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Rustic Spirit Spotlights: Sara, Tae’Shaun and Samantha
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Rustic Spirit Spotlights: Sara, Tae’Shaun and Samantha

Teens have the power to change the world, and they are! Young people are doing amazing work in their communities. We are recognizing and celebrating these individuals in our Rustic Spirit Spotlights.

Sara Mantei
Age 16
Cardinal Newman School
Columbia, South Carolina

Sara practices servant leadership through community service. The service that’s closest to her heart is the time spent visiting senior citizens and retired veterans. During these meetings, Sara interviews them, tries to bring more excitement and joy into their lives, and offers help or resources to use in the future. In return, many of the senior citizens offer wisdom and advice that Sara feels is extremely beneficial to her own life choices!

Currently, Sara is thinking of majoring in finance with a minor in marketing. She enjoys running, watching TV shows with her 4 year-old sister, playing the piano, and most of all, traveling.

Sara encourages others who want to make a difference to find something they’re passionate about. The best way to make a difference is to be dedicated and committed.

Tae’Shaun Presswood
Age 17
Herbert Hoover High School
Des Moines, Iowa

Tae’Shaun is raising awareness for community staples that need attention through the Historic Preservation Plan with the city of Des Moines. One way he’s doing this at school is participating in clubs like student collective and Husky crew, which aim to set an example for Hoover underclassmen.

After high school, Tae’Shaun plans to major in either biology or chemistry to pursue his dream of becoming an anesthesiologist. For fun, he enjoys bowling, going to the movies and hanging out with friends and family.

Tae’Shaun says never change yourself to fit someone else’s narrative. Strive to do the right thing when no one is watching.

Samantha Walter
Age 17
Rice Memorial High School
Burlington, Vermont

Samantha makes a positive impact by volunteering at the Red Cross in her community. She also organizes community service events for the Refugee Outreach Club.

In college, Samantha plans to major in biology and aspires to be a physician in the future. She loves to play volleyball and to play with her dogs.

Samantha advises others to do what they love, and inspiration to do good will follow.

Nominate a Student

Do you know a student doing valuable work that deserves to be recognized? Nominate them here! Are you making an impact? Tell us about your work here.

Make Change

Interested in creating change in your community? Check out our guide and learn how to make an impact as a student.

At Rustic Pathways, our goal is to make positive contributions to the communities we visit through responsible travel operations and community service projects that contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

About the Author

Kayla Anzalone