7 a.m. on Monday and a loud buzzing sound repeatedly goes off from the alarm on the nightstand. Staci Popejoy rolls over in her bed and presses the snooze button. The alarm sounds yet again at 7:30, but this time she acknowledges it and hops out of the bed and into the shower. She gets ready to go to work at StraCon Services Group by throwing on a pair of slacks, a nice shirt and fixes her hair. She packs up her soccer bag and a lunch for later and grabs a granola bar for breakfast as she heads out the door.
She throws her bags into the passengers seat of her 2003 Altima, starts the engine and drives to Starbucks. As she waits in the drive thru line, she embraces her spare time and applies her makeup before being handed her cup of regular coffee?coffee and arriving to StraCon Services Group by 9 a.m.
For this Texas Wesleyan senior accounting major, today is her easy day because she doesn’t have class. But as soon as she gets done with work at 3:30 p.m., she will rush to her car and head onto U.S. 287 North until she arrives at Texas Wesleyan University for soccer practice. Because the soccer team does not have a locker room, she gets dressed in the athletic training room, then rushes to the soccer fields to make in time for practice.
“My coach has been very flexible with my job,” Popejoy said.
During practice, Popejoy takes on her daily role as a leader, alongside her fellow seniors.
Popejoy’s teammates and friends know her as the encourager. Her best friend since 6th grade, Natalie Nimeh said, “She impacts almost every person she comes in contact with and influences everyone around her, no matter what is going on in her life.”
Growing up in Crowley, 20 minutes outside of Fort Worth, Popejoy currently plays with one of her high school soccer teammates, Paige Wheaton. Wheaton is a classification and position on the Lady Rams’ soccer team. She said Popejoy has always been the positive player.
“You can always count on her to say something positive, whether it is on or off the field; she’s the one to pick up our spirits,” Wheaton said. “Staci’s the team mom.”
Popejoy embraces her team mom role on the Lady Rams’ soccer team.
“I got my motherly qualities from my mother, because she is just the best mom,” Popejoy said. “She teaches me to be Christ-like daily. She’s always been my caregiver when times get tough, and we have always had an understanding that I can talk to her about anything without having to worry about her loving me any less.”
In November 2012, Popejoy had the opportunity to show her mother all that she had learned from her when her mother was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer.
“Something amazing happened during that time,” Popejoy said, “Our roles switched. I had the opportunity to take care of my mom.”
During this same time, Popejoy suffered through another hardship. The same month she found out her mother had cancer, Popejoy suffered a major injury tearing ACL, meniscus and re-tore her MCL which she had torn just a month before by going for a tackle in practice.
“You wouldn’t have known about her mom because she didn’t bring it on the field,” Wheaton said.
Popejoy continued to take care of her mother while she recovered from her injuries.
“I absolutely loved taking her to appointments, helping her pick out a wig, and encouraging her through her journey,”Popejoy said “She is now cancer-free, and we are closer than ever.”
As the sun begins to set and practice ends, Popejoy rushes home, gets cleaned up and grabs some food before leaving once more to attend her Community Group, a time of fellowship with other Christians, at 7:30 p.m.
“The time I have with my Community Group is the highlight of my week, because I’m constantly encouraged and cared for, run on -10 and I get to care for and encourage others in return,” Popejoy said.
When her Community Group ends, the Dean’s list student and Wes Scholarship recipient completes her online homework and quizzes. Though her goal is to be in bed by 11 p.m., most days it remains only a goal and not an accomplishment.
As Popejoy prepares for bed, she knows that Tuesday will be just as busy with the addition of a class. But at the end of every day, she finds rest in the fact that when she graduates in May, she will have a full-time job at StraCon, friends to last a lifetime and a what kind of degree degree from Texas Wesleyan University.