This month’s National Renaissance Student of the Month is Avery Soltesz from Warrior Run High School in Turbotville, PA. Nominator Andrea Landis writes (lightly edited):

Avery Soltesz is a senior at Warrior Run High School. In the beginning of November,  Avery organized an event at our school entitled ‘My Jersey, Your Impact.’ Each of our seniors involved in a Fall sport or band had the opportunity to recognize a teacher/staff member for having an impact on them. In order to maintain the surprise for all staffulty, Avery worked with other members of Student Council to plan all of the logistics necessary to pull off the event. She coordinated which student was recognizing which faculty member, what time it would occur, and where the students’ jerseys would be hung outside of the teachers’ classrooms. The emotions were high as students presented their teachers with their jersey and shared the reasons why that teacher had made an impact on them. The jerseys hung outside of the teachers’ classrooms for the next few days while parent conferences were held. In our lobby, a space was dedicated to our Band Director who lost her battle to cancer in 2019. Avery dedicated her majorette uniform to Mrs. Doll and shared the impact that she had on Avery’s life. Avery spearheaded an event for the first time at Warrior Run which will like become a tradition at the conclusion of each sports seasons! Avery is truly living out what it means to be a Defender and we are proud of her!

How long have you been involved with Renaissance?

In 2016, a few of my friends and I planned a Mini-Thon. In order to do this, we all had to step up and really get involved with Renaissance.

What’s a favorite Renaissance moment for you?
One of my many favorite moments so far had to be the My Jersey, Your Impact day we had at school this year that I planned. It is crazy to me to think how unappreciated the teachers are at our school. I will never forget the looks on their faces when the students gave the teachers their jerseys. Even though I was not the one receiving the jersey, it was even impactful to me. Some of the teachers felt so appreciated that they started crying. I couldn’t believe that no one has ever told them how appreciative we are for them.

How has Renaissance impacted your school’s culture?
I feel that there are a lot of kids in our school that didn’t know what this was until this year when it was really brought into our school. This year, students have really come together through this way of leadership and communication with one another. This has made us stronger as a school and I cannot wait to see what happens in the future.

How has Renaissance affected you personally?
Personally I have been affected in many ways. I feel that I am more a part of our school now that I am really involved with Renaissance. I have been given so many leadership opportunities this year and I take them every chance I get. It has made me a stronger, confident person and I feel that I can be myself now.

What advice would you give to someone just starting with Renaissance?
I would say that no matter what happens never give up. There are definitely some rough patches that come along with being involved such as not believing in yourself. Sometimes you may feel like it’s too much for you and that you won’t be able to do it, but you can. I thought the same thing. I was too scared to step up at first, but now I feel like a new and better person. Overall, never take advantage of a chance to lead and make your community a better, more positive place to live in.

Click here to read one of several articles in local newspapers about “My Jersey, Your Impact.”

Avery will receive a water bottle and a lapel pin in recognition of her achievement.

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