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Small change, big rewards
by Garrett Valenzuela
May 13, 2013 | 3026 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Austin Lensch
Austin Lensch
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SPARKS — Some people fear change and the unknown possibilities it can offer. Austin Lensch, however, welcomes and seeks change because those possibilities can lead to unanticipated rewards.

When the 16-year-old Reed High School sophomore decided to enter the unknown by becoming increasingly involved in school clubs and groups, he knew a few unexpected results were possible. Classes and clubs such as Leadership, Student Council, Student Advisory Board and Eco-Warriors have brought personal enrichment for Lensch.

For instance, the Eco-Warriors club allowed Lensch to help boost green initiatives throughout the school, including advocating for a new water system in the school bathrooms and pushing for a water refill station in the halls. Lensch said joining the club opened his eyes to the impact he has on the environment.

“I think I joined it because I have never really been introduced to anything green,” Lensch said. “So I thought it would be fun to see something new and learn about new things. It really has helped me become a greener person. I can see what my impact has on the world and the environment.

It also makes me aware of trash around the school and I find myself picking it up and getting frustrated when I see people just throwing trash on the ground.”

In similar fashion, Leadership has made a lasting impression on Lensch, who planned and executed assemblies and fundraising events throughout the year. He said seeing the affect Leadership has on the school, and on himself, was only made possible by branching to new groups.

“I think being involved with Leadership has really made a difference for me,” he said. “It has made me more comfortable with myself and made me reach out to more people. I have a lot more friends than I used to. It gives me confidence and it has really helped me with people. I think I will always have what I have been taught in that class for the rest of my life.”

In addition to being Vice President of his class, Lensch sits on the Washoe County School District Student Advisory Board, which brings students from around the district together with the Board of Trustees and the Superintendent.

Though he was selected to the committee late, he has already seen positive signs to continue sitting on the board and interacting with the higher-ups of the school district.

“It is just fun having my voice heard by people who are higher in the school district and knowing that I am making a difference in getting what us students want heard,” he said. “It also lets me see why they do the things that they do and see why it helps us.”

The biggest change Lensch hopes to make will be with future high school students after he attends college to become an English teacher and Leadership advisor. He said being a teacher has been his plan for quite some time, but he feels the idea was reaffirmed once he began at Reed High.

“I have always wanted to be one, but I think that having awesome teachers has really made want to do it,” he said. “I really want to make a difference in people’s lives and see the change.”

So why is English his subject of choice? He said he feels it is his strong suit, and “it is the only class where I am not watching the clock, waiting for it to go by.”

Though he has yet to select a college to chase his dreams, he is absolutely sure he will be changing locations.

“I definitely want to go somewhere else,” Lensch said. “I know it sounds weird, but I don’t really like the weather here. I need change, somewhere new and somewhere warm.”
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