When you watch Stephanie Wilson stomp, clap and shout at the front of the Teens in Action with Goals Sophisticated Steppers pack, it's hard to buy into her claim that she was shy before she joined the organization in sixth grade.
Now, as T.A.G. Queen, the Butler High School sophomore is the leader and spokeswoman of the group -- and she's a good person for it, says program founder and director Wendy Lacy.
She has excelled through the different aspects of the organization, which include drama, dance, step, chorus, mission, and education.
Stephanie is also a leader at her school and in the classroom: She is involved in Beta Club, cheerleading and sophomore council -- all while maintaining a 4.0.
Stephanie found a leader she admires in former member Latoya Taylor, who recently returned to Augusta after graduating from South Carolina State University and is a step coordinator for Teens in Action with Goals.
"I look up to her like a big sister," Stephanie says.
Mrs. Lacy said Stephanie doesn't just lead she helps others who are struggling, whether it's with a step routine or in a tutoring program offered by her and another group member.
"I try to help people when they need help, and I'm very responsible -- I listen to people even if I don't agree with them," Stephanie said.
BriMyia Lacy, 16, Stephanie's best friend and fellow member, says Stephanie has a way of uniting the group when she comes in, with a smile on her face.
"She pumps everybody else up," BriMyia said.
Some teens don't know how to handle leadership roles, Mrs. Lacy said, but Stephanie does. The girls know she's about business, and they listen to her.
"She's always had it, but now she's really wearing the crown," she said.
Reach Sarah Day Owen at (706) 823-3223 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WANT TO JOIN THE TEAM?
WHAT: Teens in Action with Goals, which has eight departments: drama, dance, step, chorus, mission, education, recreation/travel and social/cultural, is open to anyone from 10 to 18 years old.
WHEN: The group meets every Monday and Wednesday night from 6-8 p.m.
WHERE: Henry H. Brigham Community Center, 2463 Golden Camp Road in Augusta
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call (706) 796-6819.