Herbst, 15, competed in gymnastics for the past 12 years and is now shifting her focus to competitive cheerleading, tumbling and pole vaulting outside of school. She will cheer for the Raiders beginning next year in an attempt to become even more involved in the school and she said her time spent as a gymnast has improved much more than just her time management.
“The competitive aspect of both of them is similar,” she said, “With school you have to be very on top of things and the same thing with sports. You have to know exactly what you’re doing, when you are doing it and you have to stick to that date.”
In her second year at Reed High, Herbst is active in the school’s Leadership class allowing her plenty of opportunities for community service, school-wide awareness campaigns and plenty of interaction with classmates she now considers her “family.” She said working with organizations such as the Children’s Miracle Network and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has not only shown her different leadership opportunities, but helped her discover she is prepared to handle anything.
“I have gotten a lot out of Leadership,” Herbst said. “It is very time consuming, which is kind of hard with my schedule, but being able to be in the class teaches you everything and prepares you for everything. It teaches you to be on top of your work and know you can handle anything the advisor throws at you.
“I have met a lot of people that I will be friends with forever and they are like family to me. I will always have friends who I am talking to outside of that class but those people in there are like family. We spend a lot of time together and we have to be able to work together.”
Herbst is also active in Reed’s H.O.P.E. Academy, which tailors to students anticipating a career in the medical field, where she has found ample opportunity to explore her plans to become a neonatal nurse specializing in aiding newborns suffering from a variety of health issues. She said her love of children stems from a combination of the years helping her mother at home and speaking to medical professionals on field trips with the H.O.P.E. Academy.
“My mom did foster care for a long time and I have always liked to help with the kids, and I am really good with blood and that kind of stuff so I felt that would be fun,” Herbst said. “I have gotten to talk with people who are neonatal nurses and I have gotten to hear some of the experiences, the good and the bad, and it has helped me decide that would be something I would enjoy.
“(Professionals) talked about how helpful it is and how easy it is to get attached to the kids and really enjoy helping them. They also said it can be very hard because sometimes they lose them and you have to be mentally strong. I have always been that way and I think gymnastics helped me become mentally strong.”
Herbst currently keeps busy both inside and outside of school with various Leadership projects and with her competitive pole vaulting and cheer teams. She said she hopes to attend an out-of-state college where she will be able to obtain a scholarship for acrobatics and tumbling.
Herbst said “acro-tumbling” will allow her to use her gymnastic abilities on a larger scale and compete at the collegiate level in cheerleading. As far as leaving the state for college, she said she wants the chance to grow up.
“It is not that I want to get away from my family, but I want to have the chance to be able to grow up a little bit,” Herbst said adding that the seasons of Nevada are also a reason to find warmer weather. “I would rather be somewhere tropical — like Hawaii.”