1 in 1700: Abby Stinson

A bus filled with anxious musicians, a gym floor covered in martial arts mats, an art studio brimming with talent – Waukee High School Senior Abby Stinson can be found at each of these locations. Stinson has a black belt in karate, plays the flute, and manages to draw in her spare time.

    “I moved to Waukee from Nebraska. I’ve had the opportunity to make a lot of amazing friends in the band [and] travel with them. They welcomed me with open arms on my first day and made me feel like I wasn’t just the new kid,” she reflected. Ever since she began playing the flute and joined the Waukee High School Marching Band, she has felt a sense of community.

    “Band kids spend a lot of time together, whether that’s on a bus or at band camp. We got to bond and really get to know each other, and we all supported and encouraged each other even when we were exhausted. […] We always had fun together,” Stinson stated.

    “A group of us played mafia on the bus and watching one of the band director’s go down the slide at the City Museum and ride roller coasters with us at Six Flags,” Stenson recalled on memories spent with her peers. Band is not the only group that welcomed her when she made the move from Nebraska to Iowa. Given a mentor from the Fusion program, Stinson had an upperclassman help guide her through the halls of WHS.

    “When I was new to WHS, I had the privilege of being paired with my mentor, Sheridan. She really influenced me to be who I am today, she always invited me to activities, […] and brought me coffee before finals,” Stenson recalled. Sheridan Powell graduated Waukee in 2016, and left behind a prominent impact on Stinson’s life.

    “Sheridan and I became very close in a short time. She was always there for me through thick or thin. We helped each other be productive. She would always encourage me to do the best of my abilities,” she recalled.

   “It wasn’t like she was just someone showing me where my classes were, she was my first friend at Waukee, she was always there for me even if I just needed a hug,” Stinson said. The helping hand offered Stinson a smooth transition into WHS, and the student gained her own independence and leadership. Stinson is now a mentor herself in the Fusion program.

    Meanwhile, she has managed to receive a black belt in the martial art of Taekwondo in her spare time. “Taekwondo has taught me a lot of self defense and how to be a leader not only in class but everywhere I am. The tenets we used in taekwondo are also the pillars/tenets in NHS which was helpful. Becoming a black belt took some years and a lot of practice, determination and dedication and multiple re-testings. It has taught me a lot about life and how we should never give up and should always keep trying and keep our head up no matter what,” she commented on her triumph.

    On her creativity, Stenson explained, “Drawing helps me express myself. I’ve always loved drawing and doodling. It’s a very helpful tool on stressful days, it takes your mind off of everything. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t draw, I’ve always drawn, it’s been my favorite thing to do since I was little.” She will continue to participate in these activities until the end of her senior year. She hopes to go to Iowa State University or University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she will further her education.

Fun Facts


    • Her favorite colors are pink and blue


  • Her favorite number is 7


  • She loves Blake Lively from Revenge


  • She loves Dave and Busters


  • If she could be an animal she would be a koala or a tiger because ‘they’re just so cuteee!!!’


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