The Hood River Elks Lodge has selected Alia Burck and Molly Clarke, both Hood River Valley High School seniors, as the September Students of the Month. They were presented checks for $100 at a recent Lodge meeting.
The SOM program, starting its 16th year, recognizes high school seniors for their outstanding work volunteering in the community as well as their academics.
Alia Burck has a lot going on this year as she is busy this fall with the cross country season and then this winter will jump right into the basketball season. In the spring she participates in track, running the distance events. Her freshman year she was a member of the JV soccer team.
This year she is the editor of the high school newspaper, following two years as a reporter. Her duties include writing articles, taking pictures, editing and leading the weekly meeting. Alia is also a member of the Spanish Club and the National Honor Society.
Alia’s volunteer work is also very diversified as she has spent time working with the Hood River Alliance Church on Sundays assisting in the nursery, and volunteering at the Columbia Gorge Marathon, helping to set up and run one of the water stations on the course.
She has given time and effort to the Mid-Columbia basketball camp, the Dick Duckwall Golf tournament, refereed for the Community Education basketball games and worked with the Triple Threat Kids basketball camp, teaching skills to younger kids.
During Alia’s third period offsite she volunteers with Mrs. Sperry’s Westside Elementary class working with individual students, groups of students and also prepping materials for lessons. During the summer she volunteers at a small Jonah ministries summer camp in Trout Lake, Wash., where her duties include work in the kitchen, cleaning, organizing activities and being a cabin leader.
Alia is the daughter of Marty and Kristina Burck and has an older sister, Danae, a freshman at the University of Oregon, younger brothers Skyler and Parker and younger sisters Lexi and Shae.
Following graduation Alia would like to attend a four-year university and become an elementary school teacher. She is leaning toward the University of Oregon, Oregon State and Seattle Pacific University. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, running, reading and hanging out with friends.
Molly Clarke is also a very active young lady who is able to squeeze a lot of activities into a single day. She is CPR, AED and first aid certified, is a Level 100 USSA Alpine ski coach and official, works at Mike’s Ice Cream in the summer, enjoys advanced dance class, CrossFit training and is an intern at Dakine.
She has taken many AP classes including human geography, chemistry, studio art, calculus, U.S. history and advanced leadership. Her list includes honors freshman, sophomore and junior English, writing 121/122 and honors medical biology plus Spanish 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Molly is a member of the varsity ski team, lacrosse team, National Honor Society and Leos Club and is involved with the Hood River Sister City exchange program.
Molly’s many volunteer activities include work with the Leos recycling cans and bottles, working at the local FISH food bank and buying, wrapping and delivering holiday gifts to the local food bank. Other food bank projects have been with the National Honor Society, the HRVHS canned food drive and the Hood River Christmas Project.
She finds time to work at the Mt. Hood Academy where she helped maintain the course for a race and at Cooper Camp where she helped organize, set up, run and coach a ski camp for the Cooper Spur Race Team.
Molly volunteers at May Street Elementary as a teacher’s assistant doing various projects, and she has also volunteered time with young girls teaching lacrosse skills. She and her family have hosted two Japanese exchange students from Tsuruta, Japan, for five days when they came on an exchange program.
Molly has also done work with the United Nations Foundation, for Community Work Day and with the Link Crew leaders program.
Molly is the daughter of Ellen and Kevin Clarke and she has a younger sister, Kelli, a sophomore at HRVHS. Molly is also undecided about where she will go to further her education but is leaning toward the University of San Diego, Loyola-Marymount University and the University of Utah. Her career path is not yet set in stone but she is leaning toward a business major.
Her fun activities include skiing, lacrosse, cooking, reading and stand-up paddle boarding.
— Contributed by the Elks Lodge member George Johnson