Looking back on her years as a student in the Ballston Spa School District, one thing that stands out in Sarah Evans’ mind is the kindness she was shown.
As a fifth grader, she transferred to the district from the Waldorf School of Saratoga Springs, but didn’t feel like an outsider for long.
“It was nice how quickly I was able to get a group of friends, and I just feel like people in the Ballston Spa School District, in my class especially, are really welcoming,” the 2013 graduate said.
While a student in the district, Sarah returned the favor, not just to her fellow classmates but to the rest of the world as well.
At school, she served as co-president for the Peer Mentoring program, participated in the Students Helping Students program and was the service coordinator for the National Honor Society.
The Malta resident has shared her sense of compassion outside school walls as well, by traveling to Guatemala to work with hearing and vision-impaired students. She also organized her peers to make hats for infants in Africa and serve lunch to local homeless people.
“I didn’t even realize there was a homeless shelter in Saratoga before my church went there to plant a garden, and that was really eye-opening to realize that in downtown Saratoga, with its fancy houses, there was a homeless shelter,” she said, noting that she enjoys interacting with people face-to-face, rather than simply sending money to a charity.
The 2013 class salutatorian for Ballston Spa High School, Sarah has dreams of becoming a writer some day. In middle school, she wrote and published a children’s book, “The Sour Little Lemon Tree,” about a lemon tree in ancient Egypt that has sour fruit when all of the other lemon trees have sweet fruit.
The book, which was published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises in Oklahoma City, is still selling, Sarah reported.
She enjoys writing in her spare time, and said her next book will likely be a novel for middle school-age kids.
Sarah plans to major in English at the Honors College at the University of Vermont, where she will begin studies in the fall.
“J.K. Rowling is my inspiration because she went from very little money and being a single mother to this superstar writer. I would love to be as successful as she is,” she said.
Sarah admitted it might take a while to reach her goal, so in the meantime, she’s considering becoming a middle school English teacher.
Sarah’s mom, Mary Evans, called her daughter a very goal-oriented girl.
“She sets herself a goal and then she goes and does it,” she said. “She’s sweet and helpful and self-motivated. I never had to tell her to do her homework. She’s always stayed up and studied and did everything on her own. Her dad and I are really proud of her.”
Sarah said she’s excited to go to college, and not really nervous at all.
“I went to Spain in March and that was 10 days away from my family and I did OK and I didn’t miss them too much, so I think I’ll be OK,” she said.