February 22, 2011
You don’t need to look far to see the impact of Issaquah teens’ service projects.
Beaver Lake Middle School’s annual South African Humanitarian Project, a youth-run initiative, raises truckloads of school supplies for African orphanages each year.
Skyline High School’s Katie Mincin recently organized an Invisible Children Awareness Week that earned more than $4,000 in donations for the global nonprofit.
Beat writer Kim Bussing and classmate Kaileen Dougherty, of Issaquah High School, are holding a Destination Imagination event March 5 at the Pacific Cascade Freshmen Campus, where younger kids have the chance to participate in science fair type activities, acting and the arts.
Last year, Bussing and Dougherty raised $900 for Haiti by selling concessions at the event. This year, they plan to donate the earnings to Seattle Children’s.
December 21, 2010
Skyline High School senior Sonja Lund joined 10 poets at the Issaquah Youth Advisory Board’s poetry slam Dec. 11, and walked away with a first-place prize.
About 30 participants cheered on the teenage wordsmiths, and so encouraged them that several created poems on the spot “because the setting of the slam had inspired them to do so,” Issaquah High School sophomore and poetry slam co-organizer Iman Baghai said.
Lund’s poem, “In My Eyes,” is about marriage and civil unions. “Separate-but-equal?” she wrote. “ I don’t buy it.”
November 30, 2010
Whether it is a ballad or a sonnet, freestyle verse or a haiku, the Issaquah Youth Advisory Board is looking for teenagers to write and read their work for a poetry slam.
Issaquah High School sophomore Iman Baghai, one of about 50 youth board members, said the poetry slam would encourage students to express themselves through the written word.
“We decided a poetry slam would be a good way to promote youth writing and youth voice,” he said. “We thought it would be a good way to promote poetry and trigger some interest and maybe even some passion for poetry.” Read more
June 1, 2010
Liberty High School senior Allison Bolgiano is ready to graduate and start a new chapter.
With prom coming up, the senior edition of the school’s Patriot Press newspaper on deadline and a summer job at the YMCA’s Camp Orkila on Orcas Island, she’s counting down the days.
She was recently awarded a $1,000 national Principals Leadership Award for her academic performance and community service. She is one of 100 students in the nation to earn the scholarship sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and Herff Jones Inc.
“I didn’t know how many other students submitted applications, but I was definitely happy to find out I was one of 100 in the nation,” she said.
More than 3,100 students applied for the scholarship. Bolgiano was the only winner from Washington state.
Participating high school principals throughout the country could nominate one senior to compete in this year’s program, according to a press release. Winners were selected based on their leadership skills; participation in service organizations and clubs; achievements in the arts and sciences; employment experience; and academic record.
Bolgiano has maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.9, despite taking Advanced Placement classes in English, social studies, Spanish, science and mathematics. She’s managed to do that while being co-editor-in-chief of the school’s newspaper, being a member of the school’s student leadership, swimming for the school’s swim team and raising puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind.
With the scholarship, Bolgiano said she’s looking forward to attending Whitman College in Walla Walla this fall. The school also offered her a scholarship, she said.
“I knew sophomore year I wanted to go to a small liberal arts school,” she said. “I’m not quite sure what I’m going to study. Right now, I’m interested in politics or sociology, but I also enjoyed English in high school.”
Bolgiano’s interest in politics stems from more than five years on the city’s Youth Advisory Board, led by Recreation Coordinator Cathy Jones. Jones, she said, helped foster her interest in helping teens become more engaged in city government. With Jones, she was able to plan events like a lecture on the state’s death with dignity law and a viewing party of the 2008 presidential debates.
While Bolgiano said she is not sure what exactly her major will be, she is looking forward to the school’s Whitman Encounters program. The course is one year and includes 15 freshman that meet regularly and study together, making the transition to collegiate life easier. In the class, she said, students read great works of literature, including mythology, the Bible and modern works.
She is also looking forward to delving into the school’s outdoor clubs and events by planning trips with Whitman’s Outdoor Program.
“I love to kayak,” she said, adding she leads sea kayaking for campers at Camp Orkila. “I really hope to get involved in the outdoor program there, because I love to be outdoors and there are so many opportunities here in the Northwest.”
Bolgiano credits her success to the people who have helped her through her academic career to this point — her parents; her leader for guide-dog service, Sandy Bonsib; her English and journalism instructor Kris Daughters — and Principal Mike Deletis for recommending her.
“She has demonstrated academic achievement and service throughout her four years at Liberty,” Principal Mike Deletis, wrote in an e-mail. “In addition, she has a dedication of service to the community and others.”
“Allison is an excellent leader,” Daughters wrote in an e-mail. “She naturally takes the initiative to lead a group in the right direction. She has also had a lot of common sense and can predict problems before they occur. Her varied experiences as a participant on different community boards give her a very informed perspective.”
During college she said she is sure that she’ll continue to pursue journalistic writing by reporting for the college’s newspaper, The Pioneer.
“Allison is a student who is mature beyond her years,” Deletis wrote. “She combines humility and deep thinking when she expresses herself verbally or in writing.”
Chantelle Lusebrink: 392-6434, ext. 241 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.
May 18, 2010
The Issaquah Youth Advisory Board is accepting applications from fifth- through 11th-grade students.
The board helps plan student events, joins discussions and lectures about city policies, as well as state and national politics and initiatives on teen issues.
Home-schooled and private school students are also representatives on the board.
Applications are due May 28; board members will serve during the next school year. Apply here.
May 4, 2010
City leaders seek tweens and teens to serve on the Issaquah Youth Advisory Board. The panel aims to foster advocacy, community service and youth representation on local boards and committees.
Students in grades six through 12 who live within the Issaquah School District boundaries can apply for the board.
Find the application at the city website, www.ci.issaquah.wa.us, and follow the link for “Boards & Commissions” to “Issaquah Youth Advisory Board.” Apply by May 28. Contact city Recreation Coordinator Cathy Jones at 837-3300 or email@example.com to learn more.
March 16, 2010
The Rotary Club of Issaquah recently honored the following seniors as its students of the month for February. Read more
February 16, 2010
The Rotary Club of Issaquah honored the following seniors as its students of the month for January. Read more
January 26, 2010
Community center’s youth mentors shine
There’s nothing like wading into the frenetic craziness of more than 500 newly minted teenagers at districtwide middle school dances, like the one held Friday night at the Issaquah Community Center.
Hundreds of gyrating, cheering, talking kids crowd the dance floor. Rock and pop music is being played loudly enough to bust an eardrum. Rainbow and mirrored disco balls and strobes turn the darkened floor into a spectacular light show for the students. Music videos by their favorite bands generate screams that remind an older generation of Beatlemania!
It presents a timely opportunity to express appreciation to the people with Parks and Recreation, who put on events all year. Wonderful folks like Cathy Jones, Stephanie Shimek, Brian Berntsen and Ross Hoover have been working with kids as long as or longer than I’ve been working at The Press. Read more
December 15, 2009
The Rotary Club of Issaquah recently honored the following students as its students of the month for November:
School: Liberty High School
Category: Language arts
Parents: Sharon Hopkins and Doug Bolgiano
Sponsoring teacher: Kris Daughters
Achievements: Advanced Placement Scholar Award, 3.91 grade point average, seven AP classes taken, PTSA Reflections finalist in literature, co-editor in chief of Patriot Press