EUREKA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Senior year is special for Ella Ausmus.
She played an entire volleyball season about ten months after having major knee surgery to repair a torn ACL. She suffered the injury last December, early in the basketball season.
And now she’s returned to her Eureka High School basketball teammates.
“Being back is amazing,” said Ausmus. “There’s always a thought in my mind like ‘what if’ (it happens again). But you have to go for it. No fear.”
Ausmus is all-in with her student life as well. She holds a perfect 4.0 grade point average and is also taking a college-level class to become an Emergency Medical Technician.
As part of the class, two mornings a week she’s goes on ride-alongs in ambulances.
“It gives me a bigger perspective on the world and the community,” said Ausmus. “It opens my eyes to different things happening around me. I experience things I’ve never experienced before.”
In addition to playing two sports, having straight A’s and riding in ambulances for a class, Ausmus runs a cookie business that she uses for fundraising.
She started doing in during the pandemic in 2020. She calls her business Ella’s Blessings.
Her big push is making cookies in the spring when Eureka has its Fight for Life week to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
“I raise money for Fight For Life and for Butterfly Haven, for emergency foster care,” said Ausmus. “I hope to have (a fundraiser) soon for a club in school called Best Buddies.”
She impressed people in sports and outside of sports.
“I have two daughters and a son,” said Eureka girls basketball coach Jerry Prina. “I tell my daughters this is what it looks like. This is what you should strive for when you get to that age. Try and help people, serve others, sacrifice your time to help other people.”