Student Spotlight of the Week

jessicaName: Jessica Ifeadi

Grade: 12th Grade

School: Carver Early College

Jessica believes that Carver Early College was the right high school destination for her. It has stimulated Jessica’s natural interest in science to the point that she wants to major in Chemistry in college. She likes Carver Early College because the school is small and the teachers make it their mission to get to know the students. She appreciates the fact that most of her foundational courses were taken in the first two years of high school, so she could begin taking college classes her junior year.

Jessica’s high school experience has been enriched by her extracurricular activities. She was a member of the JROTC, where she gained valuable leadership skills and achieved the rank of captain. Because of her maturity and patience, she is being recruited to train incoming freshmen. JROTC also afforded her the opportunity to work with the Special Olympics by helping students to navigate the physical events.

Jessica is also a senior mentor and has two underclassmen “under her wings”. Her primary advice to them is not to play around when it comes to their classes and grades. Her cognizance of the importance of academics in high school has landed her a nomination for the Posse Scholarship.

Jessica found the “love of her life” at age nine. Dancing is a part of everything that she does, and she says that life without dancing would be tortuous. She is currently a member of three dance companies. She dances, teaches, and assists with classes at Norma’s Academy, she is a member of the Carver School of the Arts dance ensemble, and is a member of the Warehouse Dance Company. Her membership in the Warehouse Dance Company enables her to visit various venues and offer free classes to girls ages 12 – 18, demonstrating how dance can be a creative form of exercise that promotes physical fitness.

Jessica’s dream goal would be to double major in Dance and Chemistry. These aspirations have Jessica’s sights set on attending Fordham University or the University of California at Berkeley. When she graduates from college, she would like to dance professionally as well as work in a lab as a researcher. These two careers goals will keep her “dancing with the stars.”
– written by Linda Green, Media Specialist at Carver Early College

isabellaName: Isabella Minter

Grade: 12th Grade

School: Therrell High School- School of Law, Government & Public Policy

Isabella Minter is a bright and ambitious senior at D.M. Therrell High School- School of Law, Government & Public Policy. Isabella Minter is certainly taking advantage of scholarship opportunities and opportunities to shine outside of the classroom as she prepares to head to college next year.

This summer, Isabella competed in the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major for Justice Advocacy Competition sponsored by MetLife, in conjunction with the National Bar Association (NBA). The national advocacy competition, which is held annually by the National Bar Association, offers high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to win college scholarships by demonstrating their advocacy skills through writing essays and giving oral presentations. The competition is divided into three rounds consisting of local, regional and national rounds.

This year’s competition topic was “If Martin Luther King, Jr. were alive ,would he advocate to repeal the Florida Stand Your Ground Law and other similar laws?”  The Gate City Bar Association hosted the local round of the essay competition for Atlanta area high school students. Student essays were judged based on quality, content, persuasiveness, style, organization and creativity.

Isabella Minter was recognized as the Gate City Bar Association’s local competition winner, allowing her to move on to compete in the regional level of the competition. In June, Isabella placed 1st in Region XI’s MLK Competition (Alabama, Florida, Georgia) winning $1000 in scholarship money and a trip to Miami, Florida, to compete in the National Competition.

Finally, on July 31, 2013, Isabella competed in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major for Justice Advocacy National Competition in Miami, Florida. She placed 3rd in the nation and was awarded a total of $3,000 in scholarships.

Congratulations to Isabella on her recent accomplishments!

justin-cucchi1Name: Justin Cucchi

Grade: 10th Grade

School: Grady High School

Justin was one of 15 students from the United States selected to participate in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Ocean for Life Program this past summer in Santa Barbara, California. Ocean for Life is an educational marine science field study program that enhances cultural understanding among high school students through ocean science. To enter this program, Justin had to submit several essays, teacher recommendations, and show his involvement in the community.

“I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in marine biology, and I thought this program would be fun and help me know which direction I wanted to go,” Justin says. He says that this trip was an eye-opening experience for him. A marine biologist shared a presentation from his trip to a Hawaiian island where he found a dead bird that had trash inside its body.

“It hit me pretty hard,” Justin says. “I didn’t realize how bad it was until he showed this powerpoint presentation.”

One of Justin’s projects was to create a video with his group that depicted the theme of “Sense of Place,” and he fully enjoyed capturing footage throughout this trip. Click here to watch the video.

One of the highlights for Justin was meeting other students from around the world. Students from 7 other countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and more, participated in this program.

“I got to connect with them and see how they lived their daily lives, and how their culture is different,” he says.

Justin is an honors student at Grady and pursues his conservation interests as the President of the Earth Club. He is also an active athlete as a member of Grady’s swim team, DeKalb Aquatics swim team, and APS water polo team. In his free time, Justin also volunteers at the Atlanta Zoo, where he educates the public about animal conservation and provides information about zoo animals.

“I love to gather facts, answer questions, and educate the guests of what is happening,” Justin says. “It’s fun to make people aware and teach what I love.”

Name:    De’lante JordanIMG_4736

Grade:   8th

School:  Harper-Archer Middle School

De’lante Jordan is proof that you don’t have to be like everyone else to garner respect from your classmates, or to become a leader among your peers.  In fact, one could argue that doing things differently from the middle school status quo, is exactly what makes him stand out as someone special.

“Everyone knows and respects De’lante,” says his former math teacher and current Harper-Archer Athletic Director Alana Allen.  “De’lante is an outstanding student.  He made straight A’s in my class last year, and he continues to excel this year.”

Allen adds that De’lante always has his work, asks questions when he does not understand and always stays on task.  What’s more, De’lante has managed to avoid giving in to the temptation of misbehaving and being disrespectful in order to appear ‘cool.’

As wide receiver for the school’s 4-0football team and first baseman for the school’s baseball team, De’lante says when he’s not at school he stays busy by working out or practicing in order to hone his skills.  He also finds time to read to stay mentally active.

“I don’t like just sitting around,” he says.  “I might watch t.v.  or play games for a little while, but then I have to find something else to do to stay busy.”

“Not only is he an all-around great student, he is just a total gentleman in every way,” says Allen, and she credits all of this to the strong male influence in his life.

According to Allen, De’lante’s father is very active in every aspect of De’lante’s life.  He is active in the school PTA, attends all of Delante’s games, and he has done an excellent job teaching him how to behave and build character.

Even though De’lante plays by the rules – out of habit more than necessity – his peers do not hassle him about it, they respect him even more.

During his first year at Harper-Archer, the students elected De’lante – only a seventh-grader at the time — vice-president of the student body, a position normally held by eighth graders.

And De’lante has noticed that his teammates seem to regard his opinions and advice on the football field with a lot more reverence this year; a true sign that he is coming into his own as a leader.

He also served as a fitness center representative during the recent ribbon cutting event for the school’s $100,000 fitness center, made possible by the National Foundation for Governor’s Fitness Councils Grant.

De’lante would like to attend the University of Alabama for college, and plans to pursue a career as a sports entrepreneur if he does not play professional athlete.

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