Super Kid: A take-charge person

  • Kaitlin Manry, Herald writer
  • Sunday, April 5, 2009 11:04pm
  • Life

Avid athlete: Chelsey Graber is on Highland Christian School’s volleyball, basketball and cheerleading teams. She’s won a slew of honors, including first team all-league awards for basketball and volleyball the past two years. She’s also been a team captain numerous times.

Soccer past: During her first two years of high school, Graber played sweeper for the Knights’ co-ed soccer team. Her mother coached the team and her older brother and several cousins played. “It was a lot of fun just beating up on the boys. I didn’t mind it.”

Set, spike: Graber quit soccer to play girls volleyball, her favorite sport. She plays middle blocker and gets plenty of opportunities to spike and block.

Go team: As boys and girls basketball games are often held back-to-back, Graber plays her game, then rushes to change into her cheerleading uniform to root for the boys. “By the time you’re cheering, you’re all red from basketball and trying to put on makeup to cover it.”

Giving blood: Last year, Graber organized her school’s first blood drive, and planned a second event this year.

Finding food: When the Darrington Food Bank closed last year, more families began seeking help from the food bank at Graber’s church, the Oso Community Chapel. “We’re a small church. It’s hard to support that many different families.” To help fill the pantry, Graber organized food drives at her school.

Country girl: Graber has lived near Arlington all her life. For the past 10 years, she’s stayed with her family in a home in a valley in Trafton, a rural community east of Arlington. “I’ve grown up riding quads, swimming in the river and picking blackberries. There are blackberries all around. I love growing up in the country. It’s not too far from the city, so you don’t feel like you’re trapped in the boonies.”

Small school: Graber enrolled at Highland Christian School as a freshman after attending Post Middle School, a public school. She said her parents wanted her to attend a Christian school, and, for the most part, she likes it. She’s enjoyed getting to know her teachers and fellow students, and says she’s become closer to God as well. She’s among the school’s 23 seniors. “I feel really safe here, and I feel really close to all the different students.”

A student: Graber is an A student who especially enjoys math. She plans to begin studying business at college next fall. She’s trying to decide between Hope International University, a private Christian school in Southern California, and Western Washington University in Bellingham. Her two older siblings attended Western. She’d like to get out of Washington, but staying in state is more affordable. She’s currently looking for a job to help pay tuition.

Moo friend: Graber has a pet cow named Dog. “She’s really tame. She’s hand-raised. She’ll eat out of your hand. She’s kind of like having a watch dog. She’ll moo when a car comes down the driveway.” Dog likes candy. She’s a beef cow, but Graber hopes to keep her in the family, off her plate for a while. The family also has a dog named Cleo, two cats and fish.

Italian adventure: Graber and her family traveled to Italy a few years ago to visit their former foreign exchange student. She loved the history and architecture and would like to travel more.

Reading romance: Nicholas Sparks is Graber’s favorite author. First she got hooked on movies based on his books. “They’re go and get a bucket of ice cream and your girlfriends” movies. Then, she moved on to his books. “I always end up crying, but I like them.”

Possible twin: Graber would have been a twin, but her sibling died before birth and before doctors knew the baby’s gender. “In a weird way, it makes me want to be better and the best I can because in a way, I’m living for two of us.”

Know a super kid? E-mail

Kaitlin Manry: 425-339-3292,

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