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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Stella Penner finds her future in those around her

A picture of Stella and her campers over the summer

Junior Stella Penner is a people pleaser. 

Not a typical people pleaser, however. Stella is a people pleaser in the sense that she is continuously bringing joy to those around her. Spending time around people is an important aspect of life and being able to form meaningful connections is something that plays a crucial role in shaping someone into the person they are. With Stella’s people-pleasing personality, she has been able to do just that in her many forms of involvement. 

When Stella was around nine years old, her grandmother had gotten her into attending church service. Shortly after this, Stella’s time spent at the church grew into something more, as she began lending a helping hand and volunteering at church events. 

“When it’s Parent’s Night out at the church I help watch the kids,” Stella said. “I’ll help set up events and help run some things. I also [help with] the can drives and raising money for the church.” 

After volunteering at Cascade Christian Church for the past seven years, Stella has begun growing in her volunteering as new opportunities have been presented to her. Every summer, Stella volunteers as a camp counselor at Camp Crystal where she spends her time teaching and being a mentor to younger kids. 

“I spend the summer with children,” Stella said. “It’s just a lot of fun to get to teach them about God and do fun activities with them for a couple of weeks.” 

“Doing all of the things related to the kids has changed my perspective on wanting to change their lives in some way.”

— Stella Penner

This past fall, Stella was given the opportunity to coach FHC’s middle school volleyball team. Stella was able to coach the girls through the game, coordinate drills, and grow connections with the younger players she saw a piece of herself in. 

“It was just fun coaching the girls and seeing kind of a younger me through them,” Stella said. “[I got] a different perspective of the game, and I just wanted them to do good.” 

Stella’s love and connections with the kids she spends her time around have grown throughout her volunteering; so much so, that she has envisioned herself as a teacher, and is a current student in the Teacher Cadet course. 

At the end of each day, Stella alternates between the middle school and elementary school classes helping out teachers and spending time with the kids there. 

“When I’m with my first graders, I go out to recess with them,” Stella said. “I help my teacher do some small lessons. [I’ve taught] small lessons on capitals, and then [I’ve quizzed] a couple of kids with a spelling type of quiz.”

The time that Stella spends helping out teachers of different levels is what has led her to realize that she wants to continue her life evolving around helping younger kids. 

Stella says that the kids enjoy having her around, and she cherishes the moments with the students when she can be a mentor to them, whether it’s teaching the alphabet or genuinely talking to them. 

“When I’m at the middle school,” Stella said, “I [get to] talk to them more materially because they’re eighth graders, and I’ll see them next year.” 

For Stella, it’s not the babysitting at the church, spreading the gospel at summer camp, running drills on the court, or doing real-life teaching that matters, but the impact she’s having on those she’s spending her time around that has sparked the desire of teaching within her. 

“Doing all of the things related to the kids has changed my perspective on wanting to change their lives in some way because I know my teachers have done that for me in the past,” Stella said. “I’ve had some really good teachers who have helped me just want to do school, so I want to be that for somebody else.” 

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About the Contributor
Luccini Rodriguez
Luccini Rodriguez, Staff Writer
Luccini is a junior entering her first year writing for The Central Trend. She has enjoyed writing from a young age and finds comfort in turning her thoughts into stories. When she is not writing, you will find her on the volleyball court. She has been playing for six years and is a part of the varsity volleyball team here at FHC. Aside from writing and playing volleyball, she enjoys watching the sunset, traveling and seeing new things, and spending time with friends. Luccini is thrilled to be a part of writing for The Central Trend this year. Favorite season: 100% fall Favorite music artist: Zach Bryan Dream vacation: Hawaii and Santorini, Greece Lucky number: 3

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