Lake Stevens senior and full-time Running Start student Jacob Anderson plans on studying computer science and engineering after high school. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Lake Stevens High senior learning how to lead

LAKE STEVENS — Jacob Anderson, 17, is a senior at Lake Stevens High School and a full-time Running Start student at Everett Community College. He’s the statewide president for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America and hopes to study computer engineering after he graduates this spring.

Question: What does your course load look like?

Answer: So, starting with the college, which is usually how my day starts out anyways, I begin at 8:50 a.m. with English 101, and then at 10 o’clock I start calculus. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, once calculus ends, I go to the high school. Tuesdays and Thursdays, I have a political science class (at the college). When I’m at the high school, I’m there fifth and sixth period. I’m kind of like an intern for careers in education.

Q: What else do you do at the high school?

A: There’s other work I do related to FCCLA. I’m actually the Washington State president for the organization. My adviser, Mrs. Kathy Hahn, she has her careers in education class during the time I’m at the high school. I’ve taken the class, I have a portfolio. Sometimes during the class period I’m helping other students out with their course load, with lesson plans and stuff like that. Otherwise, I’m working on my state presidential duties. Emailing, messaging officers and doing my own program of work throughout the year. It’s been really interesting so far.

Q: How did you get involved in FCCLA?

A: Sophomore year, it’s that one encouraging time where you try to get stuff on your resume. The next two and half years are just craziness, so that’s the time where almost everybody at school is trying to get something on their resume, some sort of club. I was very involved that year. I attended my first FCCLA chapter meeting, and they just kind of grabbed on to me, and they were like, ‘Hey, do you want to do this?’ I went to a meeting that fall and then to Olympia that winter, and I got to see (Gov.) Jay Inslee. That year, I ran for office. I became vice president of competitive events, so running the events we do throughout the state. I also got involved and for the first time ever became a (student government) senator. I had never given a speech before, but it’s kind of funny because now I give speeches to hundreds of people.

Q: What are some of the projects you’ve done with FCCLA?

A: In the spring, because I was elected in early April, I did a lot of researching on how to promote an organization. We had an old system and we all had emails, and it just wasn’t a good fit because our old system latched on to our current one, and it was kind of weird and personal. I actually partnered up with Google Nonprofits. A lot of nonprofit organizations do, but it’s still not widely known. When you think of Google advertising, it’s primarily business. From there, we got our own private emails for our organization. I thought it made it more professional. We got all these Google products. And recently I’ve been submitting an application for AdWords … It’s been a fun experience for me. I’m a teenager taking calculus and English 101 but I’m trying to partner with Google. I’ve been working with my state staff and telling them about this. It’s been a fun peer education process, even with our own advisers, because it’s not ground we have touched before. We’re getting our organization to a professional level we’ve never been to before. I’m really proud of the organization. Even as an alumni, I think I’ll be involved. That’s been my pride at Lake Stevens High School because our program has been so amazing.

Q: What are your goals after high school?

A: Personally, I’m planning on going into engineering, probably at UW Bothell. Even though I personally don’t have any sight toward family and consumer sciences, it’s been incredible to learn through those courses what the power of teaching other people is, and also being a leader. I think, overall, it’s helped me become a more professional individual as well as a more well-rounded individual.

Q: What type of engineering interests you?

A: I’ve thought more toward computer science and software engineering. I’ve always been the person who’s been interested in computers and programs. It’s just something I’m interested in, whether it’s along the lines of being a computer scientist or an engineer or even in management. There’s always a lot of people in the area to get advice from, whether it’s Amazon or Microsoft. I’m excited for that, for sure.

Q: What would your advice be to underclassmen?

A: Look for all the opportunities. I always believe that there are unlimited possibilities or opportunities, or at least a great deal available to you. There’s all these different classes that people don’t realize what they offer. College in the High School classes are awesome. Take advantage of being part of the Associated Student Body, or FCCLA, or DECA, or any of the other clubs. Or just be involved in your community. To any high school student, I’d just recommend finding all of the opportunities in our area to get involved and get experience.

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; kbray@heraldnet.com.

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