After depression, Crossroads teen found acceptance, kindness

Clay Freeman hopes to study at community college and become a financial planner.

Crossroads High senior Clay Freeman hopes to study at a community college and become a financial planner. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Crossroads High senior Clay Freeman hopes to study at a community college and become a financial planner. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

GRANITE FALLS — Clay Freeman, 17, is a senior at Crossroads High School, the alternative campus in Granite Falls.

Question: What classes are you taking?

Answer: I don’t have many classes. I have a T.A. period for the registrar. I have a … math (class). I don’t need the credit. I’m just taking it to learn algebra 2 … I have enough credits to graduate right now, but I wanted to stay and help out.

Q: What are your plans after high school?

A: To go to community college for a year or two and then try to work here as a paraeducator.

Q: What is the field you want to go into?

A: Right now I’m looking at financial planner. I really like math and working with numbers as well as working with other people.

Q: What do you do for fun?

A: Video games and drawing. I mostly draw animals.

Q: Do you have a favorite book?

A: Probably the Eragon series. I just really like the stories. I like the fantasy touch.

Q: What made Crossroads the right place for you?

A: All through middle school and ninth grade, I had really bad mental health. … I thought maybe a change would work better. Everyone here is really accepting and they’re really kind.

Q: Have you had a favorite class?

A: Any math class, or maybe physics or biology.

Q: Who are you today?

A: I like helping people, so helpful. My friends say intelligent.

Q: Who is the person you want to be?

A: I strive to be someone who can sustain themselves. I don’t have to depend on other people.

Q: Do you have a treasured memory from childhood?

A: One time I went to the (Big Four) Ice Caves with my dad. I remember mostly the hike there. It was pretty fun.

Q: What college are you looking at?

A: Everett Community College, if I can get in.

Q: Any plans for summer?

A: Just working. I’m going to try to find work.

Q: What has helped you find success in life?

A: I like to learn. That’s really helped me a lot … A lot of things that helped me recover were the people here at Crossroads who were so supportive.

Q: What are some challenges you have faced?

A: What I went through in middle school, just being depressed. I learned that I’m stronger than I let myself believe I am, and I can get through more. During my depression … I wouldn’t do my homework. Looking back on that has made me actually want to succeed.

Q: Is there anything else you want to do in your life?

A: I want to go to Egypt someday. I really like Egyptian history so I’d want to go on a tour through one of the pyramids.

Q: When did you realize that math clicked for you?

A: Fourth grade. When I was in third grade, my dad put me through tutoring over the summer. That gave me a little bit of a head start. it made me realized I liked math because I knew what I was doing.

Q: Do you collect anything?

A: I like gemstones. I collect them. I have this little corner on my table where I have a bunch of gemstones.

Q: Which is your favorite?

A: Peridot. I like the color, the green of it. It’s not too green, but it’s also my birthstone.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @rikkiking.

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