By Julie Muhlstein Herald Writer
On May 29, Everett High School senior Sergio Barrera was presented the Humanity Not Hatred Foundation Award. The $1,000 scholarship was named in honor of Brisenia Flores, a 9-year-old murdered along with her father in an Arizona desert town in 2009.
Shawna Forde, a self-proclaimed border militia leader from Everett, was one of two people convicted in the killings. The award, which the statewide Latino Civic Alliance helped sponsor, is given to a high school senior who demonstrates advocacy efforts in his or her community.
Q: So you’re a recent Everett High graduate. What’s next?
A: I’ll be going to Everett Community College for two years, then transfer to WSU. I want to get an AA, and then major in sports management at WSU.
Q: You played a big part in Everett High’s Latin Image Club. Tell me about that.
A: I was in Latin Image Club for four years, and for three years I was an executive council member. That created a lot of opportunities. I was able to go to a summer camp, the La Cima Bilingual Leadership Camp. And we worked on the Thanksgiving food drive and a blood drive.
Q: Do you speak Spanish at home?
A: Yes. We came here when I was in kindergarten. My family is from Chihuahua, Mexico. I haven’t seen some of my family in 13 years. I was in ESL classes in elementary school, at Olivia Park and Jefferson. When I first started school, a teacher would say, ‘Write a sentence’ and I didn’t know what that meant. I tested out of ESL classes in eighth grade.
Q: Did you play sports in high school?
A: I played four years of soccer, and was in cross country one year. I was captain of the varsity soccer team this year.
Q: What classes were you taking your last quarter at Everett High?
A: I was in AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination, a college readiness program), leadership, psychology, art and English 4. AVID was a big help. Ms. (Kristin) Gebert helped with applying for scholarships and colleges. Without that class, I wouldn’t have received scholarships.
Q: The Everett Rotary Club awarded you a $500 AVID college start-up scholarship. How will you use that?
A: It was really nice. We got to go shopping for college. I bought a laptop and a printer.
Q: And you’re already in contact with WSU?
A: If I have a good GPA at Everett Community College, I’m guaranteed to get in. I entered an essay (for a WSU scholarship) that tells a story of my life. Four of us are going to WSU this summer. The stories are being written into a play. I learned about it from Ms. Ortiz (Lillian Ortiz-Self) in Latin Image Club.
Q: What else are you doing this summer?
A: I’m working for Middleton Painting. I prep rooms in new buildings eight hours a day. They take us in a van all over the area.
Q: What do you do with your free time?
A: There’s not much spare time. Usually sleep or hang out with friends.
Q: Do you have siblings?
A: My sister will be a junior at Everett High, and I have an older sister.
Q: From your years at Everett High, what memory will stand out?
A: Playing soccer. I was a goalie. I’m going to play soccer at EvCC. We’ll see how that goes. I like the Sounders, they have the loudest stadium. But someday I’d like to play for Cruz Azul, a team in Mexico.
Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460, firstname.lastname@example.org.