Endurance begins with “E”

I must say.

The one her teammates chose to recognize this season is the embodiment of the spirit the Highlander seeks to capture.

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When it comes to describing the one deemed worthy of this recognition, many words come to mind.

Like exemplary.  As in the level of character she has displayed whatever her role; student, athlete and citizen.  The high standards she has set for herself and how she chooses to conduct herself in all walks of her life.  The way she acknowledges through her words and deeds that accountability always starts from within.

And enthusiasm.  As in the way she approaches her responsibilities as a leader in athletics, in the classroom, on campus and within the community at large.  Showing all that a  positive attitude can help keep one focused on the moment despite unforeseen circumstances. That the same outlook on life helps one’s vision expand to see the a much bigger picture and the abundant  opportunity and blessings disguised as adversity.

Effort.  As in the way she goes all in.  Applies herself fully to everything she does, whether it is the learning that takes place on the field of play, in the classroom or during the pursuit of new  challenges.  She is driven to always give it her best, to “let go”, welcome risk and strive to finish even if it might mean falling short.

Or example. As in the way she instinctively chooses to lead.  To model the single most effective and lasting way to earn the respect of others.  To prove your respect for them not only in thought and word, but in deed.

Plus empathy.  As in the gift she has used to teach others some of the lessons her own personal triumphs and defeats have taught her.  Her talent to relate to, connect with and coach up others.   To recognize the potential for growth  that only mentoring through shared personal circumstances or adversity can provide for all.  How her caring elevates the relationship and fashions a bond that will lead others to do the same.

Lastly, endurance.  As in her fortitude, resolve and guts.  To stick with it no matter what.  To persevere up to, through and beyond doubt and disappointment because she wanted it bad enough.  Showing all that aligning your dreams and aspirations towards a bigger picture isn’t giving up.  That cultivating a level of patience to stay  the course, reinforced by faith led her to where she is today.  Never over her head  Just over the top.

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She has an awareness of and an appreciation for the caring application of her influence on those all around her – regardless of their age and stature.

Attributes indicative of the impression some other extraordinary people have made on her  throughout her life: parents, siblings, family, teachers, coaches and friends.

She  is a treasured friend of many, a cherished daughter  and sibling, and an esteemed citizen of the Homestead and Mequon-Thiensville community.

It is precisely  “who” she is, “what” she stands for and “how” she is to those around her  that so greatly enriches the entire Homestead High School community in untold ways.

Proof positive that it isn’t so much where you start.

Or even how long it takes you to get there.

But only that you find a way to finish.

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On behalf of the Homestead Sports Boosters, in recognition of  this young woman’s contributions to her team, her school and our community, I am honored to present the Highlander Award to someone who knows all about being exemplary, expending effort, leading by example, connecting with empathy, and being a model of  endurance .

Someone whose name just also happens to start with “E”

Elyssa Tracy.

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