We Are APS: Hannah Vaughn

Hannah Vaughn, 18, was known as the “Morale Officer” in JROTC, as she always tried to keep everyone’s spirits high. She took pride in mentoring three freshman cadets and even earned the honor of Cadet of the Month quite a few times.

“JROTC was the highlight of my high school,” said Hannah as she reminisced on her days at Pace High School in Florida.

Hannah moved to Atlanta last year to live and take advantage of resources provided at Wellspring Living, an organization devoted to transforming lives of those at risk or victimized by sexual exploitation.

“They try to teach women that you are more than what people see in you; that’s helped me a lot,” Hannah said. “For a long time, as a woman, and especially living in a southern rural community, I grew up watching women use their looks for value. ‘Oh. I’m pretty, so I can get this done.’ ‘Oh. I’m attractive, so men will do this for me.’ A lot of girls think that their only worth was how pretty they are. I struggled with that.”

As a result, Hannah ran away from home at age 17.

“A lot of that, me running away was that I saw my worth in a man, not as Hannah,” she said.

These days, Hannah focuses her attention on graduating from Crim Open Campus High School and continuing the foundation set as a JROTC cadet by joining the Coast Guard.

“I am so freaking excited,” she said. “Out of all my roommates, I am the only one graduating. Everyone else is getting their GED. There’s nothing wrong with that, but getting my diploma means the world to me. I am so happy.”

Post-High School Plans:Coast Guard
Career Goal:Maritime Enforcement Specialist

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 apscommunicationsoffice@gmail.com.

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