Nizhónígo Nee Ado’ááł (Have a beautiful day)

Speaking Mailyn Lee!

Mailyn Lee, Navajo/Filipino spoke at Landmark High School’s graduation ceremony on Monday along with two other students. She spoke of how she was able to change her story by taking baby steps. And those steps led to her graduating. It could have been much different for her. She did a wonderful job and represented well.

She loves being around people and is self-confident. She has a smile that can lift anyone’s spirits.  Her family says that she has a big heart and loves to make people smile. Her friends say she is outgoing and loves to explore. She loves playing soccer, surfing, hiking and being outdoors. She has already began working on an item on her bucket list, she wants to explore all of Utah, hike, go caving and see the land.

Mailyn likes listening to music you can sing to.  She particularly likes girlie songs and rap.  She enjoys watching football and baseball.  Her colors of choice are neutrals with blue. Her favorite foods are Mexican and Vietnamese.  She especially likes chicken tacos, chimichangas and pho soup.  She plans on continuing her studies at MATC and eventually would like to go to Weber State.  One memorable moment at Landmark was when they all went out and had a kickball tournament. Everyone was so carefree and they just had fun and played and played she said.

One way she copes with hard times is to sit down and write about it in story form.  She finds that many of her answers or solutions come when she does this. We end with the quote Mailyn ended her speech with at her graduation, “Little by little, one travels far.” J.R.R. Tolkien. We know that Mailyn will go far by taking one step at a time. GO MAILYN!!

Music Making Megan

Megan Ta’chi’I’nii Begay, Dine/Caucasian, is a senior at Springville High school. When she was asked about how people would describe her, she said, “It’s never been a bother to me, if you like me, cool, if you don’t cool. At the end of the day, why should it bother me?” Megan is comfortable with herself.  Megan likes to learn and make music in her free time. In fact, she will be headed to Snow College on a music scholarship. There will be plenty of time there to explore music in the music department in Ephraim. She likes movies that has a great sound track. The music speaks to her more than the actual movie.

“Anything free,” is her response when asked what foods she likes to eat. College will reinforce that response. She likes the color purple. Her favorite sport is Drum Corps International (DCI).  Megan says it’s like a marching band times 10.  It can get pretty intense. Megan plays the trumpet in this drum and bugle corps.

Her favorite memories of attending Springville High all surround participating in the marching band.  One of the biggest moments was when they placed 1st in her rookie season in Lodi, California. Her favorite classes were Band, Ceramics, and Debate. Future plans include going to Snow College and majoring in music. And planning a future in music. She would like to explore where her talents take her. Megan’s favorite quote is, “Success is falling 9 times and getting up 10.” –Jon Bon Jovi.

We send Megan good thoughts and confidence as she embarks on her exciting musical journey.  

Morgan Henderson - Unstoppable!

Sassy, stubborn, determined, caring and fun are all words to describe this senior. Morgan Henderson decided in the summer of 2016 after dropping out of high school months before that she wasn’t going to let anything stand in her way. June 20, 2016 was a defining moment in her life. I never realized how much you could love something so small. He changed my whole life and has taught me so much about myself and growing up. I started working really hard on school. He made me realize how important it was to graduate and give him the life he deserved.” Fast forward to May, 2017. Morgan graduated in January.  She took online courses to finish half of her junior, and, all of her senior credits. She did this while working 40 to 50 hours a week and taking care of her little one “You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” –J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Morgan has always wanted to be a nurse. She has worked as a CNA in a care center for over a year now.  She will be going to MATC this fall to continue in their LPN program and then onto becoming an RN. She received a scholarship for graduating early so she will be using that to help her and her little family. She loves hanging out with her family and watching Harry Porter movies and listening to country music.  Not all at once but when she has time. Morgan loves Italian food and enjoys watching and playing soccer.  Her favorite color is blue. Her memorable moments in high school were all the football games that she attended. She also really liked her English classes. “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter.

One day Morgan would like to try skydiving. For now she is determined to make her dreams come true while enjoying every day with her son and his father. She is Navajo/Caucasian and is learning more and more about her native side. Her favorite quote is, "Don't stress, do your best, forget the rest." Morgan we are proud of you. We have every confidence in your abilities and future.  

Traveling Tracey! Payson High Senior

Tracey Bravo, Dine' will be graduating this year from Payson High School. While some may find the five minute drive to school difficult, Tracey has had to ride the bus to and from Goshen every day to get to Payson High for the past three years.  The bus came around 6:15 every morning and arrived home at 4:00. Tracey rarely missed a day of school. In addition she worked at the Dairy. When asked how difficult it was, she says, “Difficult? No, it’s just what I had to do.” Tracey has learned to do hard things at a young age and when you meet her, you will see she is not afraid to do what is necessary to get things done. She is a friendly, outgoing, genuinely kind, fun person. Her mother considers Tracey her right arm. For Tracey, family has been and will always be the most important part of her life.

In her free time Tracey likes to hang out friends and be with family. She likes taking trips to Arizona to visit her relatives. She also likes to watch Pretty Little Liars on T.V. when she has a moment or two.  Her favorite dinner or lunch is a hearty Navajo Taco. She likes the colors black, purple and white.  Her favorite sport to play and watch is basketball. She is taking driver’s ed. and so her new sport of choice is driving.

In high school, her favorite class has been English. Some things she will always remember about her years at Payson are hanging out with friends and all the school activities. Her future plans are to continue working through the summer and then head down to Dixie State University. She’s excited about the new adventures that await. One thing she would like to do in the future is travel to different parts of the world. Her favorite quote is, “Faith is having a positive attitude about what you can do and not worrying at all about what you can’t do.” – Joyce Meyer.

Tracey is an unassuming person who knows that hard work is a part of succeeding. She has already developed many traits that put her on the path to achieving her goals. We are proud of you, Tracey!

Intelligent, Outgoing Colton Sleper!

Colton Sleper hails from the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians of California.  They are the original inhabitants of what is now known as Orange County. Colton’s family members are great leaders in the tribe. And you can see their strength through Colton. He was able to graduate with high honors in January from Spanish Fork High School.  He has spent his time exploring his “options.” He is working now and says he will eventually go to college. His family and friends describe him as intelligent, outgoing and determined.  He has his own way of doing things and he usually ends up on top.

In his free time he likes to listen to music.  He enjoys rap and hip-hop the most. He also likes to watch Drake and Josh. The presence of parodies in the sitcom such as B. F. Wangs, Galaxy Wars and Pintendo can help anyone relax after a stressful day. Another thing that helps make his day is eating his favorite food – ribs, cooked slowly with plenty of sauce. Yum! Maybe a mocha-cola with the ribs would put them over the top.

Colton likes the colors black and red. He enjoys watching and playing baseball. In high school, his favorite class was art. Something he will always remember about high school is graduating early. He would like to one day explore New York. All the different parts of the city intrigue him so going one time will not be enough. A favorite quote of his is, “Always strive and prosper.”

Colton has all the qualities needed to prosper.  He is on his way to doing great things. We wish him all the best and, “Pip, pip da doodly do!” 

Keala Anderson - Looking Upward and Onward!

 What do the Squamish, Hawaiian, Caucasian, and Maori have in common? They can claim Keala Anderson as their own. Keala comes from these peoples and is very proud of each lineage. He is a hoop dancer, enjoys Hawaiian music, can do the Hauka and wants to one day visit New Zealand, home to the Maori. He is comfortable in many different settings and will soon be spending two years in the Philippines on a mission for his church. Keala is a senior at Spanish Fork High.  He wrestled for the Dons and participated in concert choir during his junior year. He loves to play soccer for his club team and can't turn down a game of rugby. His friends describe him as athletic and easy to talk to.  His brothers, all six of them see him as a leader and role model.  He is gentle-hearted and has a smile that opens doors.

 Keala’s food of choice is fruits, all kinds. And when he craves junk food, he heads for pizza. His favorite movies right now are Pirates of the Caribbean and La La Land. He enjoys listening to classic rock and country music. He also is into photography and can’t resist a good “shoot.” Photography is seeing more than what initially meets the eye and looking beyond is what Keala likes to do. 

 In high school his favorite class was sports medicine where he learned about the human body. He says it's amazing what we have been gifted with. An experience he will always remember about high school is attending this spring’s Prom and having his sister and her date join their group. “It was great to experience it with family,” he said.  After his mission, Keala would like to attend Snow College and then BYU. He would like to follow in his father’s footsteps and join Living Legends. A quote that has helped him through many things in his life is, “Do or do not, there is no try.” - Yoda.  

We can see that Keala commits fully to his goals and leaves half- hearted attempts to others. We have full confidence he will be successful in life. Congratulations Keala.

Magnificent Maddy Johnson!

“It is not the strength of the body, but the strength of the spirit.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

It is no wonder that Maddy Johnson’s favorite movies are The Lord of the Rings Triology. The characters in the trilogy exhibit great hope and courage in the midst of considerable burdens and strife. And so it is with Maddy and the path she had to take to receive her high school diploma. It has been a year where strength of spirit had to prevail. And she did it! Maddy is an outgoing, fun person to be around. She is Navajo/Caucasian.  In her free time, she loves to play with her six-month old daughter. They love to cuddle and laugh together. When her daughter is napping, Maddy likes to write and draw and listen to music.  She likes all music except classical and the main stream pop music played on the radio.  She also likes to watch and play basketball.

Maddy loves seafood and Italian dishes. She loves the color red.  Science and English were her favorite classes in high school. Two memorable moments this past year have been when she finished her last course, and, when her daughter was born.  She heaved a sigh of relief both times and experienced great joy. Right now, she is just enjoying, “finishing.” But someday she thinks she would like to go to cosmetology school or become a therapist or maybe a counselor. She does know that she definitely would like to take a trip to Ireland and check off one more thing off her bucket list. Maddy, you have accomplished much this year and deserve a holiday! There will be time for all you are capable of doing. We end with Maddy’s favorite quote, “What a wonderful thought it is that some of the best days of our lives haven’t even happened yet.” – Anne Frank.

Keoni Boren: "Let's Go Hunt Monsters!" "It Will Be Awesome!"

It is hard to miss Keoni Boren, a senior from Springville High School.  He definitely has a BIG personality and a strong presence.  You will notice this Navajo/Pacific Islander/Caucasian from Springville.  There isn’t any hiding in the shadows for this kind, generous, social, likeable senior. His family and friends say that he can make friends with anyone and make them feel comfortable and relaxed. Keoni says one very particular “thing,” about him is that he is protective of his sister Ella.  He wants the best for her. Ella, you are lucky to have such a sibling. Keoni likes to listen to all kinds of music.  He says his taste in music ranges from Jazz to country to classical. And depending on the season, you might find Keoni spending his free time, swimming, four wheeling, or having a snowball fight. However you will find him sketching all the time.  He has over 13 notebooks filled with sketches.  One of his favorite things to do is listen to a song and interpret the song through his art.

Keoni likes to watch T.V. with his sister. Their latest, “go to,” is Mountain Monsters. The episode about the Cherokee Devil is his favorite.  He says he’s a believer. Sushi has been his food of choice lately. Wild Ginger in Provo or Sushi House in American Fork are places he likes to go for his spider roll, California roll and Firecracker. His color of choice is blue. He likes watching and playing rugby and hockey.  He really enjoys swimming.

His favorite class this year has been being a TA for the preschool. Memorable moments of his high school career are the firsts, first date, first prom, first dance. He says they were a blast. Keoni plans on going on a mission for his church, then going to Snow College to study engineering. One thing on his bucket list is to one day build a sailboat and sail the world. A quote that has kept Keoni going many a times is, “Bravery is not the absence of fear, but the action in the face of fear.” - Mark Messier.

Keoni has had quite a year with obstacles and drawbacks that he has had to face and push through. You would never know because of his positive outlook. He is a young man that has a bright future and we wish him all the best! 

Tehya Amundson, SHHS Graduate

Teyha Amundson, a senior at Salem Hills High School is often described as funny by her friends, witty by her mother, goofy by her brother and an awesome student by her teachers.  She nailed it! She said she thought it would depends on who she is with what they would say and she was right.  We are going to have to add the word, insightful to the list. Teyha is a homebody but she does like to hang out with friends.  They like to watch movies. Some of her favorites are Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. What do you want to bet she know most of the lines? She likes funny movies and those two are definitely hilarious.

When asked what her favorite foods are, Teyha immediately said curry - Indian Food.  She likes Bombay House in Provo but also likes to go to a restaurant in Payson. Crazy, it used to be a pet shop then three or four other restaurants before it sold Indian Food. Tehya’s color of choice is grey. Her favorite classes in high school were all the art classes. She took every art class offered. A memorable experience was when she ended up on the golf team.  They thought she was a natural when she tried out and ended up on Varsity, then they realized it had been her lucky day, a fluke. She went to every practice but never played. It will look good on scholarship applications - "Member of the Varsity Golf Team." 

After graduation, Tehya is planning on going to Snow College.  She is working hard to save her money in order to go. She received the Title VI Parent Committee scholarship.  That should help some, but she knows that she has a summer full of work, work, work. One thing on her bucket list is to one day go to Australia. When things get tough, she finds herself saying to herself, “You got this.” And she finds that when friends are having difficulties, she finds herself saying to them, “I got you.” What a wonderful friend. Teyha, we have no doubt you’ve got it!  We end with this for you:

Sloane: What are we going to do?

Ferris: The question isn't "what are we going to do," the question is "what aren't we going to do?"

Isaiah Strosser - Rugby, Cruising, Grilled Chicken!

Isaiah’s friends say that he is funny, loyal and caring. He says that his mom would say he is rough around the edges. And then again some would say he is determined and focused. All of these words describe this charismatic senior. He is all about Rugby and is on his way to Nationals with his team this coming week. Kansas City here comes Isaiah!  He lives for the sport. Isaiah says he’s a simple guy who loves the game of rugby, hanging out with friends, long boarding, cruising and once in while taking a bet. He jumped into a lake once with his clothes on, on a chilly late autumn evening. He won ten bucks.  

It is Isaiah’s hope that Kansas City has good Mexican food because that is his favorite.  He especially likes grilled chicken, Mexican style. His favorite color is red.  He says it’s the alpha color. His favorite class in high school was weight training. He doesn’t watch T.V. much, however likes the movie Logan and sometimes will sit and watch Tosh.O. One thing on his bucket list is to be “ripped,” like Hugh Jackman, the Wolverine.

Memorable times attending Springville High School for Isaiah are when he and his friends would hang out. Isaiah plans on working for a year and, yes, still playing rugby. He would like to go to college. One of his favorite quotes is, “No matter how good you are to people, some will criticize you, ignore those who hate you, be yourself.”

Isaiah is Lakota/Caucasian. He is proud of heritage. And is never ashamed to acknowledge his roots. Congratulations Isaiah on graduating. Good luck at nationals and to quote Donald Pierce, “I’m a fan, by the way.”



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