Grads' stories inspiring

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Recent news stories by The Augusta Chronicle’s education reporter, Tracey McManus, which featured two high-school graduates, Jamilla Shabazz from Glenn Hills High School and Jesika McNeal from Cross Creek High School, were so inspiring.

Both of these young ladies surmounted great difficulties in achieving their goal of graduating from high school, and no doubt represent many other students who also have strived to overcome numerous hardships to graduate.

These young people serve as a reminder of the resiliency of the human spirit in difficult circumstances, as well as the impact of having someone caring and compassionate to come along and lend assistance at a crucial point.

For these two young ladies, their guidance counselors, Monique Sheppard at Glenn Hills High School and Ame Holmes at Cross Creek High School, stepped in to fill that need. These two counselors are a tribute to our school system, and represent many other dedicated staff throughout our schools who go well beyond the scope of their duties to guide students through hardships to achieve success.

The value of public education is that it gives everyone, regardless of circumstances, the opportunity to learn and achieve. But along with this privilege of opportunity comes responsibility on the part of all involved, not only the school system but the students, their parents and community, to promote respectfulness and appropriate behavior as well as a willingness to learn.

Certainly, Jamilla Shabazz and Jesika McNeal are two students who realized the value of their opportunity for education and, in spite of all their hardships, achieved their goal of graduating.

Congratulations to both of them, and to all our other high-school students who graduated this year, and much success to each of them as they go forth in life.

(The writer represents at-large District 10 on the Richmond County Board of Education.)

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willie7 06/11/13 - 10:49 am
A very nice letter Mrs.

A very nice letter Mrs. Minchew, complementing these two students and their counselors for being very productive.

Fiat_Lux 06/11/13 - 11:32 am
Thank you for this LTE

I also hope these two young ladies find great success in all their endeavors, and that the people who helped them reach this, one of their first goals, are rewarded 100-fold for their kindness and commitment. They surely deserve it.

Darby 06/11/13 - 02:37 pm
Just a little anecdotal sidebar here.

Sometime, the hurdles a student has to overcome are built into the system.

My granddaughter was advised by her "guidance counselor" at a local magnet school that she didn't have what it took to go on to higher aspirations even though she had a grade point average within a tiny fraction of a percent of the school's valedictorian in her senior year.

She was advised that it she went to college at all, she should enroll at ASU and let that be it.

Long story short, she ignored the "advice". She was recruited by Columbia University, an Ivy League school and the prestigious NYU. Of the two, NYU had the Anthropology program she wanted. That was four years ago.

Two weeks ago, she graduated, with honors (again). Prior to that, she spent three months in Kenya studying with the famous Leaky family. She is now remaining at NYU over the summer to do research in the field of anthropology prior to beginning her Master's program in the fall. She has always been academically driven.

Yes, we're proud of her, but that's NOT what this post of about.

I'm just wondering how many other students followed that "guidance counselor's" advice and set their sights on a lower goal?

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