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Above and Beyond: Samantha Sturgeon

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Every month, Morningside College and Siouxland News team up to introduce you to a high school student who has gone "above and beyond."

Meet Samantha Sturgeon, a Dakota Valley High School student who always pushes herself to overcome obstacles and succeed.

"I put so much time and effort into everything, even school, HOSA, work, and National Honor Society. and just everything I'm involved in," said Sturgeon.

Samantha is no stranger to obstacles, she was diagnosed with cancer at a young age but she persevered and is a survivor.

"When I was a year old, I was diagnosed with retinal blastoma, and shortly after, like super shortly after, they removed my eye, so I have a prosthetic eye. Ever since then, it's been good, no problems or anything, but obviously I can't see out of it," she said.

Unfortunately, cancer has been a part of Samantha's family for a while, but that doesn't stop her from reaching Hope, through Relay for Life.

"My grandpa had cancer, I had cancer, and a lot of my family members had cancer, so it's basically just like remembering those people and making sure something happens. Every year I do Relay for Life, which consumes a lot of my volunteer hours, and this last Relay for Life I was the honorary cancer survivor," she said.

Ann Hoeppner is the community manager for the Relay for Life of Siouxland, and has seen Samantha grow each year she was a participant.

"It's amazing to see the maturity, and how she's so very willing to really put her heart and soul into Relay. She pays attention to what's happening and she jumps right in and makes things better," said Hoeppner.

Samantha's aunt, Dee Sturgeon, says Samantha is a warrior, and is very proud of what she has done.

"I believe that she's got her goals set in life, and I see her doing nothing but meeting those goals and crossing them off as she goes along," said her aunt Dee.

Samantha plans on attending Iowa State University next year and is hoping to study to become an eye doctor.

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