. I met him and would see him around. Honestly, from what I have seen of him, some impressions of him are dead wrong. He is the most humble person.

Q: Were you always home-schooled?

A: I was home-schooled all my life except for a short period in middle school. I went to a private school in Lynnwood, Providence Classical Christian School. In elementary school my mom was my primary teacher. Once I got into high school, there were so many options. You can find online classes through universities. And we’re involved in a home-school family co-op.

Q: Now you’re on campus at Edmonds Community College as a Running Start student. What are you studying?

A: I started Running Start last year, in spring quarter. I left for Texas in early October, but took fall quarter EdCC classes online. Now I’ll take the bus to Edmonds Community College five days a week. At the college I’m taking Spanish and precalculus. And I’m finishing up high school with online classes at home. Online I’m taking a chemistry class and economics.

Q: Did you have a favorite class as a home-schooled student?

A: I love history and English. One favorite was a constitutional law class I took online through Hillsdale College for a full year.

Q: Tell me about your family.

A: I have a younger brother, Jordan, he’s almost 14, and a younger sister, Christina, who is 16. My dad, Art, was in the Navy for 20 years. And my mom, Pietra, was in the Navy Reserve and was a legislative analyst.

Q: You were involved with the Legislature, too.

A: I like politics. I was on the state’s Legislative Youth Advisory Council for two years. My term is over now. On the council are 22 kids from all around the state. We advocate for issues younger people care about. We met in Olympia several times a year and had conference calls. We organized events and went to events. There’s an application and interview process. The lieutenant governor makes the selections.

Q: What was it like being away from home?

A: Through friends of friends and networking, I found housing with another woman in Grapevine, Texas. At first, my only option for transportation was to walk four miles to a bus stop. Through a homeschool organization there, I eventually did arrange rides. When Glenn Beck found out about my situation, he talked about me on the air. Homeschool families called to help with a carpool. His studio is at Las Colinas, where “Robocop,” “JFK” and “Walker Texas Ranger” were filmed.

Q: Aside from schoolwork, how do you spend your time?

A: I have a part-time job at a Starbucks in Everett. I’m involved in my church youth group. When I was younger I played soccer and piano. Home-schooling gives you time to invest in your passions.

Q: What are your plans for the summer?

A: With the homeschool co-op, I’ll graduate in a ceremony with a class of about 50 to 70 others. This summer I want to do Bike &Build. It’s an organization that combines cross-country bike trips with helping affordable housing groups.

Q: Will you attend a four-year college next year?

A: Before my internship I wanted to go to (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and study astronomy. Now I’m hoping to take time for a “gap year” with YWAM — Youth With a Mission — a Christian group that sends youth around the world.

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; jmuhlstein@heraldnet.com.

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