Boeing and The Seattle Seahawks connecting community organizations that support youth throughout the Northwest. For more information about the Legion of Youth click here.

TAF Academy, Kent

http://tafacademy.techaccess.org/

Established in 2008, TAF Academy is a 6th-12th grade STEM-focused neighborhood public school that is co-managed by Federal Way Public Schools and Technology Access Foundation (TAF). We provide a rigorous and relevant learning environment rooted in project-based learning practices for todayís college-bound student. There are no barriers to entry or retention. Our small, public school setting reflects what researchers know about small schoolsóthat they tend to positively impact student achievement, behavior and attendance. In just eight years of operation, TAF Academy has garnered attention on both district and national levels. We have won numerous state and national awards for excellence and innovation. In fact, 2016 marks the fifth year in a row of receiving the School of Distinction Award for our continuous and sustained improvement in English Language Arts and Math over a five-year period.

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William, Federal Way

TAF Academy

My favorite thing about myself is that I am athletic. I played baseball for 9 years and then I stopped in 8th grade. I have been playing football for about 7 years and I am still playing. I am trying to be a big football and play in the NFL. I am a hard worker meaning I wonít give up if I believe I can achieve it.

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William, Federal Way

TAF Academy

Right now I am a quarterback for Thomas Jefferson High School and I wish to continue playing football. I look up to Russell Wilson because he is a leader. He is one of the greatest quarterbacks I have ever seen and I hope to be like him one day.

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William, Federal Way

TAF Academy

The biggest challenge I have overcome was when my cousins moved to Texas. It has been different since they have moved to college because they are family. I used to see them all the time. I was the one who taught my cousins a lot about how to play football and we had a lot of fun doing it. I canít really have the kind of fun that I had with them with anyone else. But as the days go on I go to football practice and try and help other people become better.

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Vadim, Federal Way

TAF Academy

The favorite thing about myself is that I have determination and I do my best to get better at something I want to be better at. Once I set my mind to something, I make sure it happens sooner or later. I am committed to accomplishing my goal. I keep looking for more knowledge.

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Vadim, Federal Way

TAF Academy

I look up to a NBA player named Stephen Curry who is on the Golden State Warriors. I look up to him because he is a Christian and how far he got in life with the history that he has. He is a humble player and he has taught me things I know and do today.

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Vadim, Federal Way

TAF Academy

I will make a better place for the future generation by always being positive and encouraging them to do better in school. I will try and be a great role model to them to inspire them to follow their dreams and make a great future.

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Toluwanimi, Baltimore, MD

TAF Academy

My biggest challenge was becoming me growing up, I would let people influence me too much. There was time a when I got to ninth grade that I came to terms with myself.

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Toluwanimi, Baltimore, MD

TAF Academy

There are few people that I look up to Bo Burnham because even with all the fame he has he's very humble. My cousin DJ because he was the one to teach about true friendship and family. Lastly, Ed Sheeran because he's humble person who tries his best with everything.

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Toluwanimi, Baltimore, MD

TAF Academy

I want to there to be more understanding involving certain topics that might come up for the younger generations so that even if I don't agree with the topic I have knowledge behind why.

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Shalan, Des Moines

TAF Academy

My 3-year-old little sister makes me laugh the most because she loves me and I love her and we have a great relationship. She makes me smile every time I see her.

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Shalan, Des Moines

TAF Academy

I look up to Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks. I look up to him because despite his size and being the shortest quarterback in the N.F.L. (5í11) he pursued his dream and didnít let the people that doubted him get to him and mess up his confidence. Being a short kid myself it's hard for people to think that I can do what a kid with average or over average height can do.

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Shalan, Des Moines

TAF Academy

When I get older I want to get drafted into the NFL and I want to show people who want to be an athlete to pursue their dream and not let anyone talk you out of it. There will always be people who try to bring you down but never let them.

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Jorge, Kent

TAF Academy

Messi, Neymar Jr and lastly Luis Suarez. Those players I look up to because,They play for my favorite soccer team ďFC BarcelonaĒ. Those players are always breaking new records and they always seem to do the impossible at soccer.

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Jorge, Kent

TAF Academy

I always have looked up to my personal favorite players at soccer Lionel Messi,Neymar Jr and lastly Luis Suarez.Those players I look up to because,They play for my favorite soccer team ďFC BarcelonaĒ. Those players are always breaking new records and they always seem to do the impossible at soccer.

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Jorge, Kent

TAF Academy

I will always want to help the world by always making sure everyone feels in.The reason I chose this topic is because I know how it feels like when everybody is playing a game and the kids just leave someone behind and then you are left out.I also have passion for soccer.Soccer has always been a sport that I love because,the game is just so intence you donít want to stop.

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Hope, Niota, TN

TAF Academy

My family and friends make me laugh and smile the most. They are always there for me to lean on when I need support and they always make sure that I am as happy as I can be.

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Hope, Niota, TN

TAF Academy

I like my competitive spirit because it makes me push myself to do better. I always strive to do the best I can. Having a competitive spirit gives me confidence and strength, while having great sportsmanship at the same time.

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Hope, Niota, TN

TAF Academy

In order to make the world a better place, I plan to put myself out there. I love to join programs that cover topics such as promoting women in STEM and I would hopefully like to make a program like that for younger children when I am older. I also plan to continue volunteering.

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Helena, Federal Way

TAF Academy

My favorite thing about myself is my perseverance to pursue my goals and my passion for do what I love.

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Helena, Federal Way

TAF Academy

Iím going to make the world a better place by dedicating my life to research in the medical field. Hopefully one day I can work with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to find cures for cancer.

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Helena, Federal Way

TAF Academy

Moving to the United States presented me some of my hardest challenges, and although difficult, that did not stop me from pursuing my goals.

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Greggery, Seattle

TAF Academy

I look up to Michael Jordan he was a NBA Player. He is an inspiration because he has been in the NBA and I want to be in the league. He has his own shoe brand and he was one of the greatest.

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Greggery, Seattle

TAF Academy

I will set an example for the younger kids by following rules and doing my work so they can know what to do when they get older.

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Greggery, Seattle

TAF Academy

I have overcome many but one that stands out is at the end of my 8th grade. I had a very low F in math and I didn't have much time but I pushed through made up tests, assignments, and everything to get that to a C to pass.

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Feliciana, Federal Way

TAF Academy

I love how caring I am for other people. It makes me feel good when people thank me for helping them out with small things like greeting them as well as checking on how they are.

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Feliciana, Federal Way

TAF Academy

I find people who express themselves through their clothing very inspiring, such as Lady Gaga. She is always shocking people from left to right not caring about what they think about her. Even if they do find her weird or crazy, she doesnít stop her from doing what she does best. Instead she moves on and continues doing what she loves.

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Feliciana, Federal Way

TAF Academy

Iím going to stand up for what I believe in and make sure my voice is heard. Everyone has their own and special ideas, and many of these people never speak up. I want the future generations to know how much of an impact they have on the world and what they can do what they want if they are focused on it.

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Eden, Kent

TAF Academy

The person who makes me laugh is my grandpa. He is very funny and makes me and my little sister laugh all the time.

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Eden, Kent

TAF Academy

I want to change the world by stopping all pollution.

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Eden, Kent

TAF Academy

The biggest obstacle I have been through was when I was bullied in 2nd grade and 3rd because of the way I look.

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David, Seattle

TAF Academy

I look up to my girlfriend and uncle. I look up to my girlfriend because she is supportive and she always encourages me to do better. I look up to my uncle because he came to the U.S with nothing and now he has his own roofing company.

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David, Seattle

TAF Academy

My favorite thing about myself is that I can always get along with almost everyone and I have a lot of friends.

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David, Seattle

TAF Academy

I am going to change the world by making it a better place to be at. For example I will have a positive attitude that I will pass to others and make the world a happier place.

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Crystal, Federal Way

TAF Academy

One of my best personality traits is I am very determined. I think I can do anything that I set my mind to and I have the mindset that any problem has a solution. I like how I never give up even in the toughest situations. I like how self-sufficient I am. I always find my own way. I am a problem solver. At the end of the day I can deal with anything. But this trait also has a downside, I can be very stubborn at times and be hard to work with.

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Crystal, Federal Way

TAF Academy

I want to become ceramic and materials engineer so that I can to invent something that allows people in developing countries to have access the internet so that they can learn more. I think knowledge is the most powerful weapon a person can have, itís important for a person to have some sort of education it makes our future generations better prepared for life. Therefore making the world a better place for future generations.

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Crystal, Federal Way

TAF Academy

My cousin Jennifer has been my idol ever since I was 7. She taught me persevere through the hard times. She is my idol because she had to overcome many obstacles in order to achieve her goals . Even though she lost her dad this didnít stop her from achieving her goals she persevered through it and she became the first person in our family to ever graduate . She studied at the University of Washington for 4 years and recently she has transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles to complete her goal of becoming a doctor.

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Chinyere, Auburn

TAF Academy

Stopping the hate can start with me, by being a happy and kind person to everyone. What I would also l do is to have every kid go to a good school and get a good education. If you get proper education you can do anything you want to do.

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Chinyere, Auburn

TAF Academy

The biggest challenge that I have overcame is definitely changing schools for the second time, and bullies. Itís hard to start a new school again, and trying to make new friends. When you get bullied it can really pull your happy spirit. Bullying for me started when other people make fun of how I looked and posted mean things about me. But when you have the loving support of your family the things that people say donít matter anymore. I am so happy at my new school, because I have new amazing friends that donít hate or judge me for who I am and what I look like.

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Chinyere, Auburn

TAF Academy

I look up to make amazing mom and Misty Copeland. My mom is the kind of person that will always have your back. If I try something new she will support me. My mom can make me keep trying even if I donít succeed the first time. Also my mom works really hard and even if it gets tough she will keep pushing herself. My mom is my hero. Misty Copeland is my all time favorite ballerina she as the best technique ever. It is very hard to do ballet because ballet hurts. Misty Copeland is always pushing herself and I want to do the same.

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Camron, Seattle

TAF Academy

I want to be a role model to people around the world I want to be an actor or play in the NBA.

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Camron, Seattle

TAF Academy

I have been through things in life, setbacks, but I never give up.

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Camron, Seattle

TAF Academy

I look up to NBA star Damian Lillard.

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Camelia, Federal Way

TAF Academy

I want to teach people younger than me how to help out the elderly. I want to show future generations how to help the elderly with things like carrying groceries, reaching things for them, reminding them about things they have to do, and more.

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Camelia, Federal Way

TAF Academy

I look up to my mom because she is a very smart and independent woman who speaks up when needed.

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Camelia, Federal Way

TAF Academy

My favorite thing about myself is that I am creative. I like to build things, make cards, and sew things with my grandma.

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Brianna, Kent

TAF Academy

I am going to help change the world by making less pollution so that people won't be sick most of the time.

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Brianna, Kent

TAF Academy

I look up yo my mom,a YouTube channel by Jessica @Aphmau, and my sisters because they inspire me and say what they had to go through when they where young and what they didnít have.

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Brianna, Kent

TAF Academy

The biggest challenge would be that Iím shy most of the time and when a teacher calls on me if Iím not raising my hand I get scared most of the time.

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Ashley, Kent

TAF Academy

The biggest obstacle I have been challenged with is not believing in myself and giving up easily. I used to just to give up easily and I am still working on it and have worked hard on gaining my confidence so I feel like I can do just about anything I set my mind to.

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Ashley, Kent

TAF Academy

I hope to become a graphic design and create a nonprofit that offers kids all around the world the opportunity to pursue a career with technology.

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Ashley, Kent

TAF Academy

I look up to my mom because she is a hard worker and does not give up until she has given her 100% she also inspires me to try my hardest and not to give up on things I believe in.

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Ariani, Federal Way

TAF Academy

I have always believed in the quote that states "Do something today that will change the world tomorrow.Ē I think even a small step can help those in the future. I also strongly believe in freedom and community to stand for one another. We each have our own voices its time for us to use them. Let's make our own history alone. Together. United.

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Ariani, Federal Way

TAF Academy

I look up to my sister because she has always been there for me and helped me in situations I needed help with. Her parents divorced at age 1 and she has a tough time expressing her feelings but from her I learned to protect myself and others. She taught me how to be brave and stay strong. How to stand on your feet no matter how hard the world pushes you down. You always rise back up.

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Ariani, Federal Way

TAF Academy

I like how I'm positive. Because I mean if you ask my friends I am extremely weird in a good way. Because I'm my own unique self. I love to make people laugh and make them feel better. I am very ambitious as well. For my friends or family or myself.

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Anthony, Auburn

TAF Academy

I am going to change the world by first helping people because big things can be done from the small pieces.

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Anthony, Auburn

TAF Academy

My brother, sister and cousins because whenever we play games it's like an adventure with them and they're funny in different ways.

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Anthony, Auburn

TAF Academy

I look up to my mother and father because one of the things they taught me is what is right and wrong. I also look up to them because they are wise.

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Anna, Federal Way

TAF Academy

I want to inspire people to chase their dreams and to always work hard because you have to put in the effort to achieve you goal and no goal is too big for you to achieve. I mainly want to inspire kids and have them be inspired to do what they want to do while gaining an education.

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Anna, Federal Way

TAF Academy

I look up to Misty Copeland because she never gave up on her dream to become a professional ballet dancer and succeeded in that goal as she became the first African American ballet dancer at her company which broke boundaries.

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Anna, Federal Way

TAF Academy

My friends make me laugh because they are very humorous people and they make lots of jokes which make me laugh.

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Andres, Seattle

TAF Academy

My biggest challenge has been knowing what I want for myself, and how I am going to get there. I have to know and show the steps it will take to get there and the sacrifices from personal life to become what I always wanted to be.

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Andres, Seattle

TAF Academy

I look up to my parents because they have done everything in their power to give me a life they did not get to live growing up. They are the people I want to be when I grow up, having the same mentality and they are people that always keep me going.

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Andres, Seattle

TAF Academy

I am a Hispanic male, and a lot of us are seen to be reckless people. But I to show the world that not everyone is the same, and change the way we look at people. Coming from a Hispanic background, life has not come easily to most families and I think people should overlook that so I want to change that.

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Ameera, Central District

TAF Academy

To change the world, I want to start by helping people and mentoring people in situations I have been in myself.

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Ameera, Central District

TAF Academy

My uncle Meraf makes me laugh the most because he is funny and he always makes a joke. In any situation he knows how to make everyone laugh.

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Ameera, Central District

TAF Academy

The biggest challenge/obstacle Iíve overcome is learning to balance school work, home life and extra activities I participate in.

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Aditi, Federal Way

TAF Academy

I think my favorite thing about myself is that I'm really open to anything. I almost never say no and I try my best to make everyone feel at home.

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Aditi, Federal Way

TAF Academy

I'm trying to figure out how to become an even better leader and help the people around me and the enviroment and buildings by using more sustainable practices and endorsing and supporting people and ideas.

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Aditi, Federal Way

TAF Academy

A person I look up too is Mr.Gabriel Diaz, he's a teacher who came into our lives in our 8th grade year and came in too teach us about engineering. But he gave us more than that. I know that he supports our dreams: ranging from using a cnc machine for the first time, getting us to meet new and important people and helping us apply our own dreams and passions in his classroom.†

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Adam, Kent

TAF Academy

One thing I would help change is helping our environment from less pollution that's being released into the water and air. I would like to help change the world by switching street lamp posts powered by solar panels since most our daily electricity is made by burning fossil fuels, coal, and oil. After all it makes it worse for our globe.

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Adam, Kent

TAF Academy

My favorite thing about myself is that I have more confidence in school and this is very important to me because education is very important to succeed in life.

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Adam, Kent

TAF Academy

One person who make me laugh is my mom she is so funny . She is that kind of person that when I am feeling really down she knows how to make me laugh with her jokes. She even dances silly while cooking so we all her children have a good laugh.

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Summer Search, Seattle

https://www.summersearch.org/seattle

Today, Summer Search has a national presence, working with young people in seven U.S. citiesóBoston, New York City, Philadelphia, North Bay San Francisco, San Francisco, Seattle, Silicon Valley. In 2015 we are delighted to be celebrating our 25th Anniversary. Our comprehensive program now spans a crucial seven to nine year period, giving high school students what they need to develop the personal and practical skills to become college-educated leaders who give back to their families and communities.

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Vanessa, SeaTac

Summer Search

I look up to both of my parents because both of them experienced a rough childhood. They used their upbringing to teach us how to not make the same mistakes.

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Vanessa, SeaTac

Summer Search

I am going to change the world to make it a better place by helping students. I want to be a mentor for them and advise them.

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Vanessa, SeaTac

Summer Search

The biggest challenge I have faced is balancing being the oldest of 3 children, school, extra-curricular activities, and friends.

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Thuy, SeaTac

Summer Search

Having someone that you can trust with your life and being able to fully express who you are spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally is the type of person that makes me smile the most.

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Thuy, SeaTac

Summer Search

My favorite thing about myself is that I smile and laugh at everything even though I donít notice it. I love putting out positive vibes.

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Thuy, SeaTac

Summer Search

Seeing love and kindness among people makes me smile the most because it makes me realize that Ďbright lightí still exists in our Ďdarkí world.

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Siang, Tukwila

Summer Search

My favorite thing about myself is my dedication and determination to always do the right thing.

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Siang, Tukwila

Summer Search

I am going to change the world and make it a better place for future generations by spreading love, kindness, and laughter everywhere I go.

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Siang, Tukwila

Summer Search

The biggest challenge I have overcome is coming to America and adapting to the new language, culture and lifestyle.

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Rodas, White Center

Summer Search

I look up to my grandma because she is the most powerful and strong woman I know. She had 9 kids and went through a lot of adversity but she never showed it.

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Rodas, White Center

Summer Search

By staying focused, working hard and getting good grades I will help change the world. If I am successful I will become a nurse and can help people.

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Rodas, White Center

Summer Search

The biggest challenge for me is living without my parents. They passed away when I was 10 so I moved here from Ethiopia to live with my aunt and uncle.

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Phiroon, Seattle

Summer Search

My favorite thing about myself is my ability to make new friends and my ability to motivate people.

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Phiroon, Seattle

Summer Search

The biggest challenge that I have overcome would be learning to speak English.

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Phiroon, Seattle

Summer Search

I look up to my big sister and my parents because they work harder than anyone I know and they were here for me when I needed them the most.

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Phiroon, Seattle

Summer Search

Where I come from it is hard to get electricity, so my plan is to go to college and get the necessary knowledge to build clean energy sources.

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McKena, Auburn

Summer Search

My litter sister makes me laugh the most out of everyone I know. She can brighten up any bad day with the goofy stuff she does. Lyli has this contagious laugh, once she laughs it makes me laugh and we will laugh back at each other.

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McKena, Auburn

Summer Search

A celebrity I look up to is Demi Lovato. She has fought through many mental challenges and her songs are relatable. She is a fighter and turned all of those negative things into positives. She is not afraid to be herself and dress how she wants.

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McKena, Auburn

Summer Search

I want to become a counselor or a teacher so I can help teenagers the same way they have influenced me and changed my life. I want to help people change for the better and better themselves. I used to participate in a program called Datewise that brought awareness to dating violence and I want to join again.

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Madison, Seattle

Summer Search

My favorite thing about myself is that I enjoy learning. I understand that I donít know everything about life and education so school is important.

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Madison, Seattle

Summer Search

I look up to my mom because she is the most resilient person I know. She faces adversity with a smile. I hope I can grow up to be like her.

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Madison, Seattle

Summer Search

I want to give back to my community by improving schools. Each student should have the opportunity to attend a safe and healthy school. I want to make the thought of attending college or higher education less like a distant dream and more like a concrete reality for students like myself. With hard work and determination anything is possible.

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Kalkan, Yemen

Summer Search

My favorite thing about myself is that I work hard to get what I want and I thrive to exceed people's expectations of me. The other thing I am so proud of myself for is that I am a multi-sport athlete that has dreams that nobody would think of for me.

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Kalkan, Yemen

Summer Search

The people that I look up to are mostly people who have had a big influence in my life like my Summer Search councelors and my parents. These people influence me to think of myself and others and they taught me the importance of helping out in the world.

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Kalkan, Yemen

Summer Search

I understand that the ďworldĒ is a grand place but one way I can change the world is starting small and working my way up. One way this can happen is starting with my community and going off from that. I can also start with helping myself before helping others

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Khatami, Vietnam

Summer Search

I strive to always be optimistic and do my best. I always look for the best in each person and try seeing them as an individual with something to bring to the world. I also learned that I am a determined person after my Summer Search bike trip.

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Khatami, Vietnam

Summer Search

I will always look up to my teachers. School will always be my second home. For everything they taught me that my parents could not, I am forever grateful. They put up with me, they care and are understanding. This is why I still stay in touch with my past teachers.

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Khatami, Vietnam

Summer Search

My goal is to push forward healthy eating and nutrition for younger generations. I am participating in an internship where I can help kids be the healthiest they can be.

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Karishama, Seattle

Summer Search

My favorite thing about myself is my networking skills. I love to talk and interact with everyone!

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Karishama, Seattle

Summer Search

I will make the world a better place by listening and interacting with people. I feel like many times people with power assume they know what everyone needs.

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Karishama, Seattle

Summer Search

My Summer Search bike trip in the San Juan Islands was a big challenge for me. The hills on the ride were like other obstacles I faced in life and overcame.

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Kamal, Jhapa, Nepal

Summer Search

I like helping a lot, whether it be with math or other things I know. This is my favorite thing about myself.

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Kamal, Jhapa, Nepal

Summer Search

I look up to my teachers a lot because they have taught me so much throughout my life. My math teacher in Nepal made math look easy and is one of the reasons I fell in love with math when I was younger.

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Kamal, Jhapa, Nepal

Summer Search

When I first came to the US in 2012, I could not understand a lot of English. Overcoming this hurdle took a lot of effort but I am now able to understand and speak the language very well.

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Josephine, Fife

Summer Search

I look up to my parents because they see beyond themselves and want me to have a better life. They want to make sure I am happy and that the world is a better place for me.

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Josephine, Fife

Summer Search

My favorite thing about myself is my ability to help others and be independent. My confidence and self-appreciation make me who I am.

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Josephine, Fife

Summer Search

I enjoy motivating people to challenge themselves. I love talking to people and giving advice. Because of this I would like to become a lawyer to help people.

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Ida, Tukwila

Summer Search

My mom, dad and sister make me smile because I know that they always believe in me!

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Ida, Tukwila

Summer Search

I look up to my teachers because they all want to see me successful, smart and strong. I want to be a teacher one day so I can do the same thing.

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Ida, Tukwila

Summer Search

I can encourage others to become a leader in the community and take their education seriously.

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Hrang, Tukwila

Summer Search

I look up to my sister because she has overcome many obstacles. She was the first person in my family to attend college and I am proud and astonished that she got in to the University of Washington.

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Hrang, Tukwila

Summer Search

I think that it is important for us to strengthen our connection with others around the world. A way I want to help accomplish this is to make airplanes safe and secure so people can travel easily. My goal is to become a mechanic or engineer for Boeing so I can build airplanes.

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Hrang, Tukwila

Summer Search

Coming to the United States was a big challenge for me. I moved from Burma to Malaysia then finally to the US. I did not speak any English when I arrived.

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Heidi, Seattle

Summer Search

My favorite thing about myself is that I am a sensitive person. I used to hate this about myself but I have come to realize all of the positive traits it gives me. Being a sensitive person means I am very empathetic and a great listener which led to more people trusting me.

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Heidi, Seattle

Summer Search

I look up to Simone Biles, the Olympic gold medalist gymnast. I have been doing gymnastics since my freshman year and am inspired by her success.

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Heidi, Seattle

Summer Search

I have a passion for science and I plan to major in Bio-Med Neurology. Hopefully one day I will have a career treating diseases in the nervous system.

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Emma, Renton

Summer Search

I look up to my mom because she has taught me to love others, to give to others selflessly, and to make my own path to success.

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Emma, Renton

Summer Search

I have a passion for helping others so I want to become a pediatrician so I can help children in need. I want to give others all that I am able to.

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Emma, Renton

Summer Search

Bicycling 375 miles around Washington without seeing my family for two weeks was a big challenge for me. I learned to believe in myself and how to be more self-reliant through this experience.

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Ekua, SeaTac

Summer Search

I love my drive to work hard and do well so I can grow. I also am proud of my position as a student representative for the school district and my involvement in other extracurricular activities.

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Ekua, SeaTac

Summer Search

I look up to my older sisters who are positive role models and set good examples for me. They encourage me to work hard and love myself.

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Ekua, SeaTac

Summer Search

Finding my identity has been a big challenge for me. I am still learning to love myself for who I am. Middle school was an especially difficult time for me but my family supported me through it. I also had the opportunity to visit Ghana in 8th grade which helped me find my identity.

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Dennise, Burien

Summer Search

I am willing to get out of my comfort zone. I am a first generation American and joined the Future Business Leaders of America to challenge myself.

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Dennise, Burien

Summer Search

I look up to my mom a lot because like many parents she has struggles but she has always been there for me and given me and my sister what we need.

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Dennise, Burien

Summer Search

The biggest obstacle that I have overcome is going on my first Summer Search trip. I had never been backpacking before and I went to the Cascade Mountains with new people.

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Dara, Tukwila

Summer Search

My little sister always makes me smile when my day isnít going well. She may only be two years old but I love her more than anything.

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Dara, Tukwila

Summer Search

I am always there when someone is in need. If a friend needs someone to talk to, I will be there. I am always a shoulder to cry on.

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Dara, Tukwila

Summer Search

I look up to my mother because she is one of the strongest women in my life.

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Bridget, Los Angeles

Summer Search

What always makes me smile is other people smiling and enjoying themselves. I love when people are happy.

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Bridget, Los Angeles

Summer Search

I am an outgoing person- I can talk to new people easily even though I do sometimes get nervous and timid. Eventually I will end up having a great conversation with the new person.

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Bridget, Los Angeles

Summer Search

I look up to my mom because she is a dedicated mother and worker. Iíve seen her struggle in many ways but Iím proud to say that she worked hard to provide for me. I hope to be as strong as her.

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Bine, Kiranť, Mali

Summer Search

My strength inside and out is my favorite thing about myself. I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. My goal is to attend the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles to become a fashion designer.

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Bine, Kiranť, Mali

Summer Search

I look up to my mother because she is a nice person who puts herself second to her family. I havenít seen my mom in 5 years because she is still in Mali but she hopes to move here soon.

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Bine, Kiranť, Mali

Summer Search

My biggest challenge is controlling my temper. I havenít completely overcome it but I am working on it and I am getting much better.

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Aracely, Seattle

Summer Search

My favorite thing about myself is my determination. When I set a goal for myself I will not stop until I reach it. I learned this about myself by running long distance. At first I could not run a lap around the track and now I run 3 miles every day.

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Aracely, Seattle

Summer Search

I plan to become a role model for other minority students by showing them that with hard work and motivation they can do whatever they want, even if everyone says they canít!

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Aracely, Seattle

Summer Search

My biggest challenge is being the oldest child in my family, many people depend on me including my parents and siblings. I was always expected to help and do well in school so that I set an example for my younger brother.

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Angel, Renton

Summer Search

I feel that I am a leader of the people and a person who cares deeply about our social issues and our nation's economic struggle and marginalization. I want to become a leader my community and grow as a leader. I want to be a Philanthropist to our impoverished communities.

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Angel, Renton

Summer Search

My favorite thing about myself is my built in enthusiasm to take on challenges and my ability to reflect and think after a challenge or a failure. I feel that too many people are faced by challenges and are afraid to fail but I believe that if you donít attempt then you assure your chance of not being rewarded or of achieving something.

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Angel, Renton

Summer Search

I feel that one of the obstacles that I have overcome is being lost. I donít mean physically lost but mentally. While growing up, going to school, working, doing sports, balancing school work and trying to have time to spend time with those you love is hard. I am fortunate enough that most of my troubles are ones that I can control and I am grateful for that.

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Andrew, Los Angeles

Summer Search

Although I may doubt myself at times, I have a unique way of thinking. I always bring bright creative ideas to the table every time I have to collaborate in class or work in group. I also think I am a great problem solver.

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Andrew, Los Angeles

Summer Search

Someone that I look up to is my mother she has raised all 6 of us very well without our fathers. Not many mothers or fathers have the strength and patience to be able to do this. I am fortunate to have a mother full of dedication, love and a lot more positive traits.

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Andrew, Los Angeles

Summer Search

I am going to share my bright positive problem solving ideas about many topics and issues in order to better this world we live in.

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Alfredo, Seattle

Summer Search

I look up to my parents because they work so hard for me so that I can have a better future.

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Alfredo, Seattle

Summer Search

My favorite thing about myself is my ability to power though and persevere through tough moments. For my Summer Search trip I went on a long bike ride around Western Washington that was physically exhausting but I made it.

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Alfredo, Seattle

Summer Search

The biggest challenge I have overcome is the awkwardness with students at my high school because they are different from me culturally.

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Special Olympics WA, Seattle

http://www.specialolympicswashington.org/sowa/

Special Olympics Washington provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.

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Veronica, Lakewood

Special Olympics WA

My mom makes me smile the most when she makes a joke. When Mrs. Berge talks about stinking things.

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Veronica, Lakewood

Special Olympics WA

I have autism and epilepsy. Even with these, I still can play sports with friends at school.

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Veronica, Lakewood

Special Olympics WA

My favorite thing about myself is that I try and play lots of different sports.

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Travis, Gig Harbor

Special Olympics WA

Kind people make me smile because that is what we are supposed to be to others.

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Travis, Gig Harbor

Special Olympics WA

I am in my 2nd year of leadership class at school. As a leader I want to show others how to do things the Ďrightí way, not the Ďwrongí way. I also want to be able to help people understand what autism is, and support research so people with Autism get better treatment at professional residential treatment facilities.

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Travis, Gig Harbor

Special Olympics WA

I have Autism. My parents and I have worked very hard to help me do the same things other kids do. This includes going to school, ports, church, youth group and other school activities.

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Terri, Tacoma

Special Olympics WA

My dad makes me laugh because he is always acting goofy and doing silly things. Adam Sandler also makes me laugh because he is so very funny.

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Terri, Tacoma

Special Olympics WA

I look up to my dad because he has always been there for me no matter what, during the good times and the bad times, and always finds a way to help me no matter what. Even though he has had some of his own obstacles to overcome.

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Terri, Tacoma

Special Olympics WA

My favorite thing about myself is that I am always friendly to everyone I meet even when they may not be. Also that I always try to be happy no matter what is going on. Also one of my most favorite things about myself is that despite my learning disability I have become the 2016-2017 Senior Class Vice President for Franklin Pierce High School.

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Skye, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

My favorite thing about myself is that I am friendly and social.

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Skye, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

I am going to change the world to make it a better place with smiles and big hugs.

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Skye, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

My favorite thing about myself is that I am friendly and social.

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Sean, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

My mom makes me smile the most.

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Sean, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

My biggest challenge has been dealing with Autism.

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Sean, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

I will make the world a better place for future generations by cleaning it up and recycling more.

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Robert, Port Orchard

Special Olympics WA

My little brother and older sister make me laugh because they are very funny.

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Robert, Port Orchard

Special Olympics WA

I look up to my parents and older sister because they set a good example for me.

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Robert, Port Orchard

Special Olympics WA

I will change the world to make it a better place for future generations by being a role model for kids.

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Nevin, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

I laugh a lot! My best friend, John Calvert, makes me laugh the most. Iíve known him since 7th grade. I also like the movies, Zootopia & Finding Dory. I think theyíre very funny.

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Nevin, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

Iím nice to everybody. Iíve been bullied, but I donít bully back, no matter what other people say or do. When people say mean things to me, I never talk back to them. I hope I never change.

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Nevin, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

When I was 2 years old I had brain surgery. I couldnít walk or talk. My mom was so happy when I finally started talking again. Now I talk a lot, & I can run more than a mile! This year I won two third place bronze medals at the state track meet Ė one in the Softball Throw & one in the 200 Meter Dash!

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Maia, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

The person who makes me laugh the most is my mom. She has a great sense of humor and always tries to put a smile on my face. With her positive attitude and a big smile, itís almost impossible to not be happy and cheerful when I am with her.

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Maia, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

My favorite thing about myself is that I am always happy, always have a positive attitude, and how I am always trying to help other people.

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Maia, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

I am going to make the world a better place for future generations by helping others in my community one step at a time. I will teach others to become involved and to help as well.

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Liam, Carbonado

Special Olympics WA

My favorite thing about myself is that I inspire and touch people with my kindness. Also that I never give up until the job is done.

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Liam, Carbonado

Special Olympics WA

I look up to my dad because I love his work ethic and self-determination. I respect his overall personality and how he goes about his life, the same way he works- "Don't quit"

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Liam, Carbonado

Special Olympics WA

I have overcome a challenging obstacle. I had 6 months of treatment for my eating disorder, starting with spending about a month at Seattle Childrens Hospital, then 4 months of inpatient care and last an intensive out patient program.

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Joshua, Puyallup

Special Olympics WA

My friends make me laugh and smile the most because we love to goof around and tell jokes.

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Joshua, Puyallup

Special Olympics WA

Keaton, my brother, is who I look up to most. He is a soldier and I like how he fights for our country.

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Joshua, Puyallup

Special Olympics WA

I am going to change the world by helping disabled kids get better and achieve their goals.

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Jeremiah, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

My favorite things to do are read books and draw.

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Jeremiah, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

Seeing others happy makes me smile the most.

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Jeremiah, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

Just because you are different, doesnít mean you canít excel to greatness.

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Isaiah, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

I get excited doing new stuff. Last year, I tried basketball for the first time. It was my ďnew thingĒ. I now love playing basketball and am on the team. Iíd love to be an NBA basketball player. Iím pretty athletic. I like that about myself.

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Isaiah, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

I would like to make the world a safer place to grow up in for me & my friends. Iím just not sure how to do it.

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Isaiah, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

I really look up to my friend, Sameh. We respect each other & have been friends since kindergarten. Weíre like two peas in a pod. Heís a year ahead of me so I didnít see him much in my 8th grade year, but now weíre back in the same school. Thatís good.

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Hannah T, Hoquiam

Special Olympics WA

My friends and family make me laugh and smile the most. I love being around people that support me and treat me like a typical kid.

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Hannah T, Hoquiam

Special Olympics WA

I want to help people learn that people with disabilities can still do things. They might just need a little help. I also want to help other kids with strokes be independent.

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Hannah T, Hoquiam

Special Olympics WA

My biggest challenge has been constantly having people think I am not capable of doing things to restricting me from trying because I only have one hand to use. I can do anything!

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Hannah R, Olympia

Special Olympics WA

I look up to my coach, Kim, because she is helpful and nice.

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Hannah R, Olympia

Special Olympics WA

My favorite thing about myself is that I am nice and always smiling. I care about people and animals.

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Hannah R, Olympia

Special Olympics WA

I am going to make the world a better place by smiling and being nice.

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Hannah K, Spanaway

Special Olympics WA

I have a lot of compassion for others. I enjoy helping people- older people, people with disabilities, and my peers. I want to work with people who need my help.

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Hannah K, Spanaway

Special Olympics WA

First of all, I look up to my family. They have helped me find the best in me. Then I hope to be like Shakira and Russell Wilson because they give back. They are always helping others and I want to help others too.

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Hannah K, Spanaway

Special Olympics WA

My teacher, Miss Arceneaux, is helping me overcome some challenges in sports and is making me a better athlete by building my confidence.

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Elias, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

My family makes me smile and laugh the most because we always like to goof around, make each other happy, tell jokes and we always like to be together. Another reason my family makes me smile the most is because I realize that I am very lucky to have a loving and caring family.

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Elias, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

I look up to Cristiano Ronaldo, a famous soccer player who plays for Real Madrid. I look up to him not just because he is a successful athlete, but because he donates thousands of dollars to children in need around the world. When I grow up I want to be like him and help children in need.

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Elias, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

I want to get rid of the hate people have towards other ethnicities, races, religions and cultures. I want everyone to feel equal with everyone else in the world so no one will have to be bullied or made fun of because of their differences.

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Deni, Sequim

Special Olympics WA

I look up to my brother, Tristan, because heís always there when I need him, and he helped coach our Special Olympics team.

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Deni, Sequim

Special Olympics WA

I look up to my brother, Tristan, because heís always there when I need him, and he helped coach our Special Olympics team.

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Deni, Sequim

Special Olympics WA

I try to treat everybody with kindness and I like to help teach the kids in Sunday School at my church.

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DaShawn, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

Iím a good hooper. Iím smart and know how to cook. Iím friendly and care about people.

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DaShawn, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

I am going to change the world by teaching kids about sports like soccer, basketball and Ultimate Frisbee.

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DaShawn, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

When I first started throwing a Frisbee last year I couldnít throw it straight. Now I can throw it and Iím on the Ultimate Frisbee Team at school.

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CJ, Lakewood

Special Olympics WA

I look up to the worlds fastest runner- Usain Bolt.. As fast as a cheetah they say.

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CJ, Lakewood

Special Olympics WA

My favorite ting about myself is that I'm good at riding my bike (and making ramps to jump) and shooting hoops.

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CJ, Lakewood

Special Olympics WA

I want to help future generations by sharing knowledge and ideas. I would share everything I know with them.†

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Brandon, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

I look up to my mom, dad, sister and three brothers.

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Brandon, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

My favorite thing about myself is that I can build things.

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Brandon, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

Iím going to make the world a better place by being a good person.

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Austin, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

The biggest obstacle Iíve faced was the death of my mom & grandpa. Iím still dealing with it. Itís a painful loss. It was pure shock.

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Austin, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

I really look up to Todd, my Special Olympics coach. Todd gave me the desire to participate in sports, modeled how to become a leader (Iím the basketball team captain) & taught me to be a good listener. Because of him, Iíve gained confidence & have become a better friend to others.

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Austin, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

I try to make the world a better place by volunteering at the food bank each week. Iím also involved with Special Olympics, & I volunteer at my high schoolís fundraisers. When I graduate, I would love to come back & help coach my old Special Olympics team.

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Aspen, Mossyrock

Special Olympics WA

I look up to my mom because she took care of me when I was a baby and very sick.

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Aspen, Mossyrock

Special Olympics WA

Being kind to everyone and showing people that giving and helping each other can change lives. Many people have helped me and I want to do the same.

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Aspen, Mossyrock

Special Olympics WA

I have overcome many medical challenges. I was only 1.5 lbs. at birth and had to be on a ventilator until I was 5 years old. I had a trach so I didnít talk until then too. I had many surgeries including open heart surgery at Seattle Childrenís Hospital. I am now doing very well.

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Sameh, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

I like being a good friend to others. My friends are important to me. Iíve been best friends with Isaiah since elementary school. Thatís over 10 years!

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Sameh, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

I really like Triple H. Heís a professional wrestler. I like his moves & his style. Heís a winner. Triple H is ďthe KingĒ!

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Sameh, Seattle

Special Olympics WA

If I could change the world & make it a better place, Iíd stop the terrorist attacks.

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FIRST Washington, Kent

https://www.firstwa.org/

FIRST Washington supports and engages today's tech-native youth with a league of their own, inspiring them to build on their passions and preparing them to be the STEM leaders of tomorrow. Creating. Theorizing. Tinkering. Testing. Expanding their worlds. Getting their hands dirty. FIRST Washington ignites youthful minds through education, hard work, mentorship, and healthy competition.

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Angela, Wapato

FIRST Washington

My favorite thing about myself is my perseverance. No matter how hard of a goal I have set my sights on, I almost never stop short and quit. Iím a strong admirer of ďwork-hardĒ quotes, so itís only natural for me to demonstrate it.

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Angela, Wapato

FIRST Washington

I want to further contribute to the advancements of computer technology. Computers will dominate the future and I believe that itís extremely important to keep the creations up to date with what needs to be fulfilled by the human race.

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Angela, Wapato

FIRST Washington

The biggest obstacle I faced is having to deal with my shy and introverted nature while also putting myself out there as a leader. My desire to inspire others is stronger than wanting to forever stay in my comfort zone.

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Shelby, Auburn

FIRST Washington

I laugh at most things but especially animals and when science fails. Animals just make me so happy (especially my bulldog Spartacus). I also love puns!

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Shelby, Auburn

FIRST Washington

Iím driven. I participate in science camp, church leadership, Girl Scouts and robotics.

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Shelby, Auburn

FIRST Washington

I want to change the world by doing research in the medical field. Right now genetics is my focus.

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Emma, Auburn

FIRST Washington

I love my confidence because it allows me to pursue my dreams and try new things. I donít let other peopleís opinions affect what I do which allows me to fail and try again.

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Emma, Auburn

FIRST Washington

Robotics has allowed me to make a positive environmental impact as well as help younger children. I have created concrete avenues through which I will always be able to mentor younger children.

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Emma, Auburn

FIRST Washington

Last year I took six challenging classes and became more heavily involved with robotics so I had to learn how to manage everything while still spending time with my family. The hardest part was not wanting to say no to anyone.

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Allison, Auburn

FIRST Washington

Going to college to hopefully further my STEM education to be able to help the world. I am interested in engineering because my grandpa is an electrical engineer.

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Allison, Auburn

FIRST Washington

My friends and family make me smile and laugh a lot. We are always joking around and having fun together.

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Allison, Auburn

FIRST Washington

I like my sense of humor and that I am able to make people laugh easily. Itís cool to see the people around me laughing and being happy.

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Maddi, Auburn

FIRST Washington

The biggest obstacle Iíve had to overcome is being thrown into a leadership position when I had never done that and learning how to thrive in that environment. There is a whole set of skills that make me a good leader and discovering that for myself has been a challenge but so rewarding.

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Maddi, Auburn

FIRST Washington

My favorite thing about myself is my willingness to try new things, whether it be meeting new people, volunteering somewhere new or joining a new club. I always try to say Ďyesí and that had led to some pretty cool things.

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Maddi, Auburn

FIRST Washington

I am going to change the world through science and technology by teaching younger students about how STEM and the environment are connected.

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Matt, Richland

FIRST Washington

I want to help people think before they speak so they would stop judging a book by its cover.

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Matt, Richland

FIRST Washington

I look up to my Uncle Brice because he is a soldier in the army and we always have conversations.

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Matt, Richland

FIRST Washington

My friends make me smile most because I am nice to them, and they are nice to me and it makes me happy that they are my friends.

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Arina, Valencia, Venezuela

FIRST Washington

The thing that I love more about myself is the fact that I love to learn and how creative I can be. Coming up with original ideas to solve problems or to create new things by being able to observer and analyze my surroundings.

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Arina, Valencia, Venezuela

FIRST Washington

I want to create things that will bring people together, let individuals express themselves and ongoing improvement of technology alongside the society.

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Arina, Valencia, Venezuela

FIRST Washington

When I moved to America, the culture was so new to me and the language. During my first year was so hard to just focus on the present and keep going forward without being a pessimist and bringing myself down, feeling worthless. I had to fight my own feelings feeling off and learn to love myself and everyone and everything around me. The hardest battle you'll ever fight, is against yourself.

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Cassidy, Wapato

FIRST Washington

Iím outgoing and when I meet new people I try and make them feel comfortable and be myself so they donít feel awkward and unwanted.

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Cassidy, Wapato

FIRST Washington

My favorite thing about myself is my perseverance. No matter how hard of a goal I have set my sights on, I almost never stop short and quit. Iím a strong admirer of ďwork-hardĒ quotes, so itís only natural for me to demonstrate it.

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Cassidy, Wapato

FIRST Washington

The biggest obstacle Iíve overcome would have to be public speaking because I used to be quiet and shy but now I say things with confidence in front of big crowds.

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Amber, Wapato

FIRST Washington

The biggest obstacle I faced is having to deal with my shy and introverted nature while also putting myself out there as a leader. My desire to inspire others is stronger than wanting to forever stay in my comfort zone.

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Amber, Wapato

FIRST Washington

My friends are who make me smile that most. The fact that some of them seem to know me better than I know myself while still wanting to comfort, hang out or simply just associate themselves with me makes me feel like I actually matter. Despite my unflattering habits and annoying personality traits, they seem to be the few individuals who make me feel like unconditional love really does exist.

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Amber, Wapato

FIRST Washington

I want to further contribute to the advancements of computer technology. Computers will dominate the future and I believe that itís extremely important to keep the creations up to date with what needs to be fulfilled by the human race.

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Derrick, Kettle Falls

FIRST Washington

To be honest what makes me laugh or smile the most is probably my Family because we are or can be a little weird but fun and some of the jokes we say only we would get and we really donít care what other people think.

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Derrick, Kettle Falls

FIRST Washington

My favorite thing about myself is even though Iím not loud I can still lead just as well as my other peers and help those that need it and be nice doing it.

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Derrick, Kettle Falls

FIRST Washington

To change the world for future generations I would like to come back after college and the border Patrol academy to help give back to our program and help run and build the Kettle Falls Robotics program.

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Hunter, Kettle Falls

FIRST Washington

If I could change the world for the future generations I would try to make it a little less judgmental, I feel like the world we live in suffers discrimination of all types such as what your name is, to what you're wearing to who you hang out with and what you do for fun.

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Hunter, Kettle Falls

FIRST Washington

I look up to my uncle alot, he's just a super nice guy that I love to spend time with and enjoy helping out, he's very humorous and just an all-around great guy.

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Hunter, Kettle Falls

FIRST Washington

When you get home and reflect on your day and think man I got a lot done today and are happy with what you accomplished, that's the real goal.

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Marcello, Kettle Falls

FIRST Washington

My favorite thing about myself is that Iím always doing something, doesnít matter if itís sports, some after school activity, or just being with my friends.

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Marcello, Kettle Falls

FIRST Washington

I look up to my grandfather the most because for him to have back problems and still look for some way to help with doing some kind of work shows me what a real man has to do to help his family.

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Marcello, Kettle Falls

FIRST Washington

My biggest challenge to overcome was after my brother past away because if I ever needed help with anything he was there, he was also like a friend that I could just hang out with.

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Chet, Okanogan

FIRST Washington

My freshmen year I was told I would not be able to play on the varsity football team I made the team and we went on to win the State Championship in our division.

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Chet, Okanogan

FIRST Washington

I want to leave behind a great legacy for people to look at and be inspired to do other great things.

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Chet, Okanogan

FIRST Washington

My favorite thing confidence level I have a lot of confidence in my abilities and myself.

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Brady, Riverside

FIRST Washington

I look up to my parents because of the way they have raised me and have taught me most of the things I know. They have taught me about outdoors and how to utilize mother nature and the skills to thrive in life.

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Brady, Riverside

FIRST Washington

I am optimistic and outgoing and am respectful to my elders.

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Brady, Riverside

FIRST Washington

Finding the time to fit the things in that I do sports, work, and living out of town makes it hard to do a lot of things that benefit me as a person. I have tried to overcome this by being more efficient with my time and still participate on high level.

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Bryce, Malott

FIRST Washington

I look up to my grandfather because he served during World War 2 and Korea and he is a self made business man. He has been successful and I wish to be like that also.

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Bryce, Malott

FIRST Washington

My personality because I am my own person and I am outgoing and honest, people like that about me.

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Bryce, Malott

FIRST Washington

I want to serve my country in the military when I graduate from high school. I want to do my part to keep our country safe for my generation and future generations.

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Cameron, Spokane

FIRST Washington

I think that the biggest obstacle that I have had to overcome is being confident enough to take initiative in making tough decisions and to be confident with those decisions.

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Cameron, Spokane

FIRST Washington

I look up to my teacher and mentor, Mr. Groshoff. He dedicates a huge amount of time to the success of our robotics team. He is also willing to help other teams and is always there to help out student when they need it. He is an amazing role model.

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Cameron, Spokane

FIRST Washington

My favorite thing about myself is my work ethic. I look at failures as challenges that are future successes.

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Sydney, Auburn

FIRST Washington

I look up to my great grandma because she is very hardworking, helpful, and she has a lot of perseverance. I admire her because she's everything that I want to be.

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Sydney, Auburn

FIRST Washington

I am going to change the world to make it better for future generations by being a leader and a role model for kids.

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Sydney, Auburn

FIRST Washington

One of the biggest challenges that I am currently going through is trying to balance my school, family, friends, sports, and robotics. I am overcoming this by keeping track of every event and communicating with others about plans.

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Ella, Spokane Valley

FIRST Washington

Well, since I want to do astrophysics, that could show girls that itís really ok to be interested in science and math, and that they donít have to conform to social stereotypes pinned on them.

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Ella, Spokane Valley

FIRST Washington

My favorite thing about myself is how Iím not afraid to be different from most other girls my age, in the fact that I like robotics and engineering and I like getting my hands dirty.

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Ella, Spokane Valley

FIRST Washington

When I was younger, my school switched math curriculum and I ended up missing a bunch of foundational stuff. After that I struggled with math for a really long time, but after hard work and determination, I now understand math and overcame my limitation.

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Christina, Spokane

FIRST Washington

I look up to my teachers and my FLL and FRC Robotics coaches because they have helped me so much through school and pushed me to do things I wouldnít have thought I wanted to do or had the capability of doing.

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Christina, Spokane

FIRST Washington

My best friends and my boyfriend. I always feel like I can be myself around them and act goofy and silly yet serious at the same time. Itís never boring time when Iím with them.

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Christina, Spokane

FIRST Washington

Honestly, I have no idea. My hope is that through getting my science/engineering degree in the future I will figure out ways to change the world. Whether it be working with the future generations or working with older people.

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Robert, Spokane

FIRST Washington

I'm going to be going to WSU to get a PHD in mechanical engineering and a major in fine arts. So with what I learn I hope to bring advancements in technologies for our future generations and to bring even more beauty to the world

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Robert, Spokane

FIRST Washington

I have always looked up to Nicola Tesla he was such a brilliant man that invented not for money but for the advancement of humanity.

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Robert, Spokane

FIRST Washington

Art is something that always gives me a smile even if the piece is sad it makes me smile because there is a beautiful story behind every piece of art even if the artist doesnít realize it.

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Kyle, Auburn

FIRST Washington

When I grow up Iíd like to own my own company Ė maybe more than one, and Iíd like to donate most of the profits to non-profits dedicated to things like helping kids excel in STEM, such as First Washington.

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Kyle, Auburn

FIRST Washington

My family definitely makes me laugh and smile the most because they know me the best. They know how to make me happy even when Iím not, and they can always make me laugh, whether I want to or not. My family will always be my biggest supporters and my best friends, no matter what.

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Kyle, Auburn

FIRST Washington

My favorite thing about myself is that I care extremely about others. I feel as though I sometimes take care of others before myself Ė which isnít always a good or bad thing Ė but I always care about other peoplesí feelings and needs.

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Tony, Ridgecrest, CA

FIRST Washington

I look up to my uncle. He is just like me smiling, happy, funny and weird. I want to be a person people come to when they need someone and that is definitely my uncle.

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Tony, Ridgecrest, CA

FIRST Washington

Iím going to change the world with my smile and cheerfulness. If I make someone happy, they will go make someone else happy. My whole purpose in life is to make people happy.

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Tony, Ridgecrest, CA

FIRST Washington

My dream is to work in a fire department and join the National Guard or Navy. I come from a military family so I want to carry on the tradition and follow in their footsteps.

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William, Federal Way

FIRST Washington

I look up to Vic Wintriss, a military veteran who started the League of Amazing Programmers and dedicated the rest of his life to teaching coding to kids. He really changed my life by teaching and tutoring me when I was 11 years old. Now Iím inspired to do more than just have success in tech. I want to volunteer at his school and teach other kids technology.

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William, Federal Way

FIRST Washington

I want to change the world through tech and software by making things easier for people. I love coding and Iím always working on developing apps for phones. When something annoys me or doesnít work how I want it to on my smartphone, I just write an app that solves my problem.

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William, Federal Way

FIRST Washington

Iíve never really had a lot in common with other people because I was homeschooled most of my life. After I joined robotics, I found people I could relate to and worked on my social skills. My advice to anyone going through that is to find a hobby and surround yourself with like-minded people.

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Ryan, Auburn

FIRST Washington

I look up to my dad. He has always pushed me to learn as much as I can about the world. He is a mechanical engineer at Boeing and he always seems to know one more thing than I do. In addition to being good at his job, he rebuilt a car and he is a really talented bow hunter. He is my inspiration.

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Ryan, Auburn

FIRST Washington

My favorite thing about myself is my ability to lead. Iím a leader in JROTC and a leader on the robotics team. Iíve learned really quickly that they require very different leadership styles. In JROTC, the people I lead are more simplistic. My leadership style is more like, ďI am in charge. Here is what to do.Ē In robotics, everyone has complex ideas and needs to be heard so I spend more time explaining to them why I picked which ideas, etc. It is a great lesson for my future.

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Ryan, Auburn

FIRST Washington

I hope to change the world by creating ground-breaking technology and software.

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Amber, Auburn

FIRST Washington

What I really like about myself is that Iím able to figure things out that I donít understand. I like to analyze and problem solve. Mostly itís cool because Iím not dependent on someone else and donít have to go ask for help all of the time.

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Amber, Auburn

FIRST Washington

My dream is to provide healthy eating options for people who donít have a lot. I used to help feed homeless people and it was good for them to eat, but the food was not nutritious. I want to become a farm veterinarian and donation a portion of our crops to those in need.

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Amber, Auburn

FIRST Washington

In middle school I cared so much about how I dressed and what people thought of me. I learned that I donít really care it only matters what my family thinks of me. Iíve been working on my self-confidence. It really helped to make the role of Lead in mechanical robotics.

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Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound, Tacoma

http://www.bgcsps.org/

Our mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

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Christopher, Gig Harbor

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I fell in love with helping people. Everyone thinks they need to change the world by doing something huge. They don't realize it can be as small as a granola bar. The homeless guy who received it had his world changed.

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Christopher, Gig Harbor

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I am a really protective person. My dad is in the Army and my family is used to service. I want to use my protective instincts to help people.

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Christopher, Gig Harbor

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I look up to my mom so much. She has been through some really hard times, financially and with relationships. She pushes through and always tries to keep up together.

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Maddy, Bremerton

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I love to draw, listen to music, and play games like kickball and dodgeball.†

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Maddy, Bremerton

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

After High School I would love to be able to come back to the Club and visit everyone. I also plans to go to OC (Olympic College).

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Maddy, Bremerton

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

At the Boys and Girls Club I like playing video games, hanging out with friends, doing art projects and participating in cooking club.

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Hule, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I love that I am who I am and no one can change that but me.

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Hule, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I look up to my mom because she teaches me what I need to know and helps with what I don't understand.

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Hule, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I could be a counselor to help young kids like myself going through struggles. I want to help guide them through their problems.

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Kayla, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I look up to my mom. She raised me and my sisters while she worked 3 jobs and going to college full-time.

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Kayla, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I am at the point where I love everything about myself. It took a long time to get here.

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Kayla, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I want to encourage girls to do anything that they want. I want people of color to know they are intelligent and beautiful. From telling them directly or even leaving notes, I want everyone to know that they can succeed.

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Joshua, Savannah, GA

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I am going to be a teacher and help kids become smarter and build cool stuff. I want to go Saginaw Valley State University in Mississippi and major in Chemical Physics.

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Joshua, Savannah, GA

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I look up to my mom because she is always encouraging me. If I have a math test, she will pump me up with confidence.

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Joshua, Savannah, GA

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

My biggest challenge was moving a lot. I missed my friends so much and I had to start all over. I learned that you can't be afraid to make new friends and you can still be friends with the old ones.

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Nichole, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

My favorite thing about myself is my personality. I think it makes me stand out. I'm normally really shy, but around my family and close friends I am really adventurous. My barrier drops and I'm just ready to have fun. That is when I am most myself.

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Nichole, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I'm normally really shy, but around my family and close friends I am really adventurous. My barrier drops and I'm just ready to have fun. That is when I am most myself.

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Nichole, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I look up to Mrs. Toni, my mentor at Boys and Girls Club. She is always there to listen and help. She made an effort to be super close to us kids. We don't always feel worthy of the time and attention from adults.

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Lawrence, Lakewood

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

Being a mentor to people and being someone a lot of people come to for help makes me so happy. Knowing what people have been through and connecting with them is beautiful.

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Lawrence, Lakewood

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I look up to my parents. They grew up in poverty in the Philippines and persevered through endless obstacles, They are so selfless and they try to never show pain.

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Lawrence, Lakewood

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

Growing up, I always talked about and focused on the negatives. The process of learning that my negatives do not define me was rough. I had to flip my perspective to a positive one.

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Danielle, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I like baking. I make these cheesecake cupcake Oreos. They are delicious! I also love to paint. I want to be a teacher one day.

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Danielle, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I look up to my friend Kayla because even though she struggles she never shows it. She always tried to be happy.

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Danielle, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I want to travel places and help people in need and make them smiles. I want to reach people not to judge people by how they look because some people judge way too quickly.

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Davi, Bremerton

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I have a big heart for people.

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Davi, Bremerton

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I look up to my mom because she works so hard to put food on the table and a roof over my head.

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Davi, Bremerton

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I am going to change the world by giving back to people in need. I am so grateful for what I have. A lot of kids just want more, more, more. I have a lot of things and I don't forget that. I guess I was just raised right.

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Michael, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

This sounds funny but I love hearing people laugh because he makes me laugh. Laughter is definitely contagious.

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Michael, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I look up to my parents because my mom works, cooks, cleans and takes care of 3 kids. My father is a medic in the Army and he saves lives. That is why I want to become a doctor.

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Michael, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I want to be a doctor and find a cure for breast cancer. My grandma passed away from breast cancer. Right now I am thinking of going to Harvard, Yale or Florida State.

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Patrick, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

My favorite thing about myself is that I am humble and respectful. I try to always put other people first. I wish I could say I was born this way, but it has really been mentors that have changed my life.

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Patrick, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I really look up to both of my mentors, John and Antonio. They helped keep me on the right path and made me into the man I am today. Now I want to be a mentor one day.

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Patrick, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I am going to break the cycle of gang violence in my family. I will be different. There is no question. I want to be a doctor. I might get a football scholarship, too. No matter what I do, I will work with inner-city youth.

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Lonzo, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I love to have success doing a difficult task that people told me I can't do.

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Lonzo, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

My favorite thing about myself is that I love to make people smile. It is great to know people enjoy being around me.

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Lonzo, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I want to change the world by going to college and showing young kids that if you work hard, you can do anything you want.

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Benjamin, Belfair

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

My favorite thing about myself is the way I think. Or my hair.

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Benjamin, Belfair

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

My role model is Russell Wilson. His dedication to the Children's Hospital is inspiring.

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Benjamin, Belfair

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I am going to change the world by leading by example.

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Montana, Belfair

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I am a social butterfly! I make friends easily and I love that.

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Montana, Belfair

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I look up to my older cousin. She used to suffer from depression but she is so strong and she tries every day to be happy. She is the kindest person I know and she is beautiful in every way I could possibly think of.

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Montana, Belfair

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I am going to change the world by giving more than I receive, making people feel welcome and making people feel good about themselves

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Levi, Belfair

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

My favorite thing about myself is my determination. I want to give myself the best chance in life.

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Levi, Belfair

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I look up to my uncle for putting in the effort to get his GED and to go to college even when he had medical issues.

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Levi, Belfair

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I want to change the world by volunteering with Boys and Girls Clubs. I want to give everyone a place to belong.

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Kenny, Port Orchard

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

My favorite thing about myself is that I can build a strong relationship with anyone and make anyone laugh.

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Kenny, Port Orchard

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I look up to my head football coach because he encourages me to be better and do better. He pushes me harder than I could ever be pushed. Football is more than a game it's a community.

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Kenny, Port Orchard

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

My dad moved away so I don't really have a father figure in my life. That has been really hard because everybody else seems to have that. I learned that you can find another role model. It doesn't have to be a family member.

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Elissia, Gig Harbor

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

When I first moved here I got bullied a lot. It was so hard but I overcame it eventually. It helped to stay in touch with my old friends and surround myself with good listeners. Even though it feels like it will last forever, everything gets better.

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Elissia, Gig Harbor

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

My friends make me smile the most. When I'm down, they are able to see I'm in need and offer help. Hearing someone ask what is wrong makes me feel like they care.

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Elissia, Gig Harbor

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

My mom is amazing. She works three jobs and gives us everything we need.

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Lily, Gig Harbor

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

There are lots of challenges in life. I've learned to pick myself up when I'm down. I am an independent person.

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Lily, Gig Harbor

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

My uniqueness is my favorite thing about me. I have a unique sense of humor.

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Lily, Gig Harbor

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

The biggest challenge I've faced is building up the courage to be myself and love myself for me.

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Isaiah, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

My grandpa died in 2009 and that was really difficult on me. He was like a father figure to me. He has been there since I was born he taught me how to ride a bike, shoot hoops and give back at church. At first, I avoided everything that reminded me of him. But then I started going to the food banks and homeless shelters where we volunteered together for years and I learned that giving back and doing things that we loved together actually helped me heal. I felt so much closer to him.

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Isaiah, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I think kids these days think they can do whatever they want. They want to just lay around and play video games but I feel different. I like to get up early, work hard and do the right thing. Nothing comes without hard work. I just chose not to whine about it.

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Isaiah, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I've been volunteering for years at the Empowerment Center/Food Bank. What a lot of people don't know is that I used to get food from there. It feels so great to give back to people that are in the same situations I was.

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Marcos, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

The football team I'm on is really cool. We focus on way more than just football. If someone is having a hard time at home or is being bullied, we come together to help them out.

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Marcos, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I look up to Earl Thomas because he tries his best at everything he does. He is good at football, leads his defense and he is quiet like me.

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Marcos, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I am going to change the world by leading by example. Sometimes the best thing you can do is show younger kids how to act. We don't realize how much influence we have.

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Valencia, Lakewood

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

Right now I work with little kids that hardly see their parents. I try to teach them "please" and "thank you" and show them the right things to do. A lot of opportunities come your way when you just decide to treat people well.

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Valencia, Lakewood

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

Honestly! Kindness makes me so happy. There is a lot of hate in the world. I've seen a lot of negative things and we just don't need that in our lives.

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Valencia, Lakewood

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I look up to my mother because she was a single mom raising two kids with no help. She constantly puts her needs on the back burner and I appreciate all that she has done.

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Jjawcem, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I want to make the world a better place by having a positive outlook on life. I want to show people that your anger issues won't just hurt other people, they will hurt you too. I recommend everyone tries to give back in some way. You will see your life change when you start serving others.

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Jjawcem, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I look up to my mom for being the outstanding woman she is. When she got pregnant at 17 years old, she got kicked out of school. She didn't let that bring her down. She pushed forward and now she is a C.N.A with her own business.

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Jjawcem, Tacoma

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I'm trying to teach the older kids here at Boys and Girls Club that they can make a huge difference. I don't just show up for basketball and leave. I create and lead activities for the younger kids and try to be around as much as I can for them. It is never too early to have an influence.

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Brianna, Lakewood

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I have a loud laugh. I'm not afraid to say what is on my mind. I try to be really good at jokes on the spot.

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Brianna, Lakewood

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I love Adele. Her music just speaks to me. She doesn't take herself too seriously and she is just unapologetically herself. I think I cried a little when she came to Seattle and I didn't get to see her!

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Brianna, Lakewood

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

A lot of people are scared to try things, but I'm fearless. I love to go after new things and be a leader. If someone doesn't like you, who cares? My goal is to lead by example and inspire younger people to take chances.

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Alicia, Fort Hood, TX

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I love when people smile. Smiling is contagious! My friends make me laugh so much. I don't really like to be alone or feel like I have no one to talk to so I try to surround myself with funny people.

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Alicia, Fort Hood, TX

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I am strong. I am confident and I push myself to be a great influence on others.

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Alicia, Fort Hood, TX

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I am going to change the world by showing positivity and love to everyone. I want to tell people to do the right thing and make sure everyone is okay.

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Emilyila, Spanaway

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

Someone told me I have a magnetic personality the other day. I had to look it up! I think that is so cool. Iím an outgoing leader and I try to very best at everything I do.

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Emilyila, Spanaway

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I really look up to my algebra teacher, Mrs. Bomen. She is like a second mom to me. Her story inspired me and she treats me like I'm a friend, not just a student. Before we became close, I was awful at math but she helped me place in advanced algebra.

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Emilyila, Spanaway

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound

I want to change the world by inspiring youth to do more, help more and want more for themselves and others. We always think about what the world needs to be doing to be better, but what about ourselves?

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Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, Seattle

safeyouthseattle.org

Our mission is to prevent and reduce youth violence, which has disproportionately affected communities of color in Seattle, through coordinated, accountable community mobilization to identify youth at risk of perpetuating or being a victim of violence and connect them with needed support in reaching their full potential.

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Bobby, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

My sense of humor is my best personality trait. I love to make others laugh.

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Bobby, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

To change the world for future generations I would treat people with respect and always offer a helping hand.

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Bobby, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

A tough situation that Iíve faced was when my grandfather passed away because he was my best friend and every time I needed something he was always there for me no matter what.

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Roseandre, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

I am a responsible, loving, caring, outgoing, active person who gets the job done. My best personality trait would have to be that Iím very joyful, funny and always smiling.

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Roseandre, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

A way to make it a better place for future generations is cleaning up the streets. Have many programs up and running, something that many kids are interested in. Such as basketball, cooking and other camps going on for free.

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Roseandre, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

A tough situation I had faced was receiving a phone call that your one year old sister is going to the emergency room because she swallowed and choked on a marker cap and almost died. Now how I overcame that was I kept praying and stayed long nights right by her side, hoping she would still be living.

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Yvetta, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

My best personality trait is Iím funny and Iím always happy and cracking funny jokes. Thatís what I would say my best personality trait is.

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Yvetta, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

I am nice, thoughtful, caring, helpful and smart. Thatís how I would describe myself.

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Yvetta, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

How I want to make this a better place is by being a leader and show people what I can do and encourage the good not the bad.

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Lize, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

I want to graduate high school and college and become a social worker.

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Lize, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

My best personality traits are being respectful and confident because being like that is always good.

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Lize, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

A tough situation I faced is passing all of my classes and I overcame it by participating more and caring more about my education.

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Shamari, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

My long-term goals are going to college that works in the medical field and becoming a doctor.

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Shamari, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

I am caring, hardworking young lady thatís going to be someone very important.

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Shamari, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

I plan on helping the homeless once I get older by giving them money and toiletries.

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Artavais, South Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

I think my best personality trait is being humorous because it allows me to begin building a connection with people and because I like to make people laugh.

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Artavais, South Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

Who I am in one sentence: I am accountable, hard working, humorous, authentic, educated and a leader.

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Artavais, South Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

How Iím going to change the world for future generations is by staying involved in the community and making sure they have the programs they need along with some of the things that this generation might not have.

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Justin, South Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

Being funny because I can always put a smile on someoneís face.

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Deandre, Baton Rouge, La.

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

I like to be me.

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Deandre, Baton Rouge, La.

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

I am energetic because I am always on the go.

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Deandre, Baton Rouge, La.

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

I like to be me.

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Katherine, Renton

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

I want to graduate from WSU and get a job at Boeing working on airplanes

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Katherine, Renton

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

I am outspoken and I am energetic.

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Katherine, Renton

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

Losing my dad was the toughest challenge I have ever faced but I tried my best not to think about it.

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Tymeka, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

Tymeka Ė leader, forgiving and loving.

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Tymeka, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

My family is having housing issues but I have overcome by praying and working hard.

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Ashya, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

My best personality trait is I am kind and forgiving.

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Ashya, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

I am helpful and a leader.

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Ashya, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

I will make the world a better place by helping our youth stay on track in school and being a leader.

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Gabriel, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

I think my happiness is my best personality trait because it rubs off on my surroundings and community.

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Gabriel, Seattle

Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative

Iím going to be a good leader and set good examples for everyone. Also, I will give back to the community.

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Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County, Snohomish

www.bgcsc.org

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County is a non-profit organization providing young people ages 5-18 with a safe and positive place to spend their time before and after school and during the summer.

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Wubwa, Ethiopia/Everett

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I am very kind and caring to others and I enjoy helping everyone. When you go through a hard time, you want someone who understands you.

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Wubwa, Ethiopia/Everett

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I want to be a lawyer. From my experience, I know how important it is to have people understand your problems so they can fight for you. I want to be able to help people through tough situations.

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Wubwa, Ethiopia/Everett

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I want in foster care after coming to America. At first, I was so mad but I realized that it doesn't help anything to be angry. So I decided to pour my energy into helping other kids in foster care. It helps me to get through my situation because I can relate and it feels good to help others.

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Cheyan, Sultan

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

My best personality trait is how easily I can make friends. I'm not afraid to go up and say hello to someone.

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Cheyan, Sultan

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I am powerful.

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Cheyan, Sultan

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I want to change the world by teaching people new skills. So many people go down the wrong path and I want to teach them a skill they can use to get on the right track and contribute to the world.

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Jonah, Marysville

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

My long-term goals are: 1. Go to college and play sports at UW, 2. Move on to play for the NFL, 3. Donate as much as I can to people in need.

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Jonah, Marysville

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I am Jonah. I love joking and overcoming obstacle. I'm confident, but I'm not overly confident. I like football and making people happy. My best trait is probably to motivate others to try their best. I do my best work and I'm not afraid to share it, so I hope that inspires people.

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Jonah, Marysville

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I'm going to change the world by showing leadership and helping people so they can become leaders too.

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Mike, Home with where the heart is

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I am an adaptable, imperfect guy who just wants to help people. I don't fit into any categories because I'm a part of all of them. People shy away from change, but it's there anyway so I just accept it. In the darkest times, hope is something you give yourself. There is meaning in inner strength.

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Mike, Home with where the heart is

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

Art has already changed the world. People take refuge in music and express themselves through painting. We can learn to understand each other through art.

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Mike, Home with where the heart is

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

In any tough situation I've come across (believe me, there are too many to name), one thing I did was never stopped thinking of a way out. There is always a way out.

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Donte, Lynnwood

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I want to go to WSU and become an architect. I love to build stuff. Sometimes I get in trouble during math for building stuff and I always think, "Come on! I'm using math!"

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Donte, Lynnwood

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

My dad isn't around much and he is hard to get ahold of. I love him, but it doesnít feel good to be unwanted. Some people would use that as an excuse to grow up and do the same, but I know that it's just plain wrong. So that is how I'm going to change the world. I'm going to be the change and grow up to treat my kids like they are loved and wanted. Things aren't that bad, but I know I can be better.

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Donte, Lynnwood

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

My mom and dad getting a divorce was a big challenge for me at first. The advice I would give to kids going through divorce is to not blame yourself or put any weight on your shoulders. It isn't your fault and your parents don't want that. Live in the moment if the moment is fun and live in the future if that gives you hope. It does get better. And guess what? You get two Christmases!

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Travis, Mukilteo

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I think I am very sympathetic. I care for people and always think about their situations. Going through my parents divorce helped that because I can relate to a lot of kids now.

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Travis, Mukilteo

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I am dedicated, athletics and I strive for greatness. I want to inspire kids to be healthy, play sports and succeed in school. You don't have to do just one of those, they can all go together.

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Travis, Mukilteo

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

My parents got a divorce, and with that comes financial issues and the emotions of adjusting to two families. I play on a lot of sports teams so it has taught me how to overcome all kinds of challenges. Whether it's keeping my 4.0 GPA while playing baseball so much or getting through a tough divorce, I have learned that I will have success if I set a goal, channel my energy into positive things and surround myself with supportive people.

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Brandon W., Monroe

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I want to be a running back in the NFL. If that fails, I want to be a computer engineer. My plan is to go to Stanford University.

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Brandon W., Monroe

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I think you can change the world in your own way, on your own terms. Small efforts make big changes. For me, I am passionate about nature so I want to be more environmentally conscious.

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Brandon W., Monroe

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

My mom lost her house unexpectedly and abruptly. We were homeless for a while and that was a huge challenge for me. I realized that things wouldn't stay tough forever, so I chose to have a positive attitude about it and focus on other things. It makes a really big different when you choose to be happy.

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Ashton, Mukilteo

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

When someone falls down, I say, "Are you okay?" I guess I just understand that some people are good at some things, and some people are bad at some things. We're all people, though.

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Ashton, Mukilteo

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I am a good person.

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Ashton, Mukilteo

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

When I was 18 months old, the doctors said I had Autism. I didn't talk until I was five years old, but my family and I have worked really hard to get me to where I am today. Because I started so young, I've been a part of a great program at the hospitals in Seattle and I've even been on the news! Despite how it sounds, I don't feel like I've struggled. It's just all I've ever known.

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Dylan, Lake Stevens

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

If I were stranded on an island I would want a notebook and pen because I know how hard it can be when you're alone with no one to talk to. Writing your thoughts and feelings helps lay out the situation. Also, a ping pong table because even if you're alone, you can fold the table up and play against yourself.

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Dylan, Lake Stevens

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

My best personality trait is my caring nature. I want to make things better for people because I've been on the bad side of almost everything. I know how it feels to struggle, and I also know how good it feels to be helped out. I am going to always strive to help other when I can and encourage others to do the same. If we all help each other, we will have a much more productive and loving world.

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Dylan, Lake Stevens

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

Recently, I went through a time of loneliness. I lost my friends and my best friend and was really isolated from everyone. I stopped wanting to talk to people. My coworkers and friends at Boys and Girls Club really helped me turn things around and get back out there. It wasn't easy, but I put myself out there and made new friends. Things do get better with time, you just have to have hope.

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Joseph, Crescent City, CA

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

My best trait is my kindness because I'm friendly to people even if they are different.

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Joseph, Crescent City, CA

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I am cool, friendly, helpful and hardworking.

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Joseph, Crescent City, CA

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I will help people who are born with disabilities or have down syndrome.

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Meghan, Snohomish

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

If I was stranded on a desert island I would bring my note I have from my stepdad, a family picture and my great grandmother's wedding ring.

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Meghan, Snohomish

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I'm passionate about helping my generation and all of the generations to come. I want to use my voice to have a positive influence on the people around me, and do everything I can to make this world better for kids coming after me.

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Meghan, Snohomish

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

The passing of my stepdad, Mark, was one of the hardest things I've been through. It sounds the same as everybody, but holding onto the good memories and celebrating his life helped me overcome the pain. It really works.

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Henry, Lynnwood

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I've thought of myself as so many different people. I change every day. I learn from interacting with new people and become a different person each time. Right now, my best personality trait is kindness because I think the more you give, the more you get in return. Tomorrow, I might be different though.

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Henry, Lynnwood

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I am pure awesomeness.

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Henry, Lynnwood

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I obviously want world peace. We all do, but I'm also realistic. You need opportunity to change the world and that isn't always available. Right now, my plan is to make a difference by volunteering in my community. It is a way I can help right this second, and being a part of Boys and Girls Club has shown me how impactful volunteering can be.

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Ashley, Marysville

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

My dream is to own my own restaurant. My mom is a chef and I'm in a culinary arts class so I love to cook. The plan is to get my MBA at Eastern Washington University and then open a Mexican restaurant because I love tamales!

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Ashley, Marysville

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

My sense of humor is definitely my best personality trait. I laugh at everything and that makes be both laughable and approachable. I love to laugh!

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Ashley, Marysville

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

To make the world a better place, I'm going to step up and be a leader in my community. I'm going to take initiative and start something meaningful. Because I can relate, maybe I will create a program for struggling families where they can just let off steam and keep their mind off things for a bit.

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Brandon E., Lynnwood

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I want to go to college and get my Masterís in Aerospace Engineering and start my career at Space X or a Space X program.

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Brandon E., Lynnwood

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I want to change the world by being the guy or person apart of a team that pioneers a new way to space and that will allow us to reach new places far and beyond.

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Brandon E., Lynnwood

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I am a person who want to lead the world humbly.

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Lexi, Oak Harbor

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I am a hard-working, honest and caring individual. My best personality trait is my upbeat attitude. I generally see the glass as half full and always try to encourage those around me to be more positive.

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Lexi, Oak Harbor

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I am going to change the world by helping those who need it the most. Specifically, I would like to volunteer my time at various organizations that support the homeless. I hope to provide and inspiration to those around me.

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Lexi, Oak Harbor

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I had a difficult time in school. Some subjects were more challenging than others and my grades suffered because I did not have the help I needed. In order to participate in sports, you are required to have a C or better in all your classes. I finally received the assistance I needed at the Oak Harbor Boys & Girls Club and my grades improved each and every day.

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Bradley, Monroe

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I am going to make the world a better place by following my dream and inspiring other kids/teens to do the same.

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Bradley, Monroe

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I am very respectful to others. I have learned that respect is important.

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Bradley, Monroe

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

If I was stranded on an island I would bring a Bible, my pillow and a picture of my family.

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Alexis, Coupeville

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

Iím going to find a cure for cancer.

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Alexis, Coupeville

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

Iím kind, fun and easy going.

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Alexis, Coupeville

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I want to go to a dance college and someday live in Paris.

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Alana, Lynnwood

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

If I was stranded on a desert island and had to choose three personal items to bring, I would bring my cell phone with unlimited battery life, a fluffy blanket and a soccer ball.

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Alana, Lynnwood

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I think my best personality trait that I have would be that Iím funny. I got my ďfunny boneĒ from my father, he always knows just what to say and has a joke up his sleeve. But I think funny is a perfect word because Iím easy going and I love to make others smile and sometimes make their day better.

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Alana, Lynnwood

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I will keep volunteering and pitch ideas that would benefit communities. I'll try and help my local town with anything, whether itís picking up garbage on the sidewalks, taking out trash at work places or serve food to those in need.

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Clayton, Granite Falls

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I strive to be the best that I can be and help and teach other with the knowledge I have.

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Clayton, Granite Falls

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I am intelligent and athletic. I would like to go to a four year college and play basketball.

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Clayton, Granite Falls

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I am a very caring person. Being a caring person helps me through my daily life. I have earned respect from my friends by being caring.

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Kaiya, Lynnwood

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I want to go to the University of Washington, I want to be an orthodontist or a soccer player.

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Kaiya, Lynnwood

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

If I could change the world I would start a donation fund to make sure everyone has a home.

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Kaiya, Lynnwood

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I'm very social, so I make friends easily and I'm easy to talk to.

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Aaron, Kingston

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

My long term goal is to live life to the fullest.

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Aaron, Kingston

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I am a fun-loving person who will do anything to protect my family.

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Aaron, Kingston

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I help my parents with foster care I hope to make a difference in other kidsí lives.

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Jesse, Snohomish

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

My long term goals are to go to a four year university, become an FBI special agent and have a small family.

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Jesse, Snohomish

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I am honest, happy and positive.

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Jesse, Snohomish

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I will find an occupation that interests me that will also help people.

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Michael, Snohomish

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I am a gentle giant.

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Michael, Snohomish

Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County

I am a gentle giant.

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Athletes For Kids, Sammamish

www.athletesforkids.org

To enhance the lives of children with special needs and the high school athletes who mentor them. We believe that modeling acceptance, inclusion, and respect of all individuals transforms and strengthens our communities.

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Jacob, Boynton Beach, Flo.

Athletes for Kids

My best personality trait is being kind to others and my friends.

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Jacob, Boynton Beach, Flo.

Athletes for Kids

I have diabetes and that is my challenge. I want to spread the word about diabetes so there can be a cure one day.

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Dolan, Tacoma

Athletes for Kids

I like being funny. I have a good sense of humor.

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Dolan, Tacoma

Athletes for Kids

I like being funny. I have a good sense of humor.

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Gracie

Athletes for Kids

I think my best personality trait would be my sassiness because it shows people that I am strong and can take care of myself.

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Gracie

Athletes for Kids

I am a fun, sassy and Spongebob loving tween girl.

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Gracie

Athletes for Kids

My mom is in the hospital a lot and it is rough because she is the only parent I have but I have faith and say ďwhat doesnít kill you makes you stronger.Ē

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Shane, Newcastle

Athletes for Kids

I am a boss who is good at video games and loves football.

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Shane, Newcastle

Athletes for Kids

I want to become the President and go build a time machine and stop all the horrible events that happened.

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Zachary, Fall City

Athletes for Kids

I am nice, friendly and smart.

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Zachary, Fall City

Athletes for Kids

Iím going to be a superhero and save people.

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Jessie, Renton

Athletes for Kids

If I could, I would like to make the world a safer place, especially for special needs people like myself.

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Jessie, Renton

Athletes for Kids

Every day is kind of hard for me. Many peers see me as different. I donít let it bother me.

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Mason, Bellevue

Athletes for Kids

I plan to finish high school and go to college to get a job. And be strong.

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Mason, Bellevue

Athletes for Kids

I like telling jokes and making people laugh.

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Alejandro, Issaquah

Athletes for Kids

I have an ability to connect with almost anyone I meet, which helps people realize that gay people are really not different from everyone else.

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Alejandro, Issaquah

Athletes for Kids

I am working now to make my school a more inclusive place, and will fight for LGBT rights until they day that I die.

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Alejandro, Issaquah

Athletes for Kids

This past year in December, I came out as gay to all of my friends & peers at school. This was not easy for me seeing how involved I am in the sports world, but I overcame everything by keeping a tight knit group of friends who I always have if anything bad ever happened.

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Nathaniel, Renton

Athletes for Kids

Always tell the truth regardless of what the outcome is. Stand for what is right. Actions now equal future actions / results.

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Nathaniel, Renton

Athletes for Kids

Always tell the truth regardless of what the outcome is. Stand for what is right. Actions now equal future actions / results.

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Mitch, Bellevue

Athletes for Kids

Being positive, because I am a leader to others and people wonít follow those who are negative, so I always try to stay positive.

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Mitch, Bellevue

Athletes for Kids

One of the things to change the world is being respectful and helping others. If people see you helping others, then they will catch on and help others too.

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Jack, Sammamish

Athletes for Kids

I am kind and caring. I am a big hearted person who cares a lot about people and animals.

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Jack, Sammamish

Athletes for Kids

Reading is a challenge for me. I try to overcome it. I go to school and that helps me learn different ways to read.

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Jack, Sammamish

Athletes for Kids

I am kind and caring. I am a big hearted person who cares a lot about people and animals.

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Nadia, Sammamish

Athletes for Kids

I think my best personality trait is compassion, because you canít really teach compassion, it comes from having empathy for others and being able to relate to them. Iím thankful that my experiences have helped me be more aware of people adversity, because everyone struggles in different ways, and I hope to be a resource of a friends for anyone who needs help.

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Nadia, Sammamish

Athletes for Kids

I will never stop fighting to fund research and educate people about heart disease, the silent killer and the leading cause of death in our country. 1/100 babies are born with some form of Congenital Heart Defect, and I hope to better the world for future generations by educating parents, raising awareness, and funding research so that my kids and grandkids wonít have to suffer from heart disease like I did.

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Nadia, Sammamish

Athletes for Kids

I was born with a severe congenital heart defect, and I have been struggling to overcome heart disease my entire life. In 2011 I had major open-heart surgery and had a valve transplant so that I could continue living a healthy of a life as possible. I have become an advocate, working for American Heart Association sharing my story and raising money for research that saves lives of kids just like me. Advocating has really helped me come to terms with my struggle and has these challenges to help my athletes for Kids buddy, who also faces adversity in her own life.

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Taylor, San Jose, Calif.

Athletes for Kids

By best personality trait is being very genuine. I am very confident in myself, and the morals I have. I try to make the best mature decisions, whether that is what the ďnormĒ is. I know that my true friends will like me no matter what.

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Taylor, San Jose, Calif.

Athletes for Kids

My friends call me ďMomĒ or ďMama TayĒ because I am a 35-year-old trapped in a 17-year-oldís body I organize various friend events, I am responsible for my friends, I take care of everyone, and I cannot be seen without an iced coffee and my purse.

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Taylor, San Jose, Calif.

Athletes for Kids

One way I want to help change the world is by changing the perceptions and stopping the bullying of the individuals in our community with special needs. That may be a broad goal, but it is a simple concept. My mindset is everyone on this earth needs to get through life, and some people need a little more help than others. One specific way I continually try to help the perceptions is by utilizing proper terminology when referring to individuals with special needs. The way to do so is by saying ďan individual with special needsĒ versus ďa special needs individual.Ē This is a crucial change because people are not defined by their disabilities, but it is only a small part of them.

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Ivory, Sammamish

Athletes for Kids

I am an outgoing, social young man who enjoys adventures and whatever they entail. I think my best personality trait is my humor, because being able to spark positivity in the darkest of times can change the mood and make others feel better.

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Ivory, Sammamish

Athletes for Kids

Being proactive in stopping and sort of bullying. Stepping up to face the problem could and will inspire others to step up and speak up when they see people being put down. Bullying is something that can be stopped only if people are willing to take a stance, and stand up for people even if they donít know them.

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Ivory, Sammamish

Athletes for Kids

I have sacrificed a lot to play soccer. Most of the sacrifices have been some of the hardest decisions Iíve made in my teenage life. Soccer is my passion, and the reassurance from my family and very close friends motivates me to keep going. Though I might miss certain important moments in my high school life, I know that at the end of the day I am doing what I love.

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Ethan, Bellevue

Athletes for Kids

I am funny, confident and love to perform or play host. I want to be a sportscaster. I want to share my love of sports with other people.

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Ethan, Bellevue

Athletes for Kids

Kindness can make the world a better place for everyone. It is important to treat everyone kindly and accept who they are. I am positive, kind and like to share my enthusiasm.

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Ethan, Bellevue

Athletes for Kids

When I was in 5th grade, I joined a recreational flag football team. But I was kicked out because of my challenges to communicate and to play well. I was so sad. But I never gave up. I continue to play the sport I like whenever I have a chance. I now play sports for my after school team. I also became a super-fan for football.

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Eve, Sammamish

Athletes for Kids

I plan to get my bachelors in early childhood education, and a little later get my maters in occupational therapy so I can work with children who face challenges.

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Eve, Sammamish

Athletes for Kids

I am a compassionate, caring and light hearted person who tries to live out her life by making others laugh.

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Eve, Sammamish

Athletes for Kids

I am going to change the world by helping kids realize that they matter and that every life has value and in return they will pass this on to the next generation.

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Karen, Sammamish

Athletes for Kids

I believe my best personality trait is my resilience. My lovely mother, Momma Kim, brought me up believing that when you fall, you get right back up again. I try to carry this into all aspects of my life.

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Karen, Sammamish

Athletes for Kids

Don't underestimate me.

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Karen, Sammamish

Athletes for Kids

Iím a strong believer in the ripple effect. All of our actions, positive or negative, ripple out into our communities through our relationships, and each and every one of us constantly change the world around us. With this in mind, even if I donít make the biggest, most historically notable difference on Earth, I plan on it being a beautiful one.

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Megan

Athletes for Kids

I have a big heart that cares for others. Being kind and considerate has always been an important value to me. I truly care about the happiness of others, and I know that even just a smile can make someoneís day.

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Megan

Athletes for Kids

I plan to change the world by leading mission trips to various countries, where I want to serve at orphanages and safe houses for women. I want to teach children how to read, write, and do math and I want to teach women about leadership, empowering them to pursue their dreams. I am a leader and dreamer with a big heart for the mountains, my family and Jesus.

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Megan

Athletes for Kids

At the end of my freshman year, I suffered a back injury that kept me from playing basketball for over a year. At the time, basketball meant the world to me, but with the support of my family and friends, I learned that basketball does not define me. The game has equipped me with many skills that I can apply to my life outside of the court.

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Rey, Sammamish

Athletes for Kids

You know my dream is being able to go to college so I can change peopleís perspective on people like me. I want to write Iím good with that

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Rey, Sammamish

Athletes for Kids

People often get scared to talk to me or they are so afraid of hurting my feelings or being politically correct. I just want them to say hi at least. I understand it is my job to educate people about people with disabilities.

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Rey, Sammamish

Athletes for Kids

I feel just being me is tough. I have to live with being autistic and not being able to speak adds more challenges I have to face. Though I am glad I found my way out through typing, writing and using my iPad to communicate. Since I communicate Iím a happier person. Recently I have formed friendships with my special friends. My teachers and my therapists have shown me what true love is. They never gave up on me. I feel I have become a better person but still there are so many things I need to learn. I have to adapt to the world which is not design for me. This is my heart speaking.

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Francisco, Issaquah

Athletes for Kids

Baring a miracle (my parentís believe in them). My goal is to be happy, making those around me feel happy, do good and be the best creature I can. I hope other people learn through me to be compassionate, care about others no matter the conditions and always create more awareness about people with special needs.

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Francisco, Issaquah

Athletes for Kids

I was born with bilateral cataracts and then developed glaucoma. So many surgeries throughout my life and numerous exams under anesthesia. I also have autism. For that reason just about my entire existence is extra challenging. Luckily I was born with a great attitude and happiness (not to mention my parents, family and amazing friends). Thatís how I overcome the challenges that come my way. I am the happiest, luckiest, most lovable individual in the universe.

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Francisco, Issaquah

Athletes for Kids

By being me all the time, hopefully the world will notice and realize there is no other way. Live and let live while accepting each and every one as we are.

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Brayden, Sammamish

Athletes for Kids

If I were stranded on an island I would want duct tape, water filters and books.

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Brayden, Sammamish

Athletes for Kids

My best personality trait is that I am kind.

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Liam, Fall City

Athletes for Kids

I think my best personality trait is my kindness. A lot of people admire me for it and they treat me the same way back.

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Liam, Fall City

Athletes for Kids

I am an athletic and determined kid who loves to joke around and have fun but when it is time to get serious I focus and work hard.

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Liam, Fall City

Athletes for Kids

Iím going to make the world better by working with charities and groups that help families in need and kids that grew up without a father like me.

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Jake, Redmond

Athletes for Kids

I want to graduate at the top of my class from a university, join the Phoenix Suns as a staffer, and eventually be the President of the Phoenix Suns.

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Jake, Redmond

Athletes for Kids

I am fun loving, caring and focused o n personal excellence.

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Jake, Redmond

Athletes for Kids

This year was my first year playing football for Redmond High School. Playing Varsity as a Junior was my goal. Unfortunately, in the first Varsity game, I broke my ankle. While my ankle was healing, I worked out, studied film and watched every practice to continue learning. In the last JV home, I had 7 catches for about 75 yards, and I played special teams my last Varsity game Ė I achieved my goal under tough circumstances.

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Morgan, Issaquah

Athletes for Kids

If I were stranded on an island I would bring Madeline Oreo, my rabbit a family picture a tent with a bed in it.

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Morgan, Issaquah

Athletes for Kids

I want to help people not have hard lives and not feel alone. I give comfort to people when they are sad or if they feel like they donít have a friend. No one should be without a fried.

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Morgan, Issaquah

Athletes for Kids

My grandma who was my best friend died a year ago. I was really sad about it and cried a lot. My friends helped me to accept she isnít here anymore by talking about her being in heaven and in my heart always. They gave me comfort. Instead of being grumpy about it, I let them take care of me.

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Ben J.

Athletes for Kids

I am creative because I like to creative miniature amusement parks at home. Iíd love to design amusement parks when I grow up. They help people have fun.

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Ben J.

Athletes for Kids

I am creative because I like to creative miniature amusement parks at home. Iíd love to design amusement parks when I grow up. They help people have fun.

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Girl Scouts of Western Washington, Western Washington

www.girlscoutsww.org

Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.

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Kaitlyn, Marysville

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I am a future world changer.

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Kaitlyn, Marysville

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

My sophomore year, I was playing on my basketball team and hit my head on the hardwood. I donít remember much about that day, but I was very concussed. I battled disabling headaches that made everything impossible. It took me seven months to fully recover. During the seven months I was in and out of school when I could stand it. I went to endless doctorís appointments and battled with major depression. I canít play any more contact sports, but I learned that I can handle whatever life throws at me. I learned to be strong in my weakest moments and that if you work hard, you will get where you need to be.

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Kaitlyn, Marysville

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I am going to change the world by standing up for the underdog. I am an advocate for equality, especially in youth. I know what it feels like to be bullied for something you canít change. I want to make safe spaces for LBGT youth and let them know that they are loved. I want to support people as they need and prevent suicides. I want to create acceptance and love instead of hate and negativity. At the end of the day, we are all humans and everyone is worthy of kindness and compassion.

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Dorlynn, Seattle

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I think I could be funny enough to make my friends smile and laugh.

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Dorlynn, Seattle

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I am going to change the world by trying to help people that are struggling.

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Dorlynn, Seattle

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

My long term goals are to be in college.

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Fadumo, Kent

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I am a preservice person with pride and enthusiastic inspirations.

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Fadumo, Kent

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

One tough situation was when my grandma died. I was so close to her. I overcame it by trying to hear her in my heart not my mind and move towards my future.

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Fadumo, Kent

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I love to smile and make people's day.

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Kaya, none

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

My best personality trait is being helpful. The reasons are, on the playground I have five kindergarten buddies I play with and help them and others when they are hurt. I also help around my old classrooms and current classrooms during recess. When we have a picture day I usually get picked to help out. When I go to my Girl Scouts troop leader, Ms. Denises farm I get to help out will all sorts of stuff and have a lot of fun.

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Kaya, none

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I am funny, outgoing and friendly and would do anything for my friends.

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Kaya, none

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I would make the world a better place by starting a company to give lower income people a place to live and a good environment to live in.

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Shana, Woodinville

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

My best personality trait is that Iím compassionate. I try to put others opinions before my own because I feel good when other people are happy.

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Shana, Woodinville

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I am a teenager who wants to have fun and learn thigs that can be applied in the real world.

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Shana, Woodinville

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

If I could do anything to change the world then I would want to make it a better place by eliminating bullying for all ages. Some people are judged for their profession or things that have happened to them that they couldnít control and others make fun of them or look down on them for this. I believe that people shouldnít be judged for things that they canít control.

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Amina, Everett

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

If I was stranded on an island I would bring a bracelet my mom gave me, clothes and a picture of my family.

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Amina, Everett

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I think my best personality trait is that I am a hardworking person.

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Amina, Everett

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I am going to stop global warming because global warming is destroying the world.

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Marissa, Tacoma

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

My long term goal is going to Oregon University, becoming a marine biologist, have a family and when I retire, disappear into the mountains.

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Marissa, Tacoma

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

My best personality trait is caring. Taking care of animals because they are cute and cuddly and if I could I would bring a stray animal home with me.

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Victoria, Tacoma

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

My best personality trait is how accepting I am of everyone. Because I go to so many volunteer trainings and events I come in contact with all different kinds of people. I am open to talking to anyone because I am so accepting of peopleís thoughts and views I see myself as someone whom is easily approachable.

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Marissa, Tacoma

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

To change the world I would do anything I could like clean it, figure out a way to get rid of the toxic air and make it more fresh and healthier to breathe and use way less energy.

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Victoria, Tacoma

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I am a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter, a best friend, a volunteer, an environmentalist, a Girl Scout, a 12, a young leader, a singer, a book nerd, and of course, I am a human of earth.

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Victoria, Tacoma

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

When I was younger I was severely bullied and it definitely hindered my personal growth for years and beyond. What kept me afloat was instead of being put down from all the hurtful words said to me, I decided to channel that low self-esteem into making other feel better about themselves. Through volunteering and being an active member in my community, and in the Girl Scouts community, I have met some wonderful and amazing women who have helped me overcome my low self-esteem and lifted me up when I needed it the most. I am forever grateful for all the women I have been able to connect with. Without them and being involved in Girl Scouts I donít know what I wouldíve done.

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Riley, Burien

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

If I were stranded on an island I would bring reading glasses so the lenses would reflect off the sun and make fire, my dog so he can hunt for me and a bible for me to be with God.

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Riley, Burien

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

Iím positive because when someone says something negative, then I say something more positive. I never let negativity from other people bring me down.

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Riley, Burien

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

Girl Scouts has inspired me so much that I want to give back to the future Girl Scouts by being a camp counselor at Camp St. Abans and help inspire them too.

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Quinn, Des Moines

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

My long terms goals are to join running start and work on getting my AS degree so I can finish high school with a 3.6+ GPA and go to college to become a marine biologist. I want to study marine life in their natural habitat and to discover ways different global climates influence them. I also want to travel the world and visit all different cultures and ethnicities. By the time I am 50, I want to have visited and probably live on at least 5 of the 7 continents.

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Quinn, Des Moines

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I think my best personality trait is dedication because I try my best not to fail and I try to put effort into what I do. This quality is important because you need to get things done in life and be assertive towards what you want.

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Quinn, Des Moines

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I am making the world a better place by contributing to the community. I am doing community service projects to help dogs in animal shelters get adopted. Also, I am doing small things to keep the earth healthy for future generations. I recently picked up trash along Seahurst Beach, I recycle daily and I compost to minimum garbage. I also work with my Girl Scout troop and with WE Day programs to help end bullying.

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Simone, Everett

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I am someone who always tries to be myself and true to my ideals no matter what the situation.

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Simone, Everett

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I feel that I have already begun to change the world for future generations since within Girl Scouts and my family we work to change the things in our community where we see a problem then move outwards. For example: I realized that many kids that are homeless or in foster care do not have the privilege of having something as small as a birthday cake on their birthday. I gathered donations of cake mixes, birthday candles, frosting as well as small toys and coloring books to create ďbirthday boxesĒ that I donated to our local food bank and homeless youth shelter.

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Simone, Everett

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I feel that my best personality trait is my desire to help others because I was raised to believe kindness does matter.

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Jenasis, Marysville

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

My best trait I think is my creativity. I am able to turn a boring old school project into something super fun.

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Jenasis, Marysville

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

Hello, my name is Jenasis, I am a weird (in a good way), wacky, fun, funny, happy, creative and artistic person who wants to be your friend.

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Jenasis, Marysville

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

How am I going to change the world.. Well, first of all I would try to get rid of all bullyís so that everyone can be super kind and happy. Also, I would help reduce more so that there is less garbage. Finally, I will start a group where people can be as creative and original as they want, so the world can be a bit more colorful.

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Caytlin, Olympia

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

Iím not really afraid to talk to people, so I think that my best personality trait is being outgoing.

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Caytlin, Olympia

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

Iím in the middle of completing my Girl Scout Gold Award project that will hopefully reduce the number of teen deaths due to auto accidents. My brother was a great student, an amazing baseball player and my best friend. I donít want other to go through what Iíve been through and still deal with.

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Caytlin, Olympia

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

My brother William passed away in a car accident in 2010. It has been the worst situation that Iíve faced. My faith in God showed me that there was still hope and possibilities in life.

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Abbey, Burlington

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

Some of my long-term goals are to go to a four year college, become an ASL interpreter and travel the world.

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Abbey, Burlington

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

My best personality trait is my positive attitude because it helps me get things done.

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Abbey, Burlington

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

My father got in a hydroplane accident and had to stay in Harbor View for four days. My dad lost half his foot. My mom went down to the hospital and I stayed home, it was really hard to be without my parents even if it was only four days. After my dad came home from the hospital he had to stay on bed rest for eight week and my mom stayed home to take care of him so neither of them could work and money was really tight. Our community really helped support us they even held a spaghetti fundraiser to help pay for my dadís medical bills.

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Maleyzha, Tacoma

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

Honesty is my best personality trait because telling the truth is important.

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Maleyzha, Tacoma

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I am going to make the world better by being a surgeon and saving lives.

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Maleyzha, Tacoma

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

Losing my grandfather to cancer was a very tough situation. I overcame it by being around my family.

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Isha, Kenya, Africa

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

My best personality trait is being a caring person because I believe many people donít have enough people who care about them.

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Isha, Kenya, Africa

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I believe by stopping wars and terrorism attacks I can make the world a better place for future generations.

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Isha, Kenya, Africa

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I am a very nice, helpful and caring girl.

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Dana, Spanaway

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

If I was stranded on a desert island, the three things I would wish for are: a smart and willing companion so I can have someone to sing camp songs with me, a sleep number bed and an endless supply of tacos so I will never run out of food.

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Dana, Spanaway

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I think one of my best personality traits is my willingness to go the extra mile for people, I am the first one to volunteer and show my compassion. I strive to be the one to help where Iím needed and to always show compassion and kindness.

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Dana, Spanaway

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I donít see anyone being able to change the world single handedly, but one can change the world one person at a time. By helping one person they can then go on and help another, causing a domino effect of help. This effect will then make a better world for future generations and everyone participated in making it happen.

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Martha, Kingston

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I am Martha: an explorer of the world, a seeker of knowledge and peace, and an innovator for the future and betterment of our stunning global community.

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Martha, Kingston

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

In the summer before my junior year, while aimlessly brainstorming ideas for Girl Scout Gold Award Projects at a weekend workshop I heard and advisor urge, ďdonít create a project, find a problem you want to solve in your world and create a project out of your passion.Ē And I knew. I knew this was my chance to stop preaching and start doing. My project materialized quickly as I contacted a local organization called Children of the Nations, which works to improve the standards of living in impoverished countries by providing education to their children. I inquired if they had any need for a library for one of their schools and learned that they had been hoping to establish a library for their schools in Sierra Leone. And I knew it was Godís plan. Now almost a year has gone by and the crates of books are arriving at the school, ready to be placed on the empty book shelves. Soon the children will be flipping through them, hungrily soaking in all the knowledge and creativity they can as they chatter excitedly over the pages. Every time I think of this my heart grows so full I want to cry, not because I am sad but because I feel so incredibly blessed that I am already living my vision. I know I may only be 17 years old with a big dream, but those children in Sierra Leone have dreams too Ė dreams they will share as together we fight for education.

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Martha, Kingston

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

My dream is to impact the world of education by helping provide education in impoverished countries. Growing up with a mom as a teacher, I learned the importance of education early on. The power of knowledge was never a question but a fact in my home. It was only in my freshman year of high school however, that I began to fully understand just how many people are denied this indispensable human right. That fall I went to see the documentary, Girl Rising, at a local theater. While the documentary only shared the storied of a few girls, their stories symbolized the 66 million girls in the world who have been thrown away, forgotten by their countries and denied the human right of an education. We are responsible. I am responsible if I donít spend my life trying to change that 66 million to zero. Itís one thing to claim I understand the importance of education but I walked out of that theater wanting to fight for it.

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Meklit, Sand Point

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I want to learn marketing management at the University of Washington. I want to travel sometimes, but still live in Seattle.

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Meklit, Sand Point

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I love being around people, I love seeing people happy. I would change the world by going to countries who donít have a good education system and build them a school.

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Meklit, Sand Point

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I remember when I was six years old and my dad moved to Canada. It was very hard, I didnít get to see him in years. How I overcame that situation was by being happy with what I have and loving what I have.

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Tianna, Seattle

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

My best personality trait is kindness because I enjoy helping others.

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Tianna, Seattle

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

When I grow up, Iíll use money out of my salary to donate to schools so that they can buy desks, supplies, etc.

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Aminata, Marysville

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

First of all, I would like to go to Princeton University. When I grow up, my dream career is to be an architectural designer.

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Aminata, Marysville

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I am a fabulous, colorful and smart young lady.

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Aminata, Marysville

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

Unfortunately, I canít make climate change go away. But what I can do is dispose of trash correctly. I can recycle and put leftovers in the compost bin.

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Morgan, Marysville

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

My long term goals are: to graduate from college, start my own non-profit, host at least one night of Saturday Night Live and possibly the Tonight Show. I have many goals, but life will not always comply with these goals. I know that some curveballs will be thrown at me, but I have faith that I will be able to be resilient and live a beautiful life.

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Morgan, Marysville

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I, Morgan, am an introverted future comic with the same amount of passion and voluminous curly hair.

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Morgan, Marysville

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

To quote Pablo Picasso ďthe meaning of life is to find your gift. And the purpose is to give it away.Ē As a member of the human race and someone who has seen the saddest of faces and tried her best to make them smile, I want to create happiness. I know from past experience that happiness is a personal choice, but I want to help make people have a reason to smile. I have a gift when it comes to humor, and want to use it. I want to be able to make people smile and make them have a little more hope to carry on with in their days.

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J-Lee, Seattle

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

My best personality trait is caring for others. I feel like all people should and deserve to be taken care of, especially older people.

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J-Lee, Seattle

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I would help homeless people because everyone deserves to sleep in a warm bed that they can call their own.

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J-Lee, Seattle

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

My aunty passed away and it was very hard on the family. So now I try to live in her memory.

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Patricia, Olympia

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I am a daughter, a friend, an artist, a Girl Scout, but first, I am me.

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Patricia, Olympia

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

I think that a major problem that faces society today is the way that the media portrays and presents women. More often than not, if a woman is in an advertisement, a magazine, or on a billboard, she is shown in a suggestive way or in revealing clothing. Most likely, the picture is photo shopped to make a naturally beautiful woman look ďmoreĒ beautiful, skinner, flawless and overall distorted from what women actually look like. I feel that if I can raise awareness on this issue, if I can just inform one person on how wrong this is, that one person will inform one more person and so on. Then I have done my part in changing how people view what the media is distorting about our world and the women in it.

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Patricia, Olympia

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

In February of this year, due to the death of a friend we were living with, my mom and I became homeless. For four months we had to live on the couches of my grandparents. Everyday, we either drove around looking for apartments or homes we could rent or we spent hours calling around. It was hard to find somewhere we could afford since my mom is a single parent and a place that would allow us to keep our dog. Eventually, we did find a place that works for us. This I would have to say has been the most challenging thing in my life so far, and I know that the only thing that kept us going was the support from our family and friends. I donít know what we would have done without my grandparents. I know that us staying with them was not easy on them either, but I am grateful that they were there. In order to get through everything I really leaned on my family and friends.

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National Guard Association of Washington, Tacoma

www.ngaw.org

The National Guard Association of Washington aims to provide the highest quality support to our members and families.

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Jackson, Snohomish

National Guard Association of Washington

If I was stranded on a desert island, I would want God, a football and a boat.

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Jackson, Snohomish

National Guard Association of Washington

My long term goal is to make it into the NFL, the rest will follow.

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Jackson, Snohomish

National Guard Association of Washington

My best personality trait is my humor. I make others laugh and smile.

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Meghan, Post Falls

National Guard Association of Washington

I am a passionate leader with a curiosity about the world.

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Meghan, Post Falls

National Guard Association of Washington

I am going to make the world a better place by beginning with community. This includes creating better educational opportunities and environments for children. I intend to study law or psychology (applying to University of Utah, Yale, NYU, Duke and Columbia).

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Meghan, Post Falls

National Guard Association of Washington

My best personality trait is perseverance. It has allowed me to obtain many goals and create opportunities. I have a perfect GPA and have thrived in choir.

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Bobbie Jo, Tacoma

National Guard Association of Washington

I plan on going to a two year college and getting a degree in Interior Design.

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Bobbie Jo, Tacoma

National Guard Association of Washington

I am a fun, outgoing and all around loving person. I love meeting new people and enjoy the outdoors.

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Bobbie Jo, Tacoma

National Guard Association of Washington

The summer going into my sophomore year of high school, I found out I had double vision. I had to work twice as hard as other students as it was really difficult to read and write. I have had surgery which has helped with my up close vision, but not distant.

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Marianna, Spokane

National Guard Association of Washington

When my dad came back from being deployed, he was very stressed and did not know how to have fun. It caused a lot of stress on my family and my parents ended up getting divorced. There was a lot of tension in my family, but ultimately it has made us stronger.

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Marianna, Spokane

National Guard Association of Washington

My dream is to go a small private university next year and study pre-med. I would like to become a pediatric oncologist and possibly work for an organization like Partners in Health to eradicate disease from 3rd world countries.

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Marianna, Spokane

National Guard Association of Washington

I am a strong, independent, young lady. My best personality trait is my motivation. it allows me to commit to something and follow through making me successful.

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Ana, Tacoma

National Guard Association of Washington

I'm creative. For some reason I really like to draw food webs. Like you put grass at the bottom and a lion at the top and create the cycle of food-life. It's weird.

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Ana, Tacoma

National Guard Association of Washington

I have been the only girl on the wrestling team for three years. Everyone tells me girls shouldn't wrestle, and I overcame that by wrestling anyway. The first time I wrestled, my coach told me last minute that I was going to compete against a boy. I was thinking, "Can I do this?" I was so nervous. Then I pinned him.

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Ana, Tacoma

National Guard Association of Washington

I'm passionate about fighting for animal rights. There aren't any classes on things like that so I spend all my free time reading and researching. I want to help with endangered species and make sure we still have animals on our planet.

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Alec, Grandview

National Guard Association of Washington

I had to ask for help with my homework and started get extra help after school. It taught me that asking for help isn't so bad. When you need it, you need it.

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Alec, Grandview

National Guard Association of Washington

I'm determined. When I want to achieve something, I do whatever it takes. I'll stay after school, come in early, stay up late- there is no such thing as failure to me.

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Alec, Grandview

National Guard Association of Washington

I'm passionate about helping other kids in school. I play basketball so I had to get help, but other kids don't have that support system.

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Michael, Kingston

National Guard Association of Washington

I'm quiet and reserved. I skate a lot with my best friend- his name is also Michael. We get kicked out of places for skating a lot. I wish people would realized that skaters are good people. We aren't doing drugs or committing crimes. We aren't sitting in front of the TV. We're having fun.

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Michael, Kingston

National Guard Association of Washington

When my little brother was a baby, they found a baseball sized tumor in his brain. They removed it and a year later they had to do surgery again. They took out the part of his brain that holds the memory. I was so worried. He had to learn how to talk again, and now he never stops talking. His memory is better than anyone I know, and the doctors say sometimes people missing that part of their brain have the highest IQs. I'm just so happy he is okay. I've seen a lot for my age, and his happiness helps me to be happy.

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Michael, Kingston

National Guard Association of Washington

My father hasn't been in my life since I was 9 months old. For the first six years, it was just my mom and I. Then she married someone with two kids, had another baby and we moved out here. I'm happy, but it's an adjustment. At first I was like, "Who is this guy in my house with my mom and I?" But now I am building a relationship with my step-dad.

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John, Yelm

National Guard Association of Washington

I am shy at first, but very outgoing when you get to know me. Sports have helped me make a lot of friends. You're around the same people each day and you just become close. When I first meet people, I'm nice, but then I become funny. I got jokes.

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John, Yelm

National Guard Association of Washington

When my parents got divorced, I did something nobody wants to do. I talked to people. At first it feels bad and you don't want to talk about it, but it is so therapeutic. Trust me, it helps. I feel like their divorce doesn't even bother me anymore.

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John, Yelm

National Guard Association of Washington

People think they have to do something big to change the world. But they don't. Just be nice to people. Small things can do big things.

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Jarod, Lacey

National Guard Association of Washington

I will change the world by inventing inventions that save lives.

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Jarod, Lacey

National Guard Association of Washington

My mom is in the National Guard. She fixes things and I think I inspired her! I liked robots before she started fixing things for work.

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Jarod, Lacey

National Guard Association of Washington

I'm a creative person who is obsessed with robots. I like making them, watching them and studying them. I like structure and playing Minecraft. One day I want to become an engineer so I can build robots. They are all I can think about sometimes!

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Hayden, Napavine

National Guard Association of Washington

My mission in life is to clean up the oceans and the Earth. I hunt, fish and spend a lot of time outside so I see how precious our world is. Itís crazy to think how easy it would be for us to make a change. Just don't spill oil, don't litter. Think about the animals and Earth! I'll be working on this the rest of my life.

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Hayden, Napavine

National Guard Association of Washington

I make friends really fast and I feel like I have a lot of friends. You could call me a jock, but I will make friends with anyone. Just come say hi!

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Hayden, Napavine

National Guard Association of Washington

I don't get to spend time with my dad very much so my uncle has become like a second dad. He takes me hunting and spends a lot of time with me. Sometimes it's tough, but I feel like every situation I face in life will be easier because I've faced this. And my Dad still has an impact on my life. He flies helicopters in the military and inspires me to be tough and finish the job.

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Hallie, Federal Way

National Guard Association of Washington

I'm loyal. No matter what the situation is, I will have your back and be there next to you to support you and help with you with everything you do.

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Hallie, Federal Way

National Guard Association of Washington

I want to make the world better by encouraging recycling and compost. I'm a typical Northwest girl I love the environment. I also want to help endangered animals and become a wildlife veterinarian.

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Hallie, Federal Way

National Guard Association of Washington

My father was deployed to the Philippines for seven months and I had to go through constant tormenting of bullying. Without my dad I wasn't sure if I would be able to stand up for myself or make any friends. Although the bullying never stopped, I kept going and pushing myself to stay in school and be self motivated. I just wanted so bad to be able to see my dad and show him that I had done well for myself. I was in fourth grade.

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Francisco, Port Orchard

National Guard Association of Washington

I'm an energetic, creative odd ball who loves making new friends.

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Francisco, Port Orchard

National Guard Association of Washington

I pray a lot. My grandfather died this year, so sometimes I talk to God and sometimes I talk to him. Other times I ask for forgiveness to anyone who will listen. I don't go to church all the time, I just like the comfort and closure I get from praying. What I've learned about dealing with death is that you should think about how that person would want you to move on and be happy. It helps.

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Francisco, Port Orchard

National Guard Association of Washington

My dream is to create a world better equipped for special needs children. I never knew anyone with special needs until I talked to the kids at my school. People don't realize how cool they are you just need to talk to them! All I saw was kids making fun of them but, when you read about their challenges, you realize how amazing they are. So will I change the world? I can't be sure, but I certainly hope so.

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Troy, Puyallup

National Guard Association of Washington

I'm an artistic, smart young man still trying to figure out my future. I'm adventurous. What's life without an adventure, you know?

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Troy, Puyallup

National Guard Association of Washington

When my dad deployed and my mom worked, I had to take care of myself and my sister. After a few days and some help from my neighbor, I wasn't so nervous anymore.

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Troy, Puyallup

National Guard Association of Washington

If I was stranded on a desert island, I would want the following three items: My dog tag from my dad, my sketch pad, and my box of letters I keep from my dad while he's deployed.

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Terrell, University Place

National Guard Association of Washington

Kindness is my priority. When people don't feel the best, I want them to know I'll always be there for them. Always.

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Terrell, University Place

National Guard Association of Washington

My cousin started down the wrong path in life and it was all because he felt forgotten and kind of worthless. Now it's my mission to make young people understand their worth. I want to teach them, even though it might feel really tough to be young, you can take life into your own hands and control your future.

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Terrell, University Place

National Guard Association of Washington

My great grandfather died when I was 12. I was holding his hand as he passed away. It was really powerful. Him and my uncle were close, and I'm a lot like my uncle so we had a really tight bond. Now I compete for him. When I am competing in football or lacrosse, all I can think of is him. I'm honoring him in everything I do.

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Emily, Federal Way

National Guard Association of Washington

My dad with in the Army for Desert Storm. He was a helicopter pilot in the 1st Infantry Division. Nine months after he got back, my brother was born. Now my brother is in the National Guard and I don't know what it feels like not to be surrounded by heroes.

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Emily, Federal Way

National Guard Association of Washington

I want to become a family therapist so I can help people with their problems. A lot of my friends have divorced parents and other issues. I just want to be there to listen and give advice.

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Emily, Federal Way

National Guard Association of Washington

I'm the middle child so I don't get a lot of attention. People joke about it, but it's a serious thing. I've just learned to be independent and do things myself. I'm not bitter. Sometimes people complain about their situation, but at some point you have to just accept it and go with it.

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Sam, Tacoma

National Guard Association of Washington

I'm a nice, funny, smart and helpful person who likes to be involved, but scared people will judge me.

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Sam, Tacoma

National Guard Association of Washington

My goal is to make future generations less dependent on social media and electronics. I see babies in the grocery store with iPads. It's crazy! I want people to talk to each other, to go outside, to spend time with their families.

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Sam, Tacoma

National Guard Association of Washington

My brother, Conner, passed away when I was 8. You don't really get over things like that. Time and being around family help. We also went to therapy and that helps a little bit. Everything else you face in life is a lot easier after something like that.

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Emma, Dupont

National Guard Association of Washington

I'm an easy-going, happy, hard-working person who loves music, running and helping others.

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Emma, Dupont

National Guard Association of Washington

I'm naturally a really quiet person. I realized I wasn't really happy being shy so, at the beginning of high school, I decided to become more outgoing. I joined Key Club, FFA, choir and Washington Air National Guard Youth. The first day I always thought, "Why did I sign up for this?", but it always gets easier after the first day. I'm happy now.

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Emma, Dupont

National Guard Association of Washington

I want to join the Peace Corps one day. There is so much change that can be made by volunteering your time. That's kind of my life mission. I want everyone to volunteer for something - we can change the world for the better!

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Scott, Lacey

National Guard Association of Washington

I am an energetic, fun person who plays soccer and lots of video games (my parents think I could do without the video game part).

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Scott, Lacey

National Guard Association of Washington

I can make friends wherever I go. I can change a bad day into a good one for someone just by saying hi and having a conversation. It's so simple!

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Scott, Lacey

National Guard Association of Washington

My mom deployed to Kuwait so I had to move to Arizona for a year to live with my grandparents. I had to adapt to a new environment and try to fit in with all new people, so that was hard. I can tell you one thing, it helps to make friends!

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Brianna, Puyallup

National Guard Association of Washington

If I was stranded on a deserted island, I would want the following three items: The book Robinson Crusoe from my Nana, the eagle feather from my grandfather, and my cello to play music.

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Brianna, Puyallup

National Guard Association of Washington

I am going to change the world by spreading happiness and reducing the world's ecological footprint.

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Brianna, Puyallup

National Guard Association of Washington

I am an intelligent young woman who is empowered to become the best I can be while continuing to learn and help the people around me. My goal is the get my high school diploma, get my Associate's degree from Community College, attend Oregon State University (studying Ecological Engineering) and then join the National Guard.

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David, Puyallup

National Guard Association of Washington

I am a courageous, independent man who can do anything he wants in life.

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David, Puyallup

National Guard Association of Washington

My sister passed away. I poured my energy into football to try to get over it. Something about being dedicated to a task that involves a team. It helps.

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David, Puyallup

National Guard Association of Washington

Courage is really important to me. No matter what the circumstances are, I am in control of how I carry myself and how willing I am to try new things. I always attempt at trying the new things.

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Amanda, Graham

National Guard Association of Washington

I am really involved in school and church events. I like to teach children, but not just about God. I want them to learn kindness and give them someone to count on.

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Amanda, Graham

National Guard Association of Washington

When I went from elementary school to middle school I only knew one person. It was really tough. I reconnected with old friends and then made a goal to make a knew friend in every class. It can be scary, but it helps so much.

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Amanda, Graham

National Guard Association of Washington

I think I have a kind heart. I like to be supportive of people and I think it's so helpful when you can just be there for others.

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YMCA of Greater Seattle, Seattle

www.seattleymca.org

The YMCA of Greater Seattle is committed to building a community where all people, especially the young, are encouraged to develop their fullest potential in spirit, mind, and body.

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Chuck, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I like to stay positive. I always give a positive attitude in school and home life. You can always see me smiling and saying hi to people.

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Chuck, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I want to be a football player, but not one that just plays, I want to give back. I want to start a foundation for people who are in the military and support their families by giving them resources.

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Chuck, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

One of the most difficult things I have have done is learn to play the violin. It was hard getting all my fingers where they should go. I started going to orchestra class and staying after school to practice and I got better.

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Mizanna, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

My dream is to end racism and I think I can make an impact by being nice to people. I also want to start a program to end homelessness.

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Mizanna, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I used to get really bad grades and had to learn the only way to improve them is to work really hard. I stay after school or come in before school so I can make up things I missed and stay on top of my grades.

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Mizanna, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I do anything to avoid being bored. I'm very funny and like to entertain people. Humor is my favorite part of me!

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Ivan, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I love to play soccer, try new sports and go to my after school program.

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Ivan, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I want to encourage my friends not to fight. Sometimes you just have to be a good friend. I want to make the community better.

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Ivan, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

When my mom first told me we were moving to the United States of America, I was really nervous. Then I started to get excited about it and eager to move and start learning.

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Zeck, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I want to go to college and play football in the NFL.

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Zeck, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I am full of energy, fun, and I love sports!

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Zeck, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I want to be a football player and start a foundation to help kids be great athletes and great students.

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Jamaica, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I have worked really hard to make positive decisions. My mom and the staff at YMCA and my school have helped me a lot.

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Jamaica, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I want to work with babies when I grow up. I want to make sure they are happy, healthy and live with loving families.

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Jamaica, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I like to laugh, spend time with family and watch movies.

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Tiandra, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I'm very funny and I love to sing and dance.

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Tiandra, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I wish to go to the University of Washington and become a nurse practitioner.

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Tiandra, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

My best personality trait is singing because, honestly, I like to sing in the shower a lot.

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Triny, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I'm going to make the world a better place by helping kids learn and get an education so they will have a great future.

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Triny, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

When I was in Kindergarten I didn't know how to speak English. It was so hard. The teacher worked really hard to teach me and I worked hard to learn. It has paid off now, but it was really hard then.

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Triny, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

Before I meet someone I am shy, but then once I get to know them I am really out-going.

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Mary, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I'm loving. I care about everyone. My dream is to go to the University of Washington and then become an OBGYN.

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Mary, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

People like to pick on me because they think I'm quiet and won't saying anything back but that is not true. I will say something back if I have to, I just prefer not to.

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Mary, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I am passionate about being kind toward new people. It can be scary to meet new people so I want everyone to know I care about them.

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Cindy, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

When I was younger I had to take anger management because my home life was tough. My parents lost their jobs and then had my baby brother. It was so hard but everyone I knew tried to help and now I am on the leadership committee at school.

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Cindy, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I am going to change the world by helping people who need a friend.

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Cindy, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I am easy going and can get along with anyone.

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Jasmine, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I want to change the world by reminding people to be more grateful and leading by example in giving thanks. I never noticed how much my parents do for me until recently. One day I realized that they are so selfless and work their whole lives to take care of me. I never want to take anything for granted again. One meal is better than zero meals, you know? We can all find something to be thankful for.

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Jasmine, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I'm very loud and I like to express myself. If I think something I have to say it. I don't hold feelings in. I'm not afraid of people. I say hi to everyone in the hallway. I care so deeply about people and how they are doing. I wish everyone was fearless about saying hi to each other!

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Jasmine, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

Math has always been a struggle for me. I got into an advanced class because I thought I was ready but I had to be switched out. I was so disappointed in myself. I talked to my mom and she told me to take things slow. I worked my way back into difficult math and learned that you have to take things at your own pace in life. It doesn't matter what you're doing, go at the pace that will make you successful.

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Sharon, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

My dream is to get my education in Hawaii so I can reunite with my brothers who I was separated from when I was 2 years old.

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Sharon, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

Bullying was pretty bad until I finally stood up for myself. I just couldn't take it anymore. I had suicidal thoughts until I got friends and found someone to live for.

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Sharon, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I am a person who is half Hawaiian and half Samoan. I am athletic and funny, and a good at drawing. I love animals, sports, anime and family. Family is everything.

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Andrew, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

My mom was recently released from her job. I've been helping out a lot and taking time away from basketball.

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Andrew, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I am a hard-working motivated kid with a future.

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Andrew, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I like to coach kids and try to raise them proper and teach them to always help their team, family, friends and strangers. Everyone forgets about that last part. Strangers are important, too.

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Erick, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I never knew how to play the guitar. My sister taught me and it was really confusing at first but after I few days I learned how to move my finger around from one string to another.

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Erick, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I was born in Mexico and I have a brother and a sister. Family is really important to me.

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Erick, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I am funny, smart, and good at being cool.

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Kyle, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I want to become an NBA player so I can afford to take care of my family. Family is everything.

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Kyle, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I'm cool, funny, smart, and I talk a lot.

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Kyle, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I used to fight a lot. I was tired of getting detention so I decided to finally do something about it. When I'm angry, I've learned to take a deep breath and calm down. It sounds obvious but you have to make the decision to put your actions in your own control.

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Ifeanyi, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I used to have a bad attitude about people. It felt natural to think poorly of everyone. Then I realized that I can control how I think of people and treat them. I overcame my bad attitude by choosing to have a good one.

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Ifeanyi, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I am funny, smart and honest.

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Ifeanyi, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I will be an engineer and build stuff that will have an impact. Then I will help the needy. Then I will help my family. Then I will help everyone around me. So I guess I'm going to change the world.

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Moses, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I am a kind, loving person who loves to play basketball and the ukelele.

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Christian, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I am an easy going person that loves to learn new things and hear about what other people have to say.

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Moses, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I am going to change the world by telling people to stop bullying. You have to stand up for yourself. Imagine the world without bullying. It would be peaceful.

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Christian, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

Even though I don't fully understand it, I'm really interested in quantum physics. I want to be a scientist and discover something someday. It doesn't have to be big because even the small things make a big impact in science.

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Christian, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

After my parents separated I moved around a lot. I went to six different elementary schools and lived in seven different houses. My Dad found a house and we have been living there since 2012. Things turned around and I'm so thankful to not have to switch schools anymore.

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Chiamaka, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I am an energetic, smart girl who is devoted to a lot of things. My priorities in life are school, sports, family/friends and God.

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Chiamaka, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I'm going to change the world by committing to working in the community every single year and by joining clubs in school that teach me techniques and skills that I can apply to my life and teach other people. Changing the world can start in your community.

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Chiamaka, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

Last year I had horrible grades. I showed my dad and he was mad, which made me sad. I decided to retake every class and be absolutely sure I didn't disappoint my dad again. It was hard work, but I got 4s in everything and now I'm in Algebra!

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Tadeo, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I don't like to stay in one place. Ever. I have a lot of energy.

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Tadeo, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I want to create fun, education video games for children who learn best by playing games.

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Tadeo, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I want to work for after school programs with students, so I can give them a safe place to be that is off the streets and they can hang out with cool adults!

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Roslyn, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

My goals are to graduate, play sports and get a good education. It might sound like everyone's goal, but that doesn't make it any easier to achieve.

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Roslyn, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

A tough situation that I have faced is that I argue with everyone, but with experience it will get better. Either I will become a better arguer or learn ways to not argue with people so much!

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Roslyn, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I think I get my "crazy" trait from my mom. I like to play a lot and have fun. People think too much about what everyone else is thinking. Just be wild and have fun!

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Seth, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I want to go to the University of Washington and possible play football. Regardless of what I do with my school and career, I want to make sure I always help people. If you look around, it's all about people. We can all be nice to each other.

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Seth, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

My best personality trait is encouraging others to do their best. When people are sad, I try to encourage them to feel better.

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Seth, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I want to change the world by spreading kindness to others, setting good examples and making sure everyone feels included. "There was a kid at YMCA day camp that was mean to everyone so no one would talk to him. I felt that he was left out and thought if he was included he would be nicer. I started by doing the activities he wanted to do and tried talking to him after a while. I wasn't scared. I felt that whatever was going to happen was going to happen. What is the worst that can come out of trying? For the record, we became friends and he started being nice to people. Not too bad, huh?

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Lexi, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I want to be a veterinarianís assistant. I want to help take care of the animals but I definitely donít want to operate! I know that the first step is to get a good education. Thatís all you really need to know about this world. A good education will get you anywhere you want.

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Lexi, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

For the most part I have a really good life. Sometimes kid are mean to me, but I donít pay attention much. They are just boys. Boys do what boys do.

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Lexi, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

Lexi is a self-proclaimed cat whisperer who is passionate about animals and specifically about saving cats and finding them places to live. ďI love fostering cats so they wonít become feral. All cats love me, too. I take care of them and they always listen to me.

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Jaden, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

My dream is to teach kids with special needs or be an elementary school teacher. I plan to do running start at community college and then get my college degree from Western or Eastern. I donít know exactly what I will do yet, but I will live the rest of my life with my baby, Fred, who is a Russian Tortoise. He can live for over 80 years.

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Jaden, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I am a fun, athletic, quirky girl who is passionate about making a difference. I like to be unique. Society tells us we all need to be the same, but I find my ways to be different. I dance everywhere with no shame.

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Jaden, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I was born with sensory integration disorder. It took me a long time to be able to communicate my needs. It is something I have to deal with every day. A lot of people donít understand this disorder and it was hard to communicate what I needed when I was just trying to survive each day. With the help of some community organizations and my family, I found ways to cope with it and now I am an honor student with a 1,000-word vocabulary.

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Cornelius, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I used to get suspended a lot for fighting. People would do things to me and I would get mad and fight back. But I started to surround myself with people I could trust. Now I don't talk as much which helps because I stay out of people's business and they stay out of mine.

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Cornelius, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

My dream is to go to the University of Washington and then play in the NBA. My family doesn't have money so I'm going to have to work harder than everyone else. I've learned from my favorite players that it's all about education and hard work. I'm going to keep my grades up, get into a great school, and be the best athlete I can be. I play basketball, football and run track. In basketball I play shooting guard and small forward and in football I play outside linebacker and fullback.

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Cornelius, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

People think racism is funny, but it's not. It makes people not want to go to school, which makes them not have an education and not able to get good jobs. It isn't just a joke it ruins lives. I want to change the world by putting a complete end to racism. I personally have not experienced racism (thankfully), but have learned about it in school and am passionate about making a change.

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Maia, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

High school has been tough. A lot of stress and negative energy was surrounding me and making me into a bad person. I overcame that by thinking positive and being the best I could be. Friends of mine that Iíve known forever started making really bad decisions and I felt pressured to do the same things. I was getting in trouble and becoming a really negative person. Finally I realized I needed to make a change so I asked my family and my church for support. They helped me to distance myself from that group and my grades and attitude have improved a lot. You know what the best part is? Weíre still friends. I just know my boundaries and they do too.

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Maia, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I always look for the positive outcome. My motto for my 15th year of life is: Nobody is Perfect. I always thought everybody in life would be positive, but I learned that not everything is perfect. You canít always be positive but what matters is that you make the most of everything. You can be your best self without having the perfect mindset all of the time. Itís okay to be flawed.

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Maia, Auburn

YMCA of Greater Seattle

I would describe myself as a helpful person. If you need me to do something, I will do everything I can to be there. I kind of grew up fast. I have younger siblings and my parents gave me a lot of responsibilities very young. When other kids were playing, I was helping out my parents. Sometimes I wish I would have stayed a kid longer, but it has set me up for life and I wouldnít be the person I am today without my parents raising me this way.

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Washington Space Aeroscholars, Seattle

www.museumofflight.org/was

Washington Aerospace Scholars (WAS) is a two-part program for high school juniors focused on topics in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Phase One is an five-month distance learning course designed in partnership with NASA and the University of Washington, which provides students the opportunity to earn five college credits while learning about the history of NASA, the space environment around Earth, and the future of human space exploration. Top scoring Phase One students receive an invitation to participate in a six-day Summer Residency held at The Museum of Flight in Seattle. Students who qualify for the Summer Residency will get an exclusive inside look at the aerospace industry in Washington State through behind-the-scenes aerospace company tours, STEM expert presentations, and the opportunity to network informally with STEM professionals. Summer Residency participants also get the opportunity to connect with like-minded peers from across the state and participate in engineering challenges, museum tours and team building activities. After completing the Summer Residency, students also become members of an exclusive alumni network and are informed of special scholarship and internship opportunities.

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Liam, Bellingham

Washington Aerospace Scholars

My sophomore year, I was unmotivated and didn't see the point of school. But then I found passion in something, and it made school much more meaningful to me. Finding a passion in a subject and setting goals taught me that hard work is a valuable quality. I love everything STEM and I am motivated and eager to learn.

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Liam, Bellingham

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I think my best personality trait is the ability to be able to get along with most people. I am an introvert and do not particularly love to be the center of attention, but being able to work with outer people and learn from them is a very important skill.

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Liam, Bellingham

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I am going to change the world in a better ways by doing both the little things, and the big ones. Little things are constantly underestimated. Even if it is only a smile, a polite and meaningful gesture can impact other people in a positive way. I want to improve the world by designing something that will help people, and then doing humanitarian work though out my life.

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Riley, Washougal

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I want study at Montana State University and become the first one in my family to attend a four-year university. I want to study bioengineering and help advance the medical field by developing new medical instruments and prosthetic limbs.

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Riley, Washougal

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I want to study at Montana State University and become the first one in my family to attend a four-year university. I want to study bioengineering and help advance the medical field by developing new medical instruments and prosthetic limbs.

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Riley, Washougal

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I feel my work ethic is one of my best traits. It takes a lot of hard work to achieve your dreams. In addition, I am a diligent high school student who has aspirations of helping people who are sick and injured.

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Scout, La Center

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I donít know if Iíd say that Iíll change the world, but Iíll sure try to change the places I go for the better. I feel like I have already kind of started that because in my hometown of approximately -53 people, I built a Gay-Straight Alliance in a school that had a ban on clubs. There are a lot of people near me who are quite homophobic, and a lot of people who just donít ďunderstandĒ LGBT people. I made an LGBT safe place to change that, and to support those who might need it (living in a place like we do).

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Scout, La Center

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I am interested in too many topics to ever be able to study all of them.

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Scout, La Center

Washington Aerospace Scholars

Iíd like to think that Iím pretty open to people, so when people are comfortable talking to me even though we might not know each other, or when people are comfortable asking me some potentially dumb questions because they feel like I will give them a straight-up answer, that makes me really happy. I hope that I can stay open and there for people when they need it.

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Lara, Sammamish

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I am a quirky person who loves animals and people from everywhere and anywhere.

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Lara, Sammamish

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I want to study genetics and agriculture. When incorporating these two aspects into space and aerospace, one might be skeptical. However, the international space station spends lots of time and money completing tests that analyze genetics and aquaponics. I want to study how we, as a people, can genetically modify food to make it more nutritional, better growing in harsh environments and more sustainable.

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Lara, Sammamish

Washington Aerospace Scholars

My best trait is open mindedness. I am always open to knew ideas and I embrace people of all different types of ideologies. The one thing about the space experiments into agriculture is that what we discover in space can mean that we can make our life here on Earth more sustainable as well. I wish to travel all over the world, learning about different cultures and ideologies while at the same time, planting crops for sustainable agriculture.

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Alexis, Lake Stevens

Washington Aerospace Scholars

My best personality trait is my devotion to what I love. I love my family, I love learning, and I love aerospace. I am never casually strolling, instead I am always running and chasing what I love.

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Alexis, Lake Stevens

Washington Aerospace Scholars

The most difficult situation came during my sophomore year of high school. The six months between between August and February of 2013, I lost my Grannie, my Great Grandpa and my Grandpa. My Grandpa was my best friend, and while I was there by his side from the day he was diagnosed with brain, lung, and kidney cancer, to the day that he passed away. He was the biggest Seahawks fan, and I continue to wear his Russell Wilson jersey today. He was the man who introduced me to the aerospace field, and was ecstatic as my passion developed. He retired from the Boeing Company after 30 years. We watched the entire Seahawks season together. He passed two days after the Seahawks won the Super Bowl XLVIII.

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Alexis, Lake Stevens

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I am going to change the world by teaching younger kids about the excitement and opportunity in the STEM field. Iím a teaching assistant for 7th-12th grade math classes during the summers, and I am avidly involved in volunteering with introductory STEM courses for middle school students. I am especially interested in helping younger girls become interested in the STEM field. Although there are more and more girls every year in math based fields, girls are not represented equally yet. It is my duty to the younger female generations to bring them up to their full potential in the field.

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Megan, Spokane

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I plan on attending a four year college to pursue my goal of becoming an orthodontist or a specialized medical practitioner. I want to pursue a specialized career because I want to be able to change lives by pushing myself to become the best I can be at my specialty. Regarding family, adopting and fostering children inspires me to contribute to the well being of future generations.

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Megan, Spokane

Washington Aerospace Scholars

My end goal is to open a non-profit organization to help struggling school families and provide young students the opportunity to give back to their hometown and community. Too commonly kids imagine a starving mother in some far away country when hearing ďimpoverished.Ē There are so many people in their own community that only need a dayís worth of time to make a world of a difference.

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Megan, Spokane

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I am a people-loving, community oriented, small town girl who can spread herself a little thin sometimes, but wants to make a difference. One of my features that I proudly say is my best is my welcoming spirit. I know how it feels to be uncomfortable in a new surrounding, or even my own high school! Iíve come to realize how feeling at home and accepted can completely change someone for the better boosting confidence and inspiring creativity. The extra effort of simply saying ďHi!Ē with a smile in the hallways between classes is absolutely worth five seconds to create a comfortable atmosphere for everyone, and I love every moment!

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Connor, Richland

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I am passionate about the design and construction of space vehicles. Space is truly the last, and most likely final, frontier. I want to work on vehicles that open up and transform space in the same way that the first airliners did for global travel.

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Connor, Richland

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I am a young man with a goal to be a future pioneer in design of engineered systems for the aerospace industry, and someone who has taken steps to achieve that end. I am passionate about the design and construction of space vehicles. Space is truly the last, and most likely final, frontier. I want to work on vehicles that open up and transform space in the same way that the first airliners did for global travel.

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Connor, Richland

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I am a senior in High School. I have a challenging academic course load, a part time engineering internship at Energy Solutions, responsibilities at home, and I am an Electrathon America race team member. Although difficult, I have managed to organize my responsibilities so that I am able to give all that is needed to succeed in each of my roles. I do not have a lot of free time, but I feel that I am on track to achieve my future goals.

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Lawrence, Bothell

Washington Aerospace Scholars

Iím a creative, adaptable, spontaneous, and determined boy who loves to understand how things work.

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Lawrence, Bothell

Washington Aerospace Scholars

Iím training for my Private Pilot Certificate currently, and it can be challenging to balance a time commitment between it and soccer, Full IB, and life. However, it helps to experience the difficulty because Iíve developed my time management skills and my determination to succeed. I hope that when I become older, wherever I end up, I never grow to be satisfied with what I have accomplished.

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Lawrence, Bothell

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I love people and I love creating. Iím passionate about happiness. I know that I have ideas that are unique to myself, and know that if I am able to materialize my ideas into tangible technologies or capabilities, I can make a positive difference for the future.

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Annamarie, Gig Harbor

Washington Aerospace Scholars

My best personality trait is my wry sense of humor. I often encourage laughter from my friends. We like throwing jokes and wit back and forth with each other.

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Annamarie, Gig Harbor

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I have to write things on my hand so I remember to do things... except my homework, I am pretty good at remembering to do that most of the time!

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Annamarie, Gig Harbor

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I am a tenacious, self-determined, strong, ambitious young women who enjoys channeling her inner child.

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Joy, Seabeck

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I think stubbornness is my best personality trait. Although stubbornness has a negative connotation, being stubborn generally prevents me giving up on anything that I decide to do. It keeps me motivated and eager to explore every opportunity that I can. It keeps me striving to be best that I can be.

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Joy, Seabeck

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I would like make the world a better place by getting more women involved in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) and to provide more opportunities for elementary and middle school students to get involved in STEM. I would also like to volunteer abroad doing something like improving transportation or sanitation systems in places that struggle to develop.

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Joy, Seabeck

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I plan on enrolling in a university next fall and pursuing a major in computer engineering and a minor in international business. I love to travel, so I am hoping to study abroad while I am in college. I would like to intern at either Google, Amazon, Microsoft, or NASA and ultimately obtain a career in STEM that allows me to travel extensively.

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Eli, Seattle

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I wish to spend my life learning about the world, being a good citizen, and meeting people with whom I can do the previous two things. I plan to attend a four year university and get my bachelors of Science, and eventually a Masters, in aerospace engineering. I would like to work for NASA or in the commercial space industry. I am also considering living in Spain and possibly raising a family there.

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Eli, Seattle

Washington Aerospace Scholars

When I was two years old, I was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Since then, it been a challenge to interact with my peers, but I seem to have improved my social skills. When I tell people that I am autistic, their first reaction is "you are not!"

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Eli, Seattle

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I would describe myself as passionate and curious. If something sparks my interest, I will stop at nothing to learn everything about it. These traits definitely help me academically.

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Madison, Snoqualmie

Washington Aerospace Scholars

When I think about changing the world, I think the best thing anyone can do is step in when their time is right and play their part. For me to change the world, I am going to ensure I am open-minded, educated and ready for for when my time comes.

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Madison, Snoqualmie

Washington Aerospace Scholars

After high school, I hope to go to an university and study to be an aerospace engineer. I could work at an established company or begin my own. I hope to maybe start a family along the way, but aerospace is my dream.

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Madison, Snoqualmie

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I think being creative is one of my best personality traits. In my experience, it has allowed me to think outside the box and have unconventional and effective ideas.

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Megan, Bellevue

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I spent my 7th and 8th grade years in an international school. I was not familiar with the language, but I was able to persevere and learn a bit of the language and was able to function as a student there.

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Megan, Bellevue

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I hope to attend a four year college and major in mechanical engineering. I want to build robots that will assist the elderly or help in the field of medicine.

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Megan, Bellevue

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I am perseverant. I do not give up in difficult situations. This has helped me grow as a person and experience things that would not have otherwise. I am passionate and easy-going.

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Melissa, Sammamish

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I hope to change the world to make it a better place for future generations by helping raise people's self esteem and confidence so that they are not targets of bullies.

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Melissa, Sammamish

Washington Aerospace Scholars

My long term goals are to go to college to study and major in biological engineering. With this major, I hope to research and help to find a cure for cancer and possibly other deadly ailments.

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Melissa, Sammamish

Washington Aerospace Scholars

My best personality trait is being energetic and optimistic. There is always hope and faith to change things when needed!

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Eksanie, Tacoma

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I think the best thing I can do to make the world a better place is to start working to make myself better, then I can set a positive example for others. I hope that I can make a great impact on how future generations will interact.

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Eksanie, Tacoma

Washington Aerospace Scholars

Last spring quarter I was told that I would not be accepted to move into Calculus 1, but I was determined and proved to my teacher that I had the ability to take the class. Now I am in Calculus 2!

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Eksanie, Tacoma

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I think my best trait is being optimistic and determined. Most people have a lack of faith in themselves. But I do not like to give up.

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Yash, Redmond

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I do not come from tragic circumstances. I have no beautiful and saddening origin story. I get up in the morning and work until I succeed, simple as that.

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Yash, Redmond

Washington Aerospace Scholars

Early in my junior year, I was failing calculus. As a person who had gotten straight A's in mathematics since seventh grade, this was highly disturbing. For a while, I denied it, saying that it was an issue with the teacher's grading or just bad luck. However, as it dawned on me that I was really failing a math class, I became depressed about it. It became more and more difficult to focus on my work. I always felt like I was incapable of fixing the issue. Several times, my incapability to do calculus drove me to tears. Eventually I had to deal with it. I had to let go of my preconceptions that I was perfect at math and work hard at math instead. I started tutoring. During my winter break, I worked four to eight hours a day on calculus alone. I kept on trying, trying and trying to get better until I finally started to understand it. At the end of the year, I managed to pass the class and achieve the best score possible on the AP examination.

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Yash, Redmond

Washington Aerospace Scholars

My best personality trait is my determination. No matter how difficult the task may be, I will attempt it. I face difficulty every day academically and socially, however, I get up every day and do what I must to succeed. My life is not going to be easy, it will be difficult and tiring, and I would have it no other way. Life without challenge is not a life worth living. The greatest part of living is testing our capabilities and improving them.

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Katey, Mukilteo

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I am a tenacious, hard-working and fun loving individual.

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Katey, Mukilteo

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I love my socks!

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Katey, Mukilteo

Washington Aerospace Scholars

I am going to change the world by innovating space travel. There is so much that we do not know about our own universe and I believe that finding new ways to travel in space is the first step towards getting there. By innovating space travel, the human race can further establish a presence beyond Earth for generations to come.

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Katey, Mukilteo

Washington Aerospace Scholars

My long term career goal is to become an aerospace engineer. As far as college, I hope to attend Cal Poly - San Louis Obispo. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be an engineer. After completing Washington Aerospace Scholars this summer I can now affirm that want to pursue aerospace engineering. With a passion for science and a love of innovation, I am confident that this is the path for me!

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue, Bellevue

www.bgcbellevue.org/

Mission: To inspire & enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring responsible citizens.

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue, Bellevue

We Are Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue!

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Abby, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I always try to be compassionate, so I think I am a good listener. I like to hear other people's stories and to be their cheerleader.

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Abby, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Abby is a great member of the Boys and Girls Clubs Music Advisory team. Always willing and able to take on challenging and unique task. A fantastic artist with limitless possibility, potential, and brings a motivated attitude. She desires to become a journalist or an artist living in New York City. Her ultimate goal is to be happy!

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Abby, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I am creative. I love plants, music and art. I hope to make people happy through daily gestures of kindness.

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Angelina, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I think it is important for people to understand that there is more to people than just their looks. So many people form an opinion based on how someone looks. You need to get to know the person first.

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Angelina, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I am outgoing. I am intellectual. I am always on the move.

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Angelina, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Angelina is a 7th grader at Tillicum Middle School where she plays soccer and softball. She also keeps a 3.8 GPA. Outside of school she does gymnastics and has joined the Boys & Girls Clubs Keystone group which is focused on leadership/community service. She plans to go to medical school (hopefully Stanford) and be a general surgeon for children.

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Bessy, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I am happy.

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Bessy, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Bessy loves to study. She hopes to one day become a teacher.

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Bessy, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Bessy has only lived here for less than 2 years, so she faces challenges each and every day trying to communicate, read, understand computer programs, etc. It is a daily struggle, but she loves to study and faces the situation with strength and determination. She credits the Boys & Girls Club for helping her navigate her new surroundings and assisting in her success.

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Bessy, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Bessy is originally from Honduras, and although English is her second language, she has been able to make friends with all of our staff, maintain great grades, and is a valued member of our Be Great Graduate Program. She is always happy despite challenging circumstances. Her goal is to attend college and become a middle school teacher. She wants to help kids and families that are coming to America and facing the same challenges she has faced.

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Keaton, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I am quirky. I am creative. I am weird.

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Keaton, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I am the class clown and proud of it! I love to make people laugh.

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Keaton, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

One of the most challenging times in my life was when my parents got divorced. I felt like I caused their arguments and I just did not understand the situation. I learned that talking to them both helped me understand and I am glad that now they are friends. It makes it the whole situation much easier for me.

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Keaton, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Keaton joined the Boys and Girls Club when he was in kindergarten. He is now in the seventh grade. He really enjoys spending time with his friends and interacting with other youth in the program. He is known for being the "jokester" and likes to come up with elaborate pranks to play on his family and friends. Keaton enjoys soccer and participating in our sports programs. He dreams of playing soccer in college and at the professional level.

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Will, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

My best personality trait is that I am enthusiastic and encouraging.

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Will, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

My parents are divorced. My dad was an abuser. There was a lot of arguments leading up to the divorce and my mom was in the hospital. It was a rough time in my life. I was unhappy, stressed and lashed out a lot because I was angry. I lived with my grandparents for some time, but now my mom and I live in an apartment and things are much better. I turned to my counselors at school and the staff at the Boys & Girls Club for help to handle the stress and challenges.

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Will, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Will believes that technology is the key to making the world a better place for everyone. He would like to see more of his peers and the younger generation focused on science and technology, so that they can solve current problems like pollution, obesity, erosion, etc. He states that it takes a long time to change things, so we have to get on it now!

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Will, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Will started attending the Bellevue Boys & Girls Club Teen Center two years ago for something to do after school. Now, he is part of the lego robotics team, our bike repair program called WheelLab and Club 678, our tutoring/mentorship program. Will attends the club almost daily and really sees the teen center as a positive part of his life when sometimes other parts are not. He wants to pursue a degree in pyrotechnics or pyro-chemistry at the University of Washington. He dreams of visiting or living in Alaska someday.

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue, Bellevue

We Are Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue!

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Miquel, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I saw Michael Jordan experience racism, and he kept moving forward. It taught me that you can persevere through anything. People think you have to do something big to change the world, but I want to make change by improving how people talk to each other and encouraging everyone to accept each other. When I see people I donít know, I walk up and say hello. You can do the simplest things to improve a personís day.

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Miquel, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I want to help people in hospitals. I just want to make them happy. Kids who have to stay in the hospital a lot have so much less than what I have, so I want to make life better for them. It makes me happy to make other people happy.

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Miquel, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

My dream is to go to college to become a Coding Programmer. My dad never got to finish school because he had to work and my mom couldnít afford to go to school. Now my dad works two jobs and they show me what hard work looks like every day. I want a degree so I can help myself, but I want to graduate high school and college to make them proud.

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Miquel, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Miguel started attending the club with his friends last year when he entered the sixth grade. He quickly got involved with Club 678, our middle school drop-out prevention program, and impressed his coordinator with his focus and determination. School is very important to him. He keeps his grades up so he can focus on his other passion, basketball. Miguel is part of our Club 678 basketball team sponsored by an organization called Local Hoops. He made the team last year because of his hard work and determination.

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Janae, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I want to be great. I like confidence. I have a friend who cannot stick up for herself, so I use my confidence to help her. I learned it from my babysitter who I consider a mentor. She has a big personality and always lets it shine. I used to be quiet and shy, but I watched her and gained confidence in who I am.

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Janae, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I hope to go to college to study interior design and art. I love realistic drawings like eyes. Iíve never taken an art class because it is too hard to decide between art and orchestra. I keep picking orchestra because I play the Viola and it is really hard.

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Janae, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Janae is a bridge builder, hammering out the necessary homework and test scores to forge ahead to a great future. She's a strong young woman filled with humor and a positive nature, while also being loyal to her friends and her goals. She's inseparable from her best friend Sami, and together, they focus on their academics.

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Janae, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I want to create more opportunities for women. I look on TV and see mostly men as hosts and leading actors. It seems like most jobs are male dominant, too. The first thing I will do is make the workplace more inclusive to women. I hope we elect our first female President, but I canít vote yet.

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Javonte, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

There is more to me than meets the eye. Most people just see me as a big athlete but I taught myself calculus in fifth grade and put myself through school. My dreams are to go to college and open a restaurant. I love football, but Iím more than football. I am inspired by Martin Luther King and Malcolm X to make the world a more inclusive place. One of my passions is cooking and my plan is to open a restaurant that serves cuisines from all over the world so everyone is welcome. I want to bring people together.

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Javonte, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

"Anybody can change the world."

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Javonte, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I grew up without a positive male role model. My dad wasnít in my life. I had to look up to my brothers, but they were out in the streets. I decided to become to first in my family to graduate high school. At first it was a lot of pressure. I had to teach myself everything. Now Iím 18 and I just graduated high school. It feels really good, but college has been the goal since day one. My dreams are just beginning.

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Javonte, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Javonte has been a Boys & Girls Club youth for YEARS. He has participated in our Be Great Graduate program, our leadership program called Keystone, summer Jr. Staff program, cooking club and recreation clubs. He is a great role model and mentor to our younger Club members making him a great asset to all our programs.

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Leslie, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Leslie has a strategy for making the world a better place - Implementing more community gardens to help produce food for those hungry, collecting clothing and coats for the homeless, supporting the clean water campaign, and building new homes that are more affordable. She feels people should be more concerned about the health of our city and focus on making it a better place.

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Leslie, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Leslie feels her best personality trait is that she focuses on being nice to people. She said it "just doesn't make sense to be mean and upset others."

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Leslie, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I am super shy. I always try to be nice to people. I do not like upsetting people.

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Leslie, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Leslie is 15 years old and a 10th grader at Sammamish High School. As a freshman she did cheerleading and this year is on the Drill team. She comes to the club to work on her homework and participates in Keystone - the Clubís leadership program focused in community service. She wants to attend Western Washington University and obtain a degree in Psychology.

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue, Bellevue

We Are Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue!

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Kaleb, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Iím half Mexican, but culturally Iím white. People come up to me all the time and think I speak Spanish but I donít really have a connection to Mexico. Sometimes I forget that I look different than I feel.

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Kaleb, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

If I find success, it wonít be because my dad found success. It will be because he pushed me. In fourth grade, he made me do fifth grade math. In middle school, he made me read high school books. Sometimes he thinks Iím wasting my potential because I try so many different things but I have so many interests that it is hard to pick.

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Kaleb, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I grew up in Medina, a closed community in Bellevue. I didnít have a lot of exposure to different backgrounds, religions or incomes. In sixth grade, I transferred schools, started coming to Boys and Girls Club every week and eventually moved away from that community. It was the first time I had been around diversity. If I hadnít made a change, I would have gone to Chinook Middle School, Bellevue High School and moved back in with my parents after college. But you start to realize that you want to be surrounded by people who can teach you things. I canít imagine my life without diversity.

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Kaleb, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I left a championship football program when I transferred schools. At my new school, I played on the worst team, but had the best time. There is more to sports then just winning.

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Kaleb, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Kaleb is an irreplaceable member of the Music Advisory group at the Boys & Girls Club. Always organized, always willing to work, and always helping to build our music and arts community. He works hard and with enthusiasm and a positive attitude that is infectious to his peers. "One of my passions is music. I play drums, guitar, bass, piano, and a few others. At the Boys & Girls Club we put on concerts for bands who want to play for people in our community. I have never been to a big concert. Why would I spend my time going to see bands that I know with people that I know, when I could see bands I do not know and meet new people?"

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Ivy, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I had to change schools at the end of last year. I likes this person at my old school and was really crushing on her. My actions made her nervous and scared, so the school told me I had to stay away from her. I realize that I should have not done some of the things that I was doing. It wasn't really like me. My mom was nervous and scared that I was putting myself in a tough situation, so she moved me into a new school. I miss some of my old friends, but I am doing well and focused on my education.

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Ivy, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I am fun!

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Ivy, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I am outgoing. I am adventurous. I am obsidian gray.

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Ivy, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Ivy has been attending the Boys & Girls Clubs since sixth grade. Ivy is now a sophomore at Sammamish High School and attends the afterschool program almost daily. She is part of Be Great Graduate, our tech center and hip hop dance. She loves to participate in cooking class and show off her culinary skills. Ivy's is hoping to attend NYU and pursue a degree in the Arts. She dreams of producing movies and is thinking her first film with in the horror genre. She also hopes that through her work in the arts that she can create the "story of her life" to help others that may have faced similar challenges growing up. "I want to tell the world about me."

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Nori, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Nori wants to change the world by educating people on the negative results of stereotypes. She wants to make sure that everyone can express their true selves without feeling ashamed or wrong. She wants to rally her friends and help them help others to stand up against those who judge people.

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Nori, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I like to try new things. I believe in myself. I love my family.

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Nori, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I am nice. I am polite. I like to make people feel welcome into my world.

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Nori, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Nori is 14 years old and a 9th grader at Sammamish High School. She discovered her love of volleyball in middle school and decided to try out for the freshman team and is now the captain of the team. She sometimes struggle with homework, but with help from family, friends and club staff, she has remained focused and successful in keeping good grades. She hopes to one day attend college at Western Washington University or the University of Washington. She plans to study chemistry.

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Seth, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Seth has faced some significant challenges as a foster child. He has been shuffled through the system and has been placed with families that he admittedly did not like. He said those homes were the worst and made him an unhappy person. He would become very introverted and find himself trying to ignore and not interact with anyone in the family. He felt very isolated.

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Seth, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

My best personality trait is that I am funny. I like to joke around and make people laugh.

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Seth, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I am funny. I am artistic. I am smart. I love to joke!

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Seth, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Seth started attending the Boys & Girls Club about four years ago and has come a long ways since day one. With previous trust, adult consistency and set expectation issues there was a lot of work to be done. He has more than risen to the occasion and has continued to improve making Seth one of the most improved youth within the club system. He dreams of going to college in Arizona and wants to pursue a career in electrical engineering.

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Sarah, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

When challenged with the question of how she would make the world a better place, Sarah said she would create better resources for the homeless. She wants to build a place large enough to safely house homeless families where they have access to school, jobs, and immediate support.

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Sarah, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I love to laugh. I am different.

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Sarah, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Sarah always has a big smile on her face and her laugh brightens up a room. She can be reserved, shy and quiet at school or in a new place however, at home or at the Boys & Girls Club her true personality shines through. She describes herself as different and reserved. Sarah joined the Be Great Graduate program two years ago at the club. Her grade in math has drastically improved with her focus and attention to school work. She hopes to one day attend college and start her own business.

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Yana, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I want people's voices to be heard and bullying to stop. I was bullied online and at school by people I thought were my friends. They would talk behind my back and tell people untrue things to make people dislike me. It was a truly challenging time for me, but I learned to make different friends. Friends that help lift me up versus drag me down.

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Yana, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I love to sing!

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Yana, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I am fun. I like to include everyone. I am kind. I see the best in people.

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Yana, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Currently a sophomore at Sammamish High School, Yana loves to help her community. She has been active in the Keystone Leadership group at the Boys & Girls Club and has recently become an Officer (Treasurer) for the group. With Keystone, she has volunteers for several service project including serving meals and collecting donations for the homeless. During a recent college trip Yana made her decision and is very determined to attend Eastern Washington University. She loves to sing, so thinks she wants to pursue a degree in the music business.

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Joshua, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Joshua loves football. He hopes to one day play in college and maybe for the Seahawks!

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Joshua, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I am happy. I like to help my mom. I love my friends.

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Joshua, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Joshua has moved around a lot during his childhood. He attended 11 different schools before the age of 14. He struggled with always having to make new friends and to find some sense of stability. He just wanted to stay in one place and attend the same school. His family has finally settled down in Bellevue and Joshua is now finding the stability he wished for during all those times of moving.

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Joshua, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Joshua participated in the WheelLab (bike building) program at the Boys & Girls Club this summer. He was extremely focused and put time in building his bike every day. He was the first one to complete his bicycle and his pride shines brightly as he rolls around the parking lot at the club. Joshua loves that he has a new form of transportation. Shortly after being interviewed for being selected as a Legion of Youth recipient, Joshua pedaled off down a close by trail to grab lunch and test out his new ride!

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Joshua, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Josh is an amazing teen. He went from not knowing about The Boys & Girls Clubs to engaging himself in most everything the club has to offer. He is a part of Club 678 where he gets homework help and focuses on his educational needs. He currently plays for the Bellevue Seahawks and loves it! He puts 100% into everything he attempts and dreams of playing football in college.

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Antionette, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Antionette hopes to make the world a better place by putting a stop to bullying. She wants to help people stand up for themselves. "People need to step up and tell bullies to stop."

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Antionette, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I love my birthday and am always trying to come up with the best ways to celebrate it with my friends!

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Antionette, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I am athletic. It's just what I do.

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Antionette, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

It is hard to hold a candle to this young woman. She has a fierce love for sports, and her involvement in Rainier Athletics guarantees her academics slam just as hard she does on the court. But she's not just good grades and good game. Antoinette's friendly spirit and outward empathy towards other people exemplify what a great teammate should be not just in sports, but in life.

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Ricky, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

When the going gets tough, the tough dance! Ricky has an array of dance moves that he enjoys showing off to his friends. He enjoys the challenge of learning new moves in dance class. He says the trick to getting better is stay focused and to never quit!

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Ricky, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Ricky's best personality trait is his awesome sense of humor. He has an array of funny faces that can make anyone laugh!

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Ricky, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I am handsome. I am goofy. I enjoy making people laugh. I embrace being weird.

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Ricky, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Ricky has been part of the Bellevue Boys and Girls Club since he was 9 years old. He joined Be Great Graduate two years ago when he went into 6th grade. Whenever Ricky walks into the club he is always laughing and dancing. He brightens the day of everyone he comes in contact with with his goofy and charming personality. Ricky desires to go to MIT to study Engineering and return to Seattle to find a job after he graduates!

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Harvest, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Harvest enjoys playing video games, especially the Infamous series.

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Harvest, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

One of Harvest's best traits is his friendly and welcoming personality. His friends feel that they do not have to hide behind anything when with him and can just be who they are as teens.

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Harvest, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I am kind. I am intelligent. I am awesome at card games.

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Harvest, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Harvest is a very logical thinker and loves to independently learn the operation of how things work. He is also a bright minded, intelligent and friendly person who looks out for his friends. Harvest likes to play card games, like thirteen. Harvest is interested in becoming a doctor. He hopes to one day make the world a better place by eliminating diseases like AIDS or Ebola through medical science.

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Kahia, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Kahia is focused on reaching her fullest potential. "You know when you think you cannot do something, so you do not do it. I hate that. Sometimes I put myself up for failure. I tried basketball and it turned out I was pretty good. Even if you are not the best at something, you should give 100%. It's all in your head."

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Kahia, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Kahia loves the feeling when you laugh so hard your stomach hurts. "Even if something is not that funny, I laugh just to get that feeling."

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Kahia, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I want to be someone you can count on, but I do not want to fail you.

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Kahia, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Kahia is an enthusiastic teen who loves sports. Known for her dedication and focus, she currently plays softball and soccer. She knows that school work is an important piece to sports, so she is always focused on completing her homework and attending class. Kahia's ultimate dream is to play soccer at the University of Washington. She would like to pursue a degree in math and learn more about nutrition and fitness. "I love figuring out how your body works and how to take care of it."

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Joey, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

When asked why there was pencil in his sock, Joey laughed and said simply "because I do not want to lose it!"

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Joey, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

In first grade I was getting bullied by another kid. I was mad, but mom told me to ignore him. I did for awhile and now we are really good friends!

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Joey, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I am honest. I am good natured. I am not boring!

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Joey, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Joey joined the Boys and Girls Club last year in the sixth grade. He was home alone while his parents worked and found The Club gave him a place to be safe. He is a great student and understands the importance of keeping his grades up. Joey is very active in sports and attends all of the Clubs sports programs. Joey's dream is to go the University of Virginia and play lacrosse while focusing on a degree in Engineering. "I play football, basketball and lacrosse. Right now I play for fun, but I am learning that sports can teach you discipline and teamwork. I look out for my teammates no matter what and try to make sure they do not get hurt."

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Edgar, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

The necklace I wear was my grandmothers. It's special so I keep it on all the time.

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Edgar, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I am athletic. I am crazy. I am sweet.

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Edgar, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

When Edgar was in 3rd grade, his dad left their family. It was a tough situation, but Edgar moved on and tried to focus on the positive. His friends at the club love his crazy personality and they love how "super excited" he can be about playing football.

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Edgar, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Edgar has recently been working very hard at becoming a strong, mature, and positive young adult. He is a member of Club 678 where he comes to The Boys & Girls Club and gets assistance with school work. He is enthusiastic and ready to focus on becoming a better student this upcoming school year. He currently plays for the Bellevue Seahawks and loves football. He dreams of one day playing in college and working at Microsoft.

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Armen, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

When asked how he reacts to people who are unkind to him, Armen responded with "I tell them I do not have time for them right now because I need to go be nice to someone, but thank you very much."

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Armen, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Armen's life goal is to become a business man who makes an impact on his community. He is focused on becoming extremely successful and supporting those around him. "I want to make a lot of money, but do not like leaving home, so I will need to find success close to my mom and dad!"

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Armen, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

In October Armen is going to undergo surgery. He is extremely nervous about undergoing this needed procedure, but is trying to have a positive outlook and face it head on. "I'm really nervous, but am going to try and be brave. It's like learning to ride a bike. I overcame my fear by just getting on the bike. So, I hope I will just be strong and go into the surgery tough and fearless."

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Armen, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

"I want to change the world by being teaching people to be nice to others. There are some people that are really messed up and if you are mean to them it will just make it worse. Maybe being kind to them will fix their problems. You never know."

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Armen, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Armen is an amazing youth that is very involved at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue. He is part of our Be Great Graduate program and loves doing his homework to stay on track with his education. He is extremely passionate about sports like football, soccer, and basketball. You can always find him somewhere in the club rounding up a group of friends to play some type of sport. One of Armenís favorite things to do on a sunny Bellevue day is fishing in the lake near the club. He also loves gardening and his Jordans.

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Jesse, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Jesse's fun loving personality shines through in almost everything he does. He has Cerebral Palsy, but it does not stop him from enjoying life and all it has to offer!

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Jesse, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Jesse's fun loving attitude is always shining through despite the daily challenges he faces having Cerebral Palsy. During the interviews for being selected as a Legion of Youth recipient, he leaned over and whispered "Do you want to know a secret? I love my mom!"

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Jesse, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Jesse's favorite subject is math, although he claims his no good at it!

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Jesse, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Jesse has been a part of Be Great Graduate Program for the past year, and although he has battled with Cerebral Palsy all of his life, he has a great attitude, a fun personality, and great grades.

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Alessandro, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Alessandro feels his best personality trait is his sense of humor.

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Alessandro, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

I am Alessandro. I am amazing. I am funny (sometimes).

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Alessandro, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Alessandro's dad passed away when he was six years old. It was an extremely challenging and painful time for him. Through counseling he was able to manage his emotions and discover ways to ease his internal and external struggles. He also credits staff at the Boys & Girls Clubs for always being there and providing positive mentoring as he grows into a young adult.

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Alessandro, Bellevue

Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue

Alessandro is a freshman attending Sammamish High School. Alessandro has been an active member at the Club displaying great leadership, confidence, and a consistent positive attitude. One of his most noteable accomplishments is leading his peers in a Big City Mountaineers hiking expedition. Alessandro is known for his sense of humor and easy going attitude. Alessandro's upbeat outlook on life and encouraging personality has earned him the accolades of Youth of the Month at the Club. Alessandro's has his sights set on attending the University of Washington (Go Dawgs!) and studying engineering.

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Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue, Bellevue

We Are Boys & Girls Clubs of Bellevue!

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Friends of Youth, Seattle

www.friendsofyouth.org

Mission: Friends of Youth delivers a broad range of services to youth and their families to improve their emotional stability and self-sufficiency. The envision all youth having every opportunity to succeed.

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Daniel, Seattle

Friends of Youth

Daniel enjoys music, and playing the guitar. He also is enthusiastic about soccer. When Daniel volunteers at the senior center in his community, he enjoys helping and working with the members there. Daniel is a great kid, and fun to be around.

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Tucker, Seattle

Friends of Youth

Tucker is an outstanding guy Ė he is involved in football, game club, a big brother to two siblings, school, and generally a level headed wonderful young adult. Tucker is an outstanding person with many goals that he will no doubt achieve.

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Steven, Seattle

Friends of Youth

Steven dreams of playing college football for the University of Oregon upon completing high school. He currently plays football and soccer and is a member of his schools Safety Patrol where he has received many accolades for his positive attitude and outstanding etiquette.

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Draeden, Seattle

Friends of Youth

After being diagnosed with Selective Mutism at a very young age, Draeden, age 10, has worked extremely hard to get to where he is today. Draeden is doing very well in school and joined a soccer team this year. He is working on his public speaking skills in his school work as this is an arena in which Draedenís Selective Mutism can become paralyzing for him. However, he just reported that during the last week of school he made a speech in front of his class and received an A on the project! Draeden enjoys all things electronic and is a Minecraft wiz. He is very excited about this yearís Seahawks team and is still on the hunt for his favorite Seahawks player.

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Draeden, Seattle

Friends of Youth

After being diagnosed with Selective Mutism at a very young age, Draeden, age 10, has worked extremely hard to get to where he is today. Draeden is doing very well in school and joined a soccer team this year. He is working on his public speaking skills in his school work as this is an arena in which Draedenís Selective Mutism can become paralyzing for him. However, he just reported that during the last week of school he made a speech in front of his class and received an A on the project! Draeden enjoys all things electronic and is a Minecraft wiz. He is very excited about this yearís Seahawks team and is still on the hunt for his favorite Seahawks player.

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Draeden, Seattle

Friends of Youth

After being diagnosed with Selective Mutism at a very young age, Draeden, age 10, has worked extremely hard to get to where he is today. Draeden is doing very well in school and joined a soccer team this year. He is working on his public speaking skills in his school work as this is an arena in which Draedenís Selective Mutism can become paralyzing for him. However, he just reported that during the last week of school he made a speech in front of his class and received an A on the project! Draeden enjoys all things electronic and is a Minecraft wiz. He is very excited about this yearís Seahawks team and is still on the hunt for his favorite Seahawks player.

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Draeden, Seattle

Friends of Youth

After being diagnosed with Selective Mutism at a very young age, Draeden, age 10, has worked extremely hard to get to where he is today. Draeden is doing very well in school and joined a soccer team this year. He is working on his public speaking skills in his school work as this is an arena in which Draedenís Selective Mutism can become paralyzing for him. However, he just reported that during the last week of school he made a speech in front of his class and received an A on the project! Draeden enjoys all things electronic and is a Minecraft wiz. He is very excited about this yearís Seahawks team and is still on the hunt for his favorite Seahawks player.

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Nick, Seattle

Friends of Youth

Nick just graduated high school and is looking forward to finding a full time job prior to potentially attending a 2 year college. Nick is passionate about racing and hopes to own a WRX someday that he can race. Nick is a determined individual who doesnít take no for an answer when it comes to achieving his dreams.

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Joe, Seattle

Friends of Youth

Joe is 15 years old and is currently working full time for his Motherís carpet cleaning business as well as going to school. Joe is a lively, friendly, and hard-working kid. Joe has been involved with counseling since April of last year and just completed treatment. Joe has worked hard on changing a lot of aspects in his life in order to be the adult he is becoming today.

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Nash, Seattle

Friends of Youth

Nash is 14 years old and an 8th grader at Tolt Middle School. He has been playing league football many years and is the captain of his football team.

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Trevor, Seattle

Friends of Youth

Trevor is 11 years old and in the 6th grade at Tolt Middle School. Trevor loves learning about computers and playing video games.

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Ian, Seattle

Friends of Youth

Ian will be going into high school next fall. He is a great kid, with tech savvy skills. He loves football, and played on a team this past year. His younger brother Colin is in a wheel chair, and Ian plays and interacts with him, and part of his motivation in sports is to do well, as Ian knows his younger brother enjoys seeing him play. He is a big Seahawk fan.

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Treehouse, Seattle

www.treehouseforkids.org

Mission: We envision Ė and strive to create Ė a world where every child that has experienced a crisis of parenting has the opportunities and supports they need to pursue their dreams and become productive members of our community.

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Deon, Auburn

Treehouse

Deon loves going to school to learn new things. While he is still figuring out what his career goals are, he has decided that college is in his future and is dedicated to focusing on his grades so that he can achieve this goal. In his spare time, he enjoys video games and watching and playing sports.

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Aman, Seattle

Treehouse

Aman is enjoying his high school years learning new subjects, spending time with his friends, rapping and gaming. He is college bound with goals of opening his own youth center.

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Brandon, Enumclaw

Treehouse

Brandon has always dreamed of playing football. After years of bouncing around from foster home to foster home, he feels so fortunate to have joined the Cormier household where team sports are a family affair. Brandon shared that the Cormiers ďmake sure we have lots of activities to keep us on the path to success.Ē Brandon was placed in the foster care system at birth. He was born drug addicted and took weeks to recover from withdrawal. Despite this rough start, which resulted in significant physical growth challenges as well as autism, Brandon embraces his life with fierce optimism. When he joined the Cormier family, he was thrilled to be reunited with his biological brother Colton. Together, they enjoy wrestling with Team Aggression and their school team. Brandon is also a fan of music, gaming, Taekwondo, and computers. It should come as no surprise that his favorite classes at school right now are computer class and band. Brandon also likes to give back and help other kids in the foster care system. He helps his family host a coat drive every year to make sure kids have warm winter coats. He also volunteered for Treehouse selling game day programs at a pre-season Seahawks game this past August, raising thousands of dollars to support kids in care. Brandon is also a dedicated student. He is working hard with his Treehouse Education Specialist Skylar to pave a path towards his goal for the future. ďWhen I graduate, I dream of working for Microsoft developing computer games,Ē Brandon shared. At Treehouse, we help youth in foster care graduate from high school with a plan for their future. We are so proud of Brandonís achievements thus far and look forward to continuing to support him on his journey towards his bright future.

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Desean, Auburn

Treehouse

Darrel is focused on his education because he knows how important it is to his future success in life. He sees it as the gateway to his dream job. He is a huge football fan and loves to watch and play it as much as possible while making time for his studies of course.

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Brandon, Enumclaw

Treehouse

Brandon has always dreamed of playing football. After years of bouncing around from foster home to foster home, he feels so fortunate to have joined the Cormier household where team sports are a family affair. Brandon shared that the Cormiers ďmake sure we have lots of activities to keep us on the path to success.Ē Brandon was placed in the foster care system at birth. He was born drug addicted and took weeks to recover from withdrawal. Despite this rough start, which resulted in significant physical growth challenges as well as autism, Brandon embraces his life with fierce optimism. When he joined the Cormier family, he was thrilled to be reunited with his biological brother Colton. Together, they enjoy wrestling with Team Aggression and their school team. Brandon is also a fan of music, gaming, Taekwondo, and computers. It should come as no surprise that his favorite classes at school right now are computer class and band. Brandon also likes to give back and help other kids in the foster care system. He helps his family host a coat drive every year to make sure kids have warm winter coats. He also volunteered for Treehouse selling game day programs at a pre-season Seahawks game this past August, raising thousands of dollars to support kids in care. Brandon is also a dedicated student. He is working hard with his Treehouse Education Specialist Skylar to pave a path towards his goal for the future. ďWhen I graduate, I dream of working for Microsoft developing computer games,Ē Brandon shared. At Treehouse, we help youth in foster care graduate from high school with a plan for their future. We are so proud of Brandonís achievements thus far and look forward to continuing to support him on his journey towards his bright future.

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Brandon, Enumclaw

Treehouse

Brandon has always dreamed of playing football. After years of bouncing around from foster home to foster home, he feels so fortunate to have joined the Cormier household where team sports are a family affair. Brandon shared that the Cormiers ďmake sure we have lots of activities to keep us on the path to success.Ē Brandon was placed in the foster care system at birth. He was born drug addicted and took weeks to recover from withdrawal. Despite this rough start, which resulted in significant physical growth challenges as well as autism, Brandon embraces his life with fierce optimism. When he joined the Cormier family, he was thrilled to be reunited with his biological brother Colton. Together, they enjoy wrestling with Team Aggression and their school team. Brandon is also a fan of music, gaming, Taekwondo, and computers. It should come as no surprise that his favorite classes at school right now are computer class and band. Brandon also likes to give back and help other kids in the foster care system. He helps his family host a coat drive every year to make sure kids have warm winter coats. He also volunteered for Treehouse selling game day programs at a pre-season Seahawks game this past August, raising thousands of dollars to support kids in care. Brandon is also a dedicated student. He is working hard with his Treehouse Education Specialist Skylar to pave a path towards his goal for the future. ďWhen I graduate, I dream of working for Microsoft developing computer games,Ē Brandon shared. At Treehouse, we help youth in foster care graduate from high school with a plan for their future. We are so proud of Brandonís achievements thus far and look forward to continuing to support him on his journey towards his bright future.

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Brandon, Enumclaw

Treehouse

Brandon has always dreamed of playing football. After years of bouncing around from foster home to foster home, he feels so fortunate to have joined the Cormier household where team sports are a family affair. Brandon shared that the Cormiers ďmake sure we have lots of activities to keep us on the path to success.Ē Brandon was placed in the foster care system at birth. He was born drug addicted and took weeks to recover from withdrawal. Despite this rough start, which resulted in significant physical growth challenges as well as autism, Brandon embraces his life with fierce optimism. When he joined the Cormier family, he was thrilled to be reunited with his biological brother Colton. Together, they enjoy wrestling with Team Aggression and their school team. Brandon is also a fan of music, gaming, Taekwondo, and computers. It should come as no surprise that his favorite classes at school right now are computer class and band. Brandon also likes to give back and help other kids in the foster care system. He helps his family host a coat drive every year to make sure kids have warm winter coats. He also volunteered for Treehouse selling game day programs at a pre-season Seahawks game this past August, raising thousands of dollars to support kids in care. Brandon is also a dedicated student. He is working hard with his Treehouse Education Specialist Skylar to pave a path towards his goal for the future. ďWhen I graduate, I dream of working for Microsoft developing computer games,Ē Brandon shared. At Treehouse, we help youth in foster care graduate from high school with a plan for their future. We are so proud of Brandonís achievements thus far and look forward to continuing to support him on his journey towards his bright future.

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Aydin, Auburn

Treehouse

Aydin is an avid football player, Seahawks fan, and devoted friend. He is dedicated to his schoolwork so that he can pursue his dream of becoming a mechanical engineer. His favorite part of school is working with his friends on group projects.

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Michael

Treehouse

Michael has his future all mapped out. He aims to go to college, get a degree in psychology and then pursue a job in law enforcement. His favorite part of school is learning about the passions and lifestyles of his peers who are from all different backgrounds.

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Henry, Seattle

Treehouse

Henry has a number of passions such as skateboarding, watching football and gaming. Recently he discovered he also has a passion for science which has helped him start looking forward to pursuing a college degree post-graduation.

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Jason, Issaquah

Treehouse

Jason's favorite part of his school day is playing in the band with his best friend. He is looking forward to a future career, but right now he is living in the moment, enjoying his youth, playing his Xbox and soccer with friends. He also loves playing football and hopes to join a team soon.

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Mateo, Issaquah

Treehouse

Mateo dreams of playing college football at Auburn University once he graduates from high school in a few years. In the meantime, he is enjoying middle school with all of his friends. He loves his teachers and is becoming really interested in social studies.

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Rodney, Kent

Treehouse

Rodney loves to listen to music and watch basketball. He is currently working with his Treehouse Education Specialist to finish high school at Youth Academy and start applying for colleges.

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Rainier Scholars, Seattle

www.rainierscholars.org

Mission: Our program combines rigorous academics and leadership development with personalized support for scholars and families from 6th grade through college graduation. We are committed to eliminating barriers to educational opportunities and growing new generations of diverse college graduates, career professionals and community leaders.

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Daniel, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

Daniel has aspirations of utilizing his love of math and science to become an engineer. He is a man of responsibility, balancing a full academic schedule with wrestling, being a pillar for his family, and mentoring younger scholars as a student advisor. A warm-hearted young man, Daniel exemplifies what it means to hold things together while accomplishing lifelong goals. Daniel is a senior at the Lakeside School.

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Kalia, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

Bubbly and full of life, Kalia has navigated a rigorous academic environment and unexpected family losses with a rare combination of determination, optimism and hard work. Kalia serves as a role model and gives back by mentoring younger students in Rainier Scholars. Kaliaís family is a strong support for her, and it is easy to see from where she gets her strength and spirit! Kalia is a senior at the Lakeside School.

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Jonatan, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

Jonatan has been a model of academic steadfastness and reliability at one of the most challenging schools. He doesnít hesitate to move out of his comfort zone. Jonatan is an athlete and a scholar who has embraced his parentsí dream of him earning a college degree. As a student advisor Jonatan serves as a role model and support system for his students, consistently delivering the message that they will be successful. Jonatan is a senior at the Lakeside School.

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David, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

David understands the true meaning of hard work and perseverance. Despite a rough start to his young life, David is described as a kind-hearted soul with a resilient spirit and a smile that will brighten any room. When asked who his favorite Seahawk player is, without hesitation he responds "Marshawn Lynch". Sure, he scores a lot of touchdowns but David sees another trait that he admires. Just because things get hard doesn't mean you should stop trying. Marshawn and David understand the value of determination and perseverance. David started Rainier Scholars as a 6th grader and persevered through the Academic Enrichment phase with two summers plus a school year of extra classes and mountains of homework to prepare for placement in a college preparatory program. One of his favorite summertime memories was playing chess with his Literature teacher Mr. Little. After emerging the winner of a hard fought match, David informed his instructor, "It's like in The Odyssey where Odysseus is planning and evaluating the pros and cons all the time. You need to think about your decisions in advance and then move. You need to think ahead." David has struggled with the idea that in middle school it's not always cool to be smart. But from a young age he has realized that education will help create new possibilities in his life. As a student in Rainier Scholars he affirms, "I have the opportunity to get more education than most students at my school. it's my responsibility to stay on task." And in a moment where he reveals wisdom beyond his years, David reminds us, "It doesn't matter if you're smarter, what matters is the kind of person you are inside." David is now an 8th grader at Dimmitt Middle School in Renton where he participates in the Discovery program. When asked about school, David's eyes light up as he talks about his teachers and how they make learning fun. His time at Rainier Scholars has helped him to set academic goals to stay on a college pathway and to be organized and accountable, but earning placement in a highly capable program has provided a level of rigor that keeps him busy. When asked of what he is most proud, without hesitation he answers, "My grades!" Five years from now David sees himself in college. He has an interest in being a scientist or perhaps an artist. Photography has captured his imagination and he enjoys taking pictures of nature yet he may also be found with a basketball under his arm as it's one of his favorite sports. Raised by his Aunt Willie, David is grateful for her presence in his life - supporting him, feeding him and loving him. At Rainier Scholars we strive to build a strong sense of community. David is always looking to lift up those around him--whether it's a helping hand or an encouraging word. He brings a willing spirit, dogged determination, and a positive attitude to any situation. He has stared adversity in the face and continues to defy the odds to come out victorious.

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David, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

David understands the true meaning of hard work and perseverance. Despite a rough start to his young life, David is described as a kind-hearted soul with a resilient spirit and a smile that will brighten any room. When asked who his favorite Seahawk player is, without hesitation he responds "Marshawn Lynch". Sure, he scores a lot of touchdowns but David sees another trait that he admires. Just because things get hard doesn't mean you should stop trying. Marshawn and David understand the value of determination and perseverance. David started Rainier Scholars as a 6th grader and persevered through the Academic Enrichment phase with two summers plus a school year of extra classes and mountains of homework to prepare for placement in a college preparatory program. One of his favorite summertime memories was playing chess with his Literature teacher Mr. Little. After emerging the winner of a hard fought match, David informed his instructor, "It's like in The Odyssey where Odysseus is planning and evaluating the pros and cons all the time. You need to think about your decisions in advance and then move. You need to think ahead." David has struggled with the idea that in middle school it's not always cool to be smart. But from a young age he has realized that education will help create new possibilities in his life. As a student in Rainier Scholars he affirms, "I have the opportunity to get more education than most students at my school. it's my responsibility to stay on task." And in a moment where he reveals wisdom beyond his years, David reminds us, "It doesn't matter if you're smarter, what matters is the kind of person you are inside." David is now an 8th grader at Dimmitt Middle School in Renton where he participates in the Discovery program. When asked about school, David's eyes light up as he talks about his teachers and how they make learning fun. His time at Rainier Scholars has helped him to set academic goals to stay on a college pathway and to be organized and accountable, but earning placement in a highly capable program has provided a level of rigor that keeps him busy. When asked of what he is most proud, without hesitation he answers, "My grades!" Five years from now David sees himself in college. He has an interest in being a scientist or perhaps an artist. Photography has captured his imagination and he enjoys taking pictures of nature yet he may also be found with a basketball under his arm as it's one of his favorite sports. Raised by his Aunt Willie, David is grateful for her presence in his life - supporting him, feeding him and loving him. At Rainier Scholars we strive to build a strong sense of community. David is always looking to lift up those around him--whether it's a helping hand or an encouraging word. He brings a willing spirit, dogged determination, and a positive attitude to any situation. He has stared adversity in the face and continues to defy the odds to come out victorious.

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David, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

David understands the true meaning of hard work and perseverance. Despite a rough start to his young life, David is described as a kind-hearted soul with a resilient spirit and a smile that will brighten any room. When asked who his favorite Seahawk player is, without hesitation he responds "Marshawn Lynch". Sure, he scores a lot of touchdowns but David sees another trait that he admires. Just because things get hard doesn't mean you should stop trying. Marshawn and David understand the value of determination and perseverance. David started Rainier Scholars as a 6th grader and persevered through the Academic Enrichment phase with two summers plus a school year of extra classes and mountains of homework to prepare for placement in a college preparatory program. One of his favorite summertime memories was playing chess with his Literature teacher Mr. Little. After emerging the winner of a hard fought match, David informed his instructor, "It's like in The Odyssey where Odysseus is planning and evaluating the pros and cons all the time. You need to think about your decisions in advance and then move. You need to think ahead." David has struggled with the idea that in middle school it's not always cool to be smart. But from a young age he has realized that education will help create new possibilities in his life. As a student in Rainier Scholars he affirms, "I have the opportunity to get more education than most students at my school. it's my responsibility to stay on task." And in a moment where he reveals wisdom beyond his years, David reminds us, "It doesn't matter if you're smarter, what matters is the kind of person you are inside." David is now an 8th grader at Dimmitt Middle School in Renton where he participates in the Discovery program. When asked about school, David's eyes light up as he talks about his teachers and how they make learning fun. His time at Rainier Scholars has helped him to set academic goals to stay on a college pathway and to be organized and accountable, but earning placement in a highly capable program has provided a level of rigor that keeps him busy. When asked of what he is most proud, without hesitation he answers, "My grades!" Five years from now David sees himself in college. He has an interest in being a scientist or perhaps an artist. Photography has captured his imagination and he enjoys taking pictures of nature yet he may also be found with a basketball under his arm as it's one of his favorite sports. Raised by his Aunt Willie, David is grateful for her presence in his life - supporting him, feeding him and loving him. At Rainier Scholars we strive to build a strong sense of community. David is always looking to lift up those around him--whether it's a helping hand or an encouraging word. He brings a willing spirit, dogged determination, and a positive attitude to any situation. He has stared adversity in the face and continues to defy the odds to come out victorious.

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David, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

David understands the true meaning of hard work and perseverance. Despite a rough start to his young life, David is described as a kind-hearted soul with a resilient spirit and a smile that will brighten any room. When asked who his favorite Seahawk player is, without hesitation he responds "Marshawn Lynch". Sure, he scores a lot of touchdowns but David sees another trait that he admires. Just because things get hard doesn't mean you should stop trying. Marshawn and David understand the value of determination and perseverance. David started Rainier Scholars as a 6th grader and persevered through the Academic Enrichment phase with two summers plus a school year of extra classes and mountains of homework to prepare for placement in a college preparatory program. One of his favorite summertime memories was playing chess with his Literature teacher Mr. Little. After emerging the winner of a hard fought match, David informed his instructor, "It's like in The Odyssey where Odysseus is planning and evaluating the pros and cons all the time. You need to think about your decisions in advance and then move. You need to think ahead." David has struggled with the idea that in middle school it's not always cool to be smart. But from a young age he has realized that education will help create new possibilities in his life. As a student in Rainier Scholars he affirms, "I have the opportunity to get more education than most students at my school. it's my responsibility to stay on task." And in a moment where he reveals wisdom beyond his years, David reminds us, "It doesn't matter if you're smarter, what matters is the kind of person you are inside." David is now an 8th grader at Dimmitt Middle School in Renton where he participates in the Discovery program. When asked about school, David's eyes light up as he talks about his teachers and how they make learning fun. His time at Rainier Scholars has helped him to set academic goals to stay on a college pathway and to be organized and accountable, but earning placement in a highly capable program has provided a level of rigor that keeps him busy. When asked of what he is most proud, without hesitation he answers, "My grades!" Five years from now David sees himself in college. He has an interest in being a scientist or perhaps an artist. Photography has captured his imagination and he enjoys taking pictures of nature yet he may also be found with a basketball under his arm as it's one of his favorite sports. Raised by his Aunt Willie, David is grateful for her presence in his life - supporting him, feeding him and loving him. At Rainier Scholars we strive to build a strong sense of community. David is always looking to lift up those around him--whether it's a helping hand or an encouraging word. He brings a willing spirit, dogged determination, and a positive attitude to any situation. He has stared adversity in the face and continues to defy the odds to come out victorious.

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Sahreenah, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

Sahreenah is a bright star and has overcome many obstacles in life and school to get to where she is. A poised, mature young woman, Sahreenah greets challenge with a level-headed attitude, and seeks leadership opportunities. She was recently chosen to represent her school in a Washington DC conference, and is a fighter for people who donít have a voice. Sahreenah is a junior at Seattle Prep.

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George, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

George is a model of ďstill waters run deep.Ē He has challenged himself by being the first in his family to attend private school, and has been steadily working hard on his academic goals. George is a great example of the kind of risks our scholars take in order to gain more opportunities, and for George, that means being prepared to thrive in college! George is a junior at Seattle Academy.

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Aisse, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

At first glance, Aisse appears quiet, but donít let that fool you. She is smart, observant and insightful. Combined with an unstoppable work ethic, Aisse is exactly the kind of student Rainier Scholars is searching for: someone who maximizes all opportunities offered to her. Aisse is a sophomore at University Prep.

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Addison, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

Addison is resilient and a fighter to the core with everything in life. She works very hard to fulfill the goals set in front of her by her school, her family and Rainier Scholars and she is relentless in the standards she sets for herself. Addison is a sophomore at Eastside Prep.

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Thomas, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

Thomas now works hard to earn Aís and Bís in his classes. His teachers describe him as someone who by being fully engaged in the classroom, makes it a positive learning experience for himself and his classmates. He perseveres in all his work, pushing through obstacles to achieve his goals. Thomas is a sophomore at OíDea.

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Darius, Renton

Rainier Scholars

Darius has come a long way in terms of figuring out who he is as a young man and a scholar. This year, Darius has joined the Speech and Debate Club and has taken major steps in turning around his attitude and approach so that he is owning his education and challenging himself to do well. Darius is a sophomore at Hazen High School.

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Cameron, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

Cameron is an energetic and personable young man who has made tremendous strides not only in his academics, but also in his attitude toward school. He demonstrates enthusiasm and motivation for learning that will ensure he will achieve his highest aspirations. Cameron hopes to earn admission to West Point Military Academy for college, with a goal of serving in the armed forces someday. Cameron is a freshman at Garfield High School.

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Arlondra, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

Arlondra is currently maintaining Aís and Bís and despite hitting some rough spots in the past, she is embracing new opportunities. Arlondra has overcome a number of obstacles in her life, and continues to demonstrate a spirit of courage and perseverance through it all. She continually carries herself with integrity and maintains a heart for others who struggle. Arlondra is a freshman at Chief Sealth High School.

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Jennifer, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

Jennifer is extremely bright and thoughtful and surprises people with her quick wit. She has a heart for helping her peers yet is not afraid to tell it like it is! Jennifer comes from a large and loving family and is one of the most likeable souls youíll ever meet. She takes her academics very seriously and combined with her strong work ethic has set a vision for college and beyond. Jennifer is an 8th grader at Washington Middle School.

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Ximena, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

Ximena continues to strive for excellence, even when the road gets tough. She is persistent and a hard worker as well as a good friend. When Ximena sets a goal for herself she not only achieves but exceeds expectations. Ximena has overcome academic and personal struggles and has done so with a great amount of self-awareness and reflection. Ximena is an 8th grader at University Prep.

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Josiah, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

Josiah is a thoughtful student and one who takes his academics very seriously. He is insightful and reflective and is often referred to as ďwise beyond his years.Ē He makes decisions with integrity and compassion, and is well liked by his peers. Josiah has the makings of a great leader and will achieve any goal he sets for himself. Josiah is a 7th grader at The Evergreen School.

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William, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

William has a quiet smile and calm presence. As a young man who initially struggled with mountains of homework, he is just beginning to walk into his potential as a true scholar and active community member. William has made great strides in his attitude toward his academic goals and is starting to take ownership of his educational journey. William is an 8th grader at Washington Middle School.

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Raven, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

Raven lives with her mom and 5 siblings--all of whom are huge football fans! Raven saw her sister Rihan go through the AEP phase at Rainier Scholars and clearly took careful notes. Raven is the perfect example of the power of hard work. She takes work seriously and is self-motivated. Raven is extremely thoughtful and engaged in all aspects of her life, both academics and her personal relationships. She is a loyal friend and is kind to everyone. One of her greatest traits is her openness to possibilities; this combined with her undeniable work ethic will take Raven far! Raven is a 6th grader at Jane Addams K-8 in Seattle.

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Ana, Burien

Rainier Scholars

Ana is a shining star at Rainier Scholars. She is exceedingly bright and pairs that talent with an outstanding work ethic. Ana understands that she has the opportunity to be great and takes that responsibility very seriously, setting high standards for her own success while maintaining an infectious positive attitude. She has a real hunger to learn and delights in pushing herself to higher levels. Anaís ambition also has higher purpose, to not only be the first in her family to earn a college degree but she has a genuine and heartfelt desire to change the world for the better. She works toward that goal every day. Ana is a 6th grader at Seahurst in Highline.

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Lisbeth, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

Lisbeth takes herself very seriously and works very hardónot just to get work done, but to do that work well. There have been times when Lisbeth had her doubts about whether or not she was a good fit for Rainier Scholars, but chose to work through those feelings and persevere, showing that she is exactly the kind of student that we hope to work with. She revised her time management schedule and opened herself up to forming new friendships and connections with her peers, and is seeing the results of her efforts. Lisbeth lives with her mom and dad and four siblings. One of Lisbethís greatest motivations is to graduate college and make her parents proud of her, but there is no doubt that she makes them proud every day! Lisbeth is a 6th grader at Mt. View Elementary in the Highline School District.

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Lesley, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

Lesley is a quiet pillar of strength at Rainier Scholars. Lesley can doubt herself at times, but anyone who knows her has seen that she is fiercely competent in everything that she takes on. Her work ethic is unmatched and her dedication to excellence is inspiring. She is incredibly humble and is the model of integrity in a young person. Lesleyís family is committed to service and you can see evidence of Lesleyís generous, compassionate spirit in all of her interactions with peers and adults. She is an inspiring and positive influence in our community. Lesley is a 6th grader at Mt. View in the Highline School District.

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Evelyn, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

Evelyn is the kind of person that everyone wants to have aroundóshe makes every room she walks into a better place with her incredible, ever present smile and her boundless positive energy. Evelyn can see the positive in any situation, even in the face of the most daunting challenge. She is an academic risk taker, never afraid to ask a question, pushing her own thinking and subsequently the thinking of all those around her. Evelyn has a zest for life and loves to get involved; in addition to her schoolwork, she plays cello and is a ballet dancer. She is an incredible friend to everyone. Evelyn is a 6th grader at Mercer Middle School in Seattle.

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CruzLeon, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

Cruz is an incredible kid whose smile can brighten a room and make everyone present feel better. He is motivated to do well and understands the importance of hard work in reaching his goal of graduating from a great college. Cruz loves sports, but he and his mom have always kept academics front and center; it is easy to envision him becoming a first class scholar athlete. Cruz is building his confidence and learning what he is truly capable of, which is quite a lot! Cruz is a 6th grader at Mt. View in the Highline School District.

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Andrew, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

Andrew is a little guy with huge brilliance. He has a mischievous sense of humor and is constantly entertaining those around him with his quick wit. When first confronted with the prospect of going to school for two summers, Andrew shrugged his shoulders and confessed that he misses school during breaks. In addition to the strenuous Rainier Scholars workload, Andrew always has an extra book that he is reading or idea that he is researching. He is insatiably curious and highly engaged in all of his studies. As soon as he has mastered a concept he will ask for an additional challenge. We look forward to the great things that Andrew will accomplish. Andrew is currently a 6th grader at Aki Kurose Middle School in Seattle.

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Jerome, Seattle

Rainier Scholars

Jerome is a scholar who elevates the game of everyone around him with his excitement, energy and intellectual curiosity. Jerome loves a challenge and thrives in the rigorous academic setting of Rainier Scholars, tackling every new obstacle with courage and a positive attitude. He strives to set and meet his own goals in both the personal and academic parts of his life. Jerome shows leadership and compassion toward his peers, treating everyone with kindness and respect. Jerome lives with his mom and younger sister, and is currently a 7th grader at Madrona K-8 in Seattle.

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Joint Base Lewis McChord Child, Youth & School Services, Seattle

www.jblmmwr.com/CYS

Mission: CYSS is a network of systems and programs throughout JBLM which provides quality child and youth development options that reduce the conflict between parental responsibilities and unit mission requirements.

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Haime, Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

There's always going to be negativity thrown at you, telling you that you're not good enough. Unlike many, that adversity just fueled me as I prepared for basketball tryouts. In my life, nothing has been given to me. I have put in a lot of hard work and time in the gym preparing myself. My goal to make the team was not based on a need to prove to the naysayers, but instead, to prove it to myself. Recently, I received the news that I was selected for the team. It was a huge weight off of my shoulders.

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Keith, San Diego, Calif

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

Hi my name is Keith and when I was little my father went to jail a lot. He also drank a lot. He went to prison for two years so I did not get to see him. I only got to call him. My mother would cry a lot because my dad never gave my mom money for child support. Sometimes I think that my dad doesnít love me. He never calls and every time my mom calls him and lets him see us he tells a lie to just not see me. It's sad for me and I am always crying when I can't see him. It is hard not having my dad in my life. He really needs to grow up but he just will not. I love my dad but he will not give me my brother my sister money he will rather be with a girl than me or my brother and sister. We do not have the money to go to a football game. We never have money to do fun stuff and we never go places.

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Alyssa, Lacey

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

Growing up I have had to deal with my dad being on multiple deployments, during my 12 years of life my dad has deployed 4 times, first for 12 months before I was a year old then 15 months when I was three years old, 12 months when I was six and finally 9 months when I was 10. Not only was it difficult growing up with him not around as much as I would like (between not only deployments but also multiple training missions and schools), but we have also moved several times between Washington State, Germany, Colorado then back to Washington. It is difficult having to move away from my home and school and having to make new friends every couple of years, never feeling like I truly fit in or know how long we will be in our new home.

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Destiney, Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

I am still overcoming a very difficult situation. When I lived in Arizona I made a friend, her name is Kathlynn. We lived right next to each other. Her dad and my dad were in the army together and they got deployed together. We became close friends. We were actually more like sisters, we did everything together. Then one day I found out that my dad received orders to move to Utah. It was horrible! I did not want to leave my best friend. I wanted to stay, but my parents didn't let me. So we left Arizona and moved to Utah. I talked to her a few times. Then we found out that her dads time in the Army was over and they moved to Dayton, Iowa when she moved there we didn't keep in touch very well. About a year and a half ago my mom came in to my room and told me that Kathlynn and one of her friends had been kidnapped. It happened while they were walking home from the bus stop. When a guy came up and asked them if they wanted to make some money. They asked how and he told them that if they came and mowed his lawn he would give them $40.00 each. They said they would ask their parents so the guy said hop in, I'll take you to ask them. So they hopped in the car. He took them to this pig farm and zip tied their hands. The other girl got away but my friend didn't. They couldnít find her. When they finally showed up at the guy's house they found the kidnapper dead. He had hung himself. They also found traces of Kathlynn's blood around the pig farm. They kept searching they still couldn't find her. About a week went by still no sign of Kathlynn. By this time, I knew she was dead. I wouldnít let myself think that so I believed that she was still out there. After a few days they found a dead body in a river caught on debris under a bridge. They confirmed that it was in fact Kathlynn. She had been stabbed multiple times. She was still wearing the zip ties that the guy put on her. For the longest time I didn 't want to believe that she was dead. Then I started wishing things would have been different. I wished that it would have been me and her so I could help her escape. I also was thinking about things that I hated even thinking about. I had thoughts where I wished the other girl had died and not Kathlynn. I also wondered why she didn't help her to escape. But if she hadn't escaped, the police wouldnít know where Kathlynn was. So thanks to Kathlynnís friend she was eventually found. They had her funeral a week later. We didnít have a lot of money so I was unable fly down there and attend her funeral. I felt so bad that I couldn't go to her funeral, I also was mad that I couldn't go. Even to this day I wish I could have gone. Just to say goodbye to my best friend. I havenít been the same since she died. I don't think I will ever be the same again, I see things that remind me of her and our friendship. I know she is in a better place now. Sheís with her grandpa now and her dogs. I still miss her every day and now thanks to what happened I am more careful around people I don't know. When I tell people this story I get emotional because it is hard to think that this would ever happen to you or someone you know. It also has a good message behind it: "Don't ever get in to a car with someone you don't know, even if you are in a small town like she was where everybody 'knew' everybody."

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Destiney, Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

I am still overcoming a very difficult situation. When I lived in Arizona I made a friend, her name is Kathlynn. We lived right next to each other. Her dad and my dad were in the army together and they got deployed together. We became close friends. We were actually more like sisters, we did everything together. Then one day I found out that my dad received orders to move to Utah. It was horrible! I did not want to leave my best friend. I wanted to stay, but my parents didn't let me. So we left Arizona and moved to Utah. I talked to her a few times. Then we found out that her dads time in the Army was over and they moved to Dayton, Iowa when she moved there we didn't keep in touch very well. About a year and a half ago my mom came in to my room and told me that Kathlynn and one of her friends had been kidnapped. It happened while they were walking home from the bus stop. When a guy came up and asked them if they wanted to make some money. They asked how and he told them that if they came and mowed his lawn he would give them $40.00 each. They said they would ask their parents so the guy said hop in, I'll take you to ask them. So they hopped in the car. He took them to this pig farm and zip tied their hands. The other girl got away but my friend didn't. They couldnít find her. When they finally showed up at the guy's house they found the kidnapper dead. He had hung himself. They also found traces of Kathlynn's blood around the pig farm. They kept searching they still couldn't find her. About a week went by still no sign of Kathlynn. By this time, I knew she was dead. I wouldnít let myself think that so I believed that she was still out there. After a few days they found a dead body in a river caught on debris under a bridge. They confirmed that it was in fact Kathlynn. She had been stabbed multiple times. She was still wearing the zip ties that the guy put on her. For the longest time I didn 't want to believe that she was dead. Then I started wishing things would have been different. I wished that it would have been me and her so I could help her escape. I also was thinking about things that I hated even thinking about. I had thoughts where I wished the other girl had died and not Kathlynn. I also wondered why she didn't help her to escape. But if she hadn't escaped, the police wouldnít know where Kathlynn was. So thanks to Kathlynnís friend she was eventually found. They had her funeral a week later. We didnít have a lot of money so I was unable fly down there and attend her funeral. I felt so bad that I couldn't go to her funeral, I also was mad that I couldn't go. Even to this day I wish I could have gone. Just to say goodbye to my best friend. I havenít been the same since she died. I don't think I will ever be the same again, I see things that remind me of her and our friendship. I know she is in a better place now. Sheís with her grandpa now and her dogs. I still miss her every day and now thanks to what happened I am more careful around people I don't know. When I tell people this story I get emotional because it is hard to think that this would ever happen to you or someone you know. It also has a good message behind it: "Don't ever get in to a car with someone you don't know, even if you are in a small town like she was where everybody 'knew' everybody."

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Destiney, Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

I am still overcoming a very difficult situation. When I lived in Arizona I made a friend, her name is Kathlynn. We lived right next to each other. Her dad and my dad were in the army together and they got deployed together. We became close friends. We were actually more like sisters, we did everything together. Then one day I found out that my dad received orders to move to Utah. It was horrible! I did not want to leave my best friend. I wanted to stay, but my parents didn't let me. So we left Arizona and moved to Utah. I talked to her a few times. Then we found out that her dads time in the Army was over and they moved to Dayton, Iowa when she moved there we didn't keep in touch very well. About a year and a half ago my mom came in to my room and told me that Kathlynn and one of her friends had been kidnapped. It happened while they were walking home from the bus stop. When a guy came up and asked them if they wanted to make some money. They asked how and he told them that if they came and mowed his lawn he would give them $40.00 each. They said they would ask their parents so the guy said hop in, I'll take you to ask them. So they hopped in the car. He took them to this pig farm and zip tied their hands. The other girl got away but my friend didn't. They couldnít find her. When they finally showed up at the guy's house they found the kidnapper dead. He had hung himself. They also found traces of Kathlynn's blood around the pig farm. They kept searching they still couldn't find her. About a week went by still no sign of Kathlynn. By this time, I knew she was dead. I wouldnít let myself think that so I believed that she was still out there. After a few days they found a dead body in a river caught on debris under a bridge. They confirmed that it was in fact Kathlynn. She had been stabbed multiple times. She was still wearing the zip ties that the guy put on her. For the longest time I didn 't want to believe that she was dead. Then I started wishing things would have been different. I wished that it would have been me and her so I could help her escape. I also was thinking about things that I hated even thinking about. I had thoughts where I wished the other girl had died and not Kathlynn. I also wondered why she didn't help her to escape. But if she hadn't escaped, the police wouldnít know where Kathlynn was. So thanks to Kathlynnís friend she was eventually found. They had her funeral a week later. We didnít have a lot of money so I was unable fly down there and attend her funeral. I felt so bad that I couldn't go to her funeral, I also was mad that I couldn't go. Even to this day I wish I could have gone. Just to say goodbye to my best friend. I havenít been the same since she died. I don't think I will ever be the same again, I see things that remind me of her and our friendship. I know she is in a better place now. Sheís with her grandpa now and her dogs. I still miss her every day and now thanks to what happened I am more careful around people I don't know. When I tell people this story I get emotional because it is hard to think that this would ever happen to you or someone you know. It also has a good message behind it: "Don't ever get in to a car with someone you don't know, even if you are in a small town like she was where everybody 'knew' everybody."

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Destiney, Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

I am still overcoming a very difficult situation. When I lived in Arizona I made a friend, her name is Kathlynn. We lived right next to each other. Her dad and my dad were in the army together and they got deployed together. We became close friends. We were actually more like sisters, we did everything together. Then one day I found out that my dad received orders to move to Utah. It was horrible! I did not want to leave my best friend. I wanted to stay, but my parents didn't let me. So we left Arizona and moved to Utah. I talked to her a few times. Then we found out that her dads time in the Army was over and they moved to Dayton, Iowa when she moved there we didn't keep in touch very well. About a year and a half ago my mom came in to my room and told me that Kathlynn and one of her friends had been kidnapped. It happened while they were walking home from the bus stop. When a guy came up and asked them if they wanted to make some money. They asked how and he told them that if they came and mowed his lawn he would give them $40.00 each. They said they would ask their parents so the guy said hop in, I'll take you to ask them. So they hopped in the car. He took them to this pig farm and zip tied their hands. The other girl got away but my friend didn't. They couldnít find her. When they finally showed up at the guy's house they found the kidnapper dead. He had hung himself. They also found traces of Kathlynn's blood around the pig farm. They kept searching they still couldn't find her. About a week went by still no sign of Kathlynn. By this time, I knew she was dead. I wouldnít let myself think that so I believed that she was still out there. After a few days they found a dead body in a river caught on debris under a bridge. They confirmed that it was in fact Kathlynn. She had been stabbed multiple times. She was still wearing the zip ties that the guy put on her. For the longest time I didn 't want to believe that she was dead. Then I started wishing things would have been different. I wished that it would have been me and her so I could help her escape. I also was thinking about things that I hated even thinking about. I had thoughts where I wished the other girl had died and not Kathlynn. I also wondered why she didn't help her to escape. But if she hadn't escaped, the police wouldnít know where Kathlynn was. So thanks to Kathlynnís friend she was eventually found. They had her funeral a week later. We didnít have a lot of money so I was unable fly down there and attend her funeral. I felt so bad that I couldn't go to her funeral, I also was mad that I couldn't go. Even to this day I wish I could have gone. Just to say goodbye to my best friend. I havenít been the same since she died. I don't think I will ever be the same again, I see things that remind me of her and our friendship. I know she is in a better place now. Sheís with her grandpa now and her dogs. I still miss her every day and now thanks to what happened I am more careful around people I don't know. When I tell people this story I get emotional because it is hard to think that this would ever happen to you or someone you know. It also has a good message behind it: "Don't ever get in to a car with someone you don't know, even if you are in a small town like she was where everybody 'knew' everybody."

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Makayla, San Jose, Calif.

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

Hi my name is Makayla and this is my story. I have been a military child all my life, my father is in the military. I moved up here to Washington when I was less than a year old from San Jose, California. When we moved up here I was an only child and then two years later my brother came and then six years later my little sister came along. My siblings and I kind of grew up without a dad but it is not his fault because he is in the military. I grew up fast so my siblings did not have to. My mom raised my siblings mostly on her own. I am only 14 years old and people tell me that I think like an adult. And three years ago my parents got divorced. And that summer of 2012 my dad got stationed in Virginia. So he was really far away from us. My dad missed a lot but I don't blame him, it has been hard but I do still manage to keep my head up, keep a smile on my face, do well in school, being the oldest of three kids, and growing up without my dad put stress on me which added a lot to my plate. I am now a ninth grader in high school and I am a student who puts 110% into all other work.

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TaylorAnn, JBLM

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

Hello my name is TaylorAnn. I am 13. My dad is in the Army. I have moved about five times. I was born in Kansas moved to Germany, then to Missouri, then to Cuba, then to Washington. It is hard to be a military child because you have to make sacrifices that other kids don't have to. My dad deployed when I was two and came back when I was 4. I have spent about 5 years without my dad.

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Zachary, Tulsa, Okla.

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

I need support because my dad is in jail and my stepfather is deployed in Afghanistan. And all the while I'm being bullied at school. I'm also in my fourth school since kindergarten. It makes me confused, mad, and sad. I also used to talk to counselors for 2 years because I had trouble controlling my anger.

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Keisha, Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

My name is Keisha. I have been a military kid since I was born in 2000. I am 14 years old. I was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico and raised in Washington. My dad has been deployed several times ranging between one month to two years. My dad was first deployed when I was around 5 years old. I remember him leaving but I wasn't aware of where he was going and what he was doing. Whenever my dad leaves it's hard for me and my family. The longest and also the most recent time my dad has been deployed was for two years, when I was eleven. Those years were the toughest for me because I was older and I knew more than I did when I was younger. I realized that my dad wouldn't be back until I was thirteen. I have lots of encouraging friends that helped me. I help out in my community in many ways like helping out in my church, getting things for the homeless and making other people's lives better.

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James, San Francisco, Calif.

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

When my dad got deployed my family was not doing well and we had nothing to do because my mom was scared to go off post. We felt like our family was asking for help and no one was listening. It made me feel sad because my dad got deployed and my family was not doing well also we had hard times, some good times but my mom is always so worried about my dad getting back safe. We don't have much money so we don't get to go out to eat or even to the mall to walk around.

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Aries, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I lived in the rough part of town. It was hard for me in school and I was bullied a lot because of my race and it when it got dark no one could be outside because it was dangerous. I would come home everyday crying and my mom hated to see me like that. My mom joined the army for me, and for my family. Yes we had to be apart for a while but at the end of the day I know it would be all worth it. My mom struggled so my brother and I wouldn't. My mother is my hero.

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Chasity, Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

Hello, my name is Chasity. I have lived on JBLM for the past 3 years. For the last 11 years my family has had to deal with my father being constantly deployed. My dad has deployed to Iraq two times and Afghanistan one time. These deployments, for me, have not been easy. I've had to deal with the fact that my dad has been gone for so long. Being an Army dependant looks like any easy life,from a distance,but in actuality comes with major challenges. During the time my dad was deployed I focused my attention on school, but that becomes more difficult as the deployment grow longer. My family and I constantly worry about my father and how he is doing. My mother has always taken care of my brother and I and has done a great job. There is never a dull moment in my house. My mother works at the Madigan Child Development Center and often has me come to help her prepare and organize her classroom. It is a great feeling to help support her while my father is away from home. Even though I have faced so many barriers in my life, I am focused and motivated to do my best in school and all future endeavors. I want to graduate from high school and attend college to study to become a lawyer. My ultimate goal is to work my way up and into a judgeship. I believe that as a judge I will be able to effect change and make decisions that will help improve the community I live in. I want to give back to my community the same way my father has given back to his country for the past 16 years.

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Sky, Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

I have been a military child since I was 5 years old. I really haven't moved around like most military children since I have a younger brother with Autism, but my step dad still had to deploy. As far as I remember, he's been deployed two times and that was for a few months to a year. I've lived in Washington for awhile, but we moved around to different houses or bases. I couldn't go to most things at school or with friends because of my younger brother. Being a military child is alright, but I usually don't mind since I'm military I would always think I'm special. I would be able to do things that others couldn't so being military isn't so bad.

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Andrew, San Angelo, Texas

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

When I was back in my hometown our house got burnt down so our dad wanted a better life for me and my siblings. I get bullied at school sometimes and I haven't seen my dad in a year because he is military and deployed in Afghanistan. My family and I don't get to do anything as a family because of low budget. I wish my dad was here to do stuff with us but we just got to hope he gets home again with us. I help out others at school and I am a mentor at my school.

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Laney, Exeter, Calif.

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

Hi my name is Laney Channel and I have overcome a huge difficult situation in my life. Yes I am a military child but other than that I seem like a normal child to everyone around me but there has been that one big thing that has been a struggle. My parents are divorced! When I say that out loud I think I sound selfish because there are a lot of other people with more struggling problems in their life. There are even children who don't have parents or don't even know their parent. Although, I love both my parents very much, there are some things I don't get to do like normal kids do. I live in Washington and my dad lives in California, so I don't get to see him as much as I would like too. It's not just my dad I don't get to see that often, it's my whole other half of my family. It's a little bit harder to accept certain thing when you have divorced parents. For example when I'm with my dad I have hard time accepting that I won't always be there to do the fun activities with my mom and when I'm with my mom I won't be able to do the fun activities with my dad. Also my little brother lives in California with his mom. I love him to death but that's just another thing I have to accept. I can't always be there for him and see him grow up. I might not be able to see him grow up but I'm very grateful for the life I have.

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Breanna, JBLM

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

Hi, my name is Bre you can find me on Instagram, Snapchat and Vine. I love my family, friends and the latest trends of the week or day! I'm in the 8th grade at Harrison Prep where Iím mostly "Liked" by all and have a few "Haters." Social Media is everything to me; it can be a place of positives or a place of negatives. I know I'm not the only teen to feel it, in fact I see it every day. Being a teen in this Generation is hard where self-esteem is based on who "Likes" my picture or comments below. Just like that a click of a mouse or touch screen touch can make or break my day. I have more of social life online then I do in person with my friends at school, even at school I text my friends who happened to be standing next me, I feel I can be more confident behind the screen then in person. Social networking can be a good thing as well, I have a couple followers that I wouldn't normally consider friends but if they post a funny saying or a picture I'll like it! Who would have guessed we like the same stuff. I guess you could say I have more friends online than I do at school. Social media can ruin my day on the other hand. When someone un-follows it feels like I disappointed one of my followers. I am online half of my day maybe even more! Social media is used to communicate but also to communicate with people I don't know. It hurts sometimes knowing that someone doesn't like my picture or page. Online is somewhere everyone should be able to be friends and like pictures but it's almost never like that. I talk to people that go to my school online but never talk to them in person at school. Social media is also a good thing it helps by letting me communicate with people id never thought I would talk to in millions of years. Social media is what I love to do and although sometimes it gets a little rough it makes me a better person.

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Presley, Batesville, Ark.

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

I was adopted by my Aunt Ashley and Uncle Shane in August of2012 while my Uncle Shane was deployed. My father is incarcerated in the Arkansas Department of Corrections and my mother has never been in my life, she chose to be a part of another family. I am currently seeing a therapist to help me with my issues stemming from my lack of support from my father and mother. Since being adopted by Aunt Ashley and Uncle Shane, I've been through two deployments, my Aunt had a baby and my Uncle's son, Issak, came to live with us. I have a great home now but I am still working on overcoming the pain of the past.

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Orion, Medford, Ore.

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

My name is Orion. My dad is currently deployed and he is about to come home after spending nine months in Afghanistan. My mom died when I was three years old due to Diabetes. Also I have a depression disorder in my family gene so I get depressed all the time for no apparent reason. So I would love to see a Seahawks game so I cannot be depressed and so I can be happy when my dad comes home. Thank you for reading.

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Sherrill, Tacoma

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

I was born with severe hearing loss that caused me to struggle in day to day life. In school I would get bullied for having hearing aids and my speech problems, thus I would lose my hearing aids consistently so I didn't have to wear them. Over the years my insurance would not cover hearing aids since I lost so many of them. My dad helped me realize, while he was deployed, for the ninth time, that I have to start making good decisions. He suggested, sitting in front of the class, and asking question when I don't understand. As I've grown over the years I'm now able to look at people's mouth to make sure I understand what they say. With having skills like this I'm able to make A's and B's, and excel in AP classes.

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Nyah, Joint Base Lewis-McChord

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

My name is Nyah and I am 13 years old and attend Woodbrook Middle School. As a military kid I have moved five times and even lived overseas in Japan. Iíve become accustomed to moving every couple of years with my dad who is in the Air Force. I enjoy helping others, and currently serve as an Ignite mentor at my school. When I am not in school, I enjoy spending lots of time at the CYSS McChord Youth center. The staff is phenomenal and I get to meet other kids who experience the same challenges as I do. When I finish high school, I want to attend the University of Washington to become a guidance counselor. I want to help youth overcome obstacles just as I have.

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Madison, Pheonix, Ariz.

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

Hello, my name is Madison and my dad is in the military, and I have been overcoming a lot of situations since he got in. he's been in the military for five years now. He got in when I was in 5th grade and I had to move to a new school and make new friends. It was hard for me because I didn't know if people would like me. So, I got to the new base in Fort Knox, Kentucky and I went to a new school and made a lot of new friends. I stayed there for three years. I made really good friends and it was fun. Then after 8th grade year, we moved. Now, we're moving to Fort Lewis, Washington. Again I have to make new friends and go to a new school. But this time it was harder because I was starting my 8th grade year and I didn't know anyone. After a week of school I had lots of friends, they have come and gone for the past 2 years and now I have to move again. But this time I don't have to move ever again until I'm older because my dad is getting out of the military and we're going to move to Virginia.

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Alise, Lakewood

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

My name is Alise, when I was younger I lived in Oklahoma. I was separated from my mother for reasons I cannot discuss, and was then placed in a foster home. A change like that was and still is hard on me from time to time. Sometimes it even hinders my focus in school. But overall I feel as though it has made me a stronger person and I can overcome anything.

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Naiyah, Dupont

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

When I go to school I feel like an outsider. I don't usually get included in things, or invited to anything because I'm new at the school I go to and all my old friends are together at my old school. I feel like I'm surrounded by a lot of people at lunch time but no one hears me or wants to talk to me. I have maybe three good friends and when they get invited to activities they let me tag along as a "plus one" but that doesn't really make me feel included. I feel bullied for being different but I will not change who I am to fit in with more people.

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De'ja, Dupont

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

Last school year I fell in with the wrong crowd of people. My parents thought it best for me to go to a different school, not the school of my choice for sure. I'm now a freshman in high school, at first I had a hard time fitting in with the kids at my new school because I had a poor attitude. I had a lot of trouble paying attention in class and keeping my grades in good standing. I have changed my outlook on things and actually started liking my new school and am currently working hard to keep my grades up and keep a good attitude, not to mention keeping good company.

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Michaela, Jacksonville, Ark.

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

Hi my name is Michaela and this is my story. I was forced into the military lifestyle due to some complications in my hometown with my parents. It got to the point to where they really didn't know how to take care of me anymore. So, they sent me up here to live with my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew to have a fresh start with my life and to better myself. Since I 've been up here I have had to overcome homesickness, and not being able to be with my parents all the time. I have also had to accept the fact that my sister and brother-in-law are now my parental figures and I have to respect them as such. About two weeks after I moved up here, my house back in Arkansas burned down and my family lost everything and that further piled on more stress to me because everything that I own fits into two boxes and when I go back home I don't have anything to look at or to bring back with me to reinforce memories. Plus I keep worrying about my parents because right now they are living out of a camper and the insurance for the house really didn't cover anything, so we have to replace everything by hand and we lost a bunch of things that are irreplaceable.

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Daniel, Lakeside

Boys & Girls Club of JBLM

My family does not have the money to do anything like going to a professional game, and I never met my dad. I have never had a father in my life, we have eight people in my family. I never get to go out of the house because we don't have the money to do anything.

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Camp Fire Snohomish

www.campfiresnoco.org

Mission: We know the youth of today want to shape the world. Camp Fire provides the experience everyone needs to discover who they are - find their spark - and become a leader now.

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Victoria, Everett

Camp Fire Snohomish

I am 15 years old and a sophomore at Everett High School. I've been a part of Camp Fire for 11 years. This program has given me lifelong friendships, and hours and hours of community service opportunities. I also have enjoyed being an Assisteens, and volunteering with our school's community food drive. Some of my hobbies include skiing, playing tennis, camping, hiking, and crafting. I love to travel, and spend time with my family and friends. I am a motivated, driven student and am able to maintain good grades in my honors and AP classes. I have plans to attend a 4 year college and pursue a career that allows me to be creative and productive.

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Carlin, Everett

Camp Fire Snohomish

Carlin is an amazing young woman. She has suffered chronic headaches and other debilitating symptoms from a young age. She has overcome many challenges, including having brain surgery at the age of 16. Because of her symptoms and struggle to concentrate, a traditional high school experience was difficult. Carlin is now working on getting her diploma via homeschooling. The last three years have been hard for Carlin, seeing her friends graduate and go off to college. She has been a Camp Fire member for 13 years and continues to volunteer as a club aide. Her immediate goal is to graduate high school. Her long term goal is to go to college and study marine biology.

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Cheyenne, Mill Creek

Camp Fire Snohomish

Cheyenne is a hard-working 14 year old freshman at Jackson High School. She has been a member of her Camp Fire group since 2007. In Camp Fire she has done many volunteer projects such as: Valentines for Vets, food drives, tailgate ministries, and Bethany northwest volunteer work. She is also very active in her church youth group. Through her youth group she has raised money for the Everett and Mill Creek food banks and Seattle Childrenís Hospital. In her church she volunteers her time to work in the nursery and Sunday school/vacation bible school. Cheyenne received a citizenship award at her middle school graduation in June, 2014. Cheyenne is very interested in helping people and wishes to become a nurse one day.

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Justin, Darrington

Camp Fire Snohomish

But one day my life changed forever. It was the day of my wrestling tournament. It was just a normal Saturday morning, nothing was expected to happen, but then we got news that a huge mudslide hit Steelhead Drive, which was where Denver's dad lived. I thought Denver was at his mom's in town, so I didn't worry about it until I got home and heard about the life-changing news on Facebook. There were a few posts that Denver was missing in the mudslide. I immediately changed from happy to a sad-angry mix. I kept hoping that they would find him alive. Two weeks later, Denver's mom called my grandma and said they found Denver, but he wasn't alive. After that day, I am still not the same Justin I used to be. Throughout this whole issue with the mudslide, I had support from many different people and I helped to support many other people. I will always love, miss, and remember Denver a lot and will always remember his quote: "I don't take life too hard; I just take what life gives me."

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Justin, Darrington

Camp Fire Snohomish

But one day my life changed forever. It was the day of my wrestling tournament. It was just a normal Saturday morning, nothing was expected to happen, but then we got news that a huge mudslide hit Steelhead Drive, which was where Denver's dad lived. I thought Denver was at his mom's in town, so I didn't worry about it until I got home and heard about the life-changing news on Facebook. There were a few posts that Denver was missing in the mudslide. I immediately changed from happy to a sad-angry mix. I kept hoping that they would find him alive. Two weeks later, Denver's mom called my grandma and said they found Denver, but he wasn't alive. After that day, I am still not the same Justin I used to be. Throughout this whole issue with the mudslide, I had support from many different people and I helped to support many other people. I will always love, miss, and remember Denver a lot and will always remember his quote: "I don't take life too hard; I just take what life gives me."

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Justin, Darrington

Camp Fire Snohomish

But one day my life changed forever. It was the day of my wrestling tournament. It was just a normal Saturday morning, nothing was expected to happen, but then we got news that a huge mudslide hit Steelhead Drive, which was where Denver's dad lived. I thought Denver was at his mom's in town, so I didn't worry about it until I got home and heard about the life-changing news on Facebook. There were a few posts that Denver was missing in the mudslide. I immediately changed from happy to a sad-angry mix. I kept hoping that they would find him alive. Two weeks later, Denver's mom called my grandma and said they found Denver, but he wasn't alive. After that day, I am still not the same Justin I used to be. Throughout this whole issue with the mudslide, I had support from many different people and I helped to support many other people. I will always love, miss, and remember Denver a lot and will always remember his quote: "I don't take life too hard; I just take what life gives me."

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Justin, Darrington

Camp Fire Snohomish

But one day my life changed forever. It was the day of my wrestling tournament. It was just a normal Saturday morning, nothing was expected to happen, but then we got news that a huge mudslide hit Steelhead Drive, which was where Denver's dad lived. I thought Denver was at his mom's in town, so I didn't worry about it until I got home and heard about the life-changing news on Facebook. There were a few posts that Denver was missing in the mudslide. I immediately changed from happy to a sad-angry mix. I kept hoping that they would find him alive. Two weeks later, Denver's mom called my grandma and said they found Denver, but he wasn't alive. After that day, I am still not the same Justin I used to be. Throughout this whole issue with the mudslide, I had support from many different people and I helped to support many other people. I will always love, miss, and remember Denver a lot and will always remember his quote: "I don't take life too hard; I just take what life gives me."

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Ella, Everett

Camp Fire Snohomish

Ella is a freshman at Henry M. Jackson High School in Everett. She has been in Camp Fire for eight years. Ella serves her community in many ways including collecting food for local food banks, feeding meals to the less fortunate through a ministry at her church, working as a youth volunteer at her church, assisting in seasonal events with residents at a local nursing home, participating in Relay for Life and volunteering as a Day Camp Assistant at Camp Killoqua for 200 hours over the past 2 summers. Sheís also a member of the Jackson High School Dance team, the German Club and Key Club. In addition to serving her community and being involved in many extracurricular activities, Ella has a strong focus on academics. She maintained a 4.0 GPA all throughout middle school and is working hard to achieve a 4.0 in high school as well; all while taking very challenging courses.

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Mattie, Mill Creek

Camp Fire Snohomish

Mattie is a sophomore at Henry M Jackson High School. Through her involvement in Camp Fire, she has volunteered over 400 hours as a Day Camp Assistant at Camp Killoqua during the summer and spring breaks. She is also a Club Aide and leads activities for a group of elementary school Camp Fire members. She has done volunteer work at a nursing home and participated in Relay for Life. Sheís in her second year of concert choir at JHS, as well as being involved in Key Club (a service organization) and the German Club.

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Sydney, Everett

Camp Fire Snohomish

Sydney is a 14 year old that goes to Cascade High School in Everett. She has been a member of Camp Fire since November of 2012. With Camp Fire, Sydney has volunteered on many projects over the years such as: Tailgate Ministries, Valentines for Vets, food drives, and Bethany Northwest volunteer work. She also belongs to the Advent Lutheran Youth Group where they raise money for the Mill Creek Food Banks and Seattle Childrenís Hospital. Sydney loves to play music; she sings, plays the flute and piano and is active in her high school Drama Club.

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Zino, Lake Stevens

Camp Fire Snohomish

Zino is a running start student at Everett Community College. He plans to continue his education in the field of neuroscience. Zino, "Zulu" has spent summers at Camp Killoqua since he was in the 5th grade and has enjoyed working with youth in the day camp program as well as the CIT program. He looks forward to becoming a camp counselor and sharing his experience at camp with others.

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Kiana, Stanwood

Camp Fire Snohomish

Kiana is a ďkid magnetĒ who has been attending Camp Killoqua for five years, the last three as a volunteer Day Camp Assistant (DCA) working with younger camp members. Giving back to the community is really important to her and she is in the 3rd year of volunteering with Teens in Action: Snohomish County. Kiana is also a youth board member with Camp Fire Snohomish County. Kiana is a Sophomore at Stanwood High School where she maintains an A average and aspires to be a Kindergarten teacher in the future.

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Marissa, Lynnwood

Camp Fire Snohomish

Community involvement focused. Camp Fire Club activities: Foster Kids fundraiser, Giving Tree gifts for foster kids, Food baskets for needy families (donating items and/or handmade gifts) through St Hilda, Valentines for Veterans, Soldier care packages, Candy donations for soldiers. School: National Junior Honor Society, Led school wide book exchange to promote reading, Peer tutoring at Meadowdale Elementary School, Coin for Kids program. Church: Vacation Bible School assistant, Sunday School, Child Care.

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Abbie, Edmonds

Camp Fire Snohomish

Hi, my name is Abbie and i am going to tell you about me. I love to volunteer around my community, i have several under my belt and I strive to continue. My Camp Fire group and I raised money for the foster kids program through a project we decided to take on, and farther back we decorated cookies and made crafts with the residents of the homeless shelter for women and children. I also enjoy keeping little baggies of "on the go" supplies for whenever my mom and I come across someone who needs assistance in that form. I would love to one day volunteer at Children's Hospital, but I have to be just a little older. My single mom and I also like to help out anywhere we see it fit.

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Anna, Everett

Camp Fire Snohomish

Anna has been actively involved in leadership throughout middle and high school. She currently serves as her sophomore class Treasurer. She is someone who stands out as being inclusive and accepting of all and willing to stretch herself beyond her comfort zone to continue to learn and grow. Anna has been involved in Camp Fire for 11 years and has served in Teens in Action. She enjoys the many volunteer opportunities that are provided through her involvement in Camp Fire, school, church and community. Anna has a servantís heart and a desire to help others.

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Claire, Snohomish

Camp Fire Snohomish

Claire, 14 from Snohomish, is ambitious and talented in so many ways. Her focus on academics is a high priority. She strives to seek new opportunities in her school and the community. She has been an active participant in Camp Fire for 7 years. Claire is a Stage Manager of her upcoming high school play and is very active in the music program where she plays the bassoon and saxophone. She volunteers at her church, her former elementary school and in the community.

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Cyara, Marysville

Camp Fire Snohomish

Cyara is a stand-out Freshman at Marysville-Getchell High School Academy of Construction and Engineering and is a cross-country, track and swim athlete. Cyara has been a club member for over 7 years and now participates in Teens in Action. She always helps out, volunteers and is a good role model to the younger members. She excels in school, community, sports and plans to graduate with honors.

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Liz, Everett

Camp Fire Snohomish

My name is Liz and I'm 16. I am a running start student at Community College, while also attending high school. My goal is to transfer to a four year University, where I will receive a degree in exercise or animal science. I volunteer through Camp Fire, Assisteens, and Honor Society. I teach skiing up at Stevens for Clancy's Ski School. I play soccer, ultimate frisbee and tennis. I enjoy running, traveling and spending time with my friends & family. Go Hawks!

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Sam, Everett

Camp Fire Snohomish

My name is Sam, I am a freshman from Everett. I have been in Camp Fire since I was a little kid; it is my 10th year in the program. Through Camp Fire I have done a lot of volunteer projects, one of the most recent ones I was a part of was Pioneer Day's at Camp Killoqua. My two favorite projects I have done with my group was knitting hats for the premature babies in the hospital, and making puzzle-piece thank you's for some local veterans. In school, keeping my grades up is important to me. In my spare time, I enjoy playing sports. I play volleyball and soccer.

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Ryan, Edmonds

Camp Fire Snohomish

Ryan is a 16 year old junior at Meadowdale High School. He is a counselor in training at Camp Killoqua in the summer and loves volunteering at camp. Ryan is very involved with the Young Life program and is a student leader. In his free time Ryan spends his time doing Young Life activities with his friends including volunteer work within the community. Ryan enjoys doing random acts of kindness and helping people in need. Earl Thomas III is his favorite Seahawk as he too has played the position of free safety, and looks up to him as a role model.

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Roma, Everett

Camp Fire Snohomish

Roma is a 13 year old 8th grader. In her short life she's over come many difficulties. In her early years she had multiple surgeries, therapies, poverty, and neurological hurdles. In first grade she finally began to talk; being able to communicate threw open the gates for all her amazing thoughts and ideas to burst through. This was also when she was diagnosed with seizure disorder and autism. In the years since she has blossomed into a person who when given the option will jump on any chance to do community service. She has received citizenship awards at her school for recognition of her selflessness towards others, participated in many community service projects with Camp Fire, and helps her family with crafting small aide bags for the homeless in her neighborhood. Recently, she has even branched out to help not only the people around her and the community she's in but the animals she sees in need by completing her first rescue. She always has a smile for the people around her and a bubbling enthusiasm for life. The idea she lives by is even if you don't have the money to help you have the time and sometimes that's all people need.

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Natalie C., Snohomish

Camp Fire Snohomish

Natalie (15) has been in Camp Fire for 11 years. She has volunteered with Teens in Action and gone to camp most summers. Natalie is active in her church youth group and volunteers at Vacation Bible School each summer for a week. Cross country and lacrosse are her passions and she has been a varsity athlete at her high school while maintaining a 4.0 grade point average.

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Elizabeth, Everett

Camp Fire Snohomish

Elizabeth is a sophomore at Everett High School. Her favorite subjects are Art, French, and AVID, (Advancement Via Individual Determination), a college readiness class. She is a member of the EHS Spirit Club, Girls Bowling, and the Track and Field team, and is involved with the schoolís annual fall food drive. Elizabeth has participated in Camp Fire since 3rd grade, embracing opportunities to Give Service through volunteer projects for the local food bank, animal shelter, and senior center; assisting with various Council activities and events; and raising funds for her club and the Council through the annual candy sale and Seahawks Spirit of 12 program. She hopes to join the Counselor in Training program at Camp Killoqua this summer. In addition to her Camp Fire activities, Elizabeth has been an active participant in Relay for Life since the age of 8, joining her family to raise money each year for the American Cancer Society. She is honored to be a member of Team Aloha, one of the top Relay fundraising teams in the nation. She is also a member of Assisteens, the teen auxiliary group of the Assistance League of Everett, and participates in fundraising activities to purchase clothing for teens-in-need, which are distributed through Operation School Bell.

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Hannah, Mill Creek

Camp Fire Snohomish

Hannah is a junior at Jackson High School. She has been swimming her entire life, and as a competitive swimmer since the age of 9. She has participated in the WIAA 4A state swim meet the past 2 years, and has earned a Varsity letter in swimming her Freshman, Sophomore and will letter again this year as a Junior. She is also involved in the Sports Medicine program at Jackson, and has logged nearly 100 hours as a volunteer athletic trainer this school year alone. Hannah is also active with Camp Killoqua, and this past summer spent 3 weeks at camp as a Counselor-in-Training. She was a member of Camp Fire for 8 years, and one year sold over 1000 boxes of candy. She has also volunteered with the Spirit of 12 Foundation, selling programs at Seahawks games.

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Ruth, Everett

Camp Fire Snohomish

Ruth is a 13yr old high honors 8th grader at Voyager Middle School in Everett Washington. Her diverse interests include Archaeology, Egyptology, Music, Playing Flute, Anime and her new kitten Bastet (Egyptian cat goddess). Ruth has been a Camp Fire member since 2008 and enjoys going to Camp Killoqua every summer and doing Community Service projects with her club. Since early this year, Ruth has taken it upon herself to help her neighborhood in South Everett by painting over graffiti on its walls.

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Maggie, Darrington

Camp Fire Snohomish

Maggie has lived in the small rural town of Darrington all of her life. On March 22, 2013, the Highway 530 landslide deeply affected her quiet community. Maggie was immediately there to help by unloading disaster relief supplies and volunteering at local events. She is also active in other community organizations including the Darrington Skate Park project and the Historical Society. Despite having a mild form of epilepsy which causes absence seizures, Maggie has bravely participated in the middle school drama club and cheerleading. One of her most recent challenges has been to participate in Camp Fireís week long archery camp. The goal on her next birthday is to begin volunteering at a local animal shelter.

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Danny, Darrington

Camp Fire Snohomish

Danny has proven to be a resilient kid from the start! Born three months premature, he was placed into foster care as an infant. After a long hospitalization, he went home to live with the lucky family who would eventually adopt him. Although he continues to face many challenges, he takes on most days with a happy grin and outgoing personality. When the landslide affected his small community of Darrington, Danny experienced loss, confusion and sadness. Camp Fireís Camp Willie gave him a safe place to come to terms with these feelings. Danny feels the happiest when he is outside and staying active. He wants to go to camp every summer until he is old enough to be a Counselor.

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Natalie, Everett

Camp Fire Snohomish

Natalie is a fun-loving freshman at Cascade High School. She's been involved with Camp Fire since she was in the 4th grade (6 years). With the grounded influence of their service-minded Camp Fire leader, her energetic Camp Fire group has helped at the food bank, volunteered time creating art projects, volunteered at Bethany nursing home, helped at events to feed the homeless, and made cards for hospitalized Vets, among other meaningful projects serving her community. An avid music lover, Natalie was in every music club her middle school had to offer (Jazz Band, Jazz Choir, a marimba band, and Advanced Band). She plays flute, piano and percussion instruments, and loves to sing. She is currently involved in Cascade Sound's Marching Band and enjoys the sometimes exhausting performance work. When Marching Band season is over she will finally have the time to join the school Drama Club. Natalie hopes to one day become a music teacher or a voice actor.

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Cocoon House, Seattle

www.cocoonhouse.org

Mission: Cocoon House empowers young people, families, and the community to break the cycle of homelessness through outreach, housing and prevention.

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Terrence, Everett

Cocoon House

Terrence has been receiving services from every department in Cocoon House for quite some time, and has developed valuable relationships with everyone he meets. From accessing resources at our Drop in Center, to spending several weeks at our Emergency Shelter, and finally coming to our long term housing program to work on developing his independent living skills and prepare for adulthood. Terrence has faced a multitude of challenges, from medical to family struggles, yet through it all Terrence has persevered and never forgotten to have fun and be true to himself.

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Kai, Oakland, Calif.

Cocoon House

Kai has contributed a lot to Cocoon House since arriving. She has participated in fundraising, was involved in a legislative roundtable, and even helped staff interview potential staff to provide valuable insights and challenging questions. She has become a leader who is not shy to voice her opinion and is open to other opinions as well.

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Alana, Everett

Cocoon House

Alana has contributed in positive ways to our Housing Program from early on. She met and spoke with a visiting Congresswoman, has stepped up to support both staff and other residents, follows the program structure, and encourages other youths through her positive attitude on life.

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Savanna, Everett

Cocoon House

I had a rough childhood. I have learned that in order to get things that I wanted I would need to do it myself and mostly make mistakes from which to learn. I grew up barely seeing my mom and dad and having to be independent by the age of seven. Still I have a good sense of what's wrong and what is right but mostly I know that being rude to people is not going to get me anywhere in life but in trouble. Every story is different and, like everyone else, no child should have to go through what I have went through.

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Savanna, Everett

Cocoon House

I had a rough childhood. I have learned that in order to get things that I wanted I would need to do it myself and mostly make mistakes from which to learn. I grew up barely seeing my mom and dad and having to be independent by the age of seven. Still I have a good sense of what's wrong and what is right but mostly I know that being rude to people is not going to get me anywhere in life but in trouble. Every story is different and, like everyone else, no child should have to go through what I have went through.

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Savanna, Everett

Cocoon House

I had a rough childhood. I have learned that in order to get things that I wanted I would need to do it myself and mostly make mistakes from which to learn. I grew up barely seeing my mom and dad and having to be independent by the age of seven. Still I have a good sense of what's wrong and what is right but mostly I know that being rude to people is not going to get me anywhere in life but in trouble. Every story is different and, like everyone else, no child should have to go through what I have went through.

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Savanna, Everett

Cocoon House

I had a rough childhood. I have learned that in order to get things that I wanted I would need to do it myself and mostly make mistakes from which to learn. I grew up barely seeing my mom and dad and having to be independent by the age of seven. Still I have a good sense of what's wrong and what is right but mostly I know that being rude to people is not going to get me anywhere in life but in trouble. Every story is different and, like everyone else, no child should have to go through what I have went through.

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Savanna, Everett

Cocoon House

I had a rough childhood. I have learned that in order to get things that I wanted I would need to do it myself and mostly make mistakes from which to learn. I grew up barely seeing my mom and dad and having to be independent by the age of seven. Still I have a good sense of what's wrong and what is right but mostly I know that being rude to people is not going to get me anywhere in life but in trouble. Every story is different and, like everyone else, no child should have to go through what I have went through.

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Bongo, Everett

Cocoon House

Bongo participates in every activity at U-Turn including residential life skills. Despite his entire family being in a shelter, he remains positive and makes healthy choices.

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Charles, Everett

Cocoon House

Charles continues to make strides towards becoming independent. Most recently he has attained his first job. This after his lengthy volunteer position as an Executive Assistant at Mukilteo City Hall. He is very excited and hopes to work about 16-20 hours a week Monday through Friday while he continues through to graduate from high school. Charles hopes to continue on to the University of Washington to study Political Science.

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Gemini, Everett

Cocoon House

Gemini is a member of the Tulalip Tribes and is very closely tied to her native culture and traditions. Gemini has faced many difficult challenges, living a life of frequent transitions in the foster care system. But Gemini has made incredible progress while at Cocoon House, building trust with staff and being willing to face her challenges head on. She is developing skills to manage life's stresses, and making plans for her future, even when that seems scary. Gemini is an artist at heart, and we look forward to seeing her blossom and bring beauty to the world and people around her.

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Mia, Everett

Cocoon House

When you first meet Mia, you may think that she is shy or quiet. But after 5 minutes of introductions and getting to know her, you will discover and hear clearly a bubbly teenager with incredible wit and sense of humor who has bright plans for her future. She has faced adversity and challenges, but has been willing to do the work of facing her challenges and working with staff to pursue her own success. Mia plans on finishing high school and continuing on to a local university.

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Andrew, Everett

Cocoon House

Andrew is a very engaging young man at U-Turn. He completed all of his community service at U-Turn. He engages all youth that walk in the door. He speaks openly about how the court process has changed his life for the better.

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Sarah, Everett

Cocoon House

Sarah once was on the Becca Bill, but was compliant and is now off.¬ She has not missed one day of school and takes care of her sick mom and her sisters' kids.

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Cody, Everett

Cocoon House

Cody was in and out of DYC, but now has found employment, follows through with case management and is committed to changing his life.

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Daniel, Seattle

Cocoon House

Daniel was raised in a gang-involved, drug-infested home and suffered abuse. Now he is attending school and doing positive activities like drawing, rapping, and writing.

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Chris, Everett

Cocoon House

Chris has made a lot of progress on getting his life situated since entering Cocoon. He has emerged here as a leader participating in groups, supporting other residents through difficult times, and willing to tell his challenging story. Additionally while living at Cocoon House, he has worked very hard at controlling his anger through working with our Counselor and his Case Manager. We are starting to see Chris mature into a young adult focusing on his education and career pathway.

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Kyle, Everett

Cocoon House

Kyle has been bullied at school and at home but despite that he maintains good grades and is a part of the school band.

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Dustin, Everett

Cocoon House

Dustin is very active at U-Turn, and at the young age of 13, walks his sisters to and from school to ensure their safety. He is very mature and engaging with other youth on the Drop-In floor.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound, Seattle

www.bbbsps.org

Mission: To provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better.

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Justin, Seattle

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What his Big had to say: Earlier this year Justin encountered one of the most devastating situations that many of us fear when his father suddenly passed away. I have never in my life watched someone confront the death of a parent with so much wisdom and maturation. Although Justin has an older brother, it was as if he instinctively assumed the position of the patriarch in the family. While many individuals (especially children) react to the death of a close loved one with various emotions ranging from guilt and anger to fear and sadness, Justin took the position of being the strength for his family. While it was obviously difficult for Justin's mother and sisters, Justin remained steadfast in showing courage and when acceptable ALWAYS provided his family with a laugh so as to relieve some of the grief if only for a brief moment. More importantly Justin took the initiative to step up inside and outside of the classroom. I like to think that he did this for two reasons: 1 - As a sign of respect to his father and 2 - To make sure his mother has one less thing to worry about. Justin went so far as to work TWO jobs over the summer to help lessen the financial burden his mother has to take on with one less provider in the home. I can honestly say that Justin showed me the true definition of being courageous!

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Ximena, Seattle

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What her Big had to say: Ximena and I celebrated our 3rd year anniversary as a Big/Little match this past May. When I first met Ximena, she was 9-years old and in the third grade. I remember her not being confident about school. She would tell me that she believed that she was kept behind a grade because of her academic struggle. Three years later, she has made tremendous strides. Just this past year, she showed me her 6th grade report card with all A's on it! It brought me to tears of joy that she wanted to share with me how well she did in school and show me her report card. I truly believe that it is because of our Big Brother Big Sister partnership that Ximena has grown into a more confident, academically driven, and beautiful young woman. Through mentorship, we've been able to help one another deal with life and better understand it. I tell myself every day that I am so lucky to have been matched with Ximena. She inspires me to be a better person. I believe the world would be a better place if we took a moment to learn from those younger than us and allowed them to be our mentor. We just have to give them a chance to teach us something.

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Scott, Bellevue

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What his Big had to say: Scott Fultz is an amazing kid. He has overcome not having a father around and is quite helpful at home. I'd love to introduce Scott to Seahawks as he has never been to their stadium. This will be new/unique/different for him and we would both appreciate it.

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Elias, Tacoma

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What his Big had to say: I have known Elias now since he was 11, and now that he's 14 it is fantastic to see his growth and maturity continue to develop.¬ He lost his father at a very young age from brain cancer and he is the oldest of 3 siblings.¬ From the time I met Elias, I've never witnessed him blaming others or feeling sorry about his situation, and in fact it was the opposite.¬ I saw a young man who embraced an unfortunate circumstance and used it as an opportunity to grow and mature at an early age.¬ He is a phenomenal role model and model citizen for his siblings and peers.¬ Elias is a three-sport athlete and maintains an ‚ÄúA‚ÄĚ average in all his classes.¬ We are volunteering and walking at the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk in an effort to both celebrate the life of his father and teach him about community service and servings others.¬ In my opinion, Elias at a very early age ‚Äėgets it' and is on a fantastic trajectory.

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Elias, Tacoma

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What his Big had to say: I have known Elias now since he was 11, and now that he's 14 it is fantastic to see his growth and maturity continue to develop.¬ He lost his father at a very young age from brain cancer and he is the oldest of 3 siblings.¬ From the time I met Elias, I've never witnessed him blaming others or feeling sorry about his situation, and in fact it was the opposite.¬ I saw a young man who embraced an unfortunate circumstance and used it as an opportunity to grow and mature at an early age.¬ He is a phenomenal role model and model citizen for his siblings and peers.¬ Elias is a three-sport athlete and maintains an ‚ÄúA‚ÄĚ average in all his classes.¬ We are volunteering and walking at the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk in an effort to both celebrate the life of his father and teach him about community service and servings others.¬ In my opinion, Elias at a very early age ‚Äėgets it' and is on a fantastic trajectory.

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Elias, Tacoma

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What his Big had to say: I have known Elias now since he was 11, and now that he's 14 it is fantastic to see his growth and maturity continue to develop.¬ He lost his father at a very young age from brain cancer and he is the oldest of 3 siblings.¬ From the time I met Elias, I've never witnessed him blaming others or feeling sorry about his situation, and in fact it was the opposite.¬ I saw a young man who embraced an unfortunate circumstance and used it as an opportunity to grow and mature at an early age.¬ He is a phenomenal role model and model citizen for his siblings and peers.¬ Elias is a three-sport athlete and maintains an ‚ÄúA‚ÄĚ average in all his classes.¬ We are volunteering and walking at the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk in an effort to both celebrate the life of his father and teach him about community service and servings others.¬ In my opinion, Elias at a very early age ‚Äėgets it' and is on a fantastic trajectory.

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Elias, Tacoma

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What his Big had to say: I have known Elias now since he was 11, and now that he's 14 it is fantastic to see his growth and maturity continue to develop.¬ He lost his father at a very young age from brain cancer and he is the oldest of 3 siblings.¬ From the time I met Elias, I've never witnessed him blaming others or feeling sorry about his situation, and in fact it was the opposite.¬ I saw a young man who embraced an unfortunate circumstance and used it as an opportunity to grow and mature at an early age.¬ He is a phenomenal role model and model citizen for his siblings and peers.¬ Elias is a three-sport athlete and maintains an ‚ÄúA‚ÄĚ average in all his classes.¬ We are volunteering and walking at the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk in an effort to both celebrate the life of his father and teach him about community service and servings others.¬ In my opinion, Elias at a very early age ‚Äėgets it' and is on a fantastic trajectory.

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Yasmina, Seattle

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What her Big had to say: I have been matched with Yasmina for the past 6 months and she has amazed me with her ability to give back to the community regardless of time and resources available to her. This past summer while she was out of school she helped start up the Lake City Animal Shelter. She has also picked up an additional family responsibility by watching her younger autistic brother while her mom is away. Helping watch and take care of her brother has given her mom the ability to attend to other family needs. While she watches her brother she has volunteered to cook the family dinners and clean the house, going above and beyond her designated chores. I have been quite impressed with Yasmina's growth over the past few months and I am fortunate to have such an amazing Little.

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Jalen, Seattle

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What his Big had to say: Jalen was born a premature child. When he started grade school Jalen was one of biggest boys in his class. So much larger that the other children teased him for being overweight. Being teased was a huge struggle for Jalen from first through third grade. Jalen learned to overcome that kind of bullying. He began to play football in the second grade and became a very good player and teammate, earning several accolades for his performances. Football helped him understand he was not overweight but just big for his age. Jalen's confidence on the football field has allowed him to overcome being teased by his classmates, his ability to overlook their comments is one of his many positive attributes.

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Brain, Graham

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What his Big had to Say: Brian is part of a family that fosters numerous children at one time; he is often forgotten and has to take the back seat to children who have a dire situation on their hands. He takes all of this in stride and continues to show maturity and love for his family and siblings. He also is doing well in school despite his circumstances. Brian is doing well in school and does a fantastic job working with his parents when new foster children come into the home. Helping his mother with taking care of the kids. I have nothing but respect for Brian.

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Richie, Seattle

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What his Big had to say: Richie and I have been matched for three years and during that time I've watched him mature from a boy to the beginnings of a young man. Raised by his loving, single mother, Richie is the man of the house with the extra responsibilities and chores that go along with that title. As a career, Richie would like to be a software developer and is working to improve his math skills for future success in that area of career interest. Richie is a thoughtful, polite and eager to learn and I look forward to seeing the man he will become.

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Ally, Bellevue

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What her Big had to say: Alejandra shares her life with her fraternal twin, Sandra. Ally, the nickname I know her by, lives with her father who has custody of her and her sister. Her sister has struggled academically, socially, and emotionally but Ally has been a rock for Sandra, tutoring her through several classes they both take at school, all while dealing with her own emotional conflicts. While her father works three jobs and her family struggles to make financial ends meet, Ally takes care of herself and her sister while maintaining a steady GPA of 3.2 to 3.5 each term. Regardless of these hardships, Ally has dreams of attending Standford and studying Law.

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Asa, Issaquah

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What his Big had to say: Asa is a huge fan of the Seattle Seahawks. He works hard on improving his academics at school, despite some personal challenges he had to overcome during the last school year. He is learning Spanish to fulfill his dreams. One of his dreams is becoming a professional football or basketball player and for that he works out and trains every day no matter the season. He travels the country for basketball and is one of his team's best players. He also plays in the Eastside Christian football team as a Crusader and is a great teammate and role model for his peers and younger players.

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Aliyah, Seattle

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What her Big had to say: Aliyah is an outgoing, friendly girl who is willing and likes to help others in her school, church and wider community. For the last two years, Aliyah has volunteered behind the scenes at the school's talent show and has been a ‚Äúbig buddy‚ÄĚ during the Kindergarten Round-Up, greeting and helping new kindergarten kids during their first week at school. Aliyah loves to bake and about once a month she bakes cookies and takes them to school to share with her friends and teachers. She also bakes and volunteers for her church bake sale, has visited a local hospital to pass out small gifts, candy and cocoa to patients during the holidays, and donates canned goods to a local shelter. For the past couple years, Aliyah has been participating in a group called Young Ladies of Today and Tomorrow, where she is learning about respect, etiquette, self-confidence, goal setting and being a good citizen in your community. So far, I think she is rising to the occasion. Next up..Aliyah and her mom will soon begin volunteering together at 12 Steps Caf√©, helping provide food and services to people recovering from alcohol addiction.

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Elaizah, Kirkland

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What her Big had to say: Elaizah and I have been matched for 4½ years and she continues to impress me with her ability to overcome challenges in her life and still succeed. One of those successes is her continued work to maintain good grades in school. Elaizah often has to work harder than most students due to lack of resources. At a young age she had to learn some hard lessons. Access to internet and reliable rides are not given things in her life. Yet missing homework assignments becuase of these problems still results in a zero on the assignment. She understood and accepted the challenge that meant she would have to try harder to get her school work done. Whether it's staying after school and working out rides with friends or adjusting to others schedules to get what she needs Elaizah gets her assignments done, studies hard and maintains good grades.

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Jazmyne, Buckley

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What her Big had to day: Jazmyne moved from University Place to Buckley last winter. She relates to children much younger than her better than those her own age. She constantly struggles at school because of her dyslexia. Since moving she has found it hard making new friends, feeling like she fits in, and making progress in school. With the extra distance between us, we no longer see each other as much and she sometimes feels like I do not care as much about her either. As she struggles to find her new normal, and a place where she belongs, she is constantly searching for the people in her life that care about her.

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Delsaac, Tacoma

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What his Big had to say: I would like to begin by saying what an amazing young man DeIssac is. Although only having spent just under a year with him it is clear that he is an extremely auspicious youth. He is always extremely inquisitive, bright, and most importantly engaged and ready to learn. DeIssac and his family recently moved to a new town which means a new school district and friends. This can be extremely distressing in itself, but it is also his first year attending public school yet he seems to be coping fairly well. Currently he is two games into the football season where he participates as a starter. He has also been running track. He is an extremely passionate player and expects a lot from himself. Growing up in a single alternative style family I know from experience that it can be rough at times, but given these obstacles he appears to remain optimistic and excited about the day and the future to come.

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Riley, University Point

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What his Big had to say: Life is full of ups and downs. Part of growing up is learning to find a balance between the two. Riley copes with ADHD and has struggled concentrating in school. In the past, Riley has acted out making lasting friendship difficult. Riley is overcoming another difficult situation having not seen his father since he was six months old. This fact has become a difficult pill to swallow now that he is at an age where he is aware that other kids have a dad in their lives. A way for Riley to deal with stress is to compete and play sports. He is a natural athlete and is praised for his athletic ability. Riley is learning to channel his competitive nature and high energy level gaining confidence every step of the way. Riley's favorite sport, without a doubt, is football. Ask Riley and he will tell you his favorite team is ‚Äúthe Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks!‚ÄĚ He loves the team so much that he free-hand draws pictures of the Seahawk's emblem which he uses to decorate his room like wallpaper. According to his mom, for the first time this school year seems different. Riley is overcoming his ADHD by learning to manage his impulses and think before he speaks/acts. Riley is slowly finding a balance and wants to do as well in school as he does on the field! He is becoming a kind, considerate student-athlete and I'm proud to say he's one of my best friends.

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Emily, Des Moines

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What her Big had to say: As far as things to consider, Emily is a very patient kid that adapts without complaint to her flux of family life. She is a girl that wants to be active in our time together. She was a real help to me when we were out playing last December and I tore a meniscus in my left knee. It was extremely painful to me, I could not weight bear on that leg and we were a good distance to get back to the car. She said to put my arm over her shoulder and she would carry me back to the car. As I was in an incredible amount of pain, I was crying out loud that I hope the scheduled knee replacement I was to have the following month would still happen. Emily then said to me 'lets just worry about getting to the car right now'. I could hardly believe how mature she was and how much help she was at the age of 12 years! She now wants to be a firefighter, police officer, or a veterinarian when she grows up and has expressed interest in volunteering for an animal organization. She has also made the school soccer team for the first time! I am a very proud BIG!

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Alexandra, Seattle

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What her Big had to say: Alexandra's family emigrated to the US from Russia when she was 8. They initially lived in a series of shelters in South Seattle before moving to a low-income apartment in central Seattle. In her first years in the United States, Alexandra struggled with limited English fluency, cultural integration challenges and shyness. Alexandra and I were matched when she was 9 years old and have been together for almost seven years. Now a rising junior in high school, Alexandra is self-motivated, gregarious and thriving. She just started the running start program at a local community college this fall, where she is taking three AP classes. In addition to her running start coursework, she is commuting back to her high-school to participate in drama, play the violin in her school orchestra, and run varsity cross country and track. I couldn't be prouder to be her big sister.

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Tommy, Sumner

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What his Big had to say: Tommy is continuing to overcome difficult situations at home and at school. I recently heard of a bullying situation at his school which he is working to overcome. He's facing a lot on the school front and the home front but still seems to be pulling through. I heard that he is probably moving with his mom to Sumner so I'm sure that transition will be difficult as well. Altogether I think the kid is doing great given the circumstances and I'm continually pushing him to give it his best in the classroom.

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Elena, Bellevue

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What her Big had to say: Elena has made great strides socially and academically since we were matched up two years ago. She has worked very hard at developing, acquiring, and practicing good social and communication skills. She has made and kept new friends. It's wonderful seeing Elena smiling more often now. She seems happier and more relaxed these days. She also seems to be enjoying school much better now. Last year, she achieved a better GPA than the previous year. As her Big Sister, I'm very proud of her!

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Sara, Seattle

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What her Big had to say: Sara has always been focused on academics, which I am very proud of her for. She has a goal of obtaining a 4.0 throughout high school and has been working toward that goal. She has been considering her future options and is weighing the benefits of running start. She has identified engineering as a possible college major and is looking into the requirements of The University of Washington (UW) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Sara had personal challenges early in her life, but has been working through them. Sara struggled a bit with her identity, bullying (she was bullied), and a toxic boyfriend her freshman year; however she decided sophomore year to be a fresh start. Sara clarified her values and her decision to making healthy choices including making a commitment to avoiding drugs and alcohol during high school. She has made an effort to identify and prioritize her goals, develop healthy coping skills, and work towards healthy relationships. I know Sara loves the Seahawks and I want to take this opportunity to brag about all the work and progress she has made!

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Bryce, Seattle

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What his Big had to say: Bryce was 9-years old when he joined the Big Brothers program and we met for the first time at his house in West Seattle. The middle child in a single parent home, he was the hardest hit of his three brothers when his father was sent to jail. It was hard to understand when his father fell victim to struggles after recovering from an injury he sustained in the Army Rangers. Without his dad, Bryce just needed someone to spend time with and relate to. The Big Brothers Program did that and more. Not only have we spent significant amounts of time together just hanging out and talking, we have also had amazing opportunities to participate in events (like going to Seahawks games) that we would have not otherwise been able to do. Now Bryce is in his last year of middle school and about to prepare for high school. He has grown from a child lost in his thoughts to a young man with a bright future. Bryce has always done well in school and actively participates in his community by being part of just about every sport you can imagine. There's no doubt that the Big Brothers Program also provided him an excellent outlet to spend time doing fun activities and have experiences that he would not have otherwise been able to have as part of his development into being a young man.

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Jesus, Seattle

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What his Big had to say: Jesus is an amazing young man in an extremely difficult situation. As the oldest of five children in an extremely low income family, Jesus gracefully and lovingly cares for his four siblings regularly when his mother is away from home (which can be hours or sometimes even days,) including his youngest brother, a toddler. Jesus shows tremendous caring for other kids in his community as well, regularly volunteering at the local community center. While struggling with significant learning disabilities, Jesus demonstrates tremendous tenacity and dedication in school. Despite his young age, he has managed to get himself up and off to school everyday and works hard to overcome the challenges in class and at home. With a mother who does not speak English and no computer or easy access to technology, Jesus is at a severe disadvantage compared to other kids. Yet he perseveres, demonstrating impressive resilience and resolve. Jesus commonly faces adversity and neglect that can be extremely demoralizing, depriving him of a "normal" childhood. He rarely has things to look forward to nor opportunities to experience the joy that comes from special occasions such as attending a football game. Jesus is a rabid sports fan, who like the rest of us is crazy for the Seahawks. He has never had the opportunity to see a game in person, and likely won't given his family's financial situation. As such, attending Sunday's game would be truly a chance of a lifetime that would have a profound impact on this special young man.

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Jazmin, Seattle

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What the program had to say: A fun loving 12 year old, Jazmin has the ability to make anyone feel welcome and included. She is outgoing, energetic, and giving. Jazmin lives with her grandparents, uncle, mother, and sister and brother. She has been a big help to her family by caring for her siblings and aiding with chores and cooking dinner. Jazmin, a 7th grader in Seattle Public Schools, has spent the first few weeks of this school year welcoming new students to her middle school. She has set academic goals for herself around mathematics, and loves to read‚ÄĒshe and her Big Sis spend a lot of time at the library together. Despite some of the challenges she's had, Jazmin shows great strides in becoming more assertive and willing to try new things. Jazmin and her family watch all of the Seahawk's games ‚ÄĒ attending a Seahawk's game would be a unifying experience for her and her family.

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Charlie, Seattle

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What his Big had to say: Charlie has been a great little brother and is developing to be a good member of the society. At a young age, he was adopted by his parents who have done an amazing job at raising him, especially in terms of his academics and community service. Charlie regularly helps out at the local retirement home where ever he is needed. He does this not because his parents make him, but rather to help out in the community which is honorable. At the same time, he is focused on learning and has performed exceptionally well the last two years in school. I remember myself at his age and only wish I had half the enthusiasm about school as he shows. Since meeting Charlie nearly three years ago, it is clear that he is on a path to become a great young adult.

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Charles, Seattle

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound

What his big had to say: When I first met Charles four years ago, I was informed that his father was headed to jail for a short stint and that he didn't have many positive male influences in his life. He was guarded of new people and was getting into trouble at school. Underneath the tough exterior though, I could tell there was a supremely kind individual with immense talents. Charles is always willing to lend a helping hand and is quick with a smile and positive encouragement. He told me that he played the drums for his church choir but I didn't realize how good he was until we went into a Guitar Center one day and he started improvising a drumbeat that blew away not only me but others in the store. Charles has recently been studying and practicing his driving skills so that he can obtain his license to be able to assist his mother with household tasks since she has mobility issues. He's also making great strides in school, staying out of trouble and on track to graduate in 2016. I see great promise and hope in Charles' life. Despite the challenges of his upbringing he still maintains a positive outlook and is determined to make a positive contribution to his family and society.

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Boys & Girls Club of Kings County, Seattle

www.positiveplace.org

Mission: To inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.​

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Sydney, Spokane

North Seattle Boys & Girls Club

Why her club selected her: Sydney participates in many programs at the Club and at school. Her bubbly personality and kind heart are what make her a good leader! She truly cares about those around her and loves playing with our younger members. She enjoys giving back to her community! Growing up Sydney only had her mom in her life. She was 11 when she started to come to the club. The club has changed her life she says. Every year her grades improve, her attitude towards everything is GREAT, she started playing sports, and even experienced activities she wouldn't normally be able to do. She now is a freshman in high school as well as a leader in the club and in her community.

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Johnson, Seattle

North Seattle Boys & Girls Club

Why his club selected him: Johnson is the type of kid who everyone gets along with. He is always smiling, happy, and willing to help. Even when things are tough at home he comes to the club with a smile that brightens up the room. Johnson is a natural leader and others look up to him because he is caring, kind and responsible! Johnson was able to attend the national keystone conference in Anaheim this past April. Because of the club he was able to do things he wouldn't been able to imagine otherwise. His parents have made the biggest impact in his life because they work really hard to help me with everything. He wants to be an engineer at Boeing.

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Megan, Seattle

North Seattle Boys & Girls Club

Why her club selected her: Megan has volunteered countless hours at the Club this past summer through our Counselor In Training program. She helped in the office and ran programs for our younger members. Meagan is an outstanding leader who demonstrates a positive attitude, willingness to help and always gives 100% to what she is doing!

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Isaiah, Seattle

Rotary Boys & Girls Club

Why his club selected him: Isaiah is Keystone member. He spent his entire summer volunteering at the club. He is also our youth of the quarter. Isaiah want to go to the United States Naval Academy and become an aerospace engineer.

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Jade, Seattle

Rotary Boys & Girls Club

Why her club selected her: Jade participated in our SMART (Science, Math, Art, Reading and Technology) summer program. She's always willing to learn as well as helping others. Also, she give tours of the club for potential donors and board members. She hopes to work at Microsoft in the future.

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Declan, Seattle

Rotary Boys & Girls Club

Why his club selected him: Declan participated in our SMART (Science, Math, Art, Reading and Technology) summer program. One of his friend dropped out of the program and he wanted to drop out as well. Staff encouraged him to stay and complete his project. He didn't give up. He completed his project. Declan wants to play professional basketball or become a lawyer.

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Jake, Seattle

Rotary Boys & Girls Club

Why his club selected him: He recently transitioned into a Counselor In Training (CIT). His behavior has changed for the better and has become a great leader for our school aged kids. Becoming a CIT changed his outlook on life and he stopped being "an annoying middle schooler" as he put it. He credits the Ballard Boys and Girls Club for having the biggest impact on his life. He wants to become a pilot for Alaska Airlines.

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Isaac, Seattle

Southwest Boys & Girls Club

Wubby (Isaac) was chosen for this honor because of the incredible young man he has become. Being one of 12 in a household, Wubby is an incredible caretaker, brother, mentor and friend to everyone he comes in contact with, no matter what their age. Wubby is a junior at Highline High School and is a standout football player. What makes Wubby so unique in his football playing is that he is deaf. For many years, Wubby didn't tell anyone, not even his parents, he just learned how to read lips and amazingly play off the movement of the football snap when he played. He idolizes Derrick Coleman, because for so many years, he thought he was the only one, so he's excited to know there are more people like him who have also overcome adversity.

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Isaac, Seattle

Southwest Boys & Girls Club

Wubby (Isaac) was chosen for this honor because of the incredible young man he has become. Being one of 12 in a household, Wubby is an incredible caretaker, brother, mentor and friend to everyone he comes in contact with, no matter what their age. Wubby is a junior at Highline High School and is a standout football player. What makes Wubby so unique in his football playing is that he is deaf. For many years, Wubby didn't tell anyone, not even his parents, he just learned how to read lips and amazingly play off the movement of the football snap when he played. He idolizes Derrick Coleman, because for so many years, he thought he was the only one, so he's excited to know there are more people like him who have also overcome adversity.

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Isaac, Seattle

Southwest Boys & Girls Club

Wubby (Isaac) was chosen for this honor because of the incredible young man he has become. Being one of 12 in a household, Wubby is an incredible caretaker, brother, mentor and friend to everyone he comes in contact with, no matter what their age. Wubby is a junior at Highline High School and is a standout football player. What makes Wubby so unique in his football playing is that he is deaf. For many years, Wubby didn't tell anyone, not even his parents, he just learned how to read lips and amazingly play off the movement of the football snap when he played. He idolizes Derrick Coleman, because for so many years, he thought he was the only one, so he's excited to know there are more people like him who have also overcome adversity.

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Isaac, Seattle

Southwest Boys & Girls Club

Wubby (Isaac) was chosen for this honor because of the incredible young man he has become. Being one of 12 in a household, Wubby is an incredible caretaker, brother, mentor and friend to everyone he comes in contact with, no matter what their age. Wubby is a junior at Highline High School and is a standout football player. What makes Wubby so unique in his football playing is that he is deaf. For many years, Wubby didn't tell anyone, not even his parents, he just learned how to read lips and amazingly play off the movement of the football snap when he played. He idolizes Derrick Coleman, because for so many years, he thought he was the only one, so he's excited to know there are more people like him who have also overcome adversity.

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Montae, Seattle

Southwest Boys & Girls Club

Why his club selected him: Montae is a stand-out senior at Highline High School and is a football, basketball and track athlete. Montae was chosen to be a part of the Legion of Youth for a few reasons; he has been a club member for the past 13 years and when he's here he is always helping out and is a good role model for our younger members. He struggles a little bit in school but is on a mission this year to play sports and raise his grades. Montae wants to go to college and play in the NFL one day.

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Naser, White Center

Southwest Boys & Girls Club

Why his club selected him: Naser is a senior at Evergreen High School and also a Running Start student at South Seattle Community College. Naser is a natural leader among his peers and with younger members in the Club. It showed this summer when he worked in our summer camp program as an assistant staff, he was able to run activities and really engage younger member. Naser was our 2014 Youth of the Year for the Southwest Club and has plans to attend the University of Washington to become a doctor. He not only wants to study medicine at the University of Washington, he hopes to become a pediatrician, or as he puts it " a children's doctor."

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Lulu, Seattle

Southwest Boys & Girls Club

Why her club selected her: Lulu has been a member of the Club for many years, but most recently very active in the past two years within our teen leadership group called Keystone. She was chosen to be a part of the Legion of Youth because she is an incredible young woman with so much to offer; she's driven to succeed, gets good grades, is kind to everyone, holds herself accountable, as well as, her friends, and is our current Youth of the Quarter. While maintaining her good grades, Lulu finds time to come to the Club, manage her school's football team and participate in basketball. LuLu wants to go to college and become a social worker.

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Sierra, Mercer Island

Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club

Why her club selected her: A consistent member at the club, Sierra has faced quite a bit of adversity throughout her life. Not having both of her parents in her life, her aunt has been a positive role model for her. She has also taken on a role of helping her younger brother when she can, constantly setting a good example for him. Despite these challenges, she is involved not only at the club as a leader and CIT, but in athletic programs as well and always has a smile on her face every time we see her. Staff know that Sierra is a reliable leader at the club and whenever they need assistance, she is one of the first teens that is asked. We are so pleased to give Sierra this opportunity! She says her best friend has made the biggest impact on her life. She aspires to be a neurologist. Her favorite sports memory was when she got hit in the face during volleyball. She clearly has a great sense of humor.

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Jacob, Seattle

Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club

Why his club selected him: Jacob is one of Mercer Island's stand-out teens. Jacob comes to the club most days right after school for open gym. He is always very polite and outgoing. Jacob also helps out during our youth basketball seasons by officiating games. Jacob is always willing to lend a helping hand. We love having Jacob here at the club and are honored to recognize Jacob! In life Jacob just wants to play basketball.

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Shae, Mercer Island

Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club

Why her club selected her: Shae is one of those kids that the club has impacted immensely. When she started at the club, she was one to get in trouble with staff. Now, Shae, is a positive example to younger members and helps to hold her peers and other club kids accountable. She has grown up with a single mom and has taken on responsibilities of helping mentor her younger brother and setting a positive example for him. Even though Shae is involved in many extracurriculars, especially basketball, she always makes time to stop by the club to help out or to even visit with the staff and other members. We are so glad we can give Shae this amazing recognition!

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Leilani, Seattle

Mercer Island Boys & Girls Club

Why her club selected her: Leilani is our current Youth of the Year at the young age of 14! She has been a member since she was 5 years old. She has spend more hours at the club than some staff people as her mom is a staff member of almost 10 years. Leilani has put in countless volunteer hours at the club being the first member there in the morning and the last to leave at closing. She has been a perfect role model for other kids while at the club (as the child of staff you are held to a much higher standard to help dispel the thought of favoritism) with her friendliness and helpfulness to both the staff and her peers. Leilani set high standards for herself when it came to both moral behavior and her academics. In 7th grade she made a "life plan" complete with illustrations and goals ~ her main goal is to be a pediatrician and help children in countries who do not have the same medical care as we do here in the USA. Leilani has maintained a GPA of between 3.5 and 4.0 during middle school and just started her freshman year in high school. She has received many awards and honors and has worked hard to be deserving of every one of them!

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Herman, Seattle

Smilow Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club

Why his club selected him: As a new 10th grader Herman is no stranger to struggle. Throughout his elementary and middle school years in school he read below grade level and found reading very difficult. Through help and assistance he began to read various signs and words around him. Herman was also committed to attending the Smilow Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club where he participated in "Power Hour," a Club-wide program that provides tutoring and academic support. Today, Herman is no longer fearful of reading and is an excellent student at O'dea High School. Through hard work, commitment and support of family, mentors and staff at SRV, he is entering 10th grade reading at his grade level with improved grammar and more confidence than ever! Herman enjoys math and geometry. He aspires to be an engineer and be like his favorite uncle Billy who is a Boeing Engineer.

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Lamar, Seattle

Smilow Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club

Why his club selected him: The new and improved Lamar knows what it is like to be shy, insecure and afraid to meet new people and express himself. As a quiet 15 year old, Lamar knew that his social skills were impacting his school performance and that is why he desired change. As a member of the Smilow Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club, Lamar sought homework help in math, science and language arts. As a result, he has turned his once D & E grades in to C's & B's and has a boost of confidence! Lamar's favorite subject is World History. He is an avid drummer who plays for the Rainier Beach High School Drum Line and his local church. Lamar is not certain about his college major, but he aspires to attend college at UW or UCLA. Who or what has impacted his life the most? "The Vista and my mom." That's pretty good company.

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Labrina, Seattle

Smilow Rainier Vista Boys & Girls Club

Why her club selected her: Soft-spoken, yet ambitious personality Labrina Robinson is a rising star. She is no stranger to shying away from meeting new people, talking to adults and expressing herself in class and on projects. Through persistence and commitment Labrina joined the Rebranding Taskforce at the Smilow Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club --Teen Center to help create a new look and inviting atmosphere for her fellow club members. As a result of her perfect Taskforce attendance and her regular participation at the SRV Teen Center, Labrina now knows what it means to experience new and trusting relationships while acquiring new communication skills. Through her interaction with other teens, committed staff and a willingness to explore new opportunities, Labrina found her voice. Labrina is a 10th grader at Cleveland High School, who enjoys pasta, African cuisine and history. She has expressed interest in law; however, she is keeping her college and career options open.

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Alec, Seattle

Ballard Boys & Girls Club

Why his club selected him: Alec recently left our Middle School program and transitioned into our Keystone Teen Leadership Program. His journey at the club has been a tough one because of home, school and club issues. This summer he dedicated his time to volunteering at the club. His attitude and self-esteem has improved greatly because he finally sees a purpose to the things that he does for others within his volunteer work. Alec wants to work full-time for the The Ballard Boys and Girls Club some day.

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Tairi, Tukwilla

Renway Boys & Girls Club

Why his club selected him: Tairi became a club member at the beginning of last school year. Tairi is a reflective young man who is very much struggling with self-motivation and self-responsibility. He does well in school when he is focused. He has shown maturity this past school year and has made efforts to engage in our programming at the club. The staff recognizes that he needs to be acknowledged for this accomplishments. Tairi is currently starting 7th grade and by receiving this honor to be one of the Legion of Youth, we hope to start this school year off on a positive beat for him.

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Denzel, Seattle

Renway Boys & Girls Club

Why his club selected him: Denzel has been a member since last December and currently in the 7th grade. He came to our Club under tragic circumstances. Despite these odds he quickly made great strides to assimilate into the Club and all of our activities. It was difficult for him in the first few months but the staff was there to support him and he would respond very quickly to the encouragement and brighten up. He is very well mannered and offers to help whenever he can. He just completed our summer teen program and made a stand out effort in working hard physically in our Triple Play Drills & Skills Camp and won an award for his dedication. He also maintained a positive and fun attitude the entire summer! He plays football and is an avid Hawks fan! Denzel wants to go to college at UW where he plans to play football and study engineering.

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Firaol, Seattle

Wallingford Boys & Girls Club

Why his club selected him: Firaol has been a great help to Wallingford Boys and Girls Club and the people around him. Always willing to help someone else and seeking nothing for it. He is a wonderful older brother constantly helping his younger brother and sister. Whether it is with homework, picking them up from the Boys and Girls Club or dropping them off and making sure they have everything they need for the day and field trips. While still managing to play sports and do good academically. He says his favorite sports memory was when he got three sacks, two fumble recoveries and six tackles to save the game for his team.

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Alex, Tacoma

Wallingford Boys & Girls Club

Why his club selected him: Alex is one of our newer teens to the Wallingford Boys and Girls Club. For a while he was quiet and didn't really talk, but through sports at the club he managed to meet new people and build relationships with our members and staff. He has grown a lot since he first walked into our doors. He has matured, he talks about school more often and has started to become more involved with the club. Alex is a wonderful teen who just needs to realize his potential and be comfortable putting himself out there. He credits his mom for being the biggest impact in his life.

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Sergei, Seattle

Wallingford Boys & Girls Club

Why his club selected him: Sergei is a long time member of the Wallingford Boys and Girls Club. Year after year he comes back to help around the club every summer through our Counselor in Training Program. While still managing to get good grades and land an internship with Microsoft. Sergei is one of those teens where you can tell the sky is the limit due to his work ethic and determination to be great. Sergei says his move from Russia to Seattle and then adapting to life in the USA has made a huge impact in his life. He aspires to be a mechanical or structural engineer.

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