Student of the Week: Larissa Bonn


Ashley Hawkins

Freshman Larissa Bonn’s advice to other students is to “take advantage of the opportunities that are offered to you especially here at La Salle because it’s a great school,” she said.

Hannah Whiteside, Staff Reporter

Coming from Franciscan Montessori Earth School made the adjustment to La Salle easier for freshman Larissa Bonn. “A lot of my best friends were already here, and I feel like a lot of people come here from my middle school,” she said. “It was a really good transition.” 

When starting her first year at La Salle, Bonn took two classes that are not on the typical schedule for a ninth grader, and she also named them as her favorite classes at La Salle: Honors Algebra II with Mr. Oey and Spanish II with Ms. Moran. 

Franciscan Montessori Earth School gave the option for seventh graders to take Algebra I, which helped prepare Bonn for Mr. Oey’s class this year. However, with Spanish “I would say I learned a lot outside of school,” Bonn said. “I kind of took it into my own hands to learn [and] to get ahead.”

Despite it being one of her favorite classes, Bonn worried most about the final for Honors Algebra II. “It’s a little stressful,” she said. “Especially in honors classes, there’s a lot more chapters that we’ve covered, so there’s more to remember.” 

Now, having finished her first semester at La Salle, Bonn recommends for next year’s freshman to “work hard in your goals, academically and with extracurriculars, but also enjoy being in high school,” she said. “Go to games, and be with your friends just because you can miss out on some things if you don’t.”

Outside of school, Bonn continues her fourth year of dance on a competitive team at a pre-professional studio, called Dance Vision located in Oregon City. She’s also on La Salle’s performance team but decided to not join the school’s competitive team because, “I don’t have enough time to with studio dance,” she said.  

One of Bonn’s biggest accomplishments came from dancing last year when she went to Nationals in Vegas with her team outside of La Salle. “At one of the regional competitions I qualified to dance with a celebrity artist,” Bonn said. “So we got to dance with [Ava Max] and also learn from professional dancers from within the industry.” 

Before dancing, Bonn was a gymnast for six years. Beginning at the age of five, she competed for three years from 2015 to 2018 and was even a gymnastics state champion in 2015 and 2016. Despite that, she still decided to become a competitive dancer instead. “I’ve always kind of been drawn towards dance even when I was in gymnastics, and you get to express a lot of what you feel through movement, not words,” Bonn said. 

Another passion of Bonn’s is piano which she picked up as a kid. “When I was younger I really wanted to do either violin or piano, but there was no real reason for it, I just kind of wanted to,” Bonn said. 

Now, after eight years of playing, Bonn believes “it’s getting harder to stick to it just because there’s so much to do, but I want to keep pursuing it because I want to be the best piano player that I can be,” she added. 

Born and raised in Happy Valley as an only child, Bonn explained that “sometimes I think about [what] it would be with a sibling, it’s hard to imagine having another person in [my] house” she said. “But I like it. I like having my own space.”

Bonn and her family enjoy traveling, specifically going to Lake Tahoe and the Philippines when they can.

“We go to Tahoe every summer,” Bonn said. “My dad’s best friend has a cabin up there, so it’s really fun and it’s nice to see his friends [and] where he came from.”

Bonn’s family also travels to the Philippines which is where her mother is from, so they have many relatives that live there. “It’s really cool because you get to experience a culture that you don’t really live in, but you’re a part of, and also you get a broader worldview because you have so many different people from different places that you get to talk to and experience when you visit them,” Bonn said. 

“When all the family is there, we always sit around and talk until it’s like 2 a.m.,” Bonn said. “It’s super hot and everyone’s sweating [because] it’s super humid, but I feel like we’re all laughing and it’s a really good time.”

She also looks forward to traveling to the Dominican Republic in March for the Mariposa Immersion, which is a foundation to try and help generational poverty. “It’s a whole different experience because it is a developing country,” Bonn said.

Bonn enjoys traveling with her family and hopes to travel to Europe, specifically to Italy and Spain, in the future. She said how beautiful she thought Spain is, and since she’s learning Spanish, it could be a great opportunity.