Balancing ActPublished 5:00am Saturday, March 10, 2012
Balancing school, athletics and work are simply part of life for Escambia County High School student Stacie Young — but Young’s daily to-do list also includes helping to support her family.
Young, a senior, is not your typical student-athlete. She takes on many roles, including daughter, sister, aunt, employee, student, cheerleader and right fielder.
Being able to juggle so many responsibilities has helped one of Young’s dreams become a reality: She was recently awarded a $2,500 achievement scholarship through the Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Program. Young’s scholarship recognizes not only her achievements in the classroom and on the athletic field, but also how she has overcome adversity.
At home, Young lives with her mother, Latisha, her three sisters and her niece. Her role at home is as a support to her family members, whether through household chores or financial help.
For Young, the ability to help her mother and siblings is important.
“Our father is not involved, so my mom has to do it all herself,” Young said. “That makes this scholarship help out even more. I try to help as much as I can. When she needs gas to get back and forth to work, I will give her my money to help her get there. If we need to get food for our family, I will pitch in my money to help us get it.”
All of those responsibilities make a day in the life of Stacie Young busy.
“It’s pretty exhausting,” she said. “I have school all day then I have to make it to softball practice, and then after that, I have to make it to work, which is followed by Ivy League practice, which is like a step team. Once all of that is done, I have to go home and clean up at home. There is always a day when I have to wash dishes or do something around the house, but it’s really important for me to do all of that for my family. Without family, we have no one to turn to, and they are who I turn to, so I do my best to help them.”
The key to Young’s ability to keep up with all of daily tasks has come down to balancing her life out.
Managing her time properly has been an asset that has helped her succeed in school, work and athletics, she said.
“There’s a lot on my plate,” she said. “I do what I can to split up my time how it best fits me. If I have to work, I’ll make sure that it works around my practice schedule. Most of the time, I try to spend my time at school finishing my homework, so I don’t fall behind to keep my grades up.”
With graduation quickly approaching, the burden of responsibility will not slow down, as she prepares herself for college.
That’s why winning the Bryant-Jordan scholarship was a monumental accomplishment for Young, who said she did not know how to react to the announcement.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Young said. “I didn’t think I was going to get a scholarship this year, but when I found out I got this, I was shocked and surprised. I didn’t know what to do or say. I was just so excited.”
To even have the opportunity to achieve this scholarship, Young needed letters of recommendation from administrators at Escambia County High School, which she received from several including athletic director Mark Heaton.
Young’s ability to maneuver through life, school and athletics with successful results made her an excellent candidate for the scholarship, Heaton said.
“The qualifications for the achievement of that award are for someone who has overcome obstacles in their life whether it be at school, at home or in the community,” he said. “It is for a person who has been able to overcome and excel academically and athletically. Stacie has done all of those things. She is a unique young lady that is hard working and has a great head on her shoulders. We are excited that she has the opportunity to receive more scholarship money, but we are just thrilled with what she has already received.”
Heaton said he recognized the effort Young puts into helping her family during their times of need along with how she carries herself at ECHS.
Her strong attitude in adversity is what the award is all about, Heaton said — which Heaton knows first-hand, as a previous recipient of the award as a senior in high school.
“I didn’t understand at the time why I was worthy of that award,” Heaton said. “The tough times we had were normal for me because it’s just what we had to go through. Stacie loves life; she loves this school and that’s the kind of person you look for. Someone who has overcome things, but doesn’t feel like she has had to overcome anything. That’s what led us to her.”
Now with one scholarship in hand, Young is preparing to take her academic career to the next level. After graduation, Young plans to attend Faulkner State Community College for two years before transferring to Alabama A&M University. At Faulkner, Young hopes to tryout for the cheerleading squad, which would give her another scholarship if she makes it.
“It’s a lot of help for me and my family,” she said. “I was glad I won this scholarship because when I go to Faulkner, I am going to try out for their cheerleading squad, and if I make it, I will get a full scholarship to go there. That along with this scholarship will really help my mom out a lot because there are five of us with just her at home.”
The opportunity to go to college is something Young has worked hard for because of the support and guidance of her mother, she said.
“It’s a big dream because my momma always said she wanted us to do better than she could do,” she said. “She didn’t get a chance to go to college, so for me to have the opportunity to go college is overwhelming for her. It’s exciting for us, though.”