McKenzi Bravo

Peninsula High School senior is all-time top runner, passionate about community service and environment

April 30, 2014 

McKenzi Bravo is a scholar-athlete whose commitments have included sports, community activities and clubs and whose diverse interests range from foreign languages to the student newspaper, The Outlook. She’s excelled in many areas while maintaining a high GPA and taking challenging classes.

A runner since third grade, Bravo is one of Peninsula High School’s top cross-country athletes. She’s only the first female runner to compete at state four times and she was twice selected as the South Puget Sound League Athlete of the Year.

“I love running because it doesn’t take prior skill — you get out of it what you put into it,” she said. “It takes hard work, willpower and passion because if you want it, you can get it.”

Bravo has the school record in three events, and is the school’s all-time second fastest 3,200-meter runner and fourth fastest 1,600-meter runner.

“She has been a huge part of the success of the cross-country and track teams from her first meet,” said PHS coach Joel Wingard. “McKenzi is one of those people you want on your team as a coach, in your class as a teacher or in your activity as an adviser. She is upbeat and optimistic and excels in all these areas.”

Bravo joined Interact, the Rotary’s high school club, in the spring of her freshman year and immediately was put in charge of a project, the beautification of the campus courtyard. After attending a leadership conference, she was inspired to devote her efforts to community service.

“I felt passionate about community service and I wanted to do whatever I could,” she said.

She became the club’s president as a sophomore and she’s contributed her time to numerous projects despite a rigorous academic workload and busy sports-training schedule.

“She has demonstrated outstanding leadership among her peers, and meets every challenge with careful consideration and enthusiasm,” said Gig Harbor Morning Rotary Club Interact adviser John Winslow. “She is understated, humble, a good listener, friendly and giving of her time.”

As a freshman, Bravo took an environmental science class and became passionate about the environment after learning how even small daily habits can have major effects. She’s pursued that passion since, and in college plans to study either leadership and humanities or environmental engineering.

“I would really like to be an environmental adviser for nonprofits,” she said. Her dream is to some day start her own nonprofit focused on the environment.

McKenzi Bravo

Category: Community service

Education: Senior, Peninsula High School

GPA: 3.75

Parents: Gary and Kelly Bravo

Activities/Achievements: Interact president; Model United Nations; cross-country Most Valuable Runner, Tacoma Athletic Commission Athlete of the Year, state and Borderclash competitor, school record holder; track and field; Scholar Athlete; SPSL Athlete of the Year; GSA; We the People; Outlook newspaper; Yearbook; ASB vice president/senator

Favorite Teacher: “Mrs.(Lynda) Richards was like a spunky mother figure to me for two years. I learned a lot from her class but more from her positive attitude.”

Best thing about high school: “Peninsula has so much personality between the decorated walls to the lively student body to the loving staff. It’s truly the most accepting atmosphere.”

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