Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jocelyn Rowley

Student-athlete of the Week: Mary Stischer


April 25, 2018

Photo by Jocelyn Rowley Senior forward Mary Stischer heads down field against Longmont on April 18.

For recognition of her “truly extraordinary understanding of service, leadership, and duty,” the National WWII Museum has selected Niwot senior Mary Stischer as the Colorado recipient of the Billy Michal Student Leadership Award for 2018. Stischer will be recognized at the Museum’s American Spirit Awards Gala, which will be held June 7-8 in New Orleans.

Stischer was nominated for the award by Niwot social studies teacher Beth Lozen, who noted the senior’s penchant for “enriching the lives of those around her.”

“When I learned about the Billy Michal Student Leadership Award, I immediately thought of Mary,” Lozen wrote in an email. “Mary has contributed a considerable amount of time to providing service both internationally and in our community, and embodies leadership, perseverance, and positivity on a daily basis.”

Stischer’s passion for community service has kept her busy both in and out of the classroom during her four years at Niwot. As high-achieving student in the school’s demanding IB program, she has participated in several service initiatives, and recently traveled to South America to complete her required Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) project.

“I organized a fundraiser at my elementary school and used that money to buy books for a children’s home in Peru,” she said. “Then I went there over the summer and helped build a playground for the children’s home. I spent a week working at least eight hours each day. When we weren’t working, we spent time playing with the children, which was a lot of fun. We tried to build personal connections with the children while we were there."

Stischer is also a three-year varsity member of Niwot’s varsity soccer team, and has had brief stints with the swimming, volleyball and track programs. She is also co-leader and choreographer of the Niwot Hip Hop Club, which performs during school assemblies and other events.

“Mary’s such a hard worker,” Niwot head soccer coach Stephen Dimit said, echoing Lozen’s sentiments. “She brings a calming presence to the whole team, and she’s done it for year. She never freaks out. She’s all calm, all the time.”

Stischer had some thoughtful advice for students who might be struggling to balance their academic workload with sports and other extra-curricular activities.

“Find joy in the things you do because that motivates you to keep working at it even it’s hard,” she said. “Find the thing that makes you want to be involved, and then you’ll be involved your entire life.”

After graduation, Stischer plans to attend CSU and study neuroscience, but hasn’t made up her mind about a future career. She hopes to play intramural or club soccer, and plans to remain active in community-focused organizations.

“Service is really what makes me happy,” she said. “Just really giving back to the community is what I want to do.”


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