Seemingly quiet and reserved, junior Danielle Hightower walks the halls and attends soccer practice as a leader-by-example type. She manages to balance a busy schedule of playing for the school’s soccer team, an out-of-school select team and multiple advanced courses without failing at anything.
During classes, she keeps her opinions to herself. But underneath her silence lies an opinionated, independent-thinking individual with a strong relationship with her mother and a desire to begin her own business, using her soccer skills to get her there.
Hightower began soccer at the local YMCA, and later got scouted for a select team, Polaris 96s, and continues to play for them. She plans on using this ability to get herself a scholarship to attend college, where she plans to major in two languages: Spanish and Korean. Hightower wants to get a degree in business as well, and start her own business.
“I want to be an entrepreneur. I like the idea of working around people,” Hightower said.
As for her personal life, Hightower earned the title of captain on her JV soccer team last year. Although a self-proclaimed introvert, she owes her title to her leadership abilities and different way of thinking. Hightower’s views on the world around her and how it works differ from her peers’, and she shares them only when she feels comfortable enough.
“I like to know who I’m dealing with before I talk to them,” Hightower said.
Hightower finds herself observant, paying attention to things people do before making judgements, and doesn’t avoid eye contact. She also carries her own strong set of opinions on politics and culture which stray from many beliefs of her peers. Although she finds herself occasionally ostracized from friends because of them, Hightower finds both important to be knowledgeable of.
“I’m a leader by example, not by speaking,” Hightower said, “I don’t like a lot of people’s narrow-mindedness.”