Leif Eckstrand always ‘happy to help’

By Zoie Nelson
Times-News correspondent 

Leif Eckstrand is Student of the Month for August, 2016. / Photo submitted

As Burlington Christian Academy senior Leif Eckstrand begins to fill out his college applications, he’ll be able to add one more honor onto the already long list of honors achieved while in high school — Times-News Student of the Month.
Mary Thomas Gilbert, who works in the Advancement office of BCA where Eckstrand goes to school, said when she saw a flier about Student of the Month, Eckstrand instantly came to mind.
“He is always gracious and kind and happy to help when you need a hand,” Gilbert said. “Leif is so polite and respectful. He has excellent interpersonal skills and communicates well with adults and peers alike.”
Eckstrand stands out with his impressive scholarly honors. He has been on the A Honor Roll every year he has been in school and currently takes either all Honors or Advanced Placement (AP) classes. He received the award for the highest GPA (grade point average) in Honors Biology, Honors Geometry, Honors Algebra and Honors Anatomy, Christian Foundations I and II, Spanish I and II and Honors Chemistry. He also received the award for the highest GPA in Environmental Science. He was also a Junior Ambassador at BCA’s graduation last year, which places him in the top academic percentile of his class.
   When he’s not working on academics, Eckstrand enjoys playing sports. At BCA he is a part of both the varsity track and varsity soccer teams, and plans to start his own club at BCA this year for those who enjoy field games such as Ultimate Frisbee. He was honored with All Academic Athlete notices in 2014 and 2015. To qualify for this honor, students must play more than one sport and maintain an outstanding GPA. He has started all four years on the soccer team and has been a co-captain the last two years. In 2015, he also made the All Conference Team. Eckstrand has also played soccer for the Mebane Youth Soccer Association for the past 12 years and was the co-captain of his team in 2016.
But that’s not all Eckstrand is good at.
“Last year, Leif came and played piano for an event my office was holding. He is a beautiful pianist. I was shocked because I had no idea he was so talented. Later in the spring, we had an art show and I saw what a gifted artist he is,” Gilbert said.
For 10 years, Eckstrand has been studying piano privately and is now considering getting a minor in performance piano while in college. He has also received a Best in Show in the Association of Christian Schools International’s Art Festival in 2016 and an academic award for Advanced Art in 2016.
He is the son of Kai and Julie Eckstrand of Mebane and has a younger sister, Svea, who is a ninth-grader at BCA.
“Leif has been incredibly compassionate since he was in pre-school — always migrating toward the kids that were considered ‘different’ to assure them that they were loved, included, and to try to see the best aspects of what made them unique,” said Julie Eckstrand, Leif’s mother.
“While I am sure Leif will always be self-confident and successful in his future academic and professional endeavors, the best part of watching him grow up has been watching the development of his sense of service and commitment to a greater good beyond himself — as a son, as a brother, as a friend, and as a child of God. Obviously, we could not be more proud of him.”
“I feel very blessed to be nominated for this honor especially since I know so many other spectacular students, but most of all I feel humbled because I couldn’t have accomplished all that I have without my parents, teachers, or friends.” Leif said. “My motivation for what I do is definitely from my parents who pushed me to be the best I could in all that I showed interest in whether it be piano, art, soccer, school or volunteering. My parents were always there supporting me and making them proud is one of the best rewards in my book even though sometimes it’s hard for me to show it.”

Zoie Nelson is a senior at Williams High School and a Teens & 20s writer.

This entry was posted in frontpage, School Life, Student, Student Archive. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.