• Williams Field High School senior Alexandria Herring graduates in May inspired by leaders of the past to help others who face the same struggles as she.

    As the captain of the women’s swim team — a position she dreamed about from early on when WFHS upperclassmen helped her grow as an athlete — Herring proves that a quiet leader can be the greatest symbol of strength and perseverance.

    “I’m not super outgoing,” Herring said. “I think a lot of people think of leaders as very outgoing and very charismatic; but, it’s also really important to have someone who can stand strong through hard times and rally others around them.”

    Herring said her peers, as well as her willingness to listen to advice from others, helped her grow from someone who didn’t realize she could be a leader into someone who constantly aims for her best.

    “I’ve definitely been so inspired by all of my classmates,” Herring said. “I think that everyone that I know is such a strong leader and so good at everything that they do. It’s definitely pushed me to improve a lot, especially in the area of leadership.”

    Today, Herring said she leads by helping others first — a leadership style that helps her just as much.

    “I love seeing other people succeed around me,” Herring said. “It pushes me to do better and makes me feel like I’m making an impact. ... I want to inspire them the same way that my leaders - when I was an underclassman - inspired me.”

    As someone who has been impacted by sickness and feels “at home” in hospitals, Herring said a future in the medical field is in her plans. She will major in biomedical engineering as a part of Arizona State University’s Barrett, the Honors College on a full-tuition scholarship.