Against All Odds

Words and Image by Jenny Lynn Davis

From the outsider’s view, all odds were stacked against Samantha Kreutz as she embarked on her high school journey four years ago. But that outsider has no concept of her grit and determination.

Transferring to Jasper High School her ninth grade year after a kindergarten through eighth grade stint at Lupton Jr. High, going from 30 people in her grade to over 200 was just one of the factors that would lead someone to believe that Samantha wouldn’t adjust. Couple that with a double hitter diagnosis of Dyslexia and ADHD, all signs pointed to merely skating through unnoticed until graduation. But that’s not who she is.

“It was definitely scary to make such a big change, but I came in with the mindset that I was going to get involved in as much as I could, as quickly as I could, and lay a foundation for myself,” she says.

That she did. Samantha joined many clubs and organizations at Jasper High School including Key Club, National Honor Society, Beta Club, Mu Alpha Theta, Agape Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and excelled in her classes, leading her to graduate among the top of her class. She credits each of those organizations for playing a part in her various academic achievements, but most prominently gives credit to FCA and FBLA.

“Both FCA and FBLA really helped shape me. I was the keynote speaker for FCA Walker County’s Field of Faith event this past year, and that was really life changing,” she says. “FBLA’s focus on leadership and teaching you how to lead yourself in order to effectively lead others was also very impactful.”

Samantha took those acquired leadership skills and soared to new heights as Alabama’s FBLA State Secretary in the 2022-2023 school year, winning the position by a landslide 87% vote.

While she is happy with her many accomplishments, Samantha notes that none of them would be possible without God’s guidance.

“The night before I learned about the possibility to run for the FBLA position, I was listening to a podcast about a young woman who had utilized her faith in a very uncommon way, and I was so inspired. I prayed really hard and told God, ‘I don’t want to be the teenager that just wakes up, goes to school, and that be it. I want to be different, not for me, but for You and Your glory,’ and the next day, that opportunity was presented to me, and I know that was God hearing my prayer and working in my life.”

With her leadership skills, faith, and strong will as intact as ever, Samantha sets out on her next academic journey this fall, pursuing a degree in Aerospace Engineering from Mississippi State University. It’s a male-dominated field at a school located a fair distance away from the only home she’s ever known, but as we all now know, when it comes to succeeding in the face of a challenge – never bet against Samantha Kreutz. WL