The Northshore School District Wall of Honor Program is proud to announce that Ari Wilson, a Bothell High School senior, is this year’s Wall of Honor Community Service/Humanitarian Scholarship recipient. This is the NSD Wall of Honor’s sixth annual presentation of this scholarship. It recognizes students who have demonstrated a passion for making communities better places to live.
Most notable were the actions Ari has taken to help children outside the US and her work locally with children with special needs. It was her experience on the remote Island of Bohol, in the Philippines, when she was first inspired to help others. After seeing the conditions the children lived in—a field of poorly cut grass, disintegrating basketball court and a rusted metal roof to protect classrooms from the pouring rain—Ari wanted to understand how someone with so little, someone suffering so much, who lives in such impoverished conditions, can have a smile and laugh as hard as one particular little girl. To this, Ari says, “I never expected a five-year-old little girl, who couldn’t speak or hear, and just wanted to run with me, was going to confirm my desire for a career in social service and psychology.” As a result, Ari has become an advocate for a culture of inclusion and community involvement.
Locally, Ari has gotten involved with helping disabled children, not only with schoolwork, but fostering their total school experience at Bothell High School. As a peer coach, she worked with disabled teenagers at school as well as in her church. Their disabilities include severe autism, cerebral palsy, and Down Syndrome. She loves not only looking after them but supporting them at their extra-curricular activities outside the school day.
After leading a group of younger team members in the Philippines and peer coaching challenged students while at Bothell high school, Ari said, “it opened my eyes to the fact that I have had a privileged life not shared by all.” This caused her to get involved more. As an ASB senior class council member, she participates in leadership classes as well as attending state and district leadership conferences to better advocate for school spirit and community involvement with the entire student body. She has been active with Young Life as well as Globe Leadership where she trains to serve others and work on community service projects.
Relating to her leadership activities, Ari said, “I’m most proud of developing and implementing ‘Kindness Week’ to improve school culture and creating a student counseling club to offer peer support to struggling students.” She was commended for this during her 9th grade year. Ari has also been active in fundraising activities and believes strongly in developing school spirit through unconditional friendships wherever she goes.
As a senior class president, Ari was involved in fundraising and planning for school activities that include tolo, prom, senior breakfast, key-note events speakers and student appreciation.
If you think all these activities demonstrate a vast array of involvement, consider that she is also active in track & field (javelin & 100m), soccer (where she was an All-Kingco defensive honorable mention), and a score-keeping official for the local youth basketball association (5 years). Since the age of fourteen, she’s held a part-time job. After high school graduation, she will be returning to serve in the Philippines.
Ari’s love of psychology and social work has her aspiring to earn a doctorate in psychology. She also hopes to run her own business, where this writer knows her compassion will be contagious when dealing with all her patients. She will be attending Gonzaga University where she recently completed a weekend participating in leadership and campus activities as a Gonzaga Leaders Scholar to prepare her for the challenging and exciting road ahead.
The Wall of Honor, displayed at Pop Keeney Field, honors graduates and faculty who have established a legacy while making our local and global communities better places to live.