Academic. Athlete. Actor. Sterling Blackburn is quiet, observant and impeccably mannered on the outside, and the quintessential high school achiever on the inside. “I just want to be the best that I can be with what God has given me,” is how this 16 year old student at Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy (ELCA) describes his approach to life.
As we walked through the corridors of ELCA toward the library for our interview, students and teachers alike gave Sterling looks of approval and support. Once we reached the library, I asked Sterling to tell me about himself. He began by talking about the importance of education and his fondness for his school. For Sterling, education is a priority. He has established a solid work-ethic in his approach to school assignments. Although very active in extra-curricular activities, he doesn’t let this overwhelm him; he continues to achieve good grades.
His parents play a paramount role in keeping him on track, and he attributes much of his academic achievement to them. His favorite class this year is Physics, because he finds he can apply its concepts to everyday life. He has aspirations for a career in the field of engineering after college.
After his school work is finished, Sterling can be found on the basketball court playing for his school or Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team. He is a passionate athlete who enjoys playing the versatile position of small forward on his team. Quite fitting for such a versatile young man.
As the eldest of 5 children, Sterling is used to sharing the spotlight. Recently, however, he was propelled onto center stage when he received an acting award. The ELCA Drama Team placed first overall in the Georgia High School Association One Act Team Regional Championship. Sterling was honored with the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Captain Jack Ross of Aaron Sorkin’s classic courtroom drama, A Few Good Men. Undeniably an ambitious character for any high school student to portray, Sterling said of his winning, “When they called my name I was in total shock. I looked up and thought, ‘me?’” Sterling describes his experience with his drama team as “fun and loving.” And I couldn’t help but look amused when he followed up by saying that acting gives him an opportunity “to be a kid again.”
In the classroom, on the field or on the stage, Sterling is as humble as he is high achieving. He is a role model and inspiration, and one of the gems of Henry County.