S.O.A.R. SCHOLARSHIP: Not Your Usual Student

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DAVENPORT - Spencer Peachee is not your usual student.

By the time he graduates from Davenport North High School, he will have an Associate's Degree from Eastern Iowa Community Colleges.

"My freshman year there were two classes, sophomore year there was four classes, then seven classes my last two years of high school," Spencer explained.

Nearly 30 students from Spencer's class are the first to go through Davenport North's four-year dual enrollment program.

"AP classes - at least in Davenport Schools - are three terms, so we're learning these classes in one term," he said.

That hard work is one of the reasons why we're surprising Spencer with a S.O.A.R. Scholarship in partnership with The Sedona Group.

"I'm just really thankful, because a lot of kids can't afford college so just getting scholarships, I feel like it's helping everyone, because not only are you giving money to help that person pay for college, eventually they're most likely going to give it back to the community with what they've learned in college," Spencer said.

However, it's what Spencer has learned in life that really makes him stand out.

"When I was 4-years-old, I fell off my scooter at my dad's work and I fell onto the curb and I was crying and I told my dad I broke my arm and he did not believe me whatsoever," he said.

A trip to the hospital revealed that Spencer did break his arm, but doctors also found something else - three tumors called unicameral bone cysts.

"Basically what that does is it's inside my bone and it eats it from the inside out so basically my arm was a straw at one point," Spencer explained.

Seven surgeries and five years later, Spencer was determined to live the normal life of a teenager... and then some. He plays baseball, saxophone, and piano. Spencer sings in the show choir and has even participated on the cheerleading squad. He also gives back to his community through Joy Club, Junior Optimist International, and Dance Marathon.

"I think it`s just overcoming stereotypes and doing what you personally want to do and not worrying about what others think," said Spencer.

It's those dual activities paired with the dual enrollment program and Spencer's past that's shaped his dream career.

"I saw what doctors could do, because I was a 4-year-old who had a serious bone injury and my doctor gave me comfort," he said. "He was amazing to me and I just want to strive to be like him."

Spencer is attending the University of Iowa this fall to follow the pre-med track and become bilingual in Spanish. He is hoping to finish his undergrad in three years, then go to the Carver College of Medicine at the University of Iowa and become a surgeon.

He is not your usual student, but that has inspired Spencer to S.O.A.R.

The S.O.A.R. Scholarship is a $1,000 check given to five high school seniors in our area every year. S.O.A.R. stands for Strength of Character, Optimism, Achievement in Academics and Volunteerism, and Resolve.


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