Chartiers Valley student's message heard, and seen, loud and clear
By Dan Stefano
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, 8:58 p.m.
Heidi Schmidt took her message home, but the wind had other ideas.
With the help of other Students Against Destructive Decisions club members, the Chartiers Valley senior decked out the front of her family's Scott home on Oct. 17 with a pair of huge red ribbons and a banner reading “The Best Me is Drug Free.”
“They didn't last very long,” Schmidt said. “It was pretty windy the day we did them, so they fell down the next day.”
The purpose was served, though. Pictures of the enlightening home went out to the National Family Partnership as Chartiers Valley's entry into the group's nationwide Red Ribbon contest. Winners will receive an iPad and $1,000 for their school.
As for the wind? That could have been a gust left behind by Schmidt, one of the busiest students you're likely to meet. Her role as co-president of Chartiers Valley's SADD chapter is just the tip of an iceberg loaded with charitable endeavors, academic groups and sports.
“I always take on more than I can, but I always find a way,” Schmidt said.
The high-honor roll student's gaudy list of extracurriculars includes being president of the National Honor Society, as well as membership in the Spanish and Quilting clubs and Quiz Bowl team. She also was a four-year letterwinner on the Colts' soccer team.
Is that all?
“No,” Schmidt said last week between classes, “because right now I'm trying to organize tutoring for honors bio kids. There's like 24 of them, and I have a presentation after school.”
The presentation was about one of the highlights of her stacked calendar the past year — a trip to Costa Rica.
Through a World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh scholarship, Schmidt went to the Central American country with a group of students from across the nation. The month-long visit included a stay with a host family and trips to the rainforest and a chocolate farm.
“It was more about learning how the country functions, how the people live, compared to a tourist thing,” she said. “It was definitely an amazing experience and something that has encouraged me.”
There has already been plenty of encouragement, though. Just take a look at the success of Schmidt's nonprofit — yes, she's a business owner, too.
In the sixth grade, with some family and friends, Schmidt helped start Kids and a Cause. The group sells purses, blankets, jewelry and other products to raise money for UPMC's Hillman Cancer Center.
“So far, we've raised over $15,000 in the past six years,” she said.
The work also steered Schmidt toward a future she hopes is spent as a cancer researcher. Applying to such universities as Columbia, Case Western, Duke and North Carolina, she plans to study biomedical engineering next fall.
But, believe it or not, she might take a breather first.
“For this year, I want to try and have some free time,” Schmidt said, “but I'll probably just fill it with something else, just knowing me.”
Dan Stefano is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-388-5816.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.