Tomorrow’s leaders: Scott Asbell

Published 2:33 pm Monday, March 1, 2010

Scott Asbell is a young man with a heart for helping others.

With causes as diverse as homeless teenagers at Christmastime and the scourge of worldwide sex trafficking, the 17-year-old Lakeland High School senior has taken the initiative locally to raise awareness of and support for those less fortunate than himself.

“I want to try to be a benefit to the lives of others and to be a light that way,” he says. “I have a desire to want to serve others, to honor God through that.”

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It’s not as if Scott isn’t busy with his own life.

As a contender for either valedictorian or salutatorian at Lakeland, he clearly has had a commitment to academics throughout his high school career. He played varsity volleyball for the school, along with stints in other sports through the years.

He remains extremely involved in the ministries of Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church, where he is a team leader for the Student Services’ Spiritual Development Team and has worked closely with the youth pastor to organize, promote and carry out a number of new programs during recent years.

“Stopping Traffic,” a concert to raise awareness of sex trafficking, raised $1,200 last March for the organization People Against Slavery & Trafficking. Scott started that effort after hearing a presentation about the problem and thinking about his 14-year-old sister.

“Whenever I heard about it, I thought, that could be Jennifer,” he said at the time. “I couldn’t imagine Jennifer being sold into slavery. I couldn’t think about anyone’s sister going through that.”

Through his youth group, Scott also worked last year to raise money so homeless teens could receive gifts at Christmas. And he organized a student-led two-day retreat called “The Wild.”

“I want to love others around me in order to benefit their lives,” he says.

Scott plans to attend James Madison University in the fall, where he would like to study business management, and maybe even continue the screen-printing business that he started with his own $1,400. But the experience with Stopping Traffic has him thinking today that he might like to pursue a minor in nonprofit leadership.

Of course, the business management degree could lead him to start his own company, he says, almost thinking aloud at this point. Maybe a skate shop or a screen printing shop.

A casual observer might think that Scott still needs to find his direction. But his thoughts are those of a young man whose parents have always told him, “You can do whatever you want to do” and who has become comfortable with what he believes is a simple fact of life: “God is in control of everything.”

Scott is the son of Linda and Richard Asbell.