William “Gio” Bryan, 18, expects to graduate from Mountain View Arts & Technology High School in Tulalip this summer. Bryan plans to attend Everett Community College next school year and take classes in machining. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

William “Gio” Bryan, 18, expects to graduate from Mountain View Arts & Technology High School in Tulalip this summer. Bryan plans to attend Everett Community College next school year and take classes in machining. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Aerospace program helped Tulalip teen break out of his shell

Gio Bryan wants to work at Boeing. First, he’s graduating from an alternative high school in Tulalip.

TULALIP — William “Gio” Bryan, 18, has his sights set on a job in aerospace — even if he’s kind of afraid of heights.

He studied at Arts & Technology High School until his class merged with Marysville Mountain View to create MMVAT High School in summer 2018.

It’s the district’s alternative school, with smaller classes and a trimester schedule to help students recover credits when they’ve fallen behind. This summer Gio will graduate with As and Bs, he said.

Q: What has high school been like for you?

A: High school’s been going pretty good. I was really quiet and to myself in my first few years. I’ve only started talking to people outside of my small friend group recently. I joined drama club for a bit and met some new friends.

Q: What’s your favorite class?

A: Computer repair. Mr. LaGrange is a really good teacher. He gives students a lot of freedom, but not so much that it gets really out of control.

Q: Repair — is that, like, breaking down actual components of computers?

Q: It’s whatever it needs to be. A lot of the students, when they first join the class, are asked to rip apart a computer and put it back together piece by piece. You don’t know any of the names to start off. I knew what went where, but I didn’t know what to label anything or what it did. Any questions we have later on, he asks us to look online or ask him.

Q: Do you have any other mentors who’ve been especially helpful?

A: The instructors in the Youth Aerospace Program have been an amazing help, made me a completely different person, compared to a year ago — last summer to now.

Q: Are there are any challenges you’ve overcome, in or out of school, that you want to talk about?

A: My ability to interact with others. I could not for the life of me do it, at all, before summer. Being forced to do it, with 20 different people, made it a lot easier to interact with people outside the program. YAP made it a lot easier to present to people. One of our assignments, AeroBiz, they had us present in front of representatives from Boeing, EvCC and Goodwill. Just the amount of stress on that makes a lot of stuff seem a lot easier in comparison now.

Q: What were you presenting?

A: They had us make a company of sorts where we would have two people in marketing, two in design and a CEO. We would make a product, the name for a product, a company name, and how much it would cost — both to make, and for the consumer.

Q: How long did that take?

A: They gave us two weeks. Couple hours a day. They split us into four groups. Every team before us had an awful experience. The first team — my friend, oh my God. Throughout the presentation, only he talked, and another person in the group tried to talk over him. Toward the end, they asked him, ‘Is there more than this this one purpose?’ The other guy’s like, ‘No,’ and my friend says, ‘Yes,’ at the exact same time. Then the second group that presented, one of them walked out crying. Nobody would’ve expected it from her, because she’s a very strong person. The third group, my friend, as soon as he walked out, he grabbed me by the shoulders, looked me in the eye, and said, ‘We bombed it.’

Q: And you were the fourth group?

A: Yeah. We did really good. All the judges said we did amazing, and recommended if we bothered trying to, say, sell the product in the future, we could.

Q: What was the product?

A: A glove meant to make manual labor a lot easier, like heating, protection from other things, and massaging the joints to help with arthritis.

Q: Any idea what you want to study?

A: I’m going to start off taking courses in machining, then after I get my two-year degree, hopefully get a job at Boeing, and have that pay through my next two classes in welding and composite work.

Q: Did you have some interest in planes before the aerospace program?

A: Not really. In fact, I’m deathly afraid of heights.

Q: Are you afraid of flying? Or just heights?

A: Kind of both. I’ve got that mindset of, if anybody in the whole process of making or flying the plane messes up one time — I mean, I know it’s really unlikely, but I’m aware it’s there.

Q: What do your parents do for work?

A: My dad’s an engineer at Boeing. And my mom works at the Everett hospital.

Q: Is your dad’s job something that drew you toward working there?

A: Yeah. The main reason was I had no idea what I wanted to do with my future. So I figure going for something my dad was doing would make it a lot simpler to figure out.

Q: What do you like to do for fun?

A: I really like reading. Hanging out with my friends. Over spring break we went to Jennings (Memorial Park) and played baseball a lot.

Q: What’s your favorite book?

A: “The Last Dragon.” It’s an old fantasy book I used to read when I was younger. I still come back to it now and again.

Q: What are you looking forward to about being an adult?

A: Nothing. (Laughs.)

Q: Not paying bills?

A: Yeah, I know I’ve got it good right now being a teenager.

Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; chutton@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @snocaleb.

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