Bright Future: Vidalia Jr. High Student of Year has heart for mentoring

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, January 23, 2019


VIDALIA — Vidalia Junior High School’s Student of the Year said she has always had a heart for mentoring her peers, whether that help is with their schoolwork or their faith.

Stevie Anderson was recently recognized as the eighth-grade student of the year in Concordia Parish and is getting ready to compete for the district student of the year title against 12 other students from surrounding parishes.

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“I had a hunch it was me,” Anderson said.

To get this far, Anderson said she had to write an essay about why she would be the best person to represent all other students in her grade.

“It took me about two weeks,” she said. “It was nerve-racking. … When I started my essay, I wasn’t sure which way I wanted it to go. … It’s mainly about bullying and Christianity and experiences I’ve had that are also reasons why I should be the student of the year.”

Anderson said she enjoys all subjects in school, especially math, and often helps other students in her class when they have trouble catching on to the lessons, she said.

In addition, she also shares her testimony with her peers outside of the classroom and encourages them all to become Christians.

“When I was really young, I didn’t go to church … but later on, I did,” Anderson said.

Anderson said she became a Christian soon after her dad and stepmother, Candace and Joseph Anderson, were married and started taking her to church at Community Chapel Church of God.

There, Anderson said her preacher, the Rev. Bo Swilley, became a role model for her, along with his wife, Traci, and her youth pastor, Robert Wallis and his wife, April.

Anderson said she now goes to them for advice to help her friends in school who have also struggled with their faith.

“God is real, and He puts you here for a reason,” Anderson said. “He loves you no matter what.”

Anderson has also been an active ballet dancer for seven years, is a member of Vidalia Junior High Schools cheerleading squad and the Family Career and Community Leaders of America and the Superintendent Advisory Council.