March 21, 2010 in Idaho Voices

Finding her niche

Lakeland junior a student leader
Patty Hutchens
 
Kathy Plonka photo

Alex Winslow, a junior at Lakeland High School, is interested in student government and leadership.
(Full-size photo)

Winslow’s favorites

Authors: John Grisham, Dean Koontz

TV show: “The Middle”

Film: “Sleepless in Seattle”

Musicians: John Mayer, Jack Johnson, Coldplay

Food: Lasagna and chocolate milk

Place she would most like to visit: Europe

Just before her freshman year, Alex Winslow tore an anterior cruciate ligament during a summer soccer tournament and was forced to withdraw from sports while her injury healed. While many teens would be discouraged, Alex turned her disappointment into a chance to explore new opportunities.

“It took me out of sports, but it also spurred me to get involved in other school activities. So in the end, it was probably the best thing,” said Winslow, 16.

A confident, articulate and energetic junior at Lakeland High School in Rathdrum, she leaves one with little doubt that she will succeed in life.

Alex is in her third year on the student council and this year serves as the Associated Student Body treasurer. Her goal for next year? President of the ASB.

“In student council, we are intertwined with everything that goes on in our school,” Winslow said. “I love putting on events and revamping our school spirit.”

But Winslow’s leadership role extends far beyond the walls of Lakeland High School. Earlier this year she served as a mentor to sixth-grade students after she was chosen to serve as a Drug Abuse Resistance Education role model. Selected by local law enforcement following an interview process, Winslow spoke to the younger students about how to avoid peer pressure.

“We try to be good examples of how to behave in high school,” Winslow said.

She also serves as president of Idaho Drug Free Youth – an organization whose mission is to eliminate alcohol, tobacco and other drug use among young people.

Winslow spent a portion of her summer last year as a volunteer at Kootenai Medical Center.

She said she enjoys helping out in the special-education classroom at Lakeland High School where she works one on one with the students. She smiles with pride as she describes how she successfully taught one student to write the date on her paper.

“It is interesting to work in there and see what teachers go through every day,” said Winslow.

In spite of her busy schedule, Winslow still has time to commit to her studies.

“This past semester I got my first 4.0 in high school,” said Winslow, who is enrolled in all of the honors classes that are offered.

With a cumulative grade-point average of 3.58, Winslow is a member of the National Honor Society, where she serves as vice president of the scholarship committee and also was the project manager for a Read Across America book drive.

Most recently she was chosen to attend a Girls State conference in June where she and 300 delegates will be divided into nine groups representing cities. They will draft laws, formulate a budget, elect officials and carry out the governance of the fictitious city.

“The purpose of Girl’s State is to exercise citizenship and leadership,” Winslow said.

So what is it that inspires this young woman? According to her, it is her 19-year-old brother, Davis.

“He motivates me. He’s like my best friend,” Winslow said. “I always wanted to keep up with him.”

As for plans for the future, Winslow said her dream is to attend Princeton University and become a broadcast journalist covering the political scene for CNN.

For now, Winslow enjoys all of the activities she is involved in and said Lakeland High deserves a lot of credit for that.

“The environment at Lakeland makes the kids want to be better,” she said. “The staff and teachers are great.”

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