"I'm probably the most aggressive player in the state of North Carolina," Stephenson said. "My goal is to win, but I want my teammates to be involved in it."
"I just love to play and show it on the court," Stephenson said.
Gary Blackmon, Stephenson's basketball coach, says she may look like a poodle but she has a bulldog's determination.
"If you are not better than her, then she will beat you," Blackmon said. "She is probably the hardest working athlete I have ever been around, male or female. That's what stands out about her."
"Her work ethic is so tremendous," Blackmon said.
Stevenson takes the same work ethic and passion into the classroom where she ranks 5th in a class of 260.
Cathy Pinner, a teacher at South Johnston High, says Stephenson is a natural leader.
"She is loved by her peers and teachers who feel this is the dream student," Pinner said. "She is engaging and a delight and beyond that, I wish you could see her in tandem with her three younger brothers because what a role model she is."
Stephenson says she just wants to be different.
"I don't like to sit back and accept what is given to me," Stephenson said. "I want to do the best with everything that God has given me so I can be the best I can be.
Senior Ruth Stephenson is the winner of this week's Extra Effort Award. Tom Suiter's Extra Effort award airs Wednesdays during WRAL's 6:00 News.
Do you have a nomination for the Extra Effort Award?Mail us your suggestions.
Copyright 2023 by Capitol Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.