This story represents a portion of the recent work produced by The Apple Leaf staff. The Apple Leaf is published by the Advanced Journalism class at Wenatchee High School, under the tutelage of adviser Dave Riggs. The award-winning publication is a forum for expression by the students of Wenatchee High School, affording them a chance to air facts and opinions relative to all issues of concern to them.
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If you’ve ever been to a Janice Franz Talent Show, chances are you’ve seen Pablo Chavolla perform his passion: rapping.
Chavolla has found comfort in music time and time again. The lyrics he has written were inspired by a past full of struggle.
“I had a rough life and want people to know you can pick yourself back up,” Chavolla said.
As a young child, Chavolla wasn’t just exposed to crayons and “Sesame Street.” Frequently, Chavolla saw a variety of drugs around his house, as well as watched family members and their friends use them.
“The saddest moment though, in grade school, was seeing me and my two little brothers taken away by CPS (Child Protective Services) … just seeing my mom cry … it was sad,” he said.
Chavolla has lived with his grandmother, Edith Johnson, since. “(She’s) really helped a lot … pushed me to do good in school.”
One of Chavolla’s hobbies, weight lifting, blossomed into a stellar career on the track and field team. Thriving in the discus and shotput events, he earned a varsity letter all four years of high school. Junior year, Chavolla placed at the regional track meet in discus. This year, he placed ninth at the state meet, also in discus.
Trinity Lutheran College in Everett has offered Chavolla a 50-percent scholarship for track and field, but his past has pushed him to pursue a career in criminal justice. After getting his degree, Chavolla would like to be a police officer.
“I want people to be safe. That’s just the type of person I am. If there is a way that I can help, then I will do my best to help.” When Chavolla isn’t throwing or working towards his high school diploma, he is drawing graffiti art and writing lyrics for his raps. Performing his rap at the talent show was one of his proudest moments.
“I want my music to inspire kids; I want them to know they are not alone,” he said.
However, his proudest moment was graduating high school — the end result of his hard work and the struggle he faced growing up, and ultimately, the gateway to the opportunities his family never had. Neither his parents or his parents graduated from high school, so he became the first in his family to don the cap and gown.