Elisha Allred is driven. The East Valley High School senior said always wanting to make her parents and coaches proud is her motivation.
“It’s kind of a commitment to excellence sort of thing.”
Her dedication is crystal clear. Allred is EV’s student body president and star of the track team. She sings in the school choir and her church choir, and she’s devoted to her family.
Allred also helped create her family’s website, www.downrightliving.com, after her brother Jacob was born with Down syndrome when she was 15.
“It’s like a small community where parents with children with Down syndrome can confide in one another,” she said.
On the track team, Allred throws shot put, javelin and hammer, but she shines in discus. In school, Allred doesn’t shy away from taking charge and letting her classmates know her opinions. As ASB president, she put together EV’s Golden Throne half-time show almost entirely by herself. “It’s pretty much a sport of its own,” Allred said.
Her priorities, beyond family, are athletics and academics. Allred is involved in Washington Drug Free Youth, making it clear she’s not a partier. “I tend to lead by examples and I’ve obviously been making the right decisions,” she said.
She’s also participated in LINK, East Valley’s freshman mentor program, which helped her when she started high school. “High school is a different world from middle school. It definitely influenced the decisions I’ve made, including the classes I took and the friends I wanted to make,” she said.
Chuck Dunning has been Allred’s track coach since her freshman year and said she’s not only a gifted athlete – one of East Valley’s best – but also has compassion not seen in other kids.
“This one is the real deal. I’m more impressed by her heart than her talent, and she’s extremely talented. They don’t come along like Elisha,” Dunning said.
Brenda Gaver, Allred’s Spanish and leadership teacher, described her as an amazing athlete, student, singer, leader and artist, and a genuinely nice person. “I don’t think there’s anything she can’t do,” Gaver said. “If I’m gone, she’ll teach the class.”
Allred’s sights are on Concordia University in Portland, where she’s received scholarships for track and choir. She plans to pursue a degree in occupational therapy.
“It’s going to be stressful. But my whole life has been that way, so I’m used to it. I’ve never been a part of normalcy,” she said. “I don’t know what it’s like to not lead something.”
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