School: Carver High School- Health Sciences & Research
Grade: 12th Grade
“Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile.”
Edward Curney III, a 12th grader at Carver High School- Health Sciences & Research, tries to live by this quote each and every day.
“Since birth my parents have raised me to soar like an eagle and to be distinct,” Edward explained.
And Edward is certainly flying high.
Edward is a dedicated and ambitious scholar athlete with a current GPA of 3.7. He is also ranked in the top 10 percent of his class. In addition to scoring big in the classroom, Edward is also a phenomenal athlete. He is currently ranked as the 4th Best Inside Linebacker in the state of Georgia.
Several colleges are working to recruit Edward for his athletic ability and excellence in education, including Georgia State, Marshall, Appalachian State, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Virginia Tech and Yale.
Edward says is most excited about his offer from Yale.
“I want to major in business finance and own my own private institution one day,” Edward said. “I am looking forward to stepping out on faith and tackling the world on my own.”
Edward is determined to be successful and achieve his goals in life, and according to him, only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatness. Edward says that he has the made the choice to not be afraid to try unrealistic things, but instead, he will step out on faith, trust in God and persevere.
School: Kennedy Middle School
Grade: 8th Grade
Antionette Shannon is definitely a shining star at Kennedy Middle School. Her favorite subject has always been math, as she has always exceled in the subject.
Antionette works hard in the classroom, and she is determined to make her teachers and family proud. She attributes her success to the love and support of her family.
“Despite what I’ve lacked in life, I can replace that lack with love and support,” she said.
Antionette says that she doesn’t measure her success in material things, but instead, she values her education and focuses a lot of her time on studying and learning.
Antionette is an active participant of the Raising Expectations program, an after school activity at Kennedy Middle School. Since joining the program she has been afforded additional academic support to help meet her academic goals for the school year. Antionette has been recognized as an honor roll student, serves as the treasurer for the SGA club, and she was on the Principal’s List for the 2012-13 school year.
Antionette plans to attend Washington High School next year and participate in the Early College program. She lives by the Kennedy Theme for this school year, “staying the course, digging deeper, and reaching higher.”
Grade: 8th Grade
School: King Middle School
Marquis was selected as one of 25 student leaders from King Middle to participate in The Academy with DJ Drama, Don Cannon, DJ Sense, and DJ Era. The guests shared encouraging messages to the students, and awarded each student with a certificate for their leadership. “They shared different obstacles that they went through in order to succeed, and how education helped them get to where they are now,” Marquis says.
Marquis exemplifies great behavior, strong leadership, and makes good choices. He is an honor student, and his best subjects are language arts, math, and social studies. Marquis does the right thing even when no one is looking. He enjoys helping others, by encouraging them when they are feeling down, or helping them with their schoolwork. “I like to help other people, and to see them do well in school,” he says.
Marquis is also active in after school program, football, basketball, and swimming. He enjoys outdoor adventures in the woods, especially camping. His goal is to become an athlete and a motivational speaker in the future, and hopes to continue doing what he loves and serving others.
School: Scott Elementary School
Mention the name Ashley Naji to any staff member at Scott Elementary, and your words will be met with enthusiasm. When asked to describe the fourth-grader, Laura Woods, the school’s media specialist, instantly rattled off a long list of accolades without pausing.
Woods calls Ashley a “go to” person who is always ready for any task; as proof of this, Woods cites the time Ashley was asked to deliver the school’s morning announcements.
“She didn’t hesitate when we approached her, she jumped right in,” recalls Woods. “In fact, she even recruited other students to read the announcements for future broadcasts.”
Ashley is also a “go to” person when it comes to completing tasks away from school. Her grandmother owns a parking lot near Turner Field, and calls on Ashley to sell cold beverages to thirsty patrons headed to and from Braves games. Ashley admits that even though she enjoys doing her part to support the family business, there are times when she would rather be doing something else — especially when the games finish late.
“Sometimes they go all the way to the 16th inning, and 16 innings is a long time!” she says emphatically.
But even when the games end late, the Challenge student hangs in there, and keeps a positive spirit. “Besides,” she says, “You can make some real good money too.”
Ashley’s positive, can-do spirit is one reason she performs well in school. At the end-of-year awards ceremony last year, Ashley won awards in math, reading, science, social science and perfect attendance.
She says achieving perfect attendance was not hard, because she enjoys school so much.
“Well, I don’t like waking up to go to school, but once I’m there, I love it, because there is so much to do.
She loves math — especially multiplication – even when she comes across problems she doesn’t understand, like multiplying two-digit numbers by two-digit numbers. She says it was hard, but she kept studying and practicing until she got it – she never gave up.
Ashley also enjoys reading, so she visits the public library regularly. She recently finished reading “BFG: The Big Friendly Giant,” a book she now calls one of her favorites.
“I love it, because the author is so creative,” says Ashley. “He makes up silly words like, ‘scrumpdillyumptious’ and ‘snozzcumber.’
Ashley also participates in the school orchestra and P.O.W.E.R., Scott’s performing arts club.