Name: Janaisha Wright
Grade: 5th Grade
School: L.P. Miles Elementary
Janaisha Wright’s teacher, Mr. Ross, describes her as a leader, both inside and outside of the classroom. In class, Janaisha receives good grades, dedicates her time as a peer tutor, and continually serves as a positive role model for her classmates.
Janaisha said her best advice for her fellow classmates is, “Never give up, never drop out of school, study very hard and get good grades.”
According to Janaisha, her parents inspire her to succeed in school. “They encourage me to study hard and look for helpful resources to answer questions I may have,” she explains.
Janaisha’s hobbies include watching television, working with technology, and reading–but she has a major passion for the arts. She is a stellar dancer, singer, and actress. Most recently, Janaisha played the leading role in an outstanding historical production entitled, “Mrs. Roosevelt and I”. The play was presented during the Young Voices with New Visions Short Play Fest on the Alliance Black Box Theatre stage in Woodruff Arts Center on Saturday, November 17, 2012.
To no surprise, Janaisha’s goal is to pursue a career in singing and dancing.
Name: Dexter Davis
Grade: 8th Grade
School: Crawford Long Middle School
Dexter Davis is an 8th grader at Crawford Long Middle School. He is a student that has a good grasp of his studies and how they relate to his future and his place in the world – now and in the future. Dexter is an honor roll student, has participated in Project Manhood since 6th grade, played French horn for the South Atlanta High School Band and also plays tuba, flute, baritone, trombone and trumpet. He has been awarded the Ben Carson Scholarship for two years, is a third year participant in the Breakthrough Atlanta program, and is a member of the debate team and the photography club.
Dr. Tony Jones, a counselor at Crawford Long Middle School on Dexter Davis: “Dexter is truly a student who handles his business. Which is a motto of Project Manhood. He is also a gentleman and a scholar. Dexter has been with me for three years, 6th, 7th and 8th grade, and he has just proved himself over and over again by dong above what is asked of him. Dexter conducts himself in an exemplary manner and he is the type of student APS should be very proud of. He has won many academic awards and serves in positions that utilize his maturity. He represents APS with great rigor and in a manner that is exceptional.” Dexter is going forward with smarts and confidence and his career goal is to become an architect.
Name: Kendal Duff
Grade: 4th Grade
School: Centennial Place Elementary
Kendal, a friendly and sweet 4th grader, has talents beyond her age level. She wrote a 30-minute play called “My Invisible Respect,” that is inspired by her own experiences. Her script follows a journey of a girl who is bullied and disrespected among her peers. In the end, she finds a friend who respects her for who she is. There are 5 characters in the play, and it will be performed next year at the school. “This is important to me because I don’t like being disrespected and I don’t want anyone else to go through what I’ve gone through,” Kendal says. “I think people want to be popular and they bring down students who like to behave.” Kendal is admirable for her courage, leadership, and the great example she sets for others.
Kendal enjoys reading and receives medals in PE. She has many hobbies outside of school including tennis, violin and piano. She has a background in acting, which may have lead her to write a script. She wants to become a lawyer when she grows up because her aunt, who attended law school and now works for President Obama, inspires her.
Name: Xavier Anderson
Grade: 5th Grade
School: Bolton Academy Elementary School
When James Davis’ fifth- grade class discussed Syria’s civil war, one student raised a thought- provoking idea: what if the United States shared its strategies and lessons learned from the American Civil War with Syria? The student, Xavier Anderson, then explained how such action could be helpful.
This is how Xavier’s mind works—constantly demonstrating an amazing ability to shift gears and quickly apply what he has learned from previous experiences to the situation at hand.
Though new to Bolton Academy, Xavier’s academic abilities, the articulate manner in which he expresses himself, and his inclination to think outside- of- the box have made him a standout student at the school.
“He always takes things to the next level by asking ‘what if,’” says Davis.
When other students walked to school on International Walk to School Day, Xavier and his father rode their bikes. Xavier, a cycling enthusiast, reasoned that the purpose behind the event was to explore alternatives to driving motor vehicles and to promote exercise. What if he rode his bike instead? He wondered if he would achieve the same goals.
With the exception of one B on a classroom assignment, Xavier is a straight A student.
While he says his parents aren’t “super strict” about academics, he knows what they expect.
“My mom hates Bs,” says Xavier. “So I just make her happy by not making any.”
And thanks to a good memory, nearly perfect active listening habits and practicing what he learns, Xavier easily avoids Bs.
“Learning new things is easy for me,” he says. “Whatever new concept we’re learning in class is usually connected to something I’ve already learned. This makes the new problem easy to understand. “
Xavier loves history, and even researches his family history on ancestry.com to discover possible relationships with famous people. He says the Civil War unit is best thing he has ever learned in Social Studies, and he can discuss facts about historical characters like Dred Scott and Abraham Lincoln as proof.
Xavier, a self-taught drummer, also plays saxophone in the school band, and attends weekly martial-arts classes. As with everything, he becomes better at these hobbies by remembering what works best and repeating it.
The fifth-grader’s enthusiasm for thinking and learning, has paid off. In January, Xavier will be inducted into the school’s prestigious Junior Beta Club.