At a time when pouting would be justified, West Linn senior Baylee is instead slipping into a place of real gratitude. When asked about how the pandemic is shaping her view, she says, “I think people are realizing how important different jobs are – like truck drivers and store employees. Before this, I think we took those roles for granted. Before this, I used to take for granted that I could just hang out with my friends ‘tomorrow.’ That’s all changing. I think we’re going to come out of this as better people who are grateful for what we have.”

Baylee also is grateful for the memories she did create during her senior year.  “Senior Sunrise was really fun. And football games were my favorite thing about high school. Just the atmosphere and the feel of the community – it’s just like you see in movies. We dressed up. We chanted. It was just like you see in movies.”

Next fall, Baylee will start at Clackamas Community College, where she plans to complete her generals before she transfers to the University of Oregon. Once a Duck, she intends to get her degree in Hospitality and Business. “One of my mom’s friends has an event planning business,” she explains. “I’ve helped at a number of these corporate events and I just love it. I’m a very organized person, so it’s really up my alley. I love the planning, the behind-the-scenes work, and I really love meeting new people.

Until then, Baylee is enjoying time painting (Disney characters!), taking her dog for lots of walks, binging on “The Good Doctor,” and playing Fortnite with her brother. (“He dragged me into that.”)  She also dreams of the day she and her family and friends can complete their original summer plans, which included a trip to Mexico and a number of road trips. She’s not discouraged, though: “We’ve just pushed our plans back a year, but I can’t wait. I love to travel!”