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Addi Ericksen is Kiwanis Student of the Month

Addi Ericksen is Kiwanis Student of the Month

Ferndale High School senior Addi Ericksen is Ferndale Kiwanis Student of the Month (SOM) for March. Addi was honored for her academic performance, her participation in school activities and activities outside of school, and for her service to our community.

Addi Ericksen is widely involved in many activities. In fact, when reading her application for SOM and learning about all the activities, we wonder if she has time to sleep and eat. But, during her presentation to Kiwanis on March 3, she assured the audience that although she is very involved in her school and community, she does have time for those things.

When Addi was seven years of age, she joined 4-H and began raising and showing goats. 4-H sparked her interest in agriculture, particularly animals. Currently, she raises four goats, but has had as many as 30. "It takes a considerable amount of work. Through this 'job,' I've been responsible for mucking stalls, feeding and watering, herd management and kidding," Addi said.

She continues to be a member of the Critters and Company 4-H Club and has served as its president, treasurer, reporter and historian. Also, beginning her freshman year of high school she joined the FFA. Through FFA, she has competed in showing goats, llamas, horses, dairy cows, beef cows, pigs and sheep.

For the first time at last year's Northwest Washington Fair competition, Addi entered the Round Robin Showmanship Competition. "It was fun. I ended up winning the competition. I'm proud of myself for stepping outside of my comfort zone and trying something new that I wouldn't have done before," Addi said. There have been many other occasions at the fair where she has won Grand Champion for showing her animals.

Addi is also proud of her public speaking. As part of FFA, Addi spent countless hours learning the FFA Creed. She won the Creed speaking competition at the state level and went on to compete at the national level.

Addi attributes her love for agriculture to her 4-H leader and speaking coach, Kristi Harting. "She really encouraged me. She has become a second mom in my life. As a young child, I was shy, but now I'm able to confidently speak in front of people and hope that I'm able to utilize this skill in my professional future. She [Kristi] coaches me to grow as a person. I've come to love agriculture because she has pushed me. I will forever be grateful to her," Addi said.

Athletics is another area in which Addi excels. Since sixth grade, she has played with Whatcom FC Rangers competitive soccer teams. Last year, her team won the state competition. In the fall months, Addi completes on the high school soccer team. She's also on the cheer squad for which she was selected as Most Inspirational Basketball Cheerleader during the 2019-2020 season.

In addition to all the activities and sports that Addi is involved in, she excels academically, maintaining a 4.0 grade point throughout high school. She has been an officer of the high school Honor Society for the past two years.

As a leader, she is a member of LINK Crew, a freshmen mentoring program. The Crew is responsible for mentoring freshmen by teaching lessons during advisory classes and hosting social events that connect students throughout the year. "I love Leadership. It's fun to be involved in school. I was involved in the #NoHate Heart initiative by speaking in the community and with district staff. We created 150 hearts that are displayed on the walls at school to inspire people to be positive and kind," said Addi. In addition, Addi has received the Spanish Student of the Month Award and the Masonic Scholar Citizen Award.

Addi's community service is widespread. She has supported many causes including Adopt-A-Family, Blaine Food Bank, Bellingham Bay Marathon, writing letters to military troops, serving breakfast at the Haynie Grange and more.

Through her many interactions with the community, one of the issues that Addi sees is a lack of civic engagement. She sees a lot of anger and partisanship in our community. She hears a lot of concerns, but a lack of associated action. Addi says, "If I want change, I can go out and make a difference. I can talk to legislators, be civically engaged, involved, and talk with people."

Following high school, Addi plans to continue her focus in promoting agriculture. She plans to attend a four-year university to major in communications or political science. She sees herself working in marketing and policy work for an agriculture company. "I want to bridge the gap between differing ideas and help get everyone involved in order to create sustainable solutions. I want to give back to what I have come to appreciate," said Addi.

Congratulations, Addi. We are proud of you and your accomplishments.

Our many thanks to Ferndale Kiwanis for its continued support of our students. In addition to annual scholarships, each month Kiwanis recognizes one of our high school students.