Made it: Graduated March 30 after five years of high school. Struggled her freshman and sophomore years at Henry M. Jackson High School, then missed more than a month of classes after a car accident. Mom convinced her to go to Sequoia in Everett to catch up.
Attitude adjustment: “‘It’s the alternative school and you never really want to go there,’ is what I thought. … But I fell in love with the school. So I stayed.”
Right fit: Sequoia’s more intimate atmosphere suited her. Teachers and counselors were supportive. “You’re not a number.”
Future: Will attend Edmonds Community College this fall to study psychology, with plans to transfer to a four-year university for an education degree. Wants to be a high school counselor and to return to Sequoia.
Quote: “This school changed my life. … I never thought in a million years I’d graduate. I want to give other students what this school gave to me.”
School leader: Love for her school turned into a position as student body president. Led an effort that resulted in the school’s first mascot, colors and slogan. Mascot is the Fighting Squirrels. Colors “are more shades, really,” at black and silver. Slogan is “Our School of Choice.”
Why it was important: “I wanted to make it more of a high school – to be thought of as a high school, not an alternative school. Because that’s how people view us. And we’re so much more than that.”
Point of pride: The small school raised about $600 for Pennies for Patients.
Hobbies: Sports nut. For senior project, organized and coached a softball team. Also enjoys playing hacky sack.
Sisterly love: Graduates this spring with two of her sisters, including a younger sister who is at Sequoia and an older sister who is in Edmonds Community College’s EdCAP program to earn a high school diploma. All three plan to continue at EdCC next fall and live together. Their oldest sister already graduated from the college.
Mentors: Looks up to three women at Sequoia, including teacher Becky Lanter (“She is probably the main reason I graduated”), Principal Sally Lancaster and counselor Amy Montanye, who inspired her career goal.
Heroes: “My heroes are my parents.” Her mom for pushing her to graduate, and her dad for working to put her through college.
Added perk: Everett Rotary awarded her a $2,000 scholarship.
Looking ahead: “I’m positive. I’ve never known what I’m going to do in my life. And now that I do, I feel completely confident.”
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