Alexa Ortiz, 2009 Young Woman of Achievement
Alexa Ortiz works hard to make a difference in the community, especially for the environment. Alexa is a senior at Skyview High School and hopes to attend Gonzaga University or Oregon State University, possibly studying nursing or biology/zoology.
Alexa became involved with Clark Public Utilities’ Stream Steward Program in 2006. Classes through the program taught her about local watersheds. Alexa went above and beyond the suggested 45 hours of volunteering as a trade-off for the classes.
She continued to volunteer and is now a crew leader and instructs volunteers on the proper planting of trees near streams. Alexa says, “I want volunteers’ experiences to be positive so that they will come back and volunteer again.”
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Her volunteer supervisor, Lisa Beranek, wrote, “Alexa is a testament and an inspiration to others for her dedication and high standards she sets for herself both in and out of the classroom.”
Alexa shares her love of science with the public through volunteering at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, where she presents science demonstrations in the Featured Exhibit Hall. She is also involved in the Natural Helpers club at her high school.
The Girl Scouts have been a part of Alexa’s life for over 11 years, and she is now a Senior Girl Scout. She has volunteered for five years as a Program Aide at Camp Julianna, a local Girl Scout summer day camp.
She recently earned her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor that a Girl Scout can receive. For her project, Alexa built a Berkeley Arbor for the Naturescaping Wildlife Botanical Gardens in Brush Prairie and also planned a Butterfly Fun Try-It activity day at the gardens. Alexa spent over 100 hours earning the award and considers it her most significant accomplishment.
Outside of environmental concerns, Alexa is actively involved in First Presbyterian Church and has been on four mission trips to Montana, Mexico, Kentucky, and Mt. Rainier. In addition to the trips themselves, she spends time fundraising through auctions, car washes and more.
Not only is she accomplished outside the classroom, but Alexa takes five Advanced Placement classes and maintains a 4.0 GPA. Her Spanish teacher, Claire Smith, wrote, “She has a kind heart and a servant attitude, and is very aware of the plight of the less fortunate. Her leadership skills have grown over the years, and she is a dedicated and reliable team leader, someone to be called when needed.