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Stefanie Elsperman uses spiritual blog and group to inspire others

Courtesy of Stefanie Elsperman

Courtesy of Stefanie Elsperman

Standing with her father in front of Mount Missouri in Colorado, Stefanie Elsperman smiles after hiking 12 miles to the top of the mountain. Elsperman sees the outdoors as inspiration for meditation. “My family loves to go hiking, chilling out and meditating. We’re always out at parks with our dogs,” Elsperman said.

Sabrina Bohn, Parkway West High School

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Stefanie Elsperman, a junior at Washington University in St. Louis, did not have the typical high school experience. Instead of a standard four year high school program, she graduated a semester early to pursue her modeling career.

“When I was modeling in high school it was like ‘Oh, I don’t even know if I’ll go to college, I’ll take a gap year,’ ” Elsperman said. “But here I am, a college student still living in St. Louis, and I love it.”

While modeling, Elsperman was still able to earn all of her high school credits and participate in regular high school activities like volleyball thanks to her counselor, Christopher Lorenz.

“He rearranged my entire schedule and made sure my credits were good to go so that I could still go to college if I wanted to. That was huge and working with him was amazing,” Elsperman said.

Despite realizing her goal of becoming an international model, Elsperman decided to quit when it became an unhealthy place for her mind and body.

“When I came out of modeling, I was dealing with a lot of anxiety and depression,” Elsperman said. “Fortunately, I found a way to deal with these emotions and find something within me that could overcome when your mind is racing and you don’t know where to turn.”

After dealing with her own struggles, Elsperman realized that there must have been other young people feeling the same way she had felt. She created her blog “Stop. Drop. Awaken.” and her group Soul Circle in order to connect with young people by talking about empowerment, meditation and love.

“I know that I can use any sort of wisdom that I’ve learned along my path of struggling, and that can save someone from suffering, too. That’s why I [created the blog and group],” Elsperman said. “I wanna be that person that I didn’t have at that age.”

Soul Circle, which includes people ages 14-25, meets multiple times a month at Silver Lining, a boutique that also has wellness practitioners and classes.

“I created this group so that people can come together to uplift and empower each other,” Elsperman said. “I love it so much, it’s like my pride and joy being able to mentor these younger girls. When we all come together, it’s just magical.”

Because she is majoring in marketing and psychology, she interned at a content marketing agency this summer, which is also helping her develop her blog and group.

“At [Washington University], they really push internships, which is great because it’s real-world experience before you actually have to have a job,” Elsperman said. “This internship is teaching me how to manage my blog and how to put content out there in order to connect with other people, so I’m really excited.”

The ideas discussed in her blog and group usually surround spirituality and connecting with your intuition or higher self. Elsperman also uses these ideas and beliefs to help guide her through her own life.

“It keeps me motivated and positive because I know that no issue that I’m dealing with is ever that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things,” Elsperman said. “It’s just a lot of connecting with your intuition and not following all the shoulds in life.”

Although she has faced struggles during and after high school, she has learned from them.

“In high school, I know that it can seem like you have to follow the crowd, but really, we’re meant in this world to stand out and have our own unique gift,” Elsperman said. “So if you have those, which you do, everyone has their gift, use it.”

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