EVERETT — Isrrael “Izzy” Munoz, 16, is starting his junior year at Cascade High School. He volunteered as a leader at Code Teen at the YMCA this summer. Code Teen is a free afternoon camp with a focus on college and careers.
Q: How did you get involved with the Y?
A: It was my first year of Code Teen. I went there for half a year and then the full year the next year. This is when I was 11, around that age, and they have this summer program called Code Teen and I’d go there every year, for six years now.
Q: How did you take on more of a volunteer role?
A: Last year, Alex (Costumbrado, Casino Road Community Director with the Mukilteo YMCA), he relied on me to help with cleaning up. He trusted me. This year I’d go volunteer at the YMCA center and he let me design the (Code Teen) T-shirt and this year he gave me a leader shirt.
Q: You have two younger brothers. Are they always watching you?
A: Most of the time, yeah. My parents like to tell me, “You’ve got to do this right. You’re the one they idolize.”
Q: What made you keep returning to Code Teen?
A: It’s really fun. There are a lot of activities there. Everyone is super nice.
Q: What classes are you taking this fall?
A: AVID, AP U.S. History, chemistry, pre-calc, English 3 honors and half a semester of nutrition going into court sports.
Q: What do you want to do after high school?
A: For college, I’ve been thinking about Western or UW. I’m not too sure what I want to study, probably something around mechanical engineering.
Q: And you’re the first person in your family to go to college?
A: It means a lot. I’m nervous and excited and my parents have pretty high expectations. I just want to make them proud.
Q: Your interest in engineering started with your dad? He’s a hobbyist mechanic?
A: On Saturday and Sunday mornings we go out and check each of our cars … some of his work friends ask him to check up on their cars. He would take me along and teach me.
Q: What do you do for fun?
A: I like to go help out my dad with the cars. I like to draw, skateboard, anything that keeps me busy.
Q: What has the Y meant to you?
A: Alex has been like the symbol for the YMCA for me. He’s taught me you need to be respectful to everyone and they’ll be respectful to you. He’s shown me how to be a good leader and how to set an example for others.
Q: Any extracurricular activities?
A: I love track. Spring time is the center of the year for me, to get to see all my friends on the field, rooting for each other … I do shot put and javelin. Hopefully this year I’ll do discus.
Q: What do you tell your little brothers about school?
A: I try not to complain about school in front of them. I say, “This is going to be a hard class, but you have to get it done.”
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @rikkiking.
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