ANTSO PRETEEN NATIONAL SWEETHEART
A 6th Grader from West Des Moines, Iowa, Izabella has a heart to serve. Inspired by her experience as an orphan, she loves to serve children in need. She serves regularly as one of the youngest volunteers at Hope Ministries Center for Women & Children. She loves bringing joy to these courageous kids at “Kids Night.” Her 10th birthday party inspired her "Backpacks for Foster Kids Program.” The backpacks were filled with books, journals, tooth brushes, toothpaste, pajamas, stuffed animals, flashlights, and even a LEGO set and a Barbie doll. She said, “It felt good to give foster kids what they need when they need it most.”
She loves languages. Adopted at 28 months old, Mandarin was her first language. She is fortunate to continue learning this ancient language and colorful culture through private lessons. She is a singer/songwriter and loves to write and sing songs to inspire others. She takes guitar lessons and enjoys performing to bring joy to others and help raise funds for good causes. She also loves to dance. She takes dance lessons in lyrical, ballet and Chinese ribbon dance. Her favorite dance solo combines dance and music to tell her life-story, from the loss of her family in China to finding her new family in America.
Her most prized possession is her FAMILY. When you lose your family like she did, you realize there is nothing more precious or prized than the security and love of a family. Her favorite subject is Science. She loves animals and nature and learning about the world around her. In fact, her career ambition is inspired by mentoring kindergarten and second graders. She dreams of graduating from Iowa State University with a degree in Elementary Education and go on to be a 6th Grade Science Teacher.
She describes herself as strong. She attributes this to surviving and thriving after experiencing the loss of her birth family.
Her favorite quote is by Dr. Seuss from his book The Lorax: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to better. It’s not.”She believes this to be true, adopted at three years old, she believes her family isn’t just a great love story, they are her biggest break. She is lucky to have parents who "cared a whole awful lot."
She is a leader at her school and very proud to be selected a Student Ambassador. She was selected for her spirit of volunteerism, high level of academic excellence, and she is respectful, responsible, trustworthy, caring, and fair leader.
She is also a member of the Jr. Silver Cord Program. This program works on community service projects in school and in the community. Izabella loves public speaking and was selected one of five students from the State of Iowa to deliver a speech at the 2018 National Franklin Covey “Leader in Me” Symposium to over two hundred and fifty teachers and administrators. She has been selected for many other leadership awards and positions including: CEO of the “Family Foundation” at the Junior Achievement of Iowa-BizTown Day;” awarded the “Core Leader Award;” a member of the Honor Choir and had artwork selected for the Waukee Student Art Exhibition. She is a hard worker and holds a 4.0 GPA.
Last but not least, Izabella has a deep belief and faith in God, and enjoys attending “PowerLife” Bible study and community service program at her church each week.