Those who know Bree Newsome — the young woman who climbed a flagpole in front of South Carolina's State House to remove the Confederate flag Saturday — aren't surprised by her bold step.
Even as a student at Columbia's Oakland Mills High School, she stood out for her accomplishments and leadership, former classmates said.
"This is what she was destined to do," said Amy Adler, who sang in the school choir with Newsome. "She literally took [the flag] into her own hands, which is very much what she does. She has a very on-the-ground, hands-on approach to change. I wish more people had her energy."
Howard County Councilman Calvin Ball, who lives in Oakland Mills, knows Newsome and praised her actions.
"I'm very proud of her for her courage and leadership," he said. "She continues to use her strength to fight for and empower others."