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Bellevue Patch Whiz Kid: Helen Kapitonenko Is 'Poster Child for Success at Jubilee Reach'

Sammamish High School sophomore maintains a 3.8 GPA and is the president of center's after-school Art Club. “She advocates for herself like no one I’ve ever seen,” the center's youth services director says.

Name: Helen Kapitonenko

School: Sophomore at

Accomplishment: Kapitonenko shows others through her dedication and responsibility that self-determination can take you to great heights. Last year she was named Youth Link’s Most Inspirational Female Youth Leader.

Keys to Awesomeness: Laura Francis, Youth Services Director at , says Kapitonenko is the “poster child for success at Jubilee Reach.” Despite the many responsibilities she has at home as the oldest of four children and the children of first-generation Ukrainian immigrants, Kapitonenko, for whom English is her second language, maintains a 3.8 grade point average in school, and dedicates her time and talents as president of the center’s Art Club. She meets with a tutor at Jubilee Reach several times a week and uses an online tutor when her volunteer tutor is not available, Francis says.

“She advocates for herself like no one I’ve ever seen,” Francis says.

Kapitonenko says she’s working very hard in school now, because she wants very much to go to college.

“I have to work hard to get scholarships,” she says.

Julie Judy, the center’s Art Studio Coordinator, says that Kapitonenko inspires other youths at the center, and the adults as well.

“Being able to serve Helen has inspired me to be a better observer and listener. She demonstrates so much of what we hope to inspire here,” Judy says.

—Nominated by Tom Brewer

Nominate another Whiz Kid

Do you know a kid or a program that everyone in Bellevue should know about Submit your nomination in our comment box below or email the information to venice.buhain@patch.com. Be sure to include all of the following information:

  • Nominator's Name
  • Nominator's Email
  • Whiz Kid's Name
  • Whiz Kid's Age
  • Whiz Kid's School
  • Whiz Kid's Accomplishment
  • Whiz Kid's Key to Awesomeness (what made him/her successful?)

If your nominee is selected, we'll contact you about getting a photo of the young person or team. For questions, email venice.buhain@patch.com.

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