by LIZ ONUFER | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

Sixteen and Singing Strong

Sixteen-year-old student star Alyssa Walker is as at home on a soccer field as she is on a stage. This Rancho Peñasquitos resident has found her niche in school, sports, and songwriting.

“I’ve been playing guitar since first grade and I started writing songs when I was 10,” Alyssa explained. As a musician, she has played venues across San Diego, including The Company Pub in Poway, Tin Roof in the Gaslamp, and O’Harleys. “I currently have over 20 originals and enjoy playing covers as well,” she shared. As for her material, “Usually my songs are about problems that others or I face, including love, hate, and teenage angst,” she said. “Some of my songs have deep meanings while others are just light-hearted and fun.” Currently, Alyssa co-hosts the open mic at Bad Ass Coffee on Wednesday nights.

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The community of Rancho Peñasquitos has provided a strong support system for Alyssa. “I’ve been really lucky to go to some amazing schools and make some lifelong friendships,” she acknowledged. In elementary and middle school, she was active in soccer, softball, and basketball. Since starting at Mt. Carmel High School, Alyssa has played soccer, been a member of the Key Club and SADD, and now as a junior, is in the all-female advanced choir, Bel Canto. “I love choir,” she shared, “and it’s helped me grow both vocally and with performing.”

“I’ve been playing guitar since first grade, and I started writing songs when I was 10.”

Alyssa’s family is supportive of her musical aspirations. “My parents tell me to follow my dreams and see where it takes me,” she said. “My grandma taught me how to play guitar so she is definitely one of my biggest inspirations.” Musically, Alyssa highlights Taylor Swift, Colbie Caillat, and Andy Grammar as influential artists. She plans to attend college to pursue a degree in music composition. “At this point I want to see how far I can make it as an artist, but if that doesn’t work out I would love to do something with songwriting – either for other artists, commercials, television, or movies.”

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Name: Alyssa Walker (16)
School: Mt. Carmel High School
Grade: 11
Parents: Jeff and Stacey Walker
Sibling: Joshua (13)
Favorite Local Spots in 92129: Bad Ass Coffee, Golden Bagel, Mt. Carmel High School, friends’ houses