After being homeschooled all her life, Isabel Alapai entered public high school and immersed herself into leadership roles.
The 18-year-old at Timberlake High School, located in Spirit Lake, joined a plethora of clubs that enhanced her schooling and leadership kills.
Alapai said she jumped into these leadership positions because of her family.
She is the oldest. Her siblings are boys. This taught her a lot about herself and others.
“That’s kind of what sparked my interest in leadership is because I was there for my family when they needed me,” Alapai said. “I was keeping them out of trouble when we were little and just everything like that.”
Using her personal experience of growing up on a farm and helping raise her family’s livestock, Alapai started in Future Farmers of America in her freshman year of high school.
“I am the president of my school’s chapter. I’ve done FFA for four years,” Alapai said. “It’s something that I’ve really enjoyed doing in high school and I really loved it.”
Through FFA, youths can compete in different areas and involve themselves in skill building.
“I have competed in anything from livestock judging to horse evaluation to public speaking and employment skills,” Alapai said. “So, it’s a really-wide-range variety to build new leaders in agriculture and just in general. It’s something that I love doing and I had a passion for.”
Alapai said it has given her a lot of opportunities and taught her how to be a leader. Being an officer for her chapter has been a challenge and learning experience, she said.
The senior is also part of 4-H, which is another life-skills-enriching national program.
“A lot of 4-H is learning how to raise animals, learning how to cook, learning how to support yourself and then FFA,” she said. “You kind of take it to the next level and really show your interest in different careers in agriculture and interest in that field.”
Along with being involved with these clubs, Alapai has fostered her desire to pursue a career in nursing by attending Kootenai Technical College, where she said she will earn her certified-nursing-assistant certification within the next few weeks.
Having a CNA would allow Alapai to work in the field before she gets a nursing degree.
“Already having some of that experience and knowledge going into nursing school, that will hopefully help me a little bit more,” Alapai said.
She said she plans to study nursing at Idaho State University in the fall.
“I love helping people. And I especially love helping people who maybe aren’t able to help themselves,” Alapai said. “I love being the person to help them with that.”
In her spare time, Alapai likes to go on hikes with her dogs, friends and family after school, she said.
But helping others is Alapai’s focus.
“I enjoy every minute, every minute of it even at the hardest times,” she said, “because it teaches me really valuable lessons that I will take with me my entire life.”