District senior forgoes typical academic life to prepare for dreams

Nicole Fuches

In the office of Redwood’s physical trainer, Americ Alvarado, senior Hallie Fox concentrates on taping an injured football player’s foot, but pauses to overhear an amusing conversation between Alvarado and the student, and bursts into laughter.

Fox, a Tamiscal attendee and former Redwood student, said she dedicates large portions of her time interning for Alvarado to study athletic training, while balancing it with academics in the Tamiscal Pathways program.

Pathways provides an alternative class schedule to seniors to pursue an internship in preparation for adulthood, enrolling participants in one to three College of Marin classes, Tamiscal classes and possibly one high school class to fulfill the district graduation requirements.

Fox’s said her decision to participate with her internship and consequently Pathways stemmed from watching televised sports. Through observing hockey, football and basketball, Fox became fascinated with those who assist injured players.

“Every time [I watched sports] there was always someone that would help someone hurt which I thought was really cool because they got to help heal people who spend their whole life perfecting their bodies to do what they love. I had never noticed it until high school, but once I did, I went into the training room to ask Americ more about his job, and in sophomore year I asked him about an internship for junior year,” Fox said.

Fox poses outside her internship office, adjacent to the basketball courts.

Alvarado agreed to the internship and it was so successful that Fox enrolled with Pathways to further her involvement.

“I learn how to tape people, usually their wrists and ankles, and how to stretch and ice them. I usually work with football because it has the most specific daily routine, and the two teams practice at the same time,” Fox said.

Laughing alongside her peers, Fox prepares an injured football player for practice.

She said she also observes the practices and games to meet with the coach about each player’s physical status alongside Alvarado.

“She has grown so much in these past years, not just with myself, but with the team. It takes a lot to show dependability and accountability in order for them to trust you,” Alvarado said.

Fox’s academics are unusual, consisting of only two to three classes each day, lasting three to four and a half hours in total. Her Tamiscal classes are Economics and Pre-Calculus, while her College of Marin courses include English, Introduction to Biology, and Introduction to Human Biology.

Although this schedule permits her to practice her true passion, Fox acknowledges its downsides, such as its impact on her social life

“I’m not seeing my friends as often, so I can’t have a normal senior year, and I have to work harder to keep my friendships,” Fox said.

Nevertheless, Fox said she appreciates her internship’s connections.

“I like being around others [athletes] who pursue their passion while I’m doing it too. Since Redwood is so big, it’s nice to find a community you connect with,” Fox said.