Emerald Ridge Senior Levi Sweem
Making a difference and finishing strong
Posted on 05/12/2017
Making a difference and finishing strong

When he is not studying or preparing for graduation Emerald Ridge High School senior Levi Sweem is most likely outdoors. A self-proclaimed ‘adrenaline junky’ Sweem enjoys sky diving, spear fishing, hunting, and martial arts. He plans to try bull riding next.

As a regular volunteer at Champion Center in Tacoma Sweem works with youth and teenagers and has started a worship team. He can also be found at the Tacoma Rescue Mission sitting and talking with people or handing out socks, blankets, and hand warmers.

Emerald Ridge senior

It is clear Sweem is a leader—he was the captain of the Emerald Ridge football team, captain of his lacrosse team, and has been involved in student leadership for two years. He is a member of the Spanish Club and participates in DECA business and marketing.

While busy with many activities outside of the classroom Sweem is finishing a senior year that includes challenging classes, completing his portfolio, community service experience, and presenting at senior boards. His classes this year include Advanced Placement Statistics, Spanish 4, Antimony and Physiology, and Business Law.

Sweem said, “The senior year is not more difficult than previous high school years, but things are different because you are in a different mindset. I feel more grown up which is a little scary but also awesome. There is more freedom and also more responsibility.”

Emerald Ridge senior

Reflecting on his high school experience Sweem said Emerald Ridge has a really welcoming environment. He enjoyed being a part of the football team because the games and student support affect the whole school. “You meet someone new every day. I think our assemblies really bring all different groups together. We’re all friends,” he said.

He talked about the effect of technology on the lives of high school students. He made a choice recently to distance himself from social media and now carries a flip phone with limited capabilities. “We are definitely consumed with technology. Social media can be a good thing, but there is also bad stuff that you can’t get around. I miss the internet and navigation, but I feel like I am a lot happier without it. It was definitely a good choice,” said Sweem.

As he looks back on his high school years Sweem said his favorite memory will be the staff. He has high praise for Principal Kevin Hampton whom he says spends time talking to students and getting to know them. He also enjoyed attending one of the weekly lunches for students held by Superintendent Yeomans.

He plans to attend Western Washington University in the fall and is considering a career in criminal justice and possibly the military. 


Nancy French
frenchnl@puyallup.k12.wa.us