Over 100 Dougherty High students commit to colleges
ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The stage is set for many students across South Georgia to walk across and graduate high school and many students at Dougherty Comprehensive High School already know where they want to go after high school.
An abundance of school pride flowed through the school hallways during its annual Decision Day on Monday. Out of a 242 senior class, over 104 students will graduate with honors — most of them taking tons of scholarship money with them.
One of them is Jayden Keaton who has garnered over $1 million in scholarships and has been accepted to over 50 colleges. But his choice is Morehouse.
“To all come together at the end of the year and to go into my dream college, I’m really excited,” he said.
Keaton is going head-to-head with fellow senior Tyler Guest for either valedictorian or salutatorian. Guest has also racked up over $1 million in scholarships and has been accepted to over 50 colleges.
Despite ending their senior year competing, the two say they support one another and their classmates. Which is why they share encouraging words like this.
“If you work hard enough if you give your all, you’ll make it,” Guest said.
According to America’s Health Rankings, teen moms are more likely to drop out of school and face unemployment. But Gabriella McCoy, a senior, is overcoming those odds as she prepares to cross the stage for graduation in May.
“I’m not going to cap, I had some down moments. I had some moments I was like I’m not going to make it,” she said.
McCoy is on her way to the U.S. Airforce — an accomplishment she didn’t think was possible earlier this year. After becoming a teen mom in the 11th grade, she quit her passion for track and field and dropped out of school.
“It was a lot. Even down to not having childcare and the nurses trying to help me get my baby into daycare,” she said.
Through it all, McCoy was able to make it back to school and catch up on her credits—something she says wouldn’t be possible without her village.
“I got her back, just like everyone else in her village has her back, and we’re just so happy that she made it,” said Dr. Jessica Thomas, Dougherty Comprehensive High School health teacher.
Now her family is eager to see her take flight. McCoy’s 1-year-old baby even shared a smile when she told him the good news.
“And every day I tell him, I’m like ‘I do this because of you and me.’ Like I did it,” McCoy said.
Those same words that kept her motivated are the exact same ones she tells other teen moms.
“It might not be the route you want to take, but you’re going to get there. Like, that one little saying, it took me a long way. You can do it. Especially if you got people trying to help you,” she said.
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