MONROE — Gary Colver, 15, a sophomore at Monroe High School, is having a busy summer.
Gary, a descendant of the Snoqualmie Tribe, missed the last week of school to attend Na-ha-shnee, a health science institute at the Washington State University campus in Spokane. The two-week camp is for Native American and Alaska Native high school students to learn about health-care professions.
He is now attending a three-week animation program at Sno-Isle TECH in Everett.
Gary’s parents, Shianne and Michael Colver, own Northwest Sport Taekwondo in Monroe. He has a sister named Alainah, 12.
Question: What is Na-ha-shnee?
Answer: It’s about Native American health. It’s to raise awareness not only of different health careers, but also the tribes need health providers on reservations because they don’t have many people going into that profession.
Q: Are you planning a career in health?
A: Not really. I want to be a graphic designer. But it’s good to know all this because if a graphic designer doesn’t work out I can fall back on being a radiologist or pharmacist. I have a “maybe” in mind.
Q: What did you learn?
A: The two weeks I was there, we did a bunch of different lectures and classes and they showed a bunch of health careers. One day they had us in a pharmacy lab and showed us what they do, and that it’s not only behind the counter.
They took us to the human anatomy area and showed us cadavers. They showed us the valves in the heart and what each thing does. And kidneys. They showed us the brain and it was different than I imagined, but it was OK.
It was interesting. They told us if you need to leave during it you could.
Q: Did you?
A: I felt uncomfortable but I didn’t want to leave. No one left during it.
Afterward, they did something called smudging where they purify all negative emotions that came from inside there.
Q: What were other highlights of the institute?
A: We got to talk to a veterinary group, how they diagnose different animals.
We went to a dental care office and they showed us how to remove tartar and the different tools they used. They showed us how to do fillings.
Q: Did it make you brush your teeth more?
A: Yes. Yes. Yes.
Q: What was it like being away from home for two weeks?
A: It was daunting at first. Scary. After a while you get used to it. You get to know the new people around you and it gets more comforting.
Na-ha-shnee was really fun. You make new friends. There were people from Idaho, Alaska, New Mexico, Arizona. They all came from different tribes. We got to learn a bit about every tribe.
Q: What do you normally do in the summer?
A: Just hang out with my friends.
Q: What do like to do with your sister?
Q: What are three things in your fridge?
A: Cherries. Milk. Water.
Q: Who influenced you most your freshman year of high school?
A: My mom. She is the one who has been pushing me to get good grades and do my schoolwork. When I get lower grades she tells me to get the grades better and helps me.
Q: What was the scariest part of high school?
A: The bathrooms.
Q: What are you looking forward to next year?
A: I can’t wait to learn how to drive.
Super Kid is taking the summer off. Look for the feature in the fall.