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Trinity student recognized as servant leader

Trinity High School student Andi Lefor doesn't hesitate to take on a service project, should it be it in school or the community.

"Leadership is an important attribute contributing to one's character, so I have worked hard to develop a stronger sense of leadership in myself," she said.

She is among the 44 graduates who will receive their diplomas during the Rose Mass and commencement that starts at 1:30 p.m. today in the THS auditorium.

Lefor is the daughter of Sherryl and Mike Lefor. She has two older brothers, Brett and Scott. The family is hosting an open house after graduation having a fiesta theme because of her love of Spanish.

"I really love the language and the culture -- I'm allergic to gluten and tacos is one of my go-to foods," she said.

The three Lefor children graduated from Trinity, as did their dad.

"I've always loved to learn; and at Trinity, I could explore my interests," Lefor said. "I could take Spanish and had really good English teachers who instilled in me a love of literature and grammar."

She has had numerous opportunities to foster her leadership skills while attending Trinity. She was president of the student council and senior class, a Leadership Dickinson participant and Prom Committee class representative.

"I did a lot of work planning the Golden Mass and the food drive for the Dorcas Society," she said. "Student council also put on jug wars that benefit children who wouldn't get Christmas gifts otherwise."

THS Principal Carter Fong recognizes Lefor as an excellent leader in a number of ways.

"We teach in school where the ultimate form of leadership is service," he said. "Andi is a servant leader -- that's the truest form of leadership.

Fong also describes Lefor as an eloquent speaker -- one who handles public speaking well.

"She is active in her faith, both in the building and in her own parish," he added.

While not actively involved in athletics, she said, "I'm a big sports fan -- I don't usually miss a game of any sport."

Lefor also appreciated her Trinity experience because of its Catholic identity. She transferred to Trinity as a seventh-grader, and has experienced both the public and parochial school systems.

"The Catholic identity makes Trinity stand apart from other schools," she said.

Lefor plans to major in communications at the University of Mary, with the goal of enrolling in the University of North Dakota Law School.

"Communications is one of my strong points and law is a good profession for people who are good communicators," she said.

She also referenced the novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird," in which, white man Atticus Finch defends a black man in a trial in the 1930s.

"That inspired me," he said. "I also thought law was a good profession if you're interested in politics. I definitely want to explore that when I get older. I think with the crisis in this country, we need young people to become leaders who aren't afraid to get things done."

She has received numerous recognitions, including Academic Olympics team captain, Science Olympiad team captain, Stark County Spelling Bee champion and a North Dakota History Day champion.

She participated in drama, dance team, speech team and was the Yearbook editor. She served as a track and softball manager and aspires to run in marathons.

Her volunteer opportunities were numerous.

"I firmly believe that every citizen holds a civic obligation to give back to his or her own community," Lefor said. "As such, I spend time volunteering at a variety of local organizations. In addition, my faith is very important to me, so I often work at my church."

One of her volunteering opportunities was teaching a CCD class with her "gal pal" Andrea Bliss at Queen of Peace Church. She and her brother, Scott, also were Mass servers, under the watchful eye of her dad who served as an usher, she said.

"She's very motivated," Sherryl said. "I have not told Andi to do homework ever since she was 5. She has planned her own parties since she was 6. The reason she's very organized is she has great multi-tasking skills and time-management skills. She has a great sense of humor and is very easy to be around."

Lefor has earned 52 dual credits taken through Dickinson State University and the U-Mary. She expects to complete college in two years. As a National Merit Scholar, she was awarded state tuition funding that can be applied to U-Mary.

Looking forward to graduation, she said, "I'm excited. I think I'm ready to move on. It's not really goodbye. My family will continue to stay connected to Trinity."