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15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Tyee High School
Olympic Interim Site 615 South 200th Street Des Moines, WA 98198

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WELS Student Spotlight: Setalina Whiteley

WELS Student Spotlight: Setalina Whiteley

WELS (Waskowitz Environmental Leadership & Service) is cultivating the next generation of environmental leaders, and our students are at the forefront of this transformative journey.

Setalina riding bike

Students like Setalina Whiteley are forging paths toward a sustainable future. We interviewed Setalina and she shared her inspiring experience at WELS, highlighting how the program has shaped her educational path and future aspirations. She recounts her initial inspiration during her sophomore year, which led her to eagerly join WELS when it moved to Tyee. 

"When I first visited Waskowitz my sophomore year as a high school leader, I was inspired by the other WELS students and the community that they were a part of. When I found out that WELS was moving to Tyee, I signed up as soon as I could!" 

Her time at WELS has been filled with enriching experiences that have impacted her perspective on environmental issues. The program's focus on ecosystems and human impact has opened doors to unique opportunities that she wouldn't have encountered otherwise.

Memorable experiences include actively participating in campus clean-up initiatives and engaging in friendly competitions during Earth Week.

"Some of my favorite field trips include the Environmental Symposium, Environmental Leaders Summit, and Salmon Heroes with the Environmental Science Center. These experiences have deeply enriched my understanding of what it means to be an environmental steward."


Setalina Whiteley and peer outside in forest

These immersive experiences have not only enriched Setalina's educational journey but have also laid a robust foundation for her future career and college aspirations. The practical knowledge and insights gained through these activities have prepared her for a future where she can actively contribute to environmental solutions.

The close-knit community at WELS stands out, allowing students to build stronger relationships with peers and teachers. Smaller class sizes foster a more personalized and impactful learning experience. Teachers and staff at WELS have been instrumental in supporting her academic and personal growth, leading to improved grades and a stronger sense of accountability. 

Looking forward, Setalina is an advocate for the WELS program and passionately encourages others to join. She emphasizes the significance of education on environmental issues and the responsibility to care for our community and planet.

"Joining WELS is more than just education; it's about becoming part of the solution for our environment."

For those considering WELS, Setalina's experience stands as a shining example of the impact this program can have.

Discover more about WELS and how to apply at WELS at Tyee.


WELS students on bike ride

Setalina and her peers participating in a mountain biking workshop.

Students canoeing from WELS

Canoeing through Lake Washington and Mercer Slough in Bellevue.