Seth Ahlers

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Seth Ahlers

Eli Adams, Staff Writer

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It’s unusual for the Family and Consumer Sciences Sterling Scholar to be a boy. But Seth Ahlers is not your average boy. When he was 14, one of his classes was working on a humanitarian project, trying to raise money for Heifer International, a nonprofit that helps poor rural people in developing countries by giving them a cow, goat, or other farm animal. Ahlers’ teacher gave the students a fundraising challenge with an entrepreneurial twist: She started each student with one dollar and asked them to grow that dollar into a donation to the livestock charity.

Ahlers spent some time thinking about what kind of skills he had that he could use to raise money, and decided that, because he’d been babysitting since he was nine years old, taking care of kids was his super power. So he advertised himself to babysit, and used the dollar to buy some small treats and gifts for the children. By the end of the fundraiser, he had raised over $60.

This story demonstrates some of Ahlers’ key qualities: he’s hard working, dedicated, creative, and he loves kids.  When it came time to pick a path to pursue for sterling scholar Ahlers knew exactly where his interests were.

“It’s been a passion of mine. I love babysitting i love working with kids. It really turned out to be my first money making opportunity,” Ahlers said.

Ahlers’ favorite part of his Family and Consumer Sciences curriculum has been learning to make  lesson plans for young children. He spent time working with the kids at the Highland daycare: “I had a lot of fun learning how to plan activities for kids, but also modify them due to specific needs.”

In a way, Ahlers was destined to be a Family and Consumer Sciences superstar. According to Mariana Ahlers, his mother, “Seth’s grandmother was actually, what it was known as at the time, a home economics teacher. She was a devout and proud person who loved to help others. She was, in fact, the one in charge of awarding the Family and Consumer Sciences Sterling Scholar position. This makes makes the award all the more personal to our family and a much higher honor.”

Though Ahlers’ grandmother passed away years ago, Mrs Ahlers recounted, “It dawned on me how proud she would of been of him. It has made me really really proud of him!”

Among Ahlers’ family and friends, it is a well known fact that his goal in life is to be a stay-at-home dad. This is largely in due to his love for kids and his strong family values.Hearing of his plan to be a stay at home dad, Ahlers’ mom said she tells him, “marry yourself a rich woman.”

But Ahlers is more that just an in-demand babysitter and future Mr. Mom to Mrs. Moneybags. He’s also Highland’s Spirit Chair. This means that, he’s responsible for making Highland sporting events a fun and energetic environment for the student body. In everyday terms, that means that he leads the students in cheers and keeps them excited and prideful throughout the game.

Although the Spirit Chair shows equal support to all the sporting events, his most high profile platform is at football games, leading the Black Hole. He stands on a small platform on the wall in front of the middle section of the bleachers, where the student body gathers, decked out in their blackest Highland attire. He raises the iconic Highland megaphone to his mouth, and with a commanding voice, shouts, “here we go Highland, here we go!” or “you’ve gotta want it to win it, and we want it more!” The students react with genuine enthusiasm and excitement. Seth’s school spirit is infectious.

“I love student government. It gets kind of crazy,” he said, “We’re at that point of the year when it’s just 24/7. There’s never a dull moment. Sports is one of my big passions so being spirit chair is a lot of fun for me. I’m a full time Highland cheering section,” said Ahlers.

Though not part of his official duties as Spirit Chair, Seth brings the same support and leadership into his everyday interactions and friendships with other Highland students. I have known Ahlers since he was a sophomore and I was still in middle school, and he has always tried to treat everyone with respect and be a peacemaker. He’s a friend to everyone, no matter what controversy or drama is happening around him. You can always tell when someone has been around Ahlers recently, because not only are they happier, but they’re visibly more animated and upbeat.

Whether it’s wrangling young children, trying to inspire fans at a Highland football game, or in his everyday life as a Highland Ram, Ahlers’ enthusiasm, infectious energy, and the genuine care he has for others help him excel. I guess you could say that he’s taken the art of channeling the energies of rowdy youngsters into productive uses to new heights. He’s certain to use those leadership skills to be a force for good in our community for years to come.

 

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