Rachael Van Horn
Woodward, Okla. —
Two young recipients of the Woodward Chamber’s Student Citizen of the Year Award seem to be the very embodiment of what it means to be a real citizen.
Ashton Baggs, 16, and Shane Standerfer, 17, each are brimming with energy and seem to own that thing called a positive attitude, which individually they say is the key to their success.
Baggs was born in Woodward to homemaker, Heather Baggs and her husband, Pride Transportation owner, Lonnie Baggs.
Baggs is involved with just about every club Woodward High School has to offer.
She serves in many community events through the Woodward FFA such as Crystal Christmas and numerous banquets.
She also looks forward to the National Food Drive during National FFA Week.
But her favorite and most meaningful activity, she said, is when she helps with the Little Sahara Special Olympics.
“I personally think it is uplifting to be able to help those kids and make them feel happy about themselves,” she said. “It makes me feel good to know they are having a good time.”
Of her most enriching life moment of late, Baggs said she has to say her long and hard won goal of earning her black belt in Karate wins the prize.
“I have had that goal for a long time and it was like the most uplifting personal experience,” she said.
Of her darkest moment in life, Baggs recounts a constant battle with the fear of failing, although she said she has overcome that fear by failing “a lot of times” and then getting up and continuing to try.
“I feel like it is important to be positive,” she said. “I have a journal with uplifting quotes and things I keep to myself and I read those inspirational quotes. So I just keep reading and pushing through it and then there is my quiet time, when I pray.”
Baggs plans to attend Oklahoma State University and hopes to enter the agriculture field, be a school counselor or go into politics.
If you’re looking for Shane Standerfer, you will be able to find him, even in a crowded room. Just look for his unique hair style.
But there is much more to Shane Standerfer.
Born in San Diego, Calif., to Marine, Chad Standerfer and Natasha Pickard, Shane learned early the benefits of being open to new people and experiences.
When his father returned to Woodward, he brought a well rounded and wiser than his years Shane with him
“My dad wanted to get back to his family and he wanted to raise me in a nice town,” Standerfer said. "He just wanted to be with family and raise his family.”
Shane Standerfer brought with him a world or experience, including a musical ability that he almost immediately began to share with his community.
“I was raised to travel and see the world and interpret it as I see it and get my own understanding of it,” he said.
He now lends that wide interpretation of it through his French horn and trumpet playing for the Woodward Community Band.
Of his most enriching moment, he recalls a time with his grandfather when the two shared a day at Balboa Park in California.
“I just remember going there that day and seeing a man who had no arms but had taught himself to play the guitar with his feet,” he said. “That has just stuck with me, that day in the park and seeing that street performer.”
Of his darkest moment, Standerfer mentions the night of the Woodward tornado. He said, while he was not personally affected, he still felt like this was the biggest catastrophe he had witnessed.
“I just remember going to bed that night, laying there and not knowing how much damage and just laid in bed thinking about it and how it was just a compete catastrophe,” he said.
Standerfer said those events can shake your faith, give you fear if you don’t remain focused in your faith and act in ways that help you get through it onto the other side. In his case, he said drawing close with his father, Chad and stepmom Amber Standerfer.
“To get over it, I spent a lot of time with the family and came closer together had fellowship with the family, friends and the church,” he said.
Standerfer believes a positive mental attitude is important in life and in finding success.
“It’s like what Gary England said in his speech about envisioning himself getting what he wanted, keeping his eye on the goal,” Standerfer said.