DARRINGTON — Alfred Mugho, 17, is a senior at Darrington High School. He moved to Darrington from Mombasa, Kenya, and is interested in science and technology. He’s a student leader at the high school and keeps up with sports, academics and volunteer work while preparing for college and staying in touch with his family overseas. He made it to state in wrestling last year, is president of the Associated Student Body this year and volunteers on projects like fixing up Old School park and creating murals or signs.
Question: Where are you from?
Answer: Where I’m from is a long story. My parents are from Kenya. My dad moved over here for college and work, and then he moved back and met my mom. Then he moved back here again and now he’s in Nairobi, the capital (of Kenya). It’s just one of those amazing stories. He actually broke out from the line of poverty because he came from a really poor tribe in Kenya and he ended up having a Ph.D. I moved here in 2012 with my aunt and uncle after I attended the Aga Khan Academy of Mombasa. I lived with them for about a year and then they had to move back to Kenya, too, so I was looking for a place to live and my friend helped me out. He let me stay with his family. Or I should say, his family let me stay with him. I’ve been there ever since and I’ve been doing great. I love it.
Q: What made you decide you wanted to stay here in Darrington?
A: Well, first off I love how it’s a small school, a small community. Everything is close-knit. And I love the environment. I love the surrounding area. It’s really the first place I came to when I got here and that always kind of gave it a special meaning to me. Plus I’ve made so many great friends.
Q: Were you born in Kenya?
A: I was born in Atlanta, Georgia. I’ve lived in Florida, too. That’s where my sister was born. I’ve lived all over.
Q: Are you able to stay in touch with you family very often?
A: I talk to my family over social media and stuff and they call me about once a week. My sister actually recently moved here, too. She’s in ninth grade. My dad came to visit in November. It was his first time back in 12 years. He came to visit my host family because he’d never met any of my friends. He visited the school and everyone around town because we’re a small community. Everyone was really excited to meet him. I try to keep in touch with my family but it’s hard sometimes … I used to go (to Kenya) every summer after school. I didn’t go last summer because it’s so expensive. It’s a few thousand dollars for a couple months. This was the first time I saw my dad in a year and a half, so it was nice. He won’t be able to make it to my graduation, probably. I mean, maybe he can, but it’s not likely. But that’s OK. There will be positive times in the future for him to see.
Q: What are your favorite subjects in school?
A: I really love civics. I love knowing about the world and stuff. And I enjoy math and I love science. Science by far is my favorite. Science and technology.
Q: What is it about science and technology that appeals to you?
A: I’ve always been really into cars. I always dreamed of growing up to be a car designer or something. That stemmed into me really enjoying technology in general. I love computers. I love understanding and knowing how things work and being creative.
Q: Do you plan to go to college?
A: I’ve applied to the University of Washington, the University of Washington-Bothell and I plan to apply to Western Washington, too. I’m thinking about studying computer management information systems or possibly mechanical or civil engineering. That’s just for my major. For my minor I’m planning on having business or marketing or something that complements it.
Q: What’s your goal after school?
A: My ideas have changed a lot over the last two year. My ultimate goal is just to change the world in some positive way, to make an impact on it, and to give back to all those people who have given to me. So my community here in Darrington, my family that’s done so much for me, my friends who have helped me out with places to stay. My goal is just to improve the world and improve the state of humanity, I guess, in whatever way I might do that. Maybe one day I’ll make a car that solves the fuel crisis. Somehow, I want to do something good for the world.
Kari Bray: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org.