ILWACO - Despite having her past school years divided between Goldendale and the Peninsula, living on her own and working at a local hotel, Ilwaco High School senior Angie Contreras' energy and enthusiasm refuses to wane.
"I like to laugh a lot," she admits. "And I think people should smile more, it makes you feel better."
A self-described hard worker, Angie has also dedicated some of her time to the yearbook staff, as well as the cheerleading squad for the 2008 football season.
"It was hard, but a lot of fun," she says of cheerleading. "I will miss cheerleading, and if I had one more year left, I would do it again."
Senior class advisor Jo Petersen describes Angie as someone who perseveres, never gives up and always gives back to the community.
"I just see Angie as someone who has some drive, who wants to make herself a better person," says Petersen. "I see her as a kid who has a lot to give and wants to do a lot of things. She's just a girl with this internal drive, she just really wants to succeed - I wish we had a lot more kids like that."
Having never been able to watch the Loyalty Days parade due to her work schedule, Angie chose to design an IHS Loyalty Day parade float for her senior project. After her float's debut she admitted that even though she's never watched the parade, being a part of it was more fun than she could have imagined.
She also has fond memories of prom, where she wore a red and black Chinese inspired dress and her boyfriend wore a matching vest, both of which were made by her grandma.
Angie says she likes the Peninsula because the kids at IHS are nice, and she likes the teachers so much that it was hard for her to pick any favorites. But she admits she really likes Rachel Lake's choir class and Keri Kostur's drama class.
Angie's advice for the junior class is, "Enjoy your last year at school. Don't worry about the small things because it will all fall into place."
After graduation, she plans to attend Clark College in Vancouver and later transfer to Washington State University to study nursing.
"Then I'll go back to school later to be a park ranger - I'll be able to help people and the environment," she smiles.
In 10 years, Angie pictures herself living "in a warm place, a big house with lots of property, and going on vacations."
Angie is the daughter of Steve Jackson.