Michael Hornsby, 18, will graduate from Booker T. Washington High School with a 3.8 GPA, early college credits and his eyes set on the next prize: a college degree.
“I’m ready to graduate and move on to the next level of life,” he said. “I finally made it.”
This fall, Michael plans to attend Georgia State University and major in business management. He has hopes to become a real estate mogul. But mostly, he wants to continue to set a good example for his four younger siblings. They are his main motivation.
“In ninth grade, my mother and father went through a big divorce, and we were forced to move in with my grandmother,” said Michael, who says he shares a three bedroom, one bathroom home with 10 people. “I haven’t slept on a bed in years. I currently sleep on a futon with my siblings. Me being the only male, (I have a grandfather, but he’s handicapped. My father lives there, but he’s not a hands-on father. My grandmother is a mixture of my dad and mom.) Everything I do, they look up to.”
Michael says the stress of his environment was once too much to bare. Ending his life seemed like a better alternative.
“I didn’t have that motherly-fatherly love, and I didn’t want to stress my grandmother. I want her last days to be wonderful. The love was there, but I didn’t feel it,” he said. “There was a time when I wanted to commit suicide. I literally had the thing around my neck, and my brother knocked on my door and asked me if I wanted to play the game. That’s when I realized that I have to set the example so that they don’t turn out to be a suicide case or live on the streets. I wanted to be better, so that they can do better.”
Michael has worked hard to maintain all As and Bs while juggling a part-time job and taking early college classes at Georgia State University. Working didn’t leave him much time to participate in extracurricular activities, but during his senior year he was able to play varsity soccer.
“I’ve had so much stress on my shoulders that there was never any ‘me time,’” Michael said. “That’s another reason why the suicide came up. I learned that I have to be happy.”
What makes Michael happy is spending time with his siblings, which is why he decided to stay at home and attend Georgia State University.
“I’m so blessed to have my grandmother,” he continued. “My grandmother just took all of us in. Without her I wouldn’t be here. Same thing for my siblings; without their love, I wouldn’t have made it.”
A lifelong Atlanta Public Schools student, Michael is an alumnus of E.L Colony Elementary (now Tuskegee Airman Global Academy), Brown Middle School, and soon to be Booker T. Washington High School.
“It’s just a blessing to be here today to say that I graduated,” Michael said. “I fought through all the pain, the hate, the cursing out. I’m here today because I kept a stable mindset, a keep-moving-forward mindset. I can’t give up, because if I give up, my siblings give up. It’s a blessing to see all my hard work be congratulated for once in my life.”
|College/University:||Georgia State University|
|Intended Major:||Business Management|
|Career Goal:||Real Estate Mogul|
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.