Casey Guardia has been described as an outstanding young woman who continually pushes herself to succeed in and out of the classroom. She has a diverse portfolio of achievements and involvements, including athletics, community service and clubs.
Ranked No. 1 academically, Guardia has a perfect GPA while taking numerous rigorous classes.
She always puts academics first because she knew she wanted to go to a good medical school to pursue her interest in science and medicine.
English teacher Rebecca Wenrich watched Guardia balance a strenuous academic load in her junior year with her participation in the water polo club team, high school water polo team, volunteer work and the extensive application process for Washington Aerospace Scholars.
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“For someone so young to balance so much is truly commendable,” Wenrich said. “She has had such a clear goal for herself and has continually sought out her resources in an effort to meet and exceed those goals.”
Guardia’s family moved frequently while her father served in the U.S. Army. She was new to the area when she started high school.
“I was able to insert myself into the community and make friends and also keep up my goals and build academic success,” she said. “I feel it’s a stepping stone to get to bigger and better places.”
Her commitments have included leadership positions in several clubs and volunteer work for events and organizations such as Pierce County AIDS Walk, Habitat for Humanity and Dine Out for Life.
“Casey’s kind heart and sincere character helps bring hope to others. Her zest for living life to the fullest is inspiring,” said math teacher Phyllis Payne.
Guardia was accepted into the U.S. Air Force Academy, which she considers the highest point of her high school career. She said only 1,200 students were accepted out of nearly 10,000 applicants.
She was inspired to join the military by her father.
“I love the military lifestyle. I want to give back to my country,” she said.
She hopes the Air Force will be a long-term career and her goal is to go to medical school — following in the footsteps of her mother, who is a physical therapist. Guardia is especially interested in stem cell research and surgery for nerve regeneration, as well as cancer research.
“I truly believe that Casey has the grit and determination to succeed at the next level,” Wenrich said.