Class of 2011: Waukesha North Senior Uses Second Chance at Life to Help
Amanda Wozniak used the lessons she learned from a terrible accident to help out those in need.
When Waukesha North High School student Amanda Wozniak started her high school career, she encountered a life-altering event that changed her outlook on life.
Wozniak was severely injured in a car accident and had her life saved by medical personnel who wouldn’t stop helping until they knew she was going to live. While she doesn’t remember most of the experience, Wozniak said the first time she looked at her face and the shards of glass embedded in it, she had changed her outlook on life.
“I was so thankful for the people who wouldn’t quit to save me, and I knew that if I was given a second chance, I’d do everything I could to help others,” she said. “I was given my life back, so there’s no reason for me to not help other people.”
Four years after recovering from the car accident, Wozniak, 18, is graduating from Waukesha North on Saturday after spending her time there making a major difference for the lives of those around her.
After the accident and she was finally able to return to school, Wozniak said she joined the community service club and eventually the Future Business Leaders of America so she could help out. She started by adopting a family for Christmas and it soon grew into organizing walks to raise money for cancer and autism, holding a bowl-a-thon, helping the troops serving overseas and even raising enough money this year to adopt two families for Christmas.
Wozniak said she organizes most of the events by herself, even though she also works nearly 40 hours per week at two jobs and handling school work.
“I found the energy to do this because of my past experiences,” Wozniak said. “Because of my past experiences, really no matter how tired I was, I always worked to pull through.”
North Assistant Principal Mitch Weber said Wozniak is a very impressive young lady with a lot of gumption, creativity and drive.
“This is one dynamic, take charge, go the nine yard plus another nine yards for any project,” Weber said. "She’s one of our go-to kids around here”
Wozniak said she plans to attend Waukesha County Technical College in the fall to study nursing and then go on to eventually become a doctor so she can make a major impact in the lives of others.
And for incoming freshmen at North, Wozniak said they can also make a big difference for those who need it by just taking a few simple steps.
“Really the first step is to just go to a meeting and get the information,” Wozniak said. “It seems like a big leap, but you can do it just like I did and just jump in there.”