Spartan Spotlight: Senior Lindsey Aden's future and success

Like the rest of the Class of 2020, Lindsey Aden is living through an unprecedented time in world history. With Illinois under a shelter in place order issued by the governor, she believes the time spent confined to our homes will allow families to reconnect and grow stronger.

"With our ever changing, busy world today, I think a positive we can take out of this situation is the fact that we've been given time alone to pursue our individual hobbies and talents," said Aden, whose dream job is working as television sports analyst covering the St. Louis Cardinals. "I hope that our country will come out of this time with a better sense of how to care for others and have important empathy and kindness are in our world."

The St. Joseph-Ogden senior lives outside of Royal with her mom, dad, and older brother, Jared. How she had time for her hobbies of reading, traveling, and going to concerts, is a mystery.

Undoubtedly she has some mad, mad organization and time management skills. In addition to playing four sports during her time at SJO, she was a member of FFA,Student Council, Spanish Club, We the People, Advisory Mentoring Program and NHS. Academically gifted, Aden has earned high honor roll marks every quarter this year, too.

Above: Aden celebrates a block by a teammate during the Spartans' supersectional volleyball game against Chicago Christian. The match that punched the volleyball team's ticket to state is one of her many memorable moments in high school. Below: Aden was a vocal team motivator throughout the 2019 season. During SJO's Class 2A state third-place game against Rockford Lutheran her positive energy kept the team on an even keel on their way to a 2-1 win last November. (Photo: PhotoNews Media)

Capping her prep volleyball career as a member of this year's Class 2A volleyball squad, Aden was set to play her third season of softball this spring until Illinois was forced to shelter in place. She also wore a Spartan basketball uniform for one season and competed with the track team for one year.

"My favorite sport of the four that I played in high school was volleyball because of the memories and friendships it gave me," she said. One of her greatest high school memories will always be winning the IHSA Volleyball Super-Sectional on the road at Palos Heights where the Spartans lost the first set, but then roared back past Chicago Christian to win the next two sets, which advanced the Spartans to the IHSA State tournament at Redbird Arena creating another set of vibrant memories she will never forget.

"To play on such competitive and talented teams was amazing, but the best part was getting to know my teammates and growing as individuals with them," Aden explained. "We went through some of the saddest times and the best times together, and we were able to really grow as a group because of it. My love for the sport and my school blossomed because I had the opportunity to play this sport with these girls."

After receiving her diploma from St. Joseph-Ogden, she will attend the University of Georgia. She said the out of state school was the complete package for her career goals. In addition to double majoring in agri-business and political science, she plans to obtain a minor in Spanish.

"They have great agriculture and political science departments, which are both areas that I am planning on pursuing," she explained. "The beautiful campus, warm weather, and overall college experience that UGA will offer me is also really appealing to me. I believe that the degrees that I will receive and the networks that I will build at this school will really allow me to succeed to the best of my ability."

Those networks will probably lead to numerous opportunities for Aden to rub elbows with influential people in politics and business. When asked who she would love have at the dinner table she came up with a list of three impressive names.

"I would really want to dive into Laura Ingraham's thoughts on being a woman in politics, as this is a field that I am considering pursuing in the future," she said. "I would be really intrigued to hear about Ben Carson's transformation from surgeon to politician, as well as how he brings his faith into his everyday life."

Her final choice, a fellow who led the Clemson Tigers to national football championships in 2016 and 2018, was another smart choice.

"I'd also like to dine with Dabo Swinney because I am a huge football fan, and I would want to pick his brain about coaching at Clemson and how important his faith is to him."

Her favorite classes were Advanced Civics and American History taught by Mr. Marshall Schacht, one of two of her favorite teachers at SJO. The other is Mr. Kevin Simondsen in the science department. She also gave a shoutout to Mrs. Anderson at Prairieview-Ogden as her favorite junior high teacher.

Aden's advice to future students at St. Joseph-Ogden is simple: Enjoy every day.

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