Silence below the surface


kaylee Milem

Junior Kyleigh Ortiz started playing the guitar a couple of years ago. “I was kind of going through some stuff, and I felt like that could really help me, like distract me, and it did, it helped.”

Kaylee Milem, reporter

To the outside world, junior Kyleigh Ortiz seems like the average girl. She goes to high school like the average girl. She also has dreams after high school like the average girl. But, don’t always believe what meets the eye, you’ll miss the most important characteristics. 

Ortiz is 16 and a student at Davenport West. Growing up, some of her favorite memories include playing with neighborhood friends at a young age. On the opposite side of the spectrum, she, unfortunately, had to witness her parents argue which includes some of her worst memories. 

“Don’t let the negatives weigh out the positives,” Ortiz said. 

This lesson reminds her to look on the bright side of everyday life. She does this by creating good vibes and great memories wherever she goes. 

“One of my favorite memories is when she dyed her hair different colors. When she looks back at herself, she will just laugh at herself for it,” junior Kilee Duncombe said laughingly. “She can make people laugh at any time.”

Ortiz makes sure to find joy in her life. Hanging out with her best friend Duncombe makes it easier to obtain that joy. They have known each other for 6 years now, since meeting on the bus in middle school. They even work together at Good Samaritan preparing food, oftentimes making work fun, and more enjoyable. 

“How hard we were laughing, and how nobody found it funny but us,” Ortiz said. 

Ortiz is very blocked off from the outside world, so she does not have the quantity of friends, but she has the quality. Duncombe and Ortiz are inseparable. They very much enjoy hanging out together and having a good time, such as going to the movies, going out to eat, even as far as, long road trips together. 

“I would rather have one close friend than twenty,” Ortiz said. “It’s less drama, it’s easier to not get hurt.”

Since Ortiz is drama-free, she is able to focus her attention on academics. At the moment, Ortiz is feeling accomplished with her participation in school. She is proud that she is on track to graduate next year. Her sophomore Spanish 3 teacher enjoyed having her in class, as Ortiz was a good worker. Although she was reserved in class, keeping to herself, she did well on the assessments. 

“She is kind of quiet, a little more private,” Spanish teacher Stephanie Hansen said. “She is also a good worker, and I think she did well with Spanish, and not everybody has that strength.”

Ortiz would preferably be remembered as someone selfless and caring. Therefore, after high school, she is planning to become a nurse or certified nursing assistant. 

“I like the thought of helping people, like being able to save their life,” Ortiz said.