A self-professed devotee of academia - "I've always loved school" - the 17-year-old Freedom High senior is on the fast-track for valedictorian while managing to juggle a grueling academic schedule with an equally brutal extra-curricular program.
"Well, yes, I am very focused and driven, but I think I've learned to have a little more patience and to slow down," said Stephanie, who admits to struggling with down time. "But colleges today are so competitive, and you need to be well-rounded and do a lot of things; it looks better to the schools."
The school she is looking to impress is the prestigious Northwestern University in Illinois, with an eye toward medical school and a possible career in pediatrics.
Currently ranked among the top three in her class, she is taking all Advanced Placement courses this year, is a community volunteer and involved in a variety of clubs on campus, including the National Honor Society.
But Stephanie is much more than the sum of her parts. Fiercely devoted to her mother, Connie, and her two brothers - Tyler, 15, who has autism, and Tymothy, 13, who has a learning disability - Stephanie is a tireless advocate of what is most important to her: family.
"My mom has really inspired me to be who I am," said Stephanie. "She always put us first in everything. My family is my number-one priority."
As part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Stephanie is working this year to put on a prom for disabled students like Tyler, and is also planning a Halloween party for Tymothy's class.
"So far it's looking really good," she said, referring to her projects. "I would never have thought my younger brothers would be an inspiration to me, but they really are; we're very close."
In her off hours Stephanie is an avid reader - she's currently reading "Jane Eyre" - and she watches the Disney Channel with her brothers. "They're young and they still like it, and I don't mind," she said.
For now, Stephanie is working to balance her full load while keeping her eye, as always, on the ultimate prize: college. And although Northwestern is her first choice, Stephanie said she plans to apply to UC Davis, UCLA and Harvard as well.
"I was taught that education is something no one can take away from you, and I have taken that to heart," she said. "I'm just starting the college application process and I'm excited; I'm excited to see what the future brings."