Leni Truong - The Cheerleader who isn't one.

Leni (pronounced “lie-knee”) Truong hit the nail directly on the head when she described herself as “the biggest cheerleader who isn’t a cheerleader”. While the Kellogsville senior may not be an official member of the Rockets cheerleading squad per se, the positive attitude Leni brings to her school in general and the volleyball team specifically has garnered the attention and appreciation of coach Mindy Wert.
“She is so positive,” Wert commented. “She cheers herself hoarse when she is not in the game.”
Wert has coached Truong for three years; one on the JV team and two on varsity. While Leni is not a starter, she is still considered a team leader by the coach because of her helpful, dependable day to day performance. Her teammates must share the coach’s opinion about leadership, because they elected Leni to be one of the captains this season.
“Leni is basically like an assistant to me,” Wert continued. “She is right there telling the other players exactly what I would say.”
Truong started playing volleyball her freshman year when a friend talked her into trying out. It was her first experience with a team sport competing against other teams and she loves it. Her favorite part of volleyball is working together toward a common goal: winning. Coach Wert assured us that Leni is a great example of good sportsmanship, but there is no doubt that she is competitive.
“I love to win,” Leni said with conviction. “I am all for the win, because when the team wins – we all win!”
Truong carries that same degree of enthusiasm into the rest of her school life. As a member of the K-Crew she travels with the football team wearing school colors and supporting the Rockets with both lungs. She has been involved in TAP (Teens Against Poverty) since the inception of the group three years ago. TAP members raise money for local ministries and conduct food drives to benefit people in need locally and as far away as Darfur. Leni loves science classes, her current fave is anatomy, and she studies hard which has paid off with a GPA of 4.327. She plans to attend the U of M to study pre-med.
When asked where she felt her studies would lead in terms of a career, Leni told us that she has debated between being a pediatrician and a plastic surgeon with plastic surgery being the current leader. Before we could comment on our perception of a big difference between the two she went on to explain that the type of plastic surgery she wants to specialize in would be reconstructive. Her goal would be to help those recovering from accidents or burns – with an emphasis on children.
Leni was elected President of the senior class after serving in a similar capacity as a junior. She presides over the 20 member student Congress which has helped her hone her diplomatic and leadership skills as she listens to the various ideas from members and tries to create a consensus. The Congress meets four to five times a month, more often around Homecoming and Prom, so she has plenty of opportunity to perfect the art of working with and leading a group.
As we were talking, Leni wanted to make sure she mentioned the most important people in her life. She is very proud of her mom, Helene, who is raising Leni and her brother Richard as a single parent. “I just love her for that,” Leni declared.
She also mentioned her “amazing best friend Aubrie Jarema”. She and Aubrie have been best friends since the third grade, but it has not always been smooth sailing.
“We fight all the time, but in the end we are always there for each other,” Leni explained.
In addition to coaching volleyball, Mindy Wert is the secretary for the Rocket athletic department which brings her into contact with most of the staff members at the High School. She reported that they all have positive things to say about Leni.
“The first thing I hear about her from staff members is usually, ‘Oh, I love Leni,’” Wert said. “I have never heard anything bad about her from anyone. She will definitely do well in life.”
We couldn’t agree more.
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