Amanda Brown, a senior at Darrington High School, will be attending Washington State University in the fall as the first person in her family to attend college. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Amanda Brown, a senior at Darrington High School, will be attending Washington State University in the fall as the first person in her family to attend college. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Amanda Brown loves science, her hometown and her chickens

This Darrington grad is a first-generation college student who will always remember her roots.

This is one of four stories profiling noteworthy members of the high school class of 2021.

Coming from a family of “Darringtonians,” Amanda Brown said wherever she goes in life, she’s not going to forget where she came from.

“I was very lucky to be blessed with just a very smooth-sailing education and lots of opportunities, despite our small size,” Brown said.

Before she heads off to Washington State University’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences, Brown will be working and saving for tuition. She’ll also be putting in internship hours at Glacier Peak Institute, an outdoor stewardship and conservation organization that allows youth to gain practical experience in the field.

While many of her friends will head off to college undecided on a major, Brown said she’s always loved biology, and her science teacher, Zacharie Bass, played an instrumental role in solidifying her decision to pursue natural sciences.

Bass said Brown gives him too much credit and it was him instead who was inspired by her.

“There are a lot of really driven, motivated people out there, and they’re driven by success, right? They’re driven by accomplishing things or getting awards or a paycheck or money or just whatever recognition, but she has a real passion to learn,” Bass said. “She’s the type of person that asks a million questions. She’s not motivated by those same things a lot of other people are motivated by and it’s inspiring, like it’s really cool.”

President of Science Club, student body secretary, and a member of National Honor Society, the wrestling, volleyball and softball teams, Darrington Youth Coalition and Future Business Leaders of America — Brown said staying involved was a big priority.

When the pandemic hit, participation waned across her clubs, but Brown said on occasion she was able to recruit a couple of Science Club members to perform chemistry experiments with her.

“I think anyone who’s been in the class that she’s been in has learned more because she’s been in that room,” Bass said.

When she didn’t have her nose to the grindstone, Brown said she was raising chickens.

“I like chickens — I know that’s weird … but I love having my own eggs, and taking care of chickens,” Brown said. “My sister has had them for a long time and I started taking care of them, and then I got my own little babies, and I kind of got addicted. And I can’t take them to college, which is sad.”

The chickens will remain at home with Brown’s parents — who double as her biggest supporters.

“I like school anyway so they didn’t have to push too hard, but they’re very keen on being educated and getting a higher education and they wanted me to succeed because they didn’t get an education, and they just wanted me to have that opportunity,” Brown said.

While looking toward a jagged peak from the window of the new Moe’s Coffee shop in Darrington, Brown reflected on how her community has prepared her for the future.

“I think Darrington, like a lot of small towns, gets a bad rap,” Brown said. “It’s also kind of helped me, in a weird way, it’s helped me be open minded, because I have a very different belief system than like the majority of my peers and it’s kind of helped me just see both sides of everything.”

Isabella Breda: 425-339-3192; Twitter: @BredaIsabella.

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