09.01.2023

Learner Spotlight: Grace Stumpf

Grace Stumpf

My name is Grace Kalei Stumpf, and I am beginning my sophomore year. I love reading, especially mystery and fantasy. If my nose is not in a book, I am probably texting my best friend, Mikayla, and giggling about books with her. Writing and photography are some of my passions. I am serving as ASB Secretary this year at my learning center. I also love making friendship bracelets. I am currently pursuing my glider pilot license. My career aspiration is to receive my CFI (certificated flight instructor) rating so that I can share the joy and freedom of flying with others. In the future, I would love to be able to travel the world on mission trips.

iLEAD Exploration has had a tremendous impact on my life. More specifically, the DreamUp to Space program has blessed me with the opportunity to design and send an experiment to the International Space Station. Being involved in this iLEAD program has been one of the most transformative experiences in my life. Through the program, I have grown as a person and learned how to navigate the professional world. I was able to present at the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research Conference in Houston, Texas. Before DreamUp, public speaking was a skill I greatly struggled with. Now it is something I actually enjoy doing. I was even given the opportunity to speak at my iLEAD 8th grade graduation, something 6th grade me would have cried at the thought of. One of the greatest blessings to come out of the DreamUp to Space program was getting to know Kathleen Fredette, iLEAD’s Director of STEAM Initiatives. She has become a close friend and mentor who has helped me grow so much, and I will often go to her for advice. Her guidance has been a true gift.

Being a part of iLEAD Exploration has given me the flexibility to pursue my interests, such as flying through iLEAD Student Aerospace Projects, while still experiencing the community and academic rigor that come with traditional school. It’s given me space to grow and bloom, but more importantly, it’s given me the chance to grow roots. These roots have allowed me to become steadfast in my beliefs and strong in my identity, something that probably would not have been possible had my family chosen to enroll me in a conventional school.

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