Profile: Elena Schwartz

Freshman Settles at Lincoln after Moving Throughout the US

Mackenzie Ward

By Mackenzie Ward

After moving from England to California, Florida, Washington DC, Hood River, Ohio, Las Vegas and now to Portland, Freshman Elena Schwartz has experienced a fast-paced life while moving continuously due to her father’s work in the US Air Force, or the USAF.

Since she was little, Schwartz has been moving from base to base as a result of her Dad’s constant job upgrades. Schwartz, currently 14-years-old, has lived in a total of nine locations since she was just a few months old.

“[My dad] had to move around the world, so we just followed him,” Schwartz says.

Although Schwartz had mostly positive experiences moving, she occasionally found it hard to assimilate to the places she moved.

“It usually took two months to adapt to each place. It depended on when school started because that’s where I made all my friends,” Schwartz said. “If we moved there during the summer, it sometimes took longer.”

Schwartz experienced one of these hard moves when she arrived in one of her most recent locations, Las Vegas.

“I really didn’t like it there, I didn’t meet a lot of friends and we didn’t like hanging out a lot. I lived on the edge of Las Vegas so it was really hard to go places.”

After her dad received a new job outside of the armed forces, Schwartz and her family adjusted to finally taking a rest and settling down in Portland, Oregon, around a year ago. Although it’s different from any place she’s lived before, she likes it here more than most of her previous homes.

“I like where I live because it’s close enough to downtown but not in downtown… I can take the bus wherever I want… it’s very accessible.”

After graduating from West Sylvan, Schwartz is now a freshman at Lincoln.

“My middle school in Las Vegas was way bigger than Lincoln,” she says with a laugh. “I guess it’s kind of a small school, which is good because then you get to meet more people and feel more included in the community.”

Her dad is now retired from the USAF, but Schwartz doesn’t plan on staying in Portland her whole life.

“I want to live in Pasadena, California for a while. I thought it was really cool there, they have SpaceX and JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory).”

Schwartz doesn’t know what she wants to study, but she has a small idea of what she may want to be when she’s older.

“I really want to learn how to fly a plane, but I don’t want to go into the Air Force because I don’t want to have to move around based on what the Air Force tells me to do.”

All Schwartz knows for sure is that she has only just started when it comes to her adventures in traveling.

“I’m going to be staying here in Portland until I’m done with high school at least,” she says. “I’ll move around more [because] I’m probably not done yet.”

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