ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Dougherty Comprehensive High School students have the opportunity to express themselves through art.
Teachers and students there say it is making a difference and helping them succeed.
Senior Jilmara Bigham's first love is dancing. Jilmara says "You can touch so many people with just a simple move."
The girls in her class say dancing is a way to express themselves and help them deal with whatever they are going through. Dance instructor Lisa Love says "A lot of the young ladies in dance deal with a lot of interpersonal issues and through dance we tell stories."
Jilmara suffered two knee injuries and had to spend time off the floor. "I would sit in the back of class and cry because I wanted to get out on the floor."
Her experience with the struggle to get back on the floor was behind her decision to become a physical therapist. "I feel like if I could help somebody else to recuperate from that not only physically but also mentally give them an uplifting spirit when they feel down about their capabilities."
Jilmara is valedictorian but it didn't come easy. "When I first got to high school I had a problem with studying. I had never studied before and I realized I needed to and my teachers helped me develop techniques"
Jilmara says she gets her motivation to succeed from her parents. "They push me every single day and say that education is the key it's what is going to help you get further in life for you to get a good career for you to love what you do and it will never feel like work."
Jilmara says her parents were not able to go to college and did what they had to do to.
In spite of financial struggles, they find a way. "I make sure I let people know you can do the same thing regardless of your circumstances or obstacle."
Lisa Love says the disciplines in art classes, music and dance helps students with life decisions.
She has seen some of her students go on to perform in New York and Disney. "I want them to walk away with the understanding and knowledge that it does take both academics and the arts to be a successful professional."
Jilmara has been accepted to Savannah State University, and is hoping for a scholarship to help her make her dream to help others come true.