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By Jesse Utz 

Senior profile: Gloria Michel

Jess, shut up!


Continuing on with profiling a senior in Lake Roosevelt High School, this month I chose a senior who follows a family tradition of being profiled right here in these pages. Quincy “The Kid” Williams and the superstar Chasity Williams are ones I have written about in the past two years, so it is a time-honored tradition that this time I write about Gloria “Roo” Michel, little sister to the other two.

“Pretty good” is how she answered my first of many questions as we sat down for an impromptu one-on-one session. The question was about her senior year so far and she did not stop there.

“I am happier this year, more content with life in general,” she said. “Things are less stressful and actually pretty easy.”

Gloria said all things with confidence and stayed focused on things that mattered to her. She talked about the things she has overcome in her life so far, but there was a big change for her this summer and we explored that further.

“I feel that things changed this summer.” Gloria went on to explain that she worked in the Summer Youth Program this past summer with SHARP Kids, and that during the course of the summer camp, they put on an event that changed the way she saw her future.

“There was a little boy there,” she recalled. “He did not talk to anyone; many adults tried to speak with him, but he never answered them. Then I tried. I could tell he was really smart but he refused to show us his work or speak at all. But I kept trying, and then one day he opened up to me. It was amazing.”

A huge smile showed on Gloria’s face as she spoke of this moment. She says it was at that moment she knew what she wanted to do after high school. “I want to be a student counselor,” she said. “I want to help students that are struggling with things.” Her plans are to go to a community college and then transfer to get her degree. “I just want to help kids, and I am good at listening,” she added.

We then moved on to the biggest influences in her life, and that’s when things got a little wet in the face. “My mom,” she said without hesitation. The liquid filled her eyes as she spoke. “She’s made me who I am, she took me in, changed me and never gave up on me. She pushed me to be the best I can be, and she is just all-around great.”

Her mom, Rhonda Marchand, is a graduate from LR and has raised all of her kids here. Those are great words coming from Gloria, and those words did not stop as she moved on to other influences.

“Mr. and Mrs. Utz have been huge for me at the school.” Now my eyes were filling up. “They are always there for me, they are understanding, you can go to them for anything, and they make me feel safe.” What an awesome statement for us about staff at Lake Roosevelt from a girl who does not always show her true feelings.

So what kind of advice does a girl who has overcome so much in her life have for future seniors? “Just do your work, stay on task, do school and don’t mess around.” Great advice from a girl carrying a 3.0 average in high school.

Gloria is one of those young ladies who does not seem to be trying very hard, but her work ethic speaks for itself. It has been a pleasure to get to know this young Roo, and I look forward to seeing the lives she changes as she succeeds and starts mentoring youth down the road. I am so proud of this young lady. It is an honor to have her mention me and to have her representing Raider Nation. Good luck, girl.

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