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North Central’s Myah Rodriguez pursuing her own history after beating cancer

Myah Rodriguez, 17, a senior at North Central High School, is a volunteer extraordinaire. She has led two food drives and has supported the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
Myah Rodriguez, 17, a senior at North Central High School, is a volunteer extraordinaire. She has led two food drives and has supported the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery. (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)

Myah Rodriguez’s favorite subject is history, but she’s failing in the all-important subject of North Central High School Sports Trivia.

Last week, the NC senior and volleyball player walked into the main office the morning after a big win over Rogers High School. She was greeted by principal Steve Fisk, who offered a high-five along with a question:

“Do you know the last time NC started the volleyball season 2-0?”

Fiske let the question hang. Rodriguez shrugged, and Fisk let the room know that it had been six long years.

Everyone smiled because everyone loves a winner. That’s fine with Rodriguez, whose specialty is helping others win – on the court as a setter, in volunteer work in the classroom and as leader of a record-setting food drive at North Central.

Rodriguez also has a 3.8 grade-point average and plans to major in history next year at Western Washington University.

One day she hopes to teach history.

“History puts the puzzle pieces together,” Rodriguez said. “I feel like it teaches morals and shows how much we’ve developed, but that we still have problems today.”

Even as she contemplates the past – which includes her own battle with cancer as a young child – Rodriguez’s life is in constant motion.

It’s no surprise that football isn’t her favorite sport.

“They’re huddling all the time, so it’s kind of boring,” said Rodriguez, whose fast-paced life suits the game of volleyball.

“There’s no pauses,” said Rodriguez, who’s also juggling an Advanced Placement American history class along with a full course load.

“And I try to never be late with my homework,” she said.

She also found time to volunteer in local schools, grading papers and learning that she might be better suited to teach high school students rather than younger children.

“I want to be a teacher because they can really influence people,” Rodriguez said. “And if you have a good teacher, they can really impact someone’s life.”

“I want to be that teacher,” said Rodriguez, whose role model is NC teacher Camellia Munoz.

Rodriguez carried her drive to succeed into two highly successful food drives. Two years ago, NC students collected 12,000 nonperishable food items; last year, thanks to Rodriguez and other student leaders, that jumped to 22,000 items. It was the same story last spring, from 7,000 to 18,000 items.

“I will miss everything about high school,” said Rodriguez, who made a point of thanking every food drive leader.

Rodriguez still lives in the here and now. At the age of 7, she was afflicted by Wilms’ tumor. The cancerous growth was removed, but at the cost of one of her kidneys.

“That’s been a big part of my life,” Rodriguez said. “I definitely have to watch my body, drink more water and avoid certain medications.”

The only child of mothers Kyla Bates and Lori Rodriguez, she said she’s thankful for their love.

“They’re super proud of me, and they really support me in everything I do,” Rodriguez said.

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