SMITHVILLE — Always involved, senior Maren Williams, 18, shines brightly from Smithville.
“I feel like I’ve always been able to be involved,” she said.
Growing up, Williams said she spent a lot of time at Smithville High School with her mom. It was a place she could be active in events and stay involved with her community.
Entering high school, Williams had experience in student council and now serves as vice president. She also is vice president of Interact Club and Family, Career and Community Leaders of America in addition to being secretary of National English Honors Society and a member of National Honors Society.
“Student council was probably the biggest,” Williams said. “I’ve been heavily involved in STUCO since fifth grade. ... I’ve been a class officer my freshman and sophomore years and student body/executive officer junior and senior year.”
STUCO keeps Williams busy with planning of different events.
“I’m very involved in homecoming. I help organize Veterans Day. ... We did a community carnival this year,” she said.
Williams also stays busy with STUCO at the district and state levels. This summer, she will return to STUCO camp in Fulton as a junior councilor, a leadership position.Interact Club is an extension of Rotary International, a community service organization. Her involvement with the group taught her some interesting lessons.
“The most eye-opening experience for me was going to Kansas City Community Kitchen in downtown KC,” she said. There students worked shifts, allowing them time to sit and chat with visitors, serve food and help clean.
“It was just interesting to see how the kitchen is run and talking to the people there,” she said. ”To communicate with them was eye opening.”
Williams strove, she said, to improve the most last year.FCCLA holds competitive regional and state events.
Maren entered a leadership category that required her to evaluate herself, set goals, strive to improve and after several months, present the entire process to judges. Maren received the state title and earned a perfect score.
“It shows the work I put into it really paid off,” she said with a smile.
In addition to being service-minded, Williams is also a high achiever athletically and academically. A competitive dancer with Artistry in Motion Dance Company, Williams is also a Dazzler for the high school. She is also valedictorian of her class.
Attending the University of Iowa this fall, Williams plans to major in biomedical engineering with the dream of becoming a pediatric orthopedic surgeon.
Looking back, Williams said she’s always been driven, but that her mother, Petra Williams, has also always been there to help her through. Being a student council adviser for the district also helped, Maren said.
High school taught Maren to have a “grit mentality,” she said.
In addition to not “slacking off,” Maren advises future students go for something out of their comfort zone.
“Push yourself beyond what you think you can do,” she said. “There are a lot of things you aren’t going to get but the things you end up achieving are ultimately worth the time and effort you put into failing.”