North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Alexa Agrelo, Senior

Photo credited to Alexa Agrelo

Name and grade? Alexa Agrelo, Senior.

Can you tell me about your experience in track and field? What events do you specialize in, and what do you enjoy most about being part of the track team? My overall experience in track has been very positive. Obviously, there are a lot of ups and downs, especially when it comes to things like injuries, but the outcome is always worth it. I specialize in the 400m and 200m races, and I’m currently focusing mostly on long jump. I really enjoy just being a part of a team; it’s a lot less stressful when you have other people there who are experiencing similar things to you.

What motivated you to join Latinx Club, and what do you hope to achieve or contribute to the club during your time in high school? My older sister was in the Latinx Club before she graduated, and she really encouraged me to join as well. I hope to create an open and fun space that incoming members can enjoy and feel like they belong in.

As a member of  Latinx Club, how has being involved impacted your high school experience? What kinds of activities or initiatives have you been involved in through the club? I love being a part of the Latinx club. I’ve been involved in it for the past four years, and it’s nice having a space where I can be with people who have similar experiences to me and know what it’s like being Chicano/Latin American. I love being with people who understand my culture and my language. As for activities, I’ve helped with simple things like concessions and gone to the Hispanic Heritage Month kick-off party the club holds in September. I’m also a part of Xicano College Bowl, and we have these parties or “pachangas” that we attend with other schools in the community.

Outside of track and Latinx Club, are there any other extracurricular activities or hobbies that you enjoy pursuing in your free time? I play a couple of instruments. I’ve been involved in music since I was about 8 years old, and it’s a big stress reliever for me. I started on the clarinet and then picked up different instruments like the piano and viola, and now I’ve been playing the guitar for the past three years.

How do you balance all of your commitments? Balancing everything is something that I used to struggle with a lot, but I’ve found the best way to do it is to make lists of everything I need to do and try not to overwhelm myself. Sometimes scheduling just doesn’t work out, and I have to learn to let that go.

In what ways do you think being a member of the Latinx club has influenced your understanding and appreciation of your cultural heritage? I’ve always taken pride in being Latina, and it’s never been something I was ashamed of, but being in a club with people who have shared experiences is something that I find so freeing in a way, if that makes sense.

Can you share a memorable experience or achievement from your time in track or Latinx Club that has had a significant impact on you? This isn’t an event from either activity, but I’m also a part of Xicano College Bowl. Basically, we study for a competition we have in April that’s a sort of quiz game about Chicano history, and we go against other schools in the area. Last year I didn’t participate in the actual competition, but I watched other club members compete against other schools, and it was really nice seeing an entire event dedicated to Chicano history and seeing so many other Latino kids participate in something that’s so significant to us.

How do you think participating in track has helped you develop important skills or qualities that will benefit you beyond high school? Track has helped me build good habits, not only in terms of physical health but also with structuring my day, being more productive with my time, and really learning how to persevere when things become challenging. 

Are there any specific goals you have set for yourself, either in extracurriculars, academics, or personal development, as you approach the end of high school and look toward the future? I’m in AP Stats and AP Bio right now, so I’d say my biggest goal is to do well on the AP exams in April.

What are 2 things still on your bucket list? I really want to get a chameleon after I graduate from college, and I would also really like to learn how to play the drums.

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About the Contributor
Gabby Mattison
Gabby Mattison, Reporter
Gabby is a senior at Niles North and this is her first year in North Star News. In her free time she likes to learn new things, watching new shows/movies, and spending time with her nephews/nieces.

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