Roche makes a change one smile at a time

By Evan Riley, Staff Writer

“Making one person smile can change the world; maybe not the whole world, but their world,” Liam Roche said.  Sophomore, Liam Roche lives by this motto every day, making it his mission to put a smile on someone’s face.

A couple months prior to the start of 2nd grade, Roche had to adjust to a new environment after moving from Wilmington, North Carolina to Portland, Oregon. He noticed that it was much easier to make friends here then his previous residence.  “Kids seemed to be more friendly and approachable here,” Roche said, “I don’t know if it’s the laid back culture or all the trees in the environment, but people in Oregon are great. This motivated me to try and be friends with everyone so I didn’t have any enemies.”

Ever since the day he was born, Roche has always been very social and in an uplifting mood no matter the circumstances. An example of this was in 5th grade when a classmate, Armando Gallegos, passed away which left the kids and staff devastated. Roche was staying positive doing everything he could to cheer people up. His positive energy really made an impact. “I always try to overcome the negative things in life and think positive thoughts,” Roche said, “This keeps my head up even if I might not be having the best day.”

Throughout elementary school at Charles F. Tigard, Roche continued to do good for the community. He helped with starting the school’s very own garden in 2010 called the Garden of Dreams. Roche and others volunteered several hours into the layout and planting process. CFT really needed something like this and Roche helped make it possible.

Liam grew up with two brothers and a sister with his mom raising the four of them mainly on her own, due to the kid’s not having a father figure in their life. This is one of the reasons why Roche has so much respect for her. “My mom has done so much for me throughout the years and I couldn’t ask for a better role model in my life,” Roche said, “She has built me into the man I am today and I truly appreciate that.”

Following the first week of middle school, all of 6th grade was wondering where Roche was or what happened to him. This shows how many people cared about him and all the friends he had made throughout the years. People soon found out that Roche was forced to go to charter school for junior high. This was upsetting to everyone considering what a big impact he left on people’s daily lives.  School just wasn’t the same without Roche making jokes and creating laughter and no one ever forgot about him and the kindness he reflected.

Roche was back freshman year after a long three years without everyone’s best friend. He continues to do good for the community and makes people smile daily.