They call her “Starr.”
Not only is that an apt description of her popularity at Leroy Greene Academy, it’s also part of her formal name, Amarastarr Kight — and it’s something she’s determined to live up to as an adult.
“My life will be successful if people know my name because I made a difference,” Starr said when asked about her goals in life.
Her name is no coincidence, according to the LGA senior, who said her mother chose it because she felt her only daughter was going to make it big someday. “It gives me motivation to do something better with my life,” Star said.
At LGA, Starr clearly is a standout by:
· Serving as school president this year as a senior.
· Serving as LGA’s rally commissioner and spirit commissioner in years past
· Earning a grade point average of nearly 4.0.
· Earning all-league honors in girls soccer, a sport she has played all four years at LGA.
· Participating at various times in three other LGA varsity girls sports teams as well – basketball, volleyball and softball.
· Participating in LGA’s Black Student Union, leading numerous campus events, and in creating eye-catching artwork displayed in several locations within the school’s main office.
Starr, wearing a paper crown, led the red-carpet receiving line in August when current Lions high-fived and shouted greetings to freshmen on their first day of school at LGA. She’s proud of LGA’s family atmosphere, describing it as “very close and tight.”
“When we get to know people, it’s hard harder not to like them,” she said simply. “The way I think about it is, you can’t not like somebody if you know them. So I just make it my mission to know a lot of people and build a relationship with different people.”
In September, Starr took the microphone and urged students to register to vote when Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg held an LGA press conference to promote civic engagement and lifelong voting habits.
“Politically, I feel very strongly about equality and justice and people having the right to be heard,” she said.
Acting Principal Scott Fitzgerald said no student cares more about LGA and its campus community than Starr, its student body president. “Her smile and laughter set the tone for the culture at LGA, students look to her,” he said. “She leads with grace, dignity, and an infectious smile.”
Acting LGA Director Ben Odell calls Starr a diligent worker who cares not only about the people around her but the environment as well. “She puts her all into everything she does and has helped transform this campus into what it is today: a welcoming and familial place,” he said.
In her spare time, Starr likes to read books, bake, knit, and she has a part-time job at a Natomas restaurant. She also can sing – in the past, she has participated in a church choir and in LGA musical theater.
At LGA, classmates might hear Starr before they see her, because she has a collection of key chains jingling from her backpack as she walks.
By her own admission, Starr has matured a lot at LGA from her middle-school days, when she said her grades were not good and she got into arguments with teachers that ended badly, with disciplinary penalties.
“I think it was part of growing up, but also, the staff here helped me to focus,” she said. “I had anger, and they helped me focus that anger and turn it into something else – they turned it into drive.”
For Starr, the sky is the limit now: She recently was accepted by Spelman College, in Georgia and by two California State University campuses – East Bay and Sacramento State. She’ll likely major in Criminal Law, English, or Art.
What drives Starr?
“I’ve had specific people in my life say, ‘Oh, you won’t have money to go to college so you might as well think about it now. Or, ‘You’ll never make the grades to be successful in life and you’ll just be a nobody,” she said. “I just want to prove them wrong. If you say I can’t do something, I’ll show you that I can.”