Brandon Goss and Lexi Mckinley create an inviting community


Finding importance in building community, Brandon Goss, Class of 2005, has worked to bring teens in the West Linn community together.

After graduating from West Linn, Goss attended college at Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash. When he returned to West Linn, he sought to stay involved in the community through working with students in sports and Young Life, a program that helps create friendships through leadership and religion for kids ages 11 to 18. This year Goss’s two-year contract as an administrator expired, but he still tries to come to different Young Life events such as club and campaigners when he can.

“Brandon was a role model for me. He was also my bible study leader, so I was able to come to him whenever I needed help or advice,” Aaron Erdahl, sophomore, said.

Goss served as a leader as a three sport athlete in baseball, football and wrestlling all four years of high school. “I had a great sense of community with the guys on all three teams. we developed a sense of brother good,” Goss said.

Apart from sports, Goss was extremely involved in Young Life. Known for his leadership skills and high spirits, Goss tries to teach and practice being a role model.

In his earlier years of high school, Goss described himself as extremely shy and avoided any kind of personal encounters. When he started playing for the West Linn baseball team and became more involved in Young Life, he became more comfortable with himself and others. As he grew older, Goss started to visualize how to present himself, how to be a good listener and how to be intentional.

Remembering his own different influences through his high school years, Goss wants to have the chance to help guide students at West Linn to feeling comfortable in their own skin. He believes that being involved in Young Life and sports is a great way to bring students together.

“Being involved in something can break the social barriers and is the easiest way of bringing different cliques together,” Goss said.

Goss brings West Linn students together and has played a major role in some students lives by acting as a leader through Young Life and sports. He encourages people to become spiritual and lead them onto the right path. A current West Linn student, Lexi McKinley, senior, has embraced Goss’s teaching and attempts to pass it on throughout the community by setting a good example.

McKinley has been very involved throughout this year in high school with dance team, cheerleading and ASB. McKinley has been involved in Young Life since sixth grade and has grown up feeling like she was part of a community.

When she was younger, McKinley looked up to her leader who helped her grow and become what she is today. By always listening to her leader’s advice, McKinley became more “comfortable showing herself and not always following the status quo.”

McKinley feels that Young Life is a great way to stay involved in the community and “an amazing chance to bring high schoolers together and help people feel wanted and involved.”

By setting a good example and being comfortable in their own skin, both Goss and McKinley serve in a leadership role.