When Mica Peak senior Kody Allen talks about his passion for helping others, his eyes light up and a big smile comes across his face. Allen loves to serve others.
“I love to help around, like if I see someone struggling I’ll ask, ‘Do you need help? Is there anything I can do?’ ” Allen said.
Unfortunately, he hasn’t always had that same devotion for school. Allen is a self-proclaimed procrastinator.
“I had something like 42 missing assignments in middle school, in just math class, so I wasn’t getting anything done,” said Allen. “I just got so deep in missing so much work that I dug myself a hole, and when I tried to get back up, the assignments would just keep coming.”
Allen – who has attended Mica Peak, formerly known as Barker, for all four years of high school – credits the alternative style for his newfound academic success.
“The smaller school is good for me. If I was at such a huge high school I would get lost,” he said.
“I feel safe there, and it’s basically like a family. The first-name basis with the teachers is really important. It gives you a sense of belonging and trust.”
After showing more initiative in schoolwork, Allen was invited into the school’s leadership program, where he is now known for that same willingness to help others that he prides himself on.
“He is always helpful toward others, shows up with a smiling attitude, and has proven to be determined and hardworking,” said Mica Peak Principal Kamiel Youseph. “He has a passion for Mica Peak High School, and he accomplishes anything that betters our school and our culture.”
Along with being involved with leadership, Allen also volunteers as a teacher’s assistant within Mica Peak’s School to Life program. There he spends each morning helping staff members and interacting with special needs students.
Working with kids, especially those with special needs, can be challenging, but for Allen it is what he loves.
“Some people think of those kids as they can’t think for themselves, they can’t do anything, but really, they’re smart, they know what you’re saying, they know how to do things,” Allen said. “Their disabilities might keep them from doing it or halt it for a little bit, but if you keep them going you can eventually get them through that.”
Allen says his passion for helping those with special needs comes from his love for his younger sister, who has Down syndrome, and his stepbrother, who has high-functioning autism.
Along with his work in school, Allen volunteers for Spokane Valley Parks and Recreation as a counselor-in-training for its summer day camp. He also helps with its annual Haunted Mission pool and the Breakfast with Santa event, all of which he does to help kids.
“I like being around kids, and it’s fun for me, so it’s not really hard work,” he said.
After graduation, Allen will attend Spokane Falls Community College, where he plans to turn his passion for spending time with kids and helping others into a job as an occupational therapy assistant.
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