Student of the Week: Ella Bright


Lukas Werner

One of Bright’s favorite quotes is that “no plan gets past the first line of contact” — “basically, you can have this massive plan for your life and have everything laid out and at the first sign of the enemy everything crumbles,” she said. “So just being prepared for the unexpected factor of life, being prepared for the unpreparable is super important.”

Jasmine McIntosh, Staff Reporter

For senior Ella Bright, “coming out of COVID into my senior year was especially rough because life was essentially put on pause for two years,” she said. “You leave as a sophomore and you come back senior year as a completely different person.” 

Yet despite the challenges, Bright has still been enjoying her senior year, especially Ms. Coleman’s Advanced Design Thinking and Tools class. “Throughout my entire high school career, design has always been my favorite,” she said.

Bright has taken Ms. Coleman’s course in the makerspace multiple times, and enjoys the course and as well as design in general because “I’ve always just found something super special about creating something,” she said. “Bringing something into the world outside of what’s already there.”

After senior year, Bright is planning to take a gap year. “I want to try and get back the two years that we’ve lost,” she said. “So whether that’s an experience in life, experience in work, experience in kind of everything … I think what I’m most excited for this summer is just the freedom to go out and do that.” 

In the future, Bright also has plans to get into the aviation industry. “My goal is to go and get my pilot’s license and then after my gap year go straight into the airline industry,” she said.

As for the future after that, Bright sees herself as a local pilot who gives people tours of Oregon. “If I could make a living off of giving people tours of Oregon and bringing them up in a plane and showing them how to do it, being a flight instructor, whatever else, then I would love to do that,” she said.

Reflecting on her four years here at La Salle, Bright says the advice she would give to her freshman self is, “be genuinely true to yourself,” she said. “Don’t try and hide things because they’re scary.” She also would encourage herself to “give yourself permission to love yourself.” Many of the lessons Bright has learned over the years have centered around mental health and love.

“The number one lesson that I’ve learned through all of my experience at La Salle is that love is the most important thing that you can give to anyone,” she said. “It doesn’t matter how much money you have, how much experience in life you have, everyone has the power to give love.”

Thinking back to her eighth-grade year, Bright says the reason she chose La Salle was for its community and how it felt different from other schools she had visited. “I remember going to open houses at different high schools and then coming to La Salle — the energy that I felt was different,” she said. “It didn’t feel like it was some façade put on for fun. It feels like that thought you would have in your head when you were like five years old about this is what high school is — that feeling of home.” 

Outside of school, most of Bright’s hobbies revolve around designing and creating new things. She enjoys building and tinkering with things as well as photography and video editing. The thing Bright is most passionate about is anything having to do with vehicles but more specifically, aviation. Bright says her childhood dream was to work at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. She loves “anything to do with planes, whether it’s history or whether it’s flying them or talking about them or building them,” she said. 

Whenever Bright has a stressful day at school, she likes to relax and take time for herself by listening to music. Bright’s favorite album is “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming” by M83. “The entire album has gotten me through incredibly rough parts of my life,” she said. “Whether it’s listening to M83’s ‘Wait’ on the beach, or listening to ‘Ok Pal’ while flying above all of the storms we have here,” she said, it’s “the kind of album you should listen to while you’re having an epiphany. It’s incredibly amazing.”

In addition to music, Bright is also very inspired by her parents. “I am who I am today purely because of them and their influence and their energy and their positivity,” she said. Overall, her family has been a huge source of support for her. “All of them,” she said. “They’re always there for you.”

From her family and other experiences in her life, she has learned that her “biggest goal in life is just to be open in every way that I can,” Bright said. “Just being open and being honest about yourself and others is probably how I would define myself … I’m also kind of a nerd, so you could probably say that word too,” she laughed.