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sascha leidecker By Jesse Cole for the Weekly Sun

Sascha Leidecker knows how to fight for what she believes in and what she is passionate about. Most importantly, she is fighting for herself.

A senior at Wood River High School at 16 years of age, Leidecker is an avid Nordic skier and cross-country runner. This year, she is looking forward to making a comeback.

Having suffered a meniscus injury that required surgery her sophomore year, Leidecker had to put her goals on hold for a year. Prior to the injury, she competed in Junior Nationals for Nordic skiing her sophomore year. After her surgery, she returned late in the season her junior year to be tied as an alternate to attend the prestigious competition.

“It was pretty hard to accept the fact that I was this close and then didn’t get it,” Leidecker said. “But I think it was good. I took a break and now I’m like ‘Okay, I want this again.’”

Leidecker isn’t letting these setbacks define her. Rather, she looks at them as an opportunity to have explored other passions; namely, debate.

“Debate is probably my favorite thing right now, just because I love arguing,” she said. “Not necessarily arguing like in a fight, but proving a point using your evidence, appealing to a specific audience and just being able to argue for something.”

This passion lends itself to Leidecker’s desire to be a lawyer, something which she has envisioned since she was young.

“When I was little, I was in the car with my mom once, listening to NPR, and there was something about environmental lawyers trying to save killer whales, and I decided that that’s what I was going to do,” Leidecker said. “Since then,it’s shifted; I don’t know if I want to be an environmental lawyer anymore, but I know I want to do something with the law.”

With a 4.12 GPA, a background introductory course on law and social justice she has already taken online, and a range of political science classes in psychology, government, A.P. Human Geography, and debate lined up for her senior year, Leidecker is already striving toward this goal.

“I just love fighting for and advocating about things that I’m passionate about,” Leidecker said. “I feel like that’s a good path to go down.”

With her perseverance and determination in the face of challenges, Leidecker plans to keep fighting for these passions as she finds her own way back onto the slopes, onto the trail, and onto the debate floor.