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Core Values: Criesco shows his apt for Empathy

Camden Criesco, a senior, helps Ben Coffman, another senior, with a project for Leadership. Photo by Josh Howser

When you think of Empathy, what does it mean to you?

At Bear River, there are many good examples of Empathy. We have students that help each other in times of need, we have events to support natural disasters, we have all-around good people. However, to personify Empathy at Bear River, there’s no clear choice other than Senior Camden Criesco. He is known to most everyone at the school, and claims the unofficial title of “nicest person at Bear River.” His happy persona lights up his peers as he walks through the halls, greeting and talking to people as he goes.

Principal Amy Besler elaborated on what makes Criesco such an amazing example of Bruin Empathy.

“Camden is a prime example of a Bruin who demonstrates empathy every day,” Dr. Besler said. “He is genuine, caring, and compassionate toward everyone with whom he interacts. When you talk to Camden, you never feel judged; you feel like he’s really listening to you and interested in you as a unique individual. Additionally, Camden is generous, helpful, appreciative, and positive. He makes those of us lucky enough to know him want to be better.”

Though Criesco is known for his trademark happiness, it wasn’t always that way in his household growing up.

“I was born in Napa, California,” he said. “I lived there for about 2 years until I moved up here to Grass Valley… I lived for a little bit with both my parents, then my parents, they got divorced, so then I lived where I do now, with my dad… and my mom, I see her occasionally, she lives down in Colfax.”

Even though his parents separated, he thinks that the experience helped shape him into the empathetic person he is today.

“I think it’s helped, since they were divorced, being over at my mom’s is totally different from being over at my dad’s,” Criesco said. “Like, I kind of adjusted to having to be in two different environments. When I was little, my mom tried to raise me like ‘oh, you gotta make your bed’ and you gotta do all sorts of stuff, and when I was little I was like ‘I don’t wanna do that’, so at my mom’s I didn’t do that, but kind of like as it progressed, it became, I had to kind decide what was kind of important for me, like later when I couldn’t to see my mom, I made my bed because that mattered to me. It kind of got to the point where someone wasn’t getting on me about it, I had to decide to be independant. I decided that was what I wanted to do.”

Criesco also told about what Empathy is to him and what he does to be the empathetic person he is everyday.

“A lot of it is really open mindedness and understanding where people are coming from, really being open to seeing different perspectives of what people are maybe going through,” he said. “I feel like you need to think about how it feels for yourself and kind of ‘doing onto others as you would do to yourself’, the golden rule and all that. Really just doing stuff that you’d really be like ‘hey I’d appreciate that if someone did that for me’ so I’d do that. Also I try my best to see people and if I can tell if it seems that they aren’t doing too well, I try reaching out to them and make sure that they’re alright, doing good. I know for me, I just want to feel cared for. It’s good for everything I feel like… we’re all really in this together.”

One of Camden’s closest friends, Senior Seth Davenport, talked about how Criesco helped him through their younger years.

“We’ve been friends since second grade and he was the only one that was there for me in elementary school and middle school too,” Davenport said. “He introduced me to a lot of people so I got to know a lot of people through Camden.”

Senior Matt Snyder, another one of Camden’s close friends, described what it’s like being close with the nicest guy in school.

“Just having him as a friend is really great because he’s so genuinely interested in everyone and how they feel,” said Snyder. “I’ve had some really good conversations with him that are really deep down and honest. He’s just a really awesome friend and just good guy to be around.”

Even though Camden is a prime example of Bruin Empathy, Dr. Besler also explained that you didn’t just have to look at Criesco to see Empathy.

“Of course, I could also name countless other students who are also highly empathetic,” she said. “This is one of the many special things about Bear River… people who visit our campus comment to me all the time about how kind, caring, thoughtful, and helpful our kids are.”

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Core Values: Criesco shows his apt for Empathy