Madison Stevens

Barlow High School senior Madison Stevens recently received accolades for her singing and acting talents.

Stevens made her foray into performing arts in fifth grade, finding the stage a natural fit.

At Damascus Middle School, she fell in love with performing arts.

Stevens has been accepted into the BFA musical theater program at Central Washington University, where she looks forward to honing her performing skills.

Her video clips were among 25 chosen from 200 for a live audition this year for Central Washington University’s program. After college, Stevens said she hopes to audition and get booked regularly in musical theater.

Stevens’ awards include: first place in District Acting Monologues; top finisher in the One Acts District Competition; first place in the Solo Musical and Duo Musical Thespian Regional Competition; Solo Musical Theater Winner in the Oregon State Theater Competition; and First Place Soprano in the District II Oregon Musical Educators Association.

Stevens said some of her inspirations are Broadway stars Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth, Laura Osnes and Sutton Foster. She also loves Rachel Barry from the hit TV series “Glee.”

Her favorite musicals are “Cinderella,” “Sweeney Todd” and “Wicked.”


Ana Parvankin

Barlow High junior Ana Parvankin, 17, has received the Alexander Hamilton Leadership Award, which recognizes high school juniors for their academic, personal, service and entrepreneurial achievements.

Through the award, Parvankin will attend the Hamilton Leaders Academy that helps the transition to college and the post-college world. She will receive a $500 scholarship and attend an all-expenses-paid trip to Guatemala, where she will participate in service projects.

Parvankin said she was deeply honored by the award and expressed thanks to the “haven of support” she has received from family members, friends and her “second moms” at Barlow High.

Originally from Belarus, Parvankin and her family moved to the Gresham area when she was 2-1/2, settling in the Gresham-Barlow District at the end of elementary school.

This year, Parvankin serves as All Student Body recording secretary and as an elected representative on the executive board of Oregon Association of Student Councils.

She volunteers for Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center, and serves in Key Club and the National Honor Society.

Since 2007, Parvankin has volunteered for the summer reading program at the Multnomah County Library.

She has played four sports during her high school career: cross country, swimming, tennis and volleyball.

Parvankin dreams of studying business, finance and political science at the University of Southern California or University of California, Los Angeles.

At a conference this year, Parvankin was inspired by a speaker who said, “Stop making excuses and saying you don’t have enough time.”

She was on the verge of losing her 4.0 at the time, and since that conference, she has maintained it.

Whether students want that 4.0 or varsity sports status, Parvankin said she recommends getting out there and doing anything to achieve it.

“That five plus minutes spent daily on social media could be used to do little steps to achieve our goals,” she said.

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