2009 IESA Scholar Attitude Award

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Emma Ross

Emma Ross

Stanford Olympia


Emma Ross is an eighth grader at Stanford Olympia Middle School.

This high achieving teenager shares a story about her younger brother, Grant, when talking about the value of sportsmanship. Her real life example of his determination and positive attitude inspires her because she says he was 5 years old when he was diagnosed with Perthes Syndrome, a condition that causes the ball in the hip to collapse. Months in a wheelchair and years in leg braces didn't slow him down, playing soccer despite the braces.

However, it's not soccer that Emma loves playing herself as much as participating in track, softball, basketball, and volleyball. She was voted most valuable player in volleyball. She has been involved in student council and chorus as well.

She admires her softball coach Al Toliver most describing an incident when he hit a deer on his motorcycle and found himself in the hospital with multiple injuries. During that stay, her team won the regional championship and visited their coach who said three words - "always be safe." She has taken his lesson to heart and drew strength from his good example to stand up to her teammates about bad mouthing each other. She credits Coach Toliver with making her a better person.

The one change to make in the world? She wishes teen girls felt better about themselves. She says their destructive focus on image is worthless when they have the power to change real things such as society's attitudes on women's voting rights and governmental involvement all over the world.

Her career choice is special education, a decision she made after being touched by the life of a special little girl named Hannah who brightened her day every time she saw her.

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