Heavonly Boykin, 18, has maintained a part-time job and 3.0 GPA throughout her tenure at South Atlanta High School, and will soon become the first in her immediate family to receive a high school diploma and attend college.
This, despite life’s circumstances.
“I grew up with incarcerated parents,” Heavonly said. “When other students went home to parents, I went home to my single grandmother household. I look at it as a good thing because my life could’ve gone in a different direction.”
The eldest of four, Heavonly strives to be a positive role model for her 6-year-old brother and younger sisters, ages 9 and 5.
“They are who I do it for,” Heavonly said. “They look to me for guidance. Graduating from APS and going to college is an accomplishment. I’m the first in the family to ever do it. My father got his GED in jail. My grandmother never graduated. My mother never graduated.”
Not only will Heavonly graduate from high school on May 20, she will attend Bethune-Cookman University this fall on a full scholarship thanks to the 5 Strong Scholarship Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization that partners with eight HBCUs to provide groups of five students with full-tuition scholarships and mentorship from matriculation to graduation.
Her advice to her peers: “Don’t give up. Don’t feed into negativity either. Naysayers thought I would never graduate from high school. They thought I would be pregnant by now. I am still standing. You never know what someone is going through. Don’t bash them. Don’t praise them either. Just because you look at people who appear to have it together, doesn’t mean that they’re OK. Treat people how you would want to be treated.”
|Intended Major:||Business Administration or Mass Communications|
|Career Goal(s):||Marketing/Strategic Communications|
|Awards/Recognition:||5 Strong scholar, SkillsUSA participant, former Miss Ninth Grade, former Miss Tenth Grade, former Miss South Atlanta Business Association, reigning Miss South Atlanta, former ninth grade vice president, former 10th grade president, former 11th grade president, current Student Government Association president, Yearbook Club member |
Atlanta Public Schools will host high school commencement exercises Saturday, May 18 – Friday, May 24, 2019. All ceremonies — except Atlanta Classical Academy and Charles R. Drew Charter School — will be held at Georgia Institute of Technology, McCamish Pavilion,965 Fowler Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30318. For more information on commencement exercises, go to www.atlantapublicschools.us/gradnation.
We Are APS highlights APS visionaries (parents, students, teachers, principals, support staff, community members, partners, etc.), who exemplify our vision of a high-performing school district where students love to learn, educators inspire, families engage, and the community trusts the system. To recommend an APS visionary for a We Are APS feature, contact your communications liaison or email firstname.lastname@example.org.