MONROE — Trevor LaFond, 17, has attended the alternative Leaders in Learning program since his sophomore year, one step in a journey he’s taken to get on the right academic track. Now, he’s headed to college.
Question: What prompted you to transfer to Leaders in Learning?
Answer: A better learning experience. At (Monroe) High School was a bunch of students, a bunch of teachers. I couldn’t get a lot of the one-on-one help I needed that I can get here. And it was closer to home, a 10-minute walk.
Q: You walk to school?
A: Not now. I moved back to Sultan so I take the bus … Since I basically had a year left, I didn’t want to go back (to school) there and start all over. I know all the teachers here. I was in the flow of things.
Q: What classes are you taking?
A: I barely have any classes left to graduate. I’m a (teacher’s assistant). I have an art class, and an advisory (class). I’m doing Running Start at Everett Community College on Wednesdays. I take an Engineering 101 class.
Q: So what’s next for you?
A: I’m looking to be a full-time student (at EvCC) after I graduate. I’m going to study for engineering and computer science. That’s probably going to be the main focus of jobs going into the future. Plus my grandpa was an engineer. It’s kind of in the genes. (After that) I’ll either get a job or go to a four-year university.
Q: How does it feel to be looking ahead to all that?
A: It’s exciting, and kind of pressure, anxiety — moving on to the real world.
Q: You’ve overcome some challenges?
A: My freshman year I did really poorly. I basically passed with all D’s. Even my first year here I struggled. I realized I needed to pick up the pace.
Q: What led you to make that choice? To push through, rather than give up?
A: I knew I wouldn’t get anywhere if I just gave up. I wanted to secure a future for myself.
Q: What kind of future do you hope to have down the road?
A: Have a home, have a good-paying job, hopefully have a girlfriend or wife, have a well-maintained life.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in high school?
A: Probably just moving from one school to another, because I lost a connection to a lot of friends. But other than that, high school has been pretty good.
Q: What are you most proud of?
A: Probably the grades that I have and that I’m going to college. I’m the first one of my generation of family to go to college. My brother didn’t, and I don’t think my dad did. My mom is proud of me.
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: I play basketball. I help around the house. Play video games, like a normal teenager would do. I work out, and hang out with friends.
Q: What advice would you give a teen starting high school?
A: High school isn’t as all bad as it seems. Don’t get too much pressure. It’s hard when you start, but once you get to junior and senior year it gets easier.
Q: Is there anyone who has been a mentor or inspired you?
A: Probably my mom and my brother. My brother has worked more as a father figure to me. My dad left when I was young. My mom inspires me. When I feel down about myself, she works me up and motivates me.
Melissa Slager: email@example.com; 425-339-3432.