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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: Athan Van Sickle

John Pham
Senior Athan Van Sickle’s life motto is, “just be positive,” he said. “One little moment does not define you.”

Born and raised in Oregon, senior Athan Van Sickle first attended Alliance Charter Academy in Oregon City for elementary and middle school before coming to La Salle. 

At Alliance Charter Academy, Van Sickle was able to pick which classes he wanted to take on campus and which ones he wanted to take at home, allowing him to have a lot of academic flexibility. This flexibility later allowed him to easily transition into a high school schedule. 

He chose to come to La Salle because of the community he saw when he shadowed in eighth grade, and that has been his favorite part of La Salle since. Van Sickle loves that “everyone’s really welcoming and nice,” he said. “The teachers are really accommodating, and how supportive everyone is.”

His two favorite classes that he has taken are Intro to Computer Science and Computer Science 2: Game and Design & Development taught by science teacher and Computer Programming Teacher Mr. Kyle Voge. Van Sickle’s favorite part about these courses was that it was “a really small class, and most days we’d end the class playing a game,” he said. 

Van Sickle’s favorite teachers at La Salle are science teacher Mr. Matthew Owen and math teacher Mr. Linus Oey. He loves how fun both of these teachers make their classroom and how “they are just so funny and hilarious,” he said. 

He is a part of many clubs, including the Middle Eastern Student Union and the Asian American Pacific Islander Club where he has been able to “support my friends that are in them and go into the meeting and eat their food and talk to them about their culture which is really important,” he said.

Van Sickle has also been on the track and field team and cross country during his sophomore and junior years. Although he decided to not continue these sports this year, he enjoyed the bonding aspect of both of them. “Cross country made me a lot closer to people,” he said. “And then track and field was just really fun, it was like hanging out for three hours with your friends.”

Outside of school, Van Sickle has been working at Dutch Bros. for the past two years. He first applied because his brother has worked there, but has come to love the job. His favorite part of the job has been “talking to random people and seeing what they’re doing and how open they are to tell you what they’re doing,” he said. 

Aside from school and work, Van Sickle tries to hang out with his friends as much as he can, from having campfires with them to just talking. He enjoys overall being able to spend quality time with them. 

He also spends much of his free time trying to fix the engine of his 2010 Subaru Outback, walking his dog, Natasha, and listening to Frank Ocean or Kendrick Lamar. 

One of the most influential people in Van Sickle’s life is his grandpa. “He would do everything himself, fix everything,” he said. “This is kind of where I am drawing my inspiration to fix my own car.”

He also looks up to his grandma because of her positivity, teaching him to always look on the bright side.

His favorite family tradition, originating over 30 years ago from his grandpa, is traveling to Bend, Oregon every year to attend a family reunion during Memorial Day weekend where all his family comes together to have fun. 

Besides traveling to Bend with his family, he travels often to New Mexico whenever he has the chance to see his sister and her family. As for traveling in the future, Van Sickle hopes to one day be able to go to Australia.

After high school, Van Sickle plans to attend Oregon State University where he will be majoring in computer science and minoring in business because of how much he enjoyed the computer science classes he took at La Salle. He hopes to one day start his own business, with it being either a service or consulting company for technology. 

Looking back at the past four years of his life as a high schooler, Van Sickle’s favorite memories are “those days after sophomore or freshman finals, being able to walk around the mall and hang out with friends,” he said.

He will miss his friends the most, knowing that they “probably won’t stay in touch as much as we want to,” he said. 

His advice for anyone in high school or entering into high school is: “don’t be bothered by one low grade, you are always going to have a second chance to bring it back,” he said. “Stay positive and try hanging out with your friends as much as possible.”

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