Posts filed under ‘Cool Kid’
Name: Jazziyah Taylor
Grade: 2nd Grade
School: D.H. Stanton Elementary
Jazziyah Taylor is a 2nd grader at D.H. Stanton who strives to be a high performing student both in and out of the classroom. She is a bright and talented addition to D.H. Stanton as an Honor Roll student, as well as an all-star cheerleader. Since Kindergarten, she has been excelling in all subject areas and is part of the Talent Development Program at D.H. Stanton this year. Her favorite subject is math, and she is also an avid reader of chapter books. Jazziyah’s diligence and consistent advancement is a great example and motivator to students around her.
Apart from her academic achievements, Jazziyah has athletic talent as an all-star cheerleader. She has accumulated 4 years of cheering experience and is currently in her 3rd year at the all-star level with CAO Elite in Jonesboro, Georgia. Her skills are classified as a Level 2 tumbler, and she is currently a flyer on two teams at an award winning gym. Her team went undefeated the entire season during her first year. Over the years, Jazziyah won many medals and trophies for both her academic and cheerleading achievements. In addition, she recently stepped into pageantry and competed in her first pageant. “Cheerleading makes me happy and I really like tumbling. I also like getting dressed up and wear different outfits. I want to be a beautician when I grow up,” Jazziyah says.
Grade: 8th Grade
School: Bunche Middle School
Jabari Gay is an 8th Grader at Bunche Middle School, and his teachers describe him as a shining star in the classroom. Jabari is a polite, courteous young man who is always willing to lend a helping hand. In addition to being an exceptional student, he also completes all tasks with pride and confidence equipped with a knowledgeable skill set.
“I love math and art,” he explained. “But my favorite subject is math.” Jabari’s family is a major component of his success, and they encourage him to stay on track in school. He says that his mom inspires him to do well in school, but his grandfather also motivates him to succeed in academics.
One reason why Jabari says he is successful in school is because he genuinely enjoys completing school projects and homework. Beyond his accomplishments in the classroom, Jabari is also an athlete, and he likes to play baseball in his free time. “I also love to play with my friends and watch television,” he says. “My future aspiration is to become a psychologist or an entrepreneur one day.”
Grade: 12th Grade
School: The School of Computer Animation and Design at South Atlanta
Miaya Faniel is a 12th grade student – athlete with a 3.5 GPA average. She is the President of the Student Government Association and is the captain of the South Atlanta High softball team. Miaya’s batting average is an excellent .584 and she has earned MVP and Female Athlete of the Week honors.
Miaya volunteers with Open Hand Atlanta, Books for Africa and is a peer tutor.
“Since the first day that I have known Miaya she has made it apparent that education is at the forefront of her priorities. Miaya’s diligence, maturity, and inquisitive nature distinguish her as a unique student. Even during troubling times, I have seen Miaya seek out assistance whenever necessary and persevere in my classroom, ensuring her continued success as evidenced by her consistently strong grades,” says Shawn Kacker, South Atlanta High physics teacher.
Miaya’s future goals are to earn a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a PhD in biomedical engineering. “I first realized that I wanted to become a biomedical engineer when my grandfather was hospitalized for a collapsed lung. I have been striving to succeed in every element inside and outside of school to reach my goal. In my eyes, education is an essential component of success. Activities outside of school are also important. Playing softball has taught me how to become a team player and cooperate with others. I have developed life long bonds with many of my teammates. My parents are my main support system. They have sacrificed hours of sleep and leisure time to guarantee that I am well taken care of,” Miaya says.
Grade: 3rd Grade
School: Garden Hills Elementary School
Jasmine Sertel has been described as interesting, unique and very funny. The spirited third grader likes to sing along to Justin Beiber hits and entertain family and friends with her amusing stories.
But she also has other talents. Jasmine is a quick study when it comes to computers, and she speaks fluent Turkish (in addition to English and the Spanish she is learning at school, of course).
She believes that everyone should take the time to learn at least one additional language for several reasons: people will be fascinated to hear you speak, you can easily communicate with people when you visit foreign countries and you can help others.
“If you see someone at the store or the park who does not understand English, if you speak their language, you can tell them everything they need to know,” says Jasmine.
According to Jasmine, all of these reasons lead to the same exciting result–making new friends.
She is also very responsible, too. Jasmine travels to Turkey—by herself—every summer to visit her grandparents.
“I love going to Turkey. Even though at first it seems like there isn’t a lot to do, you can still have fun,” Jasmine says. I have friends there, and we ride our bikes everywhere all day.”
Jasmine says that she especially enjoys spending time with her grandparents when she visits Turkey. She plans to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and become a pediatrician when she grows up.
Cubism, structure, shadowing and attention to detail are some of the artistic traits displayed by this week’s APS Cool Kid Malik Okosi. Malik is an 11th grader at The School of Computer Animation & Design at South Atlanta.
Malik has had many of his art works displayed around the Atlanta area. Oglethorpe University, the Woodruff Arts Center, the High Museum and he currently has one piece on display at the Coca Cola headquarters here in Atlanta. His artwork has been entered into competitions and he has placed well in the Youth Art Connection competition and was a semi finalist in the Dream Arts contest.
Malik gathers inspiration from everyday objects and often works in intricate detail on his subjects. “I’m inspired by mirrors, pictures, toys and other sculptures that other artists have made. I put them together and just make my own style with it.”
Malik is a fan of the kinetic and energy pulsating style of manga art and of one of the grand masters of art, Pablo Picasso. “Picasso is one of my favorite artists. I’ve drawn inspiration from him on many of my drawings and paintings. Cubism was introduced to me on one of my earlier art works. I’ve used that style often since my introduction to it,” says Malik.
Relating to his fandom of the manga style of art, Malik’s future aspiration is to study computer engineering and create the computers that make video game programming and designs. “Malik is highly creative. He sees the world from an ‘artist’s eye’ as I call it because when someone sees a cup, they may just see a cup but Malik may see a cup with things evolving from it. He thinks very creatively without even having to try. You don’t have to teach him to be creative, he just thinks like that,” says Tokie Rome, Malik’s art and design instructor at The School of Computer Animation and Design at South Atlanta. “I have had Malik in class since his 9th grade year and he has been my project. I saw the potential that he had and I steered and pushed him into art events, projects and competitions for that exposure and to hone his great potential as an artist.”
Malik is working on his AP Art portfolio for college credit and will study digital arts and media in his senior year.
What do you call a kid who loves to laugh, play soccer and and has fun doing kid-things, but also enjoys learning and going to school every day? And what if you added well -mannered, high-principled, considerate and determined to the list? Garden Hills media specialist, Kellye Carter calls him “a really cool kid,” and she is referring to Garden Hills fifth grader, Jesus Omar Perulero Navarette.
Jesus says he looks forward to going to school every day. Of course that’s partly because he likes seeing his friends, but he also looks forward to learning new things and being challenged.
For instance, his favorite subject is math. But for Jesus, the excitement comes when he learns something new in math, like long division. He loves the feeling he gets when he sees something that seems hard at first, but he sticks with it, figures out how it works and gets all the problems right.
“I’m really good at math. It’s not hard for me,” he says.
He also loves to read.
“Jesus is an avid reader who isn’t afraid to challenge himself,” says Carter.
“The last book I read was Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It was kind of hard, but I really liked reading it,” Jesus recalls.
The book was in an advanced reader category, so Jesus knew it would be harder to read than the books he was used to. But he says his love for reading pushed him to challenge himself and finish reading the book.
Jesus’ love for reading and taking on challenges will be very useful once he begins his career as a lawyer. He says he wants to be an attorney when he grows up, because he really wants to help people who need representation in court, but can’t afford it.
He explains that there are a lot of people who haven’t done anything wrong, but since they do not have money for a lawyer and do not know what to say in court, they spend time in jail anyway. Jesus wants to change this and make adifference.
But for now he will settle for making a difference by being a school safety patrol, a responsibility he enjoys, because he likes for people to follow rules and do the right thing. But even though Jesus is nice guy, he won’t hesitate to write up his peers if he has to.
“Sometimes, it just has to be done, because everybody has to follow the rules,” he says.
“Jesus is an all around great student,” says Carter. “He always pushes himself to do better. And no matter how his day is going, he always smiles, he’s very polite and he always has a winning attitude. He’s just a really cool kid.”
APS salutes this week’s Cool Kid, Jesus Omar Perulero Navarette; the “really cool kid” with the winning attitude and winning smile.
Ruqiyah Mukarram is currently a junior at The New Schools at Carver School of Health Sciences and Research. In her own words she talks about her love of science and future career plans.
Cesar Chavez once said, “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.” I became interested in the medical field when I was in middle school. During my seventh grade year, I took life science and discovered the nervous system. I developed the urge to explore the heart of a human. However, after discovering the expenses of it, I decided to order the heart of a cow instead.
Towards the end of my middle school career, I learned about the Fulton County Global Youth Leadership Program. In the Fulton County Global Youth Leadership Program, they take students that attend public schools in Atlanta to various countries to study abroad. However, my goal was to study abroad for a year, and they only allow their students to stay for a certain amount of time. Therefore, I made it my goal to get to Senegal, West Africa. I created numerous fundraisers and sent letters to organizations and companies, and raised $13,000. On July 27th my sister and I departed to Senegal, West Africa. I stayed in a village called Medina Baye, where I volunteered at a clinic. At the clinic, I delivered and vaccinated babies, treated flesh wounds and treated patients with malaria. Through GivingPoint, I was able to record more than 200 hours of community service. Today, I have more than 600 volunteer hours logged through GivingPoint.
Through Carver School of Health Sciences and Research, I am able to enhance my knowledge in medicine because of their curriculum and programs. In the future, I plan on getting my Doctorate degree, specializing in the brain, and becoming a neurosurgeon at Stanford University.
APS is excited to introduce Ripley Smith, one of the youngest certified power paragliders in the country! On the ground, she lives an active life as an 8th grader at Inman Middle School, and off the ground, she soars several thousand feet high by herself in her spare time. Her father is the inspiration behind her unique hobby, as he encouraged her to start flying tandem with an instructor at age 11. Within 3 weeks, she was certified and has completed 15 solo flights since then. “At first I was a little nervous but I got over it, because it really feels like you’re flying,” says Ripley.
Power paragliding is different from paragliding because it has a motor, which gives the flyer more control and more airtime. Ripley’s longest flight was between 1.5-2 hours, which resulted in tired hands because she holds onto the brakes in order to steer. Her dad is very scared for her every time she flies, but she is not scared at all and says, “If you’re scared, you will make a mistake.” Fear is the last thing that will keep Ripley from flying, because the adrenaline is what keeps her wanting more. “It’s one of my favorite hobbies because it’s really exhilarating and you’re in control of where you go and whether you live,” Ripley says.
Ripley is also part of two recreational soccer teams for AYSA (Atlanta Youth Soccer Association), school soccer team, school basketball team, soccer referee for AYSA, and a swimmer at Garden Hills Elementary School. She loves to be active in order to stay in shape and be productive with her time. Ripley is also active in the classroom as she’s enrolled in several honors classes and accelerated math. She’s looking forward to joining the robotics team next year, because she’s been the mascot since she was 3 years old, and her mother, Aimee Smith, was one of the founders of Grady’s robotics team. Ripley participates in more recreational activities than many of us, but this is not the end for Ripley as she says, “I really enjoy sports and staying active, and in the future, I want to learn base jumping and paragliding also.”
Tarrell Jones, also known as TJ, has a special talent of making you smile. He has a bright and bubbly personality that continues to stay with you throughout the day. He is a proud first grader at Toomer Elementary School this year, where he transitioned from special education to the general classroom. He attends class daily with the help of a special educator, but strives to do most activities on his own. “He is the sunshine of our classroom when he comes in the morning. He always has a bright smile, and he always wants to participate in everything we do, academically and physically,” says his teacher, Ms. Ringer. When asked what he enjoys most about school, he responds with “everything in first grade, not kindergarten… because it’s awesome.”
Tarrell is loved and acknowledged in the school for his humor, energy, and the joy he brings to those around him. He is a very confident and does not let his physical limitations hold him back from regular activities. He enjoys being active in the playground, as he interacts with friends and often rides the slide with his teacher. In fact, Tarrell’s favorite class is PE, where he participates in various sports. “I love playing basketball, and tennis, and dodgeball, and baseball… and only a little bit of football,” TJ says. In addition to sports, TJ loves spending time on the computer, especially typing, youtube, and games.
One special memory that Ms. Ringer has of TJ is when the class was learning about different cultures around the world. Ms. Ringer shared videos of different dance cultures, and asked students to demonstrate them in front of the class. TJ volunteered and performed his version of a Hawaiian dance, and simply blew everyone away. The whole class was entertained as TJ danced his heart out and even teachers down the hallway came in to watch him. “It was a sight to see,” Ms. Ringer says, “and I think that made his day, because he kept on dancing all day throughout the hall.”
TJ has a great presence in the classroom, and is very intelligent. He works very hard in his studies, as he pushes himself to excel. Ms. Ringer sees a bright future for TJ as she says, “Physically, Tarrell may be challenged. However, academically, what a bright and shining star he is and will be in his academic career.” TJ is a special student that you must meet in person. He is a joy to be around and has a great energy that spreads to everyone around him.
His list of recruiting offers reads like a who’s who of college football.
Stanford, University of Georgia, Auburn, Ole Miss, Perdue, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech and North Carolina are all aware of one of Georgia’s top offensive linemen, Carver Early College senior Delando Crooks.
Jamaican born, Crooks is fairly new to the game of football, first playing during his ninth grade year. His natural ability, however, seems to make up for taking the field later than other students his age. “Crooks is a very athletic offensive lineman with very good feet, great flexibility, and the ability to get off the ball quickly, writes Chad Simmons, National College Football recruiting analyst for Fox Sports. “As his body matures, his game will too.”
The 6-5, 272 pound defensive tackle has managed to impress fans and colleges with his athleticism, but his academic talent off the field is proving to be equally impressive.
Trumping brawn with brains, Delando enters his final year of high school as a dual enrollee at both Carver High School and Georgia State University. With notable scores on both the SAT and ACT, he has already attained 16 college credits and plans to study engineering, once he chooses a school for his post high school career.
Applauded by the Atlanta Public Schools coaching staff and a role model to his peers, Crooks spoke recently to ESPN about his desire to host a fundraiser for children with cancer.
For his ability to score on and off the field, our APS Cool Kid of the week is the class of 2013′s Delando Crooks.
Therrell 2012 Graduate Dexwin Thompson described as a quietly effective leader by L.E.A.D.
During the 2011-2012 school year, Dexwin served as an Ambassador for the L.E.A.D. (Launch, Expose, Advise, Direct), program. The elite of L.E.A.D., the Ambassadors, represent the organization and the city of Atlanta in summer college exposure baseball tournaments and in community service and civic engagement experiences in the metro Atlanta area from November through July.
This school year, Dexwin received Therrell High School’s Scholar-Athlete award and will attend LaMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, TN on a baseball scholarship.
He attributes receiving the award, as well as his college admission and scholarship, to the academic standards set by the L.E.A.D. mentorship program. Off the field, Dexwin volunteers throughout the community and has even encouraged two other Therrell classmates to join the L.E.A.D. organization.
L.E.A.D. co-founder, Kelli Stewart, says that Dexwin played an instrumental role in guiding the academic future of his classmates who also received baseball scholarships to college this fall. Stewart says, “Dexwin is quiet, but he’s effective. He has proven on and off the field that he has the ability to inspire and lead others.”
Congratulations Dexwin Thompson!
What is L.E.A.D.? L.E.A.D. (Launch, Expose, Advise, Direct), a 501c3 nonprofit organization operating in Atlanta, Georgia, is committed to having a significant impact on the number of inner city middle and high school student- athletes playing competitive baseball to prepare them to compete for college baseball scholarships.