Isabelle Manzano hopes to represent Sandy well with community service

The Sandy Mountain Festival’s youngest princess representative has a love of reading and high hopes for her future.

Isabelle Manzano, 12, said that when she found out that she had been chosen as Fourth Princess for the Mountain Festival’s Queen’s Court, she could hardly contain herself.

Isabelle received the phone call early Monday morning before she left for school. She said when asked if she would accept the position, all she did was scream — quite the feat since the pre-teen said she is not a morning person.

Isabelle will be part of the third generation in her family to serve on the Queen’s Court. Her grandmother was a princess in 1979, her aunt was a princess around 1990, and her two cousins served as well, in 2007.

After being home schooled for four years and moving to a few schools after that, Isabelle is now in the sixth grade at Oregon Trail Academy.

So far, she has been enjoying her time there. “It’s a good school,” she said.

Isabelle is a reader, a swimmer — though only weather permitting — and an animal lover.

One of her favorite books is “White Dolphin,” by Gill Lewis, and in the future she hopes to become a marine biologist.

“She’s got a heart for marine life,” said Isabelle’s mother, Kari Manzano, who added she has learned a lot from Isabelle’s love of marine science, especially on the subject of sharks.

“They seem to fascinate me for no reason,” Isabelle said. “Well, there has to be a reason, I just haven’t found it yet.”

Her favorite species of shark is the goblin shark, but she thinks the fascinating cookiecutter shark is a close second. by: POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Isabelle said she loves her Lhasa Apso, Chloe. They are always hanging out together.

But Isabelle’s love of animals isn’t confined to predatory fish. She also loves spending time with her dog, Chloe, and her robo dwarf hamster, Charlotte. She hopes that someday soon her parents will let her get a turtle as well.

If she doesn’t end up being a marine biologist, Isabelle wouldn’t mind being an actress or a pediatrician.

Because of her love of animals, she said friends have encouraged her to become a veterinarian.

“But I can’t stand an animal being killed,” she said. She said she even stops her dad when he goes to smash a spider.

Although it’s a long way off, Isabelle is mulling the possibility of going to George Fox University or Oregon State after high school.

When she’s not reading, acting or hanging out with her friends, Isabelle spends time volunteering to help others.

Just weeks ago, Isabelle was helping at Compassion Sandy, a free clinic for community members. Her dad is an interpreter for the clinic, and the two of them have volunteered together for the last two years.

Her grandfather is involved with Sandy Kiwanis, and she has volunteered for the Fly-In, Cruise In Breakfast and with the Christmas Basket program.

Isabelle has traveled to Mexico twice on missions trips to volunteer at an orphanage. She will leave soon on another trip with Good Shepherd Church to Greeley, Colo., where she will help in a retirement community.

“If we work together as a community, we turn out better,” Isabelle said. “It’s good to represent Sandy.”

Isabelle said she is most looking forward to enjoying hanging out with the rest of the court and meeting new people during the Mountain Festival.

She is a frequenter of the Farm Made Soap booth, always stocking up on goat’s milk soap and lotion.

Isabelle said that if she could give one piece of advice to other girls, it would be to be yourself.

“Don’t try to be anything else,” she said. “I was myself, and I got this.”

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