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The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

The student news site of La Salle Catholic College Preparatory.

The La Salle Falconer

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Student of the Week: Gracie Roca

Jasmine McIntosh
Sophomore Gracie Roca thinks her friends would describe her as easygoing and fun to be around.

Before coming to La Salle, sophomore Gracie Roca attended St. Therese School in Northeast Portland. She made the decision to come to La Salle because “I knew a lot of people were going here and I heard that they had a pretty good volleyball program,” she said.

Volleyball is a big part of Roca’s life. She has been playing since the third grade and had a slightly unusual introduction to the sport. “I played a game on my Xbox and I found out about volleyball, so I convinced my mom to let me try and go play,” Roca said. She explained that volleyball gives her something to do, and that she enjoys playing with her friends.

When asked about the more demanding aspects of volleyball, Roca said, “It’s more a mental game, and you have to be in the right mindset to play well, so I guess that’s a little bit challenging.” Additionally, volleyball takes up a lot of her free time outside of the classroom. As a result, it is sometimes difficult for Roca to balance her practice schedule with her schoolwork. 

Roca plans on continuing to play the sport for the rest of her high school experience. However, although she enjoys it, Roca doesn’t plan on continuing to play volleyball after her time at La Salle.

Instead, Roca has big dreams of becoming a pediatrician in the future. She’d previously had plans to become a teacher, but after witnessing the teaching environment through her mom, who works as a teacher, she decided that it probably wasn’t the right path for her. That being said, Roca said that her parents have “inspired me to do a lot of what I do now.”

Here at La Salle, Roca aspires to get good grades and prove to herself that she can do well academically. One of her favorite classes currently is Algebra 2 with Mr. Linus Oey, which she finds to be fun, seeing as math has always been a strong subject for her. She also enjoys Catholic Christianity with Mr. Noah Banks because of how funny and easygoing he is.

Roca enjoys traveling with her family, stating that her favorite place to go is California. When she’s there, she likes to go to scenic sites and attractions such as Disneyland and Universal Studios. “I go every summer,” Roca said. “I’ve gone since fourth grade.”

So far, Roca has enjoyed the La Salle community, which she finds calming. She enjoys talking with her friends and thinks that they would describe her as easygoing and fun to be around.

For future incoming freshmen, Roca would advise them not to worry too much. However, if they’re interested in playing a sport, balance is essential. “My message to the freshmen would be to value your own mental health, rather than the sport,” she said. “It’s easy to get caught into the stress of playing, but you should always prioritize yourself.”

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