Alyssa Padilla Chavez

Alyssa Padilla Chavez

2020 Amazing Kids - The Woodburn Independent
Age: 17
School: Woodburn High School
Hometown: Woodburn, Or
Why she is Amazing: Alyssa's teachers and coaches describe her as selfless, brave, kind and helpful. She eagerly volunteers at the middle schools to teach younger students health-science lessons.




Given her interest in learning about health and sciences coupled with an eagerness to help younger students, Alyssa Padilla Chavez is developing a vision of how her future may unfold. 

Her favorite class during her just-finished junior year at Woodburn High School was medical technology, and she avidly anticipates next year’s coursework inclusions of health occupations, anatomy and physiology.

“I want to become a pediatrician someday,” Alyssa says. “I’ve always liked numbers and sciences. “It’s a lot of fun working with the younger kids because I remember what it was like when my older brother (Jose Adrian Padilla) came down to the middle school to help teach,” she says. 

The daughter of Jose Mario Padilla and Lourdes Chavez, Alyssa admired her older brother enough to make sure that when she started playing soccer at age 5, she wore his jersey number, 4. When Jose’s jersey number changed to 5, Alyssa’s did as well. 

Today, teachers describe Alyssa as one who should be emulated. 

“Alyssa is the type of student-athlete that every teacher wants in their classroom and every coach wants on their field,” says Andrea Whiteman, head soccer coach of the 2019 state champion Woodburn Bulldogs. Alyssa served as team captain her junior year. 

“She makes every space she occupies better because of her work ethic, kindness and willingness to learn,” Whiteman says. 

“She is not just a student-athlete; she is an incredible human being who strives to be the best she can possibly be in all aspects of her life. She is a true role model to the younger girls on the team and embodies everything Woodburn girls soccer stands for: hard work, strong communication, and commitment to being the best teammate possible.”

Alyssa does not leave that “best teammate possible concept” on the field. 

“I admire that Alyssa is patient, reliable, resilient, hardworking, honest and overall, friendly,” says Azalea Martinez, the Woodburn area’s community liaison for the “On Track OHSU!” program, of which Alyssa takes part. “She is at the top of her class while balancing extracurricular activities, including soccer, track and the On Track program. During the winter, Alyssa assists the boys’ basketball team in keeping their books when needed. 

“Sometimes, Alyssa even stays after school to help with school office tasks such as filing — all without being asked. She genuinely wants to help others,” Martinez adds. “Alyssa is good to her friends, family and community. Her authentic self always shines through in anything she does. She is strong and capable of anything she sets her mind to.” 

She looked forward to setting her mind to a strong 2020 track season before the coronavirus shutdowns. The year before a hamstring injury slowed down her competitive running, as she anticipated a comeback season running the 800, 1,500 and 3,000 meters. 

“It was sad. I was really looking forward to the track season this year,” Alyssa says. She diligently attends virus shutdown-period workouts — both track and soccer. She also enjoys going on runs, cooking with her mom, and mentoring her younger cousins. 

Alyssa also works on keeping her mind sharp going into her senior year. 

“I’ve always been into reading, so I have a pretty large bookshelf, and I’m trying to work through it,” Alyssa says, noting that she had two books open at the time: George Orwell’s “1984” for a class, and Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” for enjoyment.