Summer Spotlight: The Steller Sisters

Middle school sisters, Ashlyn and Jillian Steller, began this past spring searching for an enrichment program that didn’t fit the usual mold. Softball leagues, swimming teams and robot camps - while intriguing - didn’t quite match their interests or inspire any excitement. After reading the descriptions of the Bright Lights Summer Camps, they gave it a try not knowing what they would expect. Though they were hesitant at first, within mere minutes of the first camp they found themselves with the opportunity to step out and be leaders.

Being a little older than many of the campers, Ashlyn participated with enthusiasm and modeled and encouraged others to do the same. She embraced the chance to mentor her younger campers and showed them how to be brave and try out the variety of new experiences the camps provided - from serving at the Kansas City Soup Kitchen to writing and performing their own songs. Just a bit younger, Jillian also took time to invest in the other campers, always eager to jump in and share her creativity and spark for learning. They were caring, kind and bold, making other campers naturally drawn to them. 

Serving at Harvesters during the Caring Leaders camp. 

Serving at Harvesters during the Caring Leaders camp. 

The sisters participated in five of the six summer camps and with each camp completed, their confidence to share and shine grew stronger. Not just participants, as the camps continued on through the summer the sisters took ownership in the program, volunteering to set up, clean up and seek out ways to ensure everything ran smoothly.

Ashlyn and Jillian used their time this summer with Bright Lights Institute to cultivate their leadership skills, with their success providing them with greater confidence to take on the challenges of a new school year. Are you looking for a program designed to unlock the hidden gifts in your student this fall? Join the Bright Lights Institute family on Monday evenings this September and help your child expand his or her horizons. To register or learn more about our fall programming, check us out at