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17-year-old princess combines mission work, nursing dreams

For two years in high school, Stephanie Saul traveled to Mexico on a spring break youth mission trip with Sandy Baptist Church.

This year, her third, was a little bit different than past excursions.

The trip aims to build houses for low-income residents. Previously, Stephanie had lent a hand as part of a construction team, but organizers put her in charge of her own group this year — the first time a young woman had been tapped for the job.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: HEATHER FITCH PHOTOGRAPHY - Stephanie Saul, 17, graduated from Sandy High School in June. She was the No. 1 golfer on the schools varsity team, and played piano and flute all through her high school career.

Not having years of experience with a hammer and a nail wasn’t a problem, Stephanie said.

“I guess I can be kind of bossy,” she said with a laugh. “I work pretty well with people, and putting personalities together.”

With that task squarely behind her, Stephanie will tackle her next big challenge. She’ll serve as one of four princesses on the Sandy Mountain Festival Five Generation Court, which recognizes and honors the civic commitments of five notable Sandy women. Special attention is given to a nominee’s volunteer involvements and their community roots.

Stephanie, 17, graduated from Sandy High School in June. She has played piano for 12 years and flute for eight; in school she was part of the Sandy High School band ensemble. She also played golf all four years of high school, and was first on the school’s varsity team her senior year.

When Stephanie received the call notifying her of her nomination to the court, she said she had to make sure organizers were calling the right number.

“I was really excited when I got the phone call because I had no idea I was even nominated,” she said. “I was really excited.”

She’ll attend George Fox University in the fall, where she plans to study nursing. The field appeals to her because she hopes to make a difference in the lives of others, she said. Although she says there is not one particular person who inspired her to follow that path, she has several family members who have ties to the medical field.

Already she is thinking about how she might be able to combine her future career with her love of mission work, possibly by joining an organization such as Doctors without Borders.

“I get to see the world while helping people and make it a better place,” she said. “It’s really cool that we can do that.”