Spotlight on Liam Braaten
Member #1: “Hey, did you hear there’s a kid on the Shipley Center board?
Member #2: “Nah .. you gotta be kidding? We’re a senior center!
Member #1: “Well, I tell you, there’s been a young man attending board meetings ever since last September!”
Member #2: “Well, I’ll be … Guess we’d better find out what that’s all about.”
Let me introduce you to our Students in Community Liaison, Liam Braaten. Some of you may have heard about the Sequim City Council and the Sequim School Board each hosting a student last year. This school year, the program has expanded to include select high school students on boards of several community organizations, one of which is our Shipley Center.
Although born at the Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles, Liam has lived in Sequim all his 17 years. An older sister is a freshman at Western Washington University; and one younger brother is a high school freshman, the other is a 4th grader at Greywolf Elementary. His mom is a counselor at Port Angeles High School.
Liam could be called a genuine scholar-athlete. Although only a junior, he is taking two Advanced Placement courses, English and Biology; and is heavily involved in competitive swimming. His swim-practice schedule is M-F, 3:00 – 5:15pm, and Saturday, 8:00 – 10:00am. Wow! Now THAT’S a time commitment.
In September, Liam signed up for Leadership class, and found he really enjoyed it! In that class, learned leadership skills are put into practice. Students lead assemblies and are responsible for various projects, Liam’s being to assist in selecting the Student of the Month. He is also part of the “Link Crew”, juniors and seniors who help freshman adjust (“link”) to their new high school environment.
Liam enjoys leadership conferences, meeting and working with young leaders from schools all over the area. Last year, he attended the Leadership Summit in Bremerton, and is eagerly anticipating the huge 27th Annual Jostens Leadership Conference on February 9, in Tacoma where over 1200 students from all over the South Puget Sound will meet to hear motivating speakers and participate in energizing activities!
A member of the National Honor Society, his responsibility has been to find volunteer opportunities for students. For the past two years, he has volunteered at the Sequim Library in the kids’ summer reading program.
At Leadership class, when presented with the list of possible boards he could sit on, he got his first choice … Shipley Center! As a “liaison”, Liam is expected to make a report about student activities to the board, and report some of Shipley’s activities back to the students. The goal is “to build more understanding and connection between young people and the community of Sequim”. Liam finds board meetings very interesting, and likes listening to what’s going on.
What are Liam’s hopes for the future? So far, totally up in the air! He is exploring options and has four possible colleges in mind. But, we are sure this personable, confident young man will excel in whatever he puts his mind to.
Glad you chose us, Liam!