By Kristine Thomas
All it took was some encouragement for Noe Jines to begin taking small steps leading to larger steps to become more involved in his school and community.
A Kennedy High School senior, Jines credits his older brother, Leo, for advising him to participate wherever he could. Following his brother’s advice, Jines’ resume includes being a mentor for “My Future, My Choice” at Mount Angel Middle School and being the JFK High School student body president. His work ethic and dedication to his school and community led Jines to be chosen as the Mount Angel Chamber of Commerce’s Junior First Citizen.
While eating lunch last month, he saw his mom, Julia, and brother, Leo, 24, in the high school office. When he asked them what they were doing, they told him they were “paying a bill.”
That’s when he grew suspicious because he knew the bill had already been paid.
While receiving the award wasn’t a complete surprise, he said it is definitely an honor.
“I didn’t help out to get recognized,” he said. “I just did it for the good of the community.”
His list of activities includes student councilor for the Mount Angel City Council; FBLA president; NHS; yearbook editor, photographer and page designer; cross country team captain; track team and more than 250 hours of community service including volunteering at Oktoberfest, the Hazelnut Festival and Wurstfest along with work for the Father Bernard Youth Center and Mount Angel Senior Center.
Kennedy track and cross country coach Steve Ritchie said Jines is an exceptionally hard-working young man who had a good career as a distance runner.
“Even more impressive than his commitment to athletic training is his commitment to academic achievement, school leadership and service to others,” Ritchie said. “I think he has prepared himself very well to succeed in college and beyond. I’m a big fan of Noe Jines.”
As of late February, Jines was deciding between attending the University of Oregon or the University of Portland. He has been accepted to both. Right now, he’s leaning toward a double major in psychology and political science. He has a 3.9 grade point average while taking AP Physics and Calculus, Business Essentials/Law, leadership class, college English, honors yearbook, and government/economics.
“My career goals are to hopefully help undocumented families who work in the fields get better jobs and help them get citizenship,” he said.
During the summer, he works for a farm picking berries. “Undocumented families are usually the hardest workers you’ll ever meet and deserve more. I want to be the one to help them,” he said.
With no time to watch TV, Jines said what motivates him to work hard is remembering he is working to benefit others.
“Whatever I do, I do for others,” he said.
Each time he volunteers, he said, it’s an opportunity to learn and grow. He shared he has become more confident talking with adults and planning events such as Homecoming.
KHS Principal Sean Aker said Jines is a remarkable young man.
“His ability to plan and problem solve epitomize leadership,” Aker said. “He is thoughtful in his decision making, and does well to avoid overextending himself. We thought that replacing Elisha Valladares, last year’s student body president, was going to be nearly impossible. However, Noe’s leadership style serves our school very well, and the transition has been seamless. We now are wondering who will be able to follow Noe?”
For Jines, being a leader means every day setting a good example.
“I hope I encourage people to work hard and be kind to everyone and make sure everyone is included,” he said.