Manuela Spanjic

by Brian Clarey

Manuela Spanjic’s appearance at the YES! Weekly offices caused quite a stir ‘— she stood just over six feet in her strappy, high-heeled sandals and moved with the fluid gait of a seasoned model. And we were impressed with more than her appearance: Manuela, an 18-year-old who graduated with honors from Ragsdale High School in 2005, is a native of the former Yugoslavia and moved to Greensboro six years ago with her family. She is currently pursuing dual degrees in international business and German at UNCG, where she recently completed her freshman year. She speaks three languages and, she dropped as an afterthought toward the end of the interview, she is a cancer survivor who successfully staved off leukemia at 15. This summer she’s fielding offers from modeling agencies and preparing for a semester abroad in Leon, France. ‘“Don’t take anything for granted,’” the wise-beyond-her-years teenager said with an accent tinged with traces of Serbo-Croatia. ‘“I want to go out and do everything I always dreamed of doing.’”