Abounding with academic accolades and honors, the New Schools at Carver Class of 2016 lives up to their legacy namesake – prominent scientist and inventor George Washington Carver. This year’s class of 252 scholar-graduates certainly makes the Atlanta Public Schools community proud, as it boasts more than $20 million in scholarships, a Gates Millennium Scholar, POSSE Scholar, and more than 5,000 volunteer hours.
From achievements in the arts, academics, athletics and community service, the Carver Panthers accomplishments are outstanding. In addition to scholarships and community service, Shakari Freeman received the Fine Arts Award; Jeremiah Abby and Jacoby Hill were named to 5A All-State football squad; and Darlene Samuels was awarded an impressive five track scholarships!
The valedictorians and salutatorians are clearly outstanding, representing the best and brightest at Carver High and Carver Early College. Here is a snapshot of this year’s top students.
Meet the Valedictorians:
Throughout her high school journey, Druonna Collier has always pushed herself beyond what is expected with the belief that, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.” She has been the valedictorian for her class since freshman year. Dually enrolled at Atlanta Metropolitan State College and Carver School of the Arts, Druonna plans to attend George Washington University to achieve her career goal of becoming a clinical geneticist. “My grandmother is my greatest influence,” she said. “She takes every obstacle that is thrown at her and handles it with grace – whether it’s having a child early, being unemployed, or finding the next meal for her family. She has a lot of pride and patience. I really admire her for that.”
A highly motivated student at both the New Schools at Carver Early College and Georgia State University, Jaylyn Gills is a founding member of the Youth Empowerment for Environmental Awareness Club, a member of Gracefully Matriculating Sisters, a school sisterhood, and president of her Advisement Class. At Georgia State, Jaylyn has challenged herself with rigorous classes such as psychology and French. Inspired by her four years of volunteer work with Georgia Artists with Disabilities, Jaylyn aspires to become a psychiatrist and a global mental health advocate. She plans to major in neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University in the fall.
Angel Robinson has been awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships and accepted into more than 20 colleges, including Xavier University in New Orleans, which she has decided to attend and major in pre-pharmacy. She wants to become a compound pharmacist. As valedictorian of the High School of Health Sciences & Research, Angel is among the top 10 percent of her class, a ranking she has maintained since arriving at high school. As a junior, she was accepted in the dual-enrollment program at Atlanta Metropolitan State University. Angel says her mother is her biggest influence. “She always told me that whatever I put my mind to, I could do it,” said Angel, whose mother is currently pursuing her doctorate degree. “She’s been a real motivation and role model. If she can keep pushing, so can I.”
Treylon Wofford has demonstrated fortitude in the face of adversity. Since the age of 9, he has persevered, remaining focused and committed to his education. As a freshman at the High School of Technology, Treylon vowed to graduate at the top his class by being himself—congenial, motivated and disciplined. The top-performing student focuses on learning and sharing information about other cultures. “I’m a curious person and I’m willing to try almost anything,” said Treylon, who credits his father as his greatest influence. “I tried robotics, and realized I was good at it.” Treylon is currently taking classes at Georgia State University to get a head start on his goal to become a robotics engineer. He plans to attend Kennesaw University to study mechanical engineering technology.
Amina Glass is an intelligent, thoughtful and ambitious young woman. Her commitment and diligence as a National Honor Society and Beta Club member, and student at Carver Early College and Georgia State University, have allowed
Amina to excel and become the STAR Student and Salutatorian of her graduating class. Amina has maintained a revered 4.3 GPA at Georgia State University and achieved the highest score on the SAT while continuing her commitment to her school community. In addition to her academic work, Amina has laid the foundation to become a physician. She plans to attend Georgia State University and major in biology and pre-medicine.
Kira Kellogg and her three older sisters grew up learning never to give up. That perseverance from her mother and sisters inspires her to keep trying her best, especially in school so
she can continue to be an amazing role model for
her nieces and make her mother and sisters proud. Armed with a 3.75 grade-point average, this National Honor Society member and University of Georgia Certificate of Merit recipient plans to attend the University of Georgia and major in psychology and pre-Law. She aspires to become either a marriage and family therapist or criminal defense attorney.
Growing up as the only girl and youngest of her siblings, Kierra Simuel is the first person in her family to graduate as salutatorian. Kierra is a a National Merit Scholar and is recognized on her school’s Dean’s List, as well as perfect attendance, top student in physics, Most Valuable Player in softball, and for her leadership as captain
of the softball and tennis teams. Also, she is a member of the Gifted Foundation and a proud debutante. As a student leader, Kierra is determined to make a difference in the world. A quote she lives by is, “It’s easy to stand with the crowd, but it takes courage to stand alone.” She plans to attend the University of Georgia to major in mechanical engineering.
D’Asia Williams has an affinity for technology. She has already earned a certificate in computer programming, Photoshop and scratch programming and coding, has excelled in her other studies, and is ready to pursue a career as an organic chemist. When she’s not in the classroom, D’Asia volunteers in the community as vice president of Elite Sisterhood Inc., a nonprofit mentoring program where she has accumulated over 200 community hours during high school. In October 2014, D’ Asia served on the host committee for the International Day of the Girl Rally, and she helped
Elite Sisterhood secure a grant to provide a day of service learning for over 100 girls in Atlanta. She plans to attend Valdosta State University where she will double major in chemistry and business.
Taniya Shockley is another outstanding student to watch. As the STAR student of the High School of Health Sciences & Research, Taniya has overcome major adversity to become a shining example of resilience and determination. With aspirations of becoming a pediatrician, she plans to attend the University of West Georgia to major in biology and pre-medicine as part of the school’s honors program. Her greatest influence is her foster mother, who took her in at the age of 16. “She teaches me the right way, and I respect her, Taniya said. “I call her Mom. She’s always there for me.”
Congratulations Carver High and Carver Early College graduates — You make us #APS STRONG!
Read about all of the outstanding APS Valedictorians and Salutatorians: 2016_Vals-Sals_Bios and Photos