Josue Barajas, 18, is senior class president at Snohomish High School on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016 in Snohomish, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Josue Barajas, 18, is senior class president at Snohomish High School on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016 in Snohomish, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Snohomish High senior Josue Barajas hones leadership skills

SNOHOMISH — Josue Barajas, 18, is senior class president at Snohomish High School. His adviser describes him as cool under pressure. “He always comes through,” Canela Aréchiga said. “He’s like glue — people want to be around him. He’ll go to anyone and make them feel better.”

Question: What do you do as senior class president?

Answer: Mostly fundraisers for our senior class. It’s me and the other class officers. We get together and come up with different ideas for fundraisers so we can have a good prom, of course, and grad party and stuff like that.

Q: There are 410 students in your senior class. How many do you know?

A: I know most of them. I know their names. If I don’t, I feel bad and ask their name. I try to get to know everyone.

Q: You’ve been involved in student leadership since freshman year?

A: I actually signed up for DECA (a business and marketing club). They gave me leadership instead, my second choice. It took off from there. I loved it.

Q: You are in wrestling and cross country. For classes you are taking third-year Spanish, photography, “Modern Fiction,” “Current Issues in Government” and leadership. Do you have a favorite class?

A: Leadership is my favorite. My second favorite would probably be government. I wasn’t always into politics. Since the class, I pay more attention to the elections and find them interesting.

Q: You’re involved with something called Panther Pals. What’s that?

A: We have the high-schoolers go with a local elementary student. We have hangouts with them, give them a buddy. They can see what high school is like when they get older. We invite them to our sporting events. We have pizza parties. It’s pretty much like a little brother or sister. (My Pal’s) name is Preston.

Q: Is there anyone you consider a mentor or someone who’s inspired you?

A: I would say my leadership teacher, Mr. (Vince) Ivelia. He’s always taught me to be selfless, a servant leader — doing it for others, and not myself.

Q: What are your plans after high school?

A: I want to take two years at Everett Community College to stay home with family for awhile yet. Then transfer to Western Washington University (to be a teacher). My dream job would be to come back here and be a leadership teacher and ASB adviser.

Q: So you’ve got to tell Mr. Ivelia to get moving, eh?

A: I already asked him, “When do you retire?” “Five years.” “Perfect! I’ll be back then.”

Q: A lot of teenagers I talk to are anxious to get out of town after they graduate. What draws you to stay home?

A: I have a big family, and it would be weird to leave them. I have fun with all my cousins, brother and sister. There are times when I want to get away. But most of the time, I want to be here around family and friends.

Q: You mentioned you have more than two dozen cousins, and that’s just those living nearby.

A: When I go to Mexico or another family reunion, my dad’s like, ‘Oh, this is your cousin,’ and I’ve never met them. It’s always fun to meet a new cousin.

Q: What is it like to be a senior?

A: It’s weird. It went by really fast. When I was a freshman, I couldn’t wait to be a senior. Now I’m like, can it go by a little slower?

Q: Any advice you’d give a freshman?

A: I would say be yourself and have fun. If there’s something you want to get involved with, like a club, get involved.

Q: You say you regret not getting involved in clubs. But you’re showing it’s not too late. What club are you joining now?

A: Sportsman’s Club. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I love fishing. You can make your own rod and stuff.

Melissa Slager: mslager@heraldnet.com, 425-339-3432.

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