When Lorinda Ruz arrived at Truman High School as a freshman she made a promise to herself.
“I wanted to make the most of my four years at Truman,” Ruz said. “I’ve always been a big fan of learning and school and I knew this was my prime opportunity to become focused on the opportunities that lie ahead when I get older.”
Ruz not only lived up to that promise, she exceeded it by light years.
She was recently named the winner of a QuestBridge Scholarship, which will give her a full academic ride to Stanford University.
She has a 4.24 GPA, scored a 1370 on her SAT and a 30 on the ACT.
She is the co-captain of Truman’s Mock Trial team that won the 2017 Missouri Mock Trial State Champion and was 15th in the nation. In 2016, the Missouri Mock Trial also won a state championship and placed 32nd in the nation.
She is Truman’s Speech and Debate Association president and she placed Top 32, the highest placing in policy debate from a Missouri team, at the 2017 National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament.
She also placed 24th (2017) and 30th (2016) in policy debate at the Grand Nationals Tournaments.
Ruz is vice president of DECA Career Development and a 2016 state champion who placed fourth at the international competition in Principles of Business Management and second place at the state championship in Human Resources Management.
"Lorinda is a vital part of the Truman DECA club in both leadership and competition,” Daniel Harper, the chapter adviser of Truman DECA said. “She has been an officer for two of her three years as a member and spearheads the community service project. In her first year competing she placed fourth in DECA International competition and in her second year she place first in State competition.
“What makes Lorinda so special is the fact that she has the very rare mix of deep compassion for humanity and an incredible internal drive to be the best at all she does. She shows respect and gratitude to all people and organizations that are a part of her life. She earns every honor and recognition that she receives.
“There is no question that Lorinda is a star here at Truman among both staff and students. Everything you hear about Lorinda from students and staff is extremely positive. She is a true gift to the Truman community. The future is has no limits for this young lady.”
Just wait – Ruz is also a member of National Honor Society, the founder of the Independence branch of the Great Decisions: Foreign Policy Discussion Program and Civic and Social Engagement Club, the treasurer of Future Business Leaders of America and the History Club and a member of #MeToo: Sexual Violence Awareness Club.
Along with her state and national honors, she has won the 2017 American Legion Oratorical Contest and is a National Hispanic Recognition Scholar. She is also an AP Scholar with Honor and a McCoy Academic Award recipient.
Now, let’s talk about community service.
She is a team leader of Girl Talk, where she mentors middle school girls once a week to promote leadership skills and higher self-esteem through lessons, activities, and community service; is an attorney and judge in Independence Youth Court; a Community Action Council founding board member; and was the lead organizer in a drive to collect necessary items for a battered women’s shelter.
“I know I’m involved in many activities, and I appreciate the cooperation between everyone to allow me to continue my involvement,” she said. “But I love what I’m doing. Are there enough hours in the day? Well, some days I could use a few more but I am lucky that I can survive on little sleep and I really do enjoy and am passionate about everything I am involved with.”
One day, she hopes to write books or become a member of a foreign relations group. The Brookings Institute intrigues Ruz and she would love to serve as the diplomat to an Eastern European country or even Russia.
And, on that oh so rare down day, Ruz knows exactly what she’s going to do.
“Sleep in and binge watch ‘The Office,’” she said, grinning.