MONROE — River O’Connor, 17, is a senior at the Sky Valley Education Center in Monroe. He’s also a Running Start student in the Ocean Research College Academy, or ORCA, at Everett Community College. Last month he wrote an article that was published in Politico magazine.
Question: Why did you decide to go to Sky Valley Education Center?
Answer: My parents and I were looking for a school that was more flexible with hours and the education style. Sky Valley has a lot more freedom of what kind of classes you want to take, and when …
I have a lot of hobbies and things I like to do, and a lot of extracurricular activities, which would not be as easy to do without the flexibility and environment that Sky Valley has given me.
Q: What activities?
A: I do the model United Nations program at Sky Valley. We go to annual conferences, the largest one being in Seattle with close to 1,000 attendees. I also attended the ACLU Summer Advocacy Institute in Washington, D.C., this summer.
Then, I go to DEF CON (a hacking convention). I’ve been going there for over five years, and from that experience I wrote the article for Politico, which got published a couple of weeks ago.
Q: When was DEF CON?
A: I went there from Aug. 6th to the 13th. The conference itself is only three or four days.
Q: What was the experience like this year?