This month’s National Renaissance Student of the Month is Stephanie Gripp from Bureau Valley High School in Manlius, IL. Her nominator writes (lightly edited):

“Stephanie found out the importance of the Renaissance Program as she entered her freshman year at Bureau Valley High School and over the past three and a half years, she has dedicated her time to the program and her passion has only grown. Stephanie has attended the National Conference the past three years and always tries to implement what she learns at the conference. When a new Renaissance sponsor needed to be found, she worked with the administration and other members to find another sponsor and helped ensure a smooth transition. She has also been asked by the administration to help with the organization of the school’s leadership conference that brings together local Jostens Renaissance schools. She has taken her passion for the program to help maintain it because she has seen and felt how implementing the ideals of Jostens Renaissance impacts the Bureau Valley School culture and improves the students’ time at the school.”

Stephanie shares her Renaissance story:

What’s a favorite Renaissance moment for you?
My favorite Renaissance moment is running into the first session of my first JRNC in 2016. We had camped out in front of the doors and the crowd just surged forward when the doors were opened. In my run to the front row I somehow lost a shoe. The next two years I went back and I always managed to lose a shoe at some point. JRNC energized me each year I attended. My passion for creating a change in my high school grew with every breakout and general session I attended. I was able to take back not only ideas but energy to Bureau Valley High School.

How has Renaissance impacted your school’s culture?
Renaissance at Bureau Valley has really worked to make the school a welcoming place. The physical environment of the school has changed tremendously in the past few years. BV Renaissance has made school a home away from home for our students and staffulty.

How has Renaissance affected you personally?
My freshman year, I wanted to be a leader but didn’t really know how to do that besides being a part of my school’s FFA chapter and maybe a class office. Renaissance showed me how I can be a leader and make a difference for my entire school not just people I would normally be around. Renaissance made me step outside my comfort zone and leave a positive mark on my school. Renaissance has pushed me and impacted me more than I could ever fit inside a small paragraph.

What advice would you give to someone just starting with Renaissance?
Roll with the punches. Nothing is ever going to go perfectly and as a student you cannot control everything in the school. Stay passionate and roll with punches no matter what is thrown at you. You will make a difference (even if it’s just for one person) even if you can’t always see it because things didn’t go just how you want.

Stephanie will receive a shirt and a lapel pin, and was entered into a drawing for free registration to this year’s Jostens Renaissance National Conference.

To nominate someone in your school for the National Renaissance Student of the Month honor, click here.

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