Treehouse Youth Wins Spirit Award

By Brianna Franco, Marketing & Policy Intern

Every year, Nathalie’s school gives one junior the Spirit Award in honor of Anthony Harlow, a student who passed away and embodied having strong spirit and passion for their school.

In detailing why Nathalie won the award, teachers reported that she is an incredibly hard worker, conscientious and simply a joy to have in class.


When she heard that she won the award, Nathalie was surprised.

“I’m super excited–I didn’t think teachers noticed me, so that made me super happy,” Nathalie said.

For Nathalie’s caseworker, Estrella Liu, it is no surprise that she won the award.

“She is the type of student peer that always seeks to help others through friendship and kindness, or will venture to mentor a peer proactively in some capacity,” Estrella said.

Nathalie has shown strong spirit and passion outside her school as well. Through her church, she has been involved in a few initiatives out in the community.

“I made 24 backpacks for women that have been sex trafficked,” Nathalie said. “My church wanted to do something with this organization called Rest and I always wanted to help out homeless people. It was super fun, I got super excited. I went out in my neighborhood and asked people (for money) and used some of my own allowances.”

Nathalie has been working with her Treehouse Education Specialist, Sherry Edwards, since she was in the eighth grade and has utilized other Treehouse resources for about 10 years.

“Treehouse has helped pay for dance lessons. I took ballet and jazz and acrobatics. (They also paid for) my ASB card and my class shirt,” Nathalie said, adding that we’ve also paid for her to attend homecoming and summer camp, in addition to paying for her driver’s education classes.

On top of having access to those resources, Nathalie said meeting with Sherry every week is beneficial.

“I think having Sherry’s support has been really helpful,” Nathalie said. “Even though I know what I have to do–all my assignments and everything I have to do, I’ll need a reminder or I’ll totally forget.”

During their weekly meetings, they talk about anything and everything, from coursework to plans outside of school.

“Nathalie and I go over what’s going on in school and in her world,” Sherry said. “We discuss challenges as they occur and how she can solve them. My goal is to support her by helping her research, plan and refine. I follow her lead.”

Looking forward, Nathalie is hoping to attend Seattle Pacific University. She expressed her enthusiasm for the university for its closeness to home, the connection they have with her church and rumors of good teacher-student relations.

“I stayed there for a night and had a really amazing time there,” Nathalie said. “I love the fact that it’s a Christian school and also really like the fact that every freshman has to stay at the dorms the first year.”

Although she isn’t sure what she will do with it, she knows she wants to get into business management.

“In ninth grade, I went to a community college for this STEM thing and we went to all these different classes,” Nathalie said. “We had a class where it first started out as budgeting and later we were talking about different stores and stuff, so I found it really fun. I kept on talking too much in that class.”

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About the Author

Brianna Franco is the Marketing & Policy Intern at Treehouse. She is a junior at Seattle Pacific University, where she is studying to obtain a bachelor’s degree in communications.

Comments (3)


March 18, 2020

Congratulations Nathalie! So glad you have this well-earned recognition from your school!



March 18, 2020

Congratulations, Nathalie! Best wishes making your college dreams come true.



March 18, 2020

My heart is full. This is the reason I donate to Treehouse. Congratulations to Nathalie, and best of everything in the future.


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