Echo Mansell shines brightly in academics, artistry, athletics, leadership and, most notably, in her ability to radiate positivity.
“I’ve seen her in tears, I’ve seen her struggling and I’ve seen her mad as can be, but she’s always turned around and been positive, which is one of her strengths, no question,” said Chris Holquist, Mansell’s tennis coach and art teacher at Riverside High School.
Mansell is a graduating senior at Riverside High School. She has maintained strong academics, is an integral leader and member of her school’s tennis team, and has taken part in volunteer opportunities and multiple jobs, amid overcoming homelessness, family addiction and abandonment.
This year, she received an integrity award for her work in BioMed class, in which she excelled with an exceptionally high grade and displayed a fiery passion for activities and academic curriculum of the course.
Mansell will continue pursuing her love of science at Washington State University in Pullman, where she plans to study criminology after partaking in a gap year.
Attending WSU has been Mansell’s dream since sixth grade, she said.
“A bunch of my family members went there,” Mansell said. “I just love the idea of being able to go away and start my life.”
Mansell received her letterman jacket after playing tennis all four years of high school, in addition to playing volleyball for three years.
“But really, it’s just about making friends,” she said of sports. “It teaches you integrity, being honest, teamwork and the connecting with other players. It’s just an awesome thing to get involved in.”
Mansell has loved the connections she has been able to make with fellow teammates, coach Holquist and players from outside schools who share like-minded interests.
“We’ve built that rapport,” Holquist said. “I trust her as a leader on the court, and I trust her as a leader in the classroom as well. It’s been a great connection to have as a teacher.”
Beyond her leadership on the court, Holquist is thrilled to have seen the way Mansell’s artwork has evolved in technique and creativity over the past few years as her art teacher. She enjoys creating art with acrylic paint and is enrolled in the senior studio art class.
“Art has been a good outlet for me throughout high school because it was kind of my safe space in a way,” Mansell said. “I knew when I walked into art, I was the most accepted that I’ll ever be in school. Even with me doing great in other classes, it felt better in art.”
She said her favorite completed piece was an album cover that she painted to illustrate 12 music albums that have personal significance in her life.
In addition to her current senior studio art class, Mansell has taken all of the school’s levels in art classes (1-4), ceramics and independent art, with Holquist as an instructor.
Although Mansell cherishes her high school years, she said she is ready for the challenge and responsibilities that come with the college experience. Growing up with the same group of students her whole life, she is thrilled to take on life outside her hometown.
“It will be nice to get out there and meet new people, experience new types of friendships and to practice self-discipline,” Mansell said. “I’m pretty good at that already, but college is a little different. I’m sad I’m going to be graduating, but I know it’s going to be good for me.”
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