MARYSVILLE — Chantz San Nicolas, 17, is a positive force at Marysville Getchell High School, where the homecoming court member and student body president focuses on inspirational messages for his peers.
Question: Marysville Getchell is divided into four smaller learning communities (Academy of Construction and Engineering, Bio Med Academy, International School of Communications, and School for the Entrepreneur). Where are you at?
Answer: I go to the School for the Entrepreneur. It has to do with a business aspect, like “Intro to Marketing.” In eighth grade I got a slip of paper to list my top choices. I almost went (to the Academy of Construction and Engineering), actually. I put ACE down because my mom really wanted me to do engineering. And you know how it is. “OK, mom. Whatever you say.” SFE was my second choice. So I gave the slip to one of my teachers, and right as she was walking out the door I said, “Oh, wait!” So I made the life-changing switch there.
Q: What classes are you taking right now?
A: My first period is art, just because it’s required. I need to graduate, of course. Second period is AP literature, third is AP statistics, fourth is AP “go-po” — which is government and politics — fifth period is physics for me, and sixth period, which is required if you’re in ASB, is leadership.
Q: Do you have a favorite?
A: If I absolutely had to pick it, I would have to say leadership, because a lot of it is about people. I have this catchphrase, “People are my passion.” … It’s not like I came into high school and said, “Wow, people are my passion.” It’s more something that developed. You talk to a lot of people, hear a lot of stories. … Especially a couple years ago, when the shooting at (Marysville Pilchuck High School) happened, just knowing people can go through so much and come out stronger. It’s pretty incredible. If you can empower people and if you can change a life through that, it’s amazing.
Q: You’ve talked about the importance of being consistent.
A: A lot of it is putting other people’s emotions before my own. If I’m having a bad day, people may not know. Not that I’m trying to fake or anything. But I figure people are going to get more out of me keeping things positive than me being sad for a day. But I also want to keep it real. … A lot of times people associate me with being kind and a little goofy — and I like that.
Q: You are in Future Business Leaders of America and took some awards at a recent regional competition.
A: It was the first time I placed first (in an event). I really put a lot into it this year. FBLA has allowed me to grow as a person. I’ve learned better public speaking and just the ability to be comfortable with myself and know who I am.
Q: You say you really look up to your adviser, Kris Mikesell.
A: She always teaches her students, “High school is what you make of it.” … She’s my adviser, friend, a listener, mentor. To label her as one thing is not enough.
Q: What’s your advice for freshmen?
A: Stay true to your own character and keep an open mind. Be willing to grow, and step out of your comfort zone.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: I’ve been accepted to Central Washington University and Washington State. Hopefully I’ll get my acceptance or otherwise this month to the University of Washington. I’d really like to go to their Foster School of Business.
Q: What is it about business that attracts you?
A: In a business you get to facilitate and help other people. My ultimate goal is to own my own business. You’re helping yourself, and also providing something that benefits the economy and other people — it’s very useful.
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: In my free time I like to go to sporting events for my school and hang out with my friends, regular teenage stuff. We go bowling. There’s not a lot to do in Marysville. Bowling is kind of prime time. And dinner at Applebee’s. I always order off the appetizers menu. It’s always at least the honey barbecue boneless wings.
Q: Do you have any summer plans?
A: I just applied to be a junior counselor at leadership camp. Leadership camp was a life-changing event for me. If I got to be a JC, that would be awesome. There’s no service out there, which is nice because you really connect directly with people.
Melissa Slager: firstname.lastname@example.org, 425-339-3432.