Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Petra Knapp and Gabrielle Dittenhofer have been selected as the Hood River Elks Lodge Students of the Month for November. They were honored at a recent Lodge meeting and each presented with a check for $100.
Both are seniors at Hood River Valley High School. They will be honored, along with the other monthly winners, at a dinner at the end of the school year.
Petra Knapp is a very self-motivated, active and driven young lady who immerses herself in many different activities. She is a member of the National Honor Society and has taken most of the many honors and advanced placement classes the school has to offer.
She is active as the president of the Earth Club, was a member of the Future Business Leaders of America and was class president her first three years in high school.
She was also a member of the Alpine ski team, the Nordic ski team, the girls tennis team for four years, (team captain for junior varsity) and a member of the girls soccer team, (again captain for junior varsity).
Other activities include membership in and being the president of the Spanish Club and also a member of both the Challenge Day Club and Fashion Club. She is a member of the Leos Club who meet bi-monthly and enjoy working on many community events.
She is a member and co-president of the Youth Heart of Hospice Club and is involved with Insitu robotics/flight academy working with drones.
Petra’s volunteer work includes Teen Court, where she serves as secretary and on a jury where peers are on trial; Leaders for Tomorrow and Link Crew Leaders. She is heavily involved with Dos Estudiantes, meeting with young Spanish youth improving their language skills.
In July of 2011 with the Neca y mas Neica organization, she spent time acting as a language tutor for underprivileged children ages 3-14 teaching English reading skills to illiterate children. She spent a week in Tecate, Mexico, with Club Baja, helping build a home.
She has spent many hours helping with FISH food bank canned food drive, working with and for the March of Dimes and participated for three years in the Relay for Life. She and her family have hosted a Japanese family for a week for three consecutive years in the Tsuruta Sister City cultural exchange program.
Petra is heavily immersed in the robotics program at the high school and founded their summer camp where she helps teach younger kids basic programming and design skills. She has also volunteered at a First LEGO League robotics tournament for three years and also coaches a FLL robotics team. This was to help kids learn programming and engineering skills.
Petra is the daughter of Jeff and Lisa Knapp. She has an older sister, Marit, a sophomore at the University of Santa Clara. Next fall Petra plans to attend Cal-Poly State University at San Luis Obispo. She would like to become a mechanical engineer. In her spare time she enjoys sewing, skiing, baking, surfing, traveling and crafting.
Gabrielle Dittenhofer is a very enthusiastic, vibrant and active young lady. She is a member of the National Honor Society at HRVHS and has taken many honors and advanced placement classes.
She was captain of the high school varsity lacrosse and ski teams and competed in the state freestyle ski competition. She loves to windsurf and enjoys running to keep in shape for lacrosse and skiing.
She is also very proficient at the helm of a sailboat. Her sailing enthusiasm started back in New Jersey, where she learned to sail at a young age; and when the family moved out to Oregon she found she could enjoy both windsurfing and sailing. She works in the summer as a sailboat instructor.
She is also a former member of the school choir. During the 2011-12 school year she and her family were hosts to an exchange student.
Gabrielle’s volunteer work includes Christmas caroling with Youth Heart of Hospice at various nursing homes and singing Christmas carols to hospice patients during the winter break.
She enjoys working with animals and volunteers walking dogs for Home at Last Humane Society and making “doggy” biscuits and donating them to the “Mutt Mosey” festival, a program where people come to walk dogs from the humane society shelter. In addition, they set up a stand and sell the biscuits to people and give the profit to the Humane Society.
Gabrielle has also helped out with the annual ski swap, with all proceeds going to the HRV Ski team; worked for three years on Community Work Day, earning money for community charities; and coached a group of second- and third-grade girl lacrosse players, helping them improve their passing, shooting, ground balls and teamwork skills.
She has been very active in Ms. Shaner’s kindergarten class, helping with office work as well as working directly with the kids assisting them with spelling, grammar and numbers.
Gabrielle and her family hosted a hospice dinner which raised money for Heart of Hospice. She was the server at the dinner. She has also done work at the Waterfront Park, helping weed different areas and planting new flowers for the summer.
She also took on the challenge of babysitting for a local family who had triplets, twice a week after school.
Gabrielle is the daughter of Bernie and Vanessa Dittenhofer. Next fall, like Petra, she plans to attend Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo. She would like to focus her studies in public relations and marketing. In her spare time she enjoys windsurfing, skiing, running, lacrosse, guitar and would like to get better at windsurfing and surfing.
P.S. Gabrielle and Petra are already planning on being roommates at school next year.
— Submitted by George Johnson, Elks Club member