EDMONDS — Scriber Lake High School senior EmmaSariah Jensen is a certified nursing assistant and looks forward to continuing her studies to become a licensed nurse practitioner.
“EmmaSariah has never given up, in spite of obstacles outside of school — and always has a smile on her face and a kind word for all,” counselor Deborah Walters said.
Question: You took classes at Sno-Isle Tech Skills Center last year to become a certified nursing assistant. Tell us about that.
Answer: It was definitely worth it. Basically I’ll be the nurse’s assistant and work with the patients on daily things, like helping them get dressed. I’m not working yet. My family is bent on me focusing on school right now.
Q: You said watching your mom and two sisters enter related careers inspired you.
A: I watched my family do that and thought, “Yeah, that’s cool. I want to do that.” It will help me travel; I’d like to be a traveling nurse, eventually with Doctors Without Borders. But I’ll need to start smaller, like traveling around the States.
Q: What other classes are you taking?
A: I’m taking personal finance, I’m taking English, and I’m (a teacher’s assistant) for science class, helping students finish assignments and get caught up. I’ve loved civics and world history with Peter (Folta). It’s really fun. I like the whole history and politics aspects of things.
Q: You also were part of Scriber’s writing program and had a story published in “Behind Closed Doors” about a tough family issue. In a final thought, you write: “I want to close the door to the painful memories that hold me back. I want to open the door to myself and all the memories to come.” What was that writing experience like?
A: It was a little awkward at first. At first, it was going to be a personal story that I kept to myself. … When I did the book readings it was really difficult. My hands were shaking. Talking in front of crowds is not my thing, especially about something so personal.
Q: Do you have a mentor or someone who inspires you?
A: My family teacher, Richard Croxon. He’s like the sunshine, brightens my day. He encourages me, and gets mad at me if I miss school. He’s encouraged me to follow the sciences and be who I am.
Q: What is a family teacher?
A: At the very beginning of the day, for 15 minutes, we’re assigned to a teacher. It’s where we can all come together and share our problems — like a family. So you’re always with the same people all through the year.
Q: You come from a large family at home, too.
A: I have four sisters and one brother. I’m the younger-middle. I like it. The house is never quiet. You’re always fighting with someone. They’re great people to rely on and talk to. We do things together, binge-watch shows together.
Q: You’ve gone to Scriber, a small alternative learning environment, all four years.
A: I didn’t like the idea of a big school. … I have everything I need here. I definitely liked being here all four years. All my teachers are helping me do scholarships and FAFSA. They’re helping me stay on top of it, because otherwise I know I’d procrastinate. I have a bit of senioritis right now.
Q: In fact, you have enough credits that you could graduate early. But instead you’ll be staying on next quarter for the school’s INSTEP outdoor education program.
A: We basically go out in the wilderness and learn how to survive out there. We’ll do art projects, essay projects, field trips. I had a friend who did it and it was the best experience they’d ever done. We have two teachers who are retired but come back to the school just for this.
Q: What’s next for you after graduation?
A: I’m still deciding on where to do my prerequisites, either Edmonds Community College or Shoreline, and then I’ll probably go to Shoreline’s nursing program. I don’t know where I’m going to go after that. But that’s where I’m going to start.
Q: You have a good reason for not being in after-school activities.
A: It takes me about an hour and a half to take the buses home. But, it gives me my daily exercise.
Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of school?
A: I like video games — PS4 and Xbox. I like shooting games, mainly. They’re kind of my thing. “Borderlands” is probably my favorite game. I’ve probably played that one too many times. But I also like going on hikes.
Q: You say you try to stay positive and help others. It’s probably not easy all the time.
A: Some days kind of get you down. There are so many small things that can bring you down. But I try to stay positive. I think of the people I love and the things I love.
Melissa Slager: firstname.lastname@example.org, 425-339-3432.