Teen cites family as key to success

Valedictorian has busy, diverse life

This spring, Jared Attridge, 18, is graduating as a valedictorian from Deer Park High School with a 4.0 grade-point average and 40 college credits.

What’s more, he’s “very kind and friendly,” said Sherry Rollins, Deer Park’s registrar. “Jared is an amazing student.”

Attridge is a busy student.

“I am super involved in school,” he said, as well as in his church and community. “I’m in, like, tons of clubs.”

Attridge is serving as president in three school clubs. As executive president in the Associate Student Body, Attridge participated in a Christmas event for underprivileged local families, Night at the North Pole. Attridge enjoys seeing the kids’ reactions to the presents. “It just makes my heart feel good,” he said.

“I love it. I love helping people,” he said. “Most of the clubs and stuff I’m a part of, I do it because I just love seeing the people’s reactions on their faces, when they see the service you’ve done for them, and how happy they are.”

Attridge also enjoys participating in sports. During the winter months, he plays basketball and he plays offense on the varsity soccer team. “I made varsity as a freshman, it’s been one of my passions,” Attridge said.

He participates in Future Farmers of America as president of the local chapter, participates in competitions and raises pigs with a younger sister to sell at the Clayton Community Fair. Attridge recently competed in two regional public speaking contests and qualified for state. “It’s really competitive to make it to state in FFA,” he said.

Attridge’s success can be partly attributed to his supportive family; he’s the third youngest of seven siblings.

“My whole life has been doing family things together and being close. I couldn’t see it any other way,” Attridge said.

After graduating, Attridge is taking two years off from school to go on a church mission. He then hopes to go to college and get a degree in a science or medical field – he has excelled in anatomy, physics and calculus. “Maybe pharmacy, or a pediatrician, something like that,” he said.

Attridge has been awarded scholarships from the Elk Foundation on a local, state and national scale and is a finalist for the Washington State Scholars and Spokane Scholars programs. Attridge also plans on leveraging 40 college credits he has taken. “That’s a lot of money I don’t have to pay for!” he said.

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