- Ernest Hemingway STEAM School
Grateful for the brotherhood of the B-Tones and more
By Emilee Mae Struss for The Weekly Sun
Jhonatan Yallico, a senior at Wood River High School, says that the class of 2019 has an atypical bond—one that is much greater than he could ever imagine. Yallico was born in Peru and moved to the Wood River Valley with his family when he was 5 years old.
“My parents say that life is much better here,” Yallico said during an interview. “And I love living here.”
Yallico has surrounded himself with supportive peers, both younger and older than himself. He says that being an underclassman can be challenging, but he has his older cousins to thank for introducing him to new people and helping him be more social.
“I think the size of Wood River High School is perfect because it brings intimacy when you’re with the same people since elementary school,” Yallico said.
Yallico also speaks highly of the all-boys singing group at WRHS, the B-Tones.
“Those guys,” Yallico said, “it’s like a brotherhood and we don’t care where we’ve all come from or what our backgrounds are, we’re just all there for each other.”
In school, Yallico is enrolled in Advanced Placement Economics, Advanced Placement Physics, college English, Advanced Placement Calculus, and dual-immersion culture.
“I’d have to say that physics is my favorite class because it’s challenging,” Yallico said. “We’re always learning new concepts and there’s continuity to the subject.”
Next year, Yallico plans to go to college, although he isn’t sure where yet, to study either engineering or astronomy.
“With astronomy,” Yallico said, “I like that there’s a lot to explore and the fact that we know so little about what’s out there.”
He also loves to build and create things. He says that engineering could be a great way to mesh those two things.
“It would be really cool to build rockets or work in aerospace,” Yallico said.
For his senior project, a requirement for graduation at WRHS where students display work on a subject of their choice, Yallico chose to make solar panels.
“It will be the future,” Yallico said in reference to more sustainable ways of living and reducing the use of fossil fuels.
The solar panels that Yallico assembled have the ability to light a lamp or charge certain electronics like cellphones or laptop computers.
Yallico is inspired to be a part of the solution to stop using fossil fuels and use his ability to build and create sustainability to impact the future. With his undetermined path ahead, Yallico says he has one important thing to say to those who have supported him along his journey thus far:
“I want to thank everyone,” Yallico said. “If I say hi to you or smile at you as I’m walking by, just know that you have helped me get to where I am right now and I just say thank you.”
Each week, the Weekly Sun will be profiling a local high-school student. If you know someone you'd like to see featured, e-mail email@example.com.