Elyse Miyake is a talented artist, dedicated athlete and academic with a near-perfect GPA. When she’s not doing homework or being with her soccer team, she’s writing fiction, painting or volunteering her time to help others.
Creating art since she was 4 years old, Miyake has already been recognized through contests, art displays as well as paid, commissioned work. She’s also contributed her talents to help raise funds for causes such as raising awareness for deforestation in South America.
“I like that I can put my ideas and my perspective of the world out there, and it creates an emotion in people,” she says. “I love to see their reaction to my art.”
Miyake’s passion for arts includes creative writing. She has written three novels, and hopes to publish them in the near future.
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“I have rarely observed a moment where Elyse did not have a book, journal or sketchbook at the ready to engage her mind and creative impulses,” says Catherine Scanlan, her eighth-grade teacher at Kopachuck Middle School.
Soccer has been another priority. Miyake began playing when she was 7, and by age 11 joined a select team. In addition to being part of Harbor Premier Soccer (where she’s served as co-captain) she also played on Gig Harbor’s JV team. And when she couldn’t, due to injuries, she continued to be part of the team as a manager.
“I like being part of a combined team effort. It’s not about yourself but how we can achieve together,” she says.
Miyake’s contributions include MultiCare’s Treehouse, which provides housing for families of patients; and the Girls for Change Club, focused on changing the culture of girls starting with elementary school.
“Over the years, I have been impressed with Elyse’s strong character on so many occasions. She consistently exemplifies how an exceptional student should behave,” says Cindy Faker, who has known Miyake for eight years through her daughter. “She is organized, hardworking and always willing to share her knowledge with peers.”
Although arts and athletics have been a priority for Miyake, she says academics always came first. She had a 4.0 until her senior year, when an A-minus and a B in AP classes ended that perfect streak.
“It was a learning experience — nothing is going to be easy and I’m learning that,” she says. “You can learn more from your failure than you can from your success.”
She plans to study creative writing and fine arts as a double major at Washington State University. Her goal is to become an author and freelance artist, fulfilling her childhood dream.
Education: Senior, Gig Harbor High School
Parents: Laura and Dave Miyake
Activities/Achievements: Girls JV soccer captain, Defensive MVP, Most Assists Award, Coaches’ Award; Gig Harbor Sound head editor; Yearbook editor; Girls for Change Club youth leader; National Honor Society; volunteer for MultiCare Treehouse family housing, Art for Elephants; contributed art for Plant a Billion fundraiser; Harbor Premier Soccer co-captain; painting contest scholarship; commissioned portraits and other art; 5 AP/Honors classes
Favorite teacher: David Whitesell, social studies. “The two times I’ve had him he’s taught me what it means to be a successful student.
Best thing about high school: “The sense of community created when we all come together to support a cause or goal.”