Janae Lewis is lifelong volunteer who excels in soccer, academics – Gig Harbor Now

Gig Harbor Now publishes profiles of each of the 25 distinguished students honored by the Greater Gig Harbor Foundation. Students will be invited to Dr.

University student: Janae Lewis

School: Peninsula High School

Category: Community service

Janae Lewis has been doing community service since fifth grade when she raised more than $500 to support the work of St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

“We were given the task of choosing something that is close to our hearts and figuring out how we can help the cause,” she said.

Her success and the good feeling she got from knowing she was helping others showed her how much she loved organizing events and finding ways to help the community and those who need extra support.

Janae Lewis

Help others

Since then, Janae has helped raise money for the Birthplace and her soccer club, worked at the SAVE Thrift Store, helped with the Food Bowl and Food Drive, the clothing drive, volunteered at the Winterfest and other school events, and more as an officer in the National Honor Society and maintaining a 3.98 GPA in Running Start.

She’s enjoyed every minute she’s spent helping others — especially on the food drive, she said.

“We’re always competing with Gig Harbor to see who can bring in the most food and then it’s all donated to Food Backpacks 4Kids. This year we won – we got 30,000 items. It’s always more fun to do things when you know how it will directly and positively impact so many people.”

But of all the charitable endeavors she’s done, that fifth grade achievement is what she’s most proud of, she said.

football star

She is also a student athlete and played varsity football all four years of high school. This year she is the captain of both the PHS team and their club team.

COVID presents new challenges, she said, with far fewer opportunities to “go out and help people. And it made it harder to oversee school-related activities like the meal drive because no one was ever at school all together.”

Janae advises younger children to work hard and find something to join – like a club or a sport.

“I find it very important to find people who understand you, who support you and who you enjoy being with. It makes the experience that much better,” she said.

Amanda Balera tutored Janae in her biology class and again human body systems.

“Janae first caught my eye as a student who had a high level of confidence and a desire to understand,” Balara wrote in a letter of recommendation. “She is hardworking and has a desire for greater understanding. She has maintained an exceptional GPA and was a Scientific Athlete at PHS. She is very popular and respected. She has the passion, the desire and the courage to make a difference.”

This fall, Janae will be playing soccer and working towards a Psychology/Premedic degree at Linfield University in Oregon. She would like to focus on obstetrics and specialize in high-risk pregnancies as a midwife.

Janae Lewis

School: Peninsula High School

Category: Community service

Grade point average: 3.98

Parents: Todd and Monica Lewis

Activities/Achievements: Volunteer at numerous school events and non-profit organizations; Quick Start; President of the National Honor Society; learned athlete; ASB Treasurer, Varsity Football – Academic Awards, Every Four Years, Best Offensive Player, MVP, Captain, All-League, All-District, and All-Region Teams; Arthur Schulte Scholarship.

favorite teacher: Mr. Senko, 4th Class teacher for mathematics and natural sciences. “He made learning and everything that went with school fun and exciting. He taught me that learning can and should be fun and that school can be a “fun” place. Waking up in the morning and excited to go to school and want to learn is amazing, especially when a teacher can make such a difference.”

Best of PHS: “Before I came to the Peninsula, I came from St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School in Tacoma. I’ve been there since I was five and I’ve been there for ten years with the same group of 60 students. Moving to a public school was one of the scariest decisions I’ve had to make. There were now over 400 children in my class and I didn’t know any of them. But the outgoing, happy and funny nature of the girl who showed me around sealed the deal for me and I found people who I am fortunate to call my best friends. For me, this inclusive environment that I and so many others have been shown is the best thing about Peninsula. Thank you Peninsula for welcoming me with open arms and giving me the opportunity to make friends that I know will last a lifetime.”

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