Start student strives for leadership on, off the fieldWritten by Brandi Barhite | Community Ombudsman | firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie Spencer, 16, is a leader who doesn’t rely on titles — or her broom — to make a difference.
“I think I am a leader not just because I am a president of a club, but with my friends and everything. I try to set an example and help other people — help them get on their way to do things they want to do.”
Spencer, a junior at Start High School, is captain of the school’s broomball team, a sport that is a mix of ice hockey and field hockey. She is also president of the French Club, as well as a member of the National Honor Society and Toledo’s Youth in Philanthropy Encouraging Excellence. Spencer is trying to help arrange a school trip to France, and traveling Europe is also on her itinerary after high school.
“I am thinking Central Michigan or University of Cincinnati and studying journalism,” she said. “I want to be a writer, a broadcast journalist.”
Spencer’s motto is to accept life’s ups and downs.
“My parents are still married and I have not gone through a divorce. … “I have friends who have gone through stuff like that and deaths in the family. I see what that can do to you and I try to help them.”
Spencer is already making plans for her senior year. She is going to take post-secondary classes at UT, and she is thinking about running for president or vice president of the National Honor Society. She also wants to remain in the top four of her class, which includes 400 students.
Even though some people criticize Toledo Public Schools (TPS), Spencer has been happy with her TPS education, she said. Her parents went to Start, as did her aunts and uncles. Her older brother, Alex Spencer, also went to Start. She considers him a mentor.
“He has always helped me and if I get stressed out about anything, he is always there.”
Alex Spencer, 19, said his sister is a leader at home and at school.
“I was only at Start with her for one year with her, her freshman year, and she was getting to know people and she started to get involved in activities,” he said. … “We don’t let her get too full of herself at home. She is very good at getting things done for the family.”