Savannah Hughes: 2017 Elko High School Valedictorian (Part 2)

If it hasn’t been made evident by now, we love people here at AAT! We love hearing about their stories and passions for our community, but we also love hearing about what our fellow locals do and why they do it! For example, we have some wonderful neighbors who own/manager some fantastic local businesses and serve our town tremendously by doing so! This fact is why AAT has partnered up with our good friends at B3 Glass, to bring you all “Small Business Fridays!” Each week, we’ll feature a different, local small business and talk with its owner and hear about their journey, their business in general, as well as their heart for their customers and our city!

We have seen several posts on local community pages social media pages inquiring about who does quality siding work? The one and only correct answer is our friends on B3 Glass! Yes, this amazing family right here are the people to know for the job! They are simply the best, and all you need to do is remember their name and give them a call! Keep reading for more information!

Anthony Note: This feature is the second part of a conversation had with this week’s guest! For part one of our time with Savannah, click here!

By Alina Croft (Instagram: lina_gail, Twitter: alina_croft)

Professional Development

Like in high school, Savannah couldn’t just go to class and complete her homework to feel fulfilled; she had to be involved and go further to submerge herself in her new surroundings.  

“The organization that allowed me to have the biggest impact in my college career was ASUN (The Associated Students of The University of Nevada, Reno). My freshman year, I ran for the College of Engineering Senator, and then once my college elected me, I was then elected by the Senate body to be Speak Pro Tempore of the senate where I also ran the internship program,” said Savannah. 

Being a part of ASUN gave Savannah an environment to be pleased with herself through more accomplishments. 

“During my first year of ASUN, I worked on a lot of legislation and worked with the community a lot. Some of the things that I am most proud of were starting a menstrual hygiene accessibility initiative,” said Savannah. “We did a few things with that, such as lowering the cost of menstrual products, tampons, pads, and panty liners, and we were also able to work with the Joe Crowley Student Union to transition all of the paid dispensers for products to be non-paid.” 

Savannah continued with ASUN, being re-elected by the College of Engineering to be a senator and then being elected by the senate body to be the Speaker of the Senate. With this position, Savannah worked with the senators to facilitate their goals and legislation before concluding her term at the end of 2019 and deciding to focus on other things for the remainder of her junior year and senior year of college. 

Along with growing through her education and organizational involvements, Savannah also emerged into the professional engineering world, beginning with multiple internships over summers and during her junior year until the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and finally being offered a position at her current internship. 

“Right now, I’m doing more environmental work in regards to wastewater treatment redesign and water transportation such as pipelines.     

Looking Passed The Resume

While getting a university education can be extremely important for intellectual growth, it also is a place where people evolve, trying to better themselves, find their passions, figure out who they are. Savannah is no different. 

“I’m a totally different person, in my opinion. I think that college, especially some of the extracurricular activities that I decided to do, have put me in positions where I really had to know what my values were and what was important to me,” said Savannah. “I’ve been put in situations where I’ve had to question mine, and through questioning what’s important to me and what I value, I’ve been able to become more true to myself and really find what those values are. I’ve done a lot of self-reflection in college.”

Through difficult situations, learning her own values got Savannah to really see what was most important to her, a possibly underrated value to live by in her eyes.

“Discipline is something that I am constantly reminding myself about. I think it is such an important aspect that so many people overlook,” said Savannah. “It’s like, ‘I might not want to do this, I might not want to wake up at 5:30 a.m., but I have to overcome that voice in my head telling me not to.’ Getting up before other people really allows me to get so much done with my day.”

Savannah did not come up with this on her own though, she had help from her favorite podcaster, Jocko Willink, in her out of the classroom self-education.

“He has a book called Discipline Equals Freedom, and it’s all about if you live a disciplined life, then you’ll have the freedom to do other things. I really live by that and think that making the most out of your day is like paying your dues,” said Savannah. 

Looking internally helped Savannah see her true values, but also to re-evaluate her life as a worker and student.

“In full transparency, I am not the student that I used to be. I used to obsess in high school over getting straight A’s, and when I came to college, I kind of gave up that perfectionist attitude when it comes to my education,” said Savannah. “I don’t really know why that happened, maybe burnout, but I definitely focused more on getting real-world experience and putting my time and effort into that.”

A lot can be said for learning outside of the classroom, and Savannah has perused that in a way she feels has benefitted her in an enormous way.

“I think I stopped focusing so much on what my grades were and started focusing more on interacting with people and knowing how to apply what I was learning,” said Savannah. 

A Strong Sense of Self

As my readers have hopefully become accustomed to and possibly look forward to, this is where I have my interviewees share something they think is the most important advice they have to give. Here is Savannah’s.

“There is so much power in knowing who you are and not needing external validation. If someone questions who you are, and you know you’re being true to yourself and you’re the best version of you, then their questions will have no impact on you. Sometimes you have to go through those trials to learn who you really are, and that’s not a bad thing,” said Savannah.

Until next week Anthony Around Town-ers, try adding some discipline to your life, see if that works for you. 

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Until next time, we’ll see you around, Elko!

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