Brings out the good around her
If you had to choose one word to describe Brendaly Anselmo Alvarado, it would be “involvement.”
But that would be an injustice to the 16-year-old Woodburn High School junior. Brendaly participates in many activities but also brings heart and depth to her activities while finding the positive qualities in others around her.
WHS art teacher Catherine Johnstone recently shared an example of when she described a visit to the school from a group of 8th-grade students, some of whom were relatively rambunctious. While those students were not necessarily rapt with the visitation tour they were receiving, Brendaly pointed out that one boy became less disorderly and more focused once she showed him a tool used for drawing in the classroom.
“You find something that gets someone interested, and you can bring out positives from that person,” Brendaly explained.
That’s an attitude that doesn’t escape those around her.
“Not only is Brendaly an active member of various school activities and sports teams, but she also has an unwaveringly positive outlook on life,” said Jeannette Rudemead, who teaches visual arts design and digital photography at WHS. “She works hard to make Woodburn High School the best it can be.”
The daughter of Ricardo and Maria Anselmo Alvarado, Brendaly’s involvement stretches across a broad scope: Key Club, International Club, National Honor Society, National Art Honor Society, soccer, track and field, beach clean up volunteer, and she played a role in last term’s theatre production of Mary Poppins.
Beyond that extensive involvement, teachers say, is Brendaly’s sincere desire to help others.
“Brendaly is a joiner. She joins committees and clubs that she knows will give her an opportunity to improve students’ lives,” Catherine said. “She holds officers’ positions in several of these groups.
“Brendaly impressed me at a recent school event that she volunteered at, Family Night, when she remarked how happy she was that so many 8th graders showed up: ‘They need to be involved in school to be successful,’ she told me.”
Brendaly shared with Pamplin Media Group how difficult it was for students to return to school after the extended closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stress levels were high, and she hoped to help find ways for students to transition back.
“Every day, there was a fight at school,” she said. “There was a lot of chaos that surfaced; it felt like people forgot what it was like to be together, forgot how to interact. What we needed to get back is a normal life.”
To that end, she participated in high school Link Crew, similar to a morale-boosting and mentoring big-sibling program for underclass students with niceties attached like gift-giving of candies, party hats, and whatnots – anything that could help lift morale.
“Her helpful nature and willingness to participate make her stand out from the crowd. No matter the challenge, Brendaly always gives her all and faces every obstacle with a smile on her face,” Jeannette shared. “Her enthusiastic spirit is contagious, and she is a true inspiration to all those around her. We can’t wait to see what great things Brendaly will accomplish in the future.”
Part of that will likely involve helping and sharing her culture.
“Brendaly wants to help the Latino community to reach their full potential — a very mature and generous attitude for such a young person to have,” Catherine said. “She just recently applied to work in the after-school club. I know of no other student who is so committed to the cause of helping Latino youth.
“She is just an amazing kid.”