Category Archives: #MNPSco2017

#MNPSco2017: Jontae Meadows, Hume-Fogg Magnet High School

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When Jontae Meadows, a senior at Hume-Fogg Magnet High School, started high school, he faced struggles most students don’t. He was practically homeless and lacked the focus and fundamental skills he needed to be successful at an academic magnet.

When most students would use their difficult situation as a crutch or excuse, Jontae didn’t. His interest in young adult fiction and love of reading helped him persevere.

When Jontae entered his junior year, he started showing maturity, both personally and academically. He effectively used his study hall period, improved his grades and continued reading.

Jontae has maintained his motivation throughout his senior year and applied to multiple colleges. He will be graduating on May 16 and looks forward to going to college in the fall.

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#MNPSco2017: Robert Taylor, Middle College High School

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For his entire senior year, Robert Taylor, a senior at Middle College High School, has been living independently.

The summer before his senior year, Robert aged out of Department of Children Services custody, and since then he has been a part of the Independent Living Program with Monroe Harding.

“He is a very responsible, mature and determined young man,” said Chanta Hobson, his school counselor. “He is unlike any other senior I have known in my career.”

Despite his personal hardships, Robert has managed to have a successful senior year by taking care of all of his academic and personal responsibilities. This fall he will participate in the Volunteer Bridge Program, a program for students that will attend Pellissippi State Community College for their first year of college. He will then transfer to the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in the fall of 2018.

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#MNPSco2017: Abdulkarim Abbas, Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School

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Abdul and his family moved to the United States from Yemen in 2010 to escape the country’s devastating economic hardships.  Though he was still in middle school at the time, he took personal responsibility to learn to speak, read and write English.  He has always pursued the most rigorous curriculum he could successfully navigate, as he truly believes in the value of hard work and accepting challenges.  Though he can readily recall many days when he went home and cried because he was teased for not knowing the English language, he never let that “roadblock” dampen his optimism and enthusiasm for learning.

Abdul is a valued member of Pearl Cohn’s Academy of Entertainment Communication Broadcasting Team, and has developed advanced skills as a camera operator, editor, producer, and director.  He was nominated for a student Emmy Award for his work on “Justice,” a student-produced courtroom miniseries. He regularly creates both football and basketball television stories for broadcasts.  He is an outstanding soccer player, a community volunteer, and a dedicated employee of the Capitol Tower Market, where he stocks and serves as cashier.  His ability to speak both English and Arabic serves him well in his customer service-oriented job.

“Abdul’s resilience and dogged determination are well-known and admired by both peers and faculty,” said Connie Hensley,  a college and career counselor at Pearl-Cohn High School. His favorite quote is from Paul Brandt: “Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon.”  We have no doubt that Abdul will continue reaching for the moon!

Abdul graduated in the top five percent of his graduating class this year. During his senior year he enrolled in Advanced Placement classes and earned recognition for both perfect attendance and Honor Roll.  He will attend Belmont University next year on a full “Bridges to Belmont” scholarship.

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