Mariner High senior Lisa Rakuro also takes classes at the Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center. She wants to pursue a trade. “I’m not a person to sit behind a desk.” (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Mariner High senior Lisa Rakuro also takes classes at the Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center. She wants to pursue a trade. “I’m not a person to sit behind a desk.” (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

‘Keep pushing,’ be respectful: Life lessons as a soccer coach

Lisa Rakuro, 17, of Mariner High School has lived in Fiji, California and Snohomish County.

EVERETT — Lisa Rakuro, 17, is a senior at Mariner High School and the Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center. She also volunteers as a soccer coach at Hand in Hand, a nonprofit on Casino Road.

Question: What brought you to the Sno-Isle construction program?

Answer: I’ve always wanted to do woodworking. … It just seems fun to put stuff together.

Q: Why do you volunteer?

A: Hand in Hand has helped me in a lot of things. Without them, I wouldn’t be here, so I just like to give back to the community.

Q: How did Hand in Hand come into your life?

A: I came to America as a minor. I didn’t know anyone. I was in California first and didn’t really know how to speak English … I didn’t have anyone there to be with me, and it was really hard for me to be talking to people. I was really antisocial … When I moved up to Washington, Hand in Hand was the first place that got me into being more active … and trying to help people who were in my place.

Q: Any big plans for senior year?

A: Graduate and go to college.

Q: What do you want to study?

A: I really want to look into a trade … I’m not a person to sit behind a desk.

Q: What are you learning in class?

A: We’re building flower planters for the Mariner craft fair. I’ve been learning the different types of hand working tools and the power tools and OSHA safety.

Q: You speak three languages?

A: I speak fluent Fijian. I partially know Maori, and now I speak English.

Q: And you lived in Fiji?

A: It’s tropical, and people say Hawaii’s better, but I would say Fiji’s better. They only have one climate down there. It’s pretty much just sunny.

Q: How does your Fijian culture influence your life?

A: It’s pretty complicated. Most of the things in Fiji are still in the old ways. There’s a lot of rules you have to follow. … Coming to America is a total different way … You can’t really follow what’s back at Fiji. You come and you adopt to the new lifestyle.

Q: What’s your favorite book?

A: “The Heart Needs No Words” by Cindy Locke. It’s a real life story. She wrote a book about one kid that she adopted that ended up having cancer … It’s a really touching book. I don’t normally read, but that book only took me two days to finish.

Q: What do you like about soccer?

A: It helps get my mind off stress, and it helps me build bonds with people.

Q: What have you learned from the family with whom you were placed?

A: I don’t have a huge burden to make my own decisions. They’ll be there for me.

Q: What else do you want to do?

A: I also do want to go play soccer in college. That’s also hard because I really want to go to Cascadia … but also Edmonds (Community College) has a really good soccer team, so I’m debating real hard.

Q: What else do you do for fun?

A: I like to build things. Sometimes I like to fix my bike … I build a lot of stuff … (In a past class) I would take blocks and just build it up. I would build cubes for some reason. Cubes are really interesting to me.

Q: How do you have time for homework?

A: Sometimes I take the laptop to coaching. That 20-30 minute drive, I would do my homework online … Dad’s driving, I’m doing homework, just hoping he won’t go through a speed bump.

Q: What do you like about Mariner?

A: The diversity, the teachers and there’s just something about Mariner that’s different. … The teachers help you and they’re really involved and they want you to be somewhere (in life) and they push your limits.

Q: What would you tell other young people who face challenges?

A: Keep pushing.

Q: What do you tell the kids you coach?

A: My coach would want me to have the right attitude when I grow up so I can teach it to my little kids … Just being respectful. One thing I stress at my practices that I run is the kids being on time and just having the right mindset to learn.

Q: What is the strength of your generation? How are you going to change the world?

A: Mostly, we’re not … Our parents, aren’t they called Millennials? While we’re exposed to more technology, we learn more about our parents and their past. We’re able to put that in mind and just be better than what they did or just try to keep up with what they did.

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

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A big decision for Boeing’s next CEO: Is it time for a new plane?

As Boeing faces increased competition from Airbus, the company is expected to appoint a new CEO by the end of the year.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

Two workers walk past a train following a press event at the Lynnwood City Center Link Station on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Trains up and running on Lynnwood Link — but no passengers quite yet

Officials held an event at the Lynnwood station announcing the start of “pre-revenue” service. Passengers still have to wait till August.

Nedra Vranish, left, and Karen Thordarson, right browse colorful glass flowers at Fuse4U during Sorticulture on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A promenade through Everett’s popular Sorticulture garden festival

Check out a gallery of the festival’s first day.

Left to right, Everett Pride board members Ashley Turner, Bryce Laake, and Kevin Daniels pose for a photo at South Fork Bakery in Everett, Washington on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Second Everett Pride aims for even bigger rainbow of festivities

Organizers estimated about 3,000 people attended the first block party in Everett. This year, they’re aiming for 10,000.

Dave Calhoun speaks during a 2017 interview in New York. (Christopher Goodney/Bloomberg)
Lawmakers to confront Boeing CEO on mounting quality and safety issues

Before the Tuesday hearing, a congressional subcommittee accused Boeing of mismanaging parts and cutting quality inspections.

School board members listen to public comment during a Marysville School Board meeting on Monday, June 3, 2024 in Marysville, Washington. Rinehardt is seated third from left. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Marysville school board president resigns amid turmoil

Wade Rinehardt’s resignation, announced at Monday’s school board meeting, continues a string of tumultuous news in the district.

The I-5, Highway 529 and the BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough as the main roadways for north and southbound traffic between Everett and Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 529 squeeze starts now between Everett, Marysville

Following a full closure for a night, starting late Sunday, Highway 529 will slim down to two lanes for months near the Snohomish River Bridge.

A BNSF train crosses Grove St/72nd St, NE in Marysville, Washington on March 17, 2022. Marysville recently got funding for design work for an overcrossing at the intersection. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
BNSF owes nearly $400M to Washington tribe, judge rules

A federal judge ruled last year that the railroad trespassed as it sent trains carrying crude oil through the Swinomish Reservation.

Everett Housing Authority is asking for city approval for its proposed development of 16 acres of land currently occupied by the vacant Baker Heights public housing development on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett inches closer to Park District affordable housing plan

Building heights — originally proposed at 15 stories tall — could be locked in with council approval in July.

Mountlake Terrace maintenance crew Ty Burns begins demolishing “the bunkers” on Monday, June 10, 2024 in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Eyesore no more: After decades, Mountlake Terrace bunkers bite the dust

The bunkers held a storehouse of history, much of it moldy, outdated and unwanted.

The intersection of Larch Way, Logan Road and Locust Way on Wednesday, March 27, 2024 in Alderwood Manor, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Roundabout project to shut down major Bothell intersection for months

The $4.5 million project will rebuild the four-way stop at Larch and Locust ways. The detour will stretch for miles.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.