A former DeKalb County student received the President’s Second Mile Award at Savannah State University during the 184th commencement ceremony on May 10. The award is one of the highest honors presented to graduating college seniors and is based upon character, values, leadership and service to the university and the community.
Shara Bennett, majored in political science and received the award for her leadership as president of the NAACP Collegiate Chapter and Sisters Striving for Excellence. Her other campus involvement included Student Government Association, Tiger Ambassadors, Student Orientation Leaders, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
In the community, Bennett’s passion for voluntarism has included projects with the Inner City Night Shelter, Boys and Girls Club and Second Harvest Food Bank. Bennett plans to study abroad and attend a pathway program for recent graduates interested in government careers. Bennett, who is from Stone Mountain, is a graduate of Stephenson High School.
The other winner of the prestigious award, was Anita Taylor, a homeland security and emergency management major, received the recognition for her stellar leadership as president of the degree program’s student organization, which was heavily involved in numerous campus and community projects the Inner City Night Shelter, the Home Depot Hurricane Expo and various security simulations.
In June, Taylor will join the Federal Emergency Management Agency Corps in Vicksburg, Miss., as a field team leader for disaster response. A native of Holly Hill, S.C., Taylor attended Cross High School.
At each commencement ceremony, the President’s Second Mile Award is presented to a deserving student or students in recognition of stellar and meritorious achievement.
Established in 1890, Savannah State University is the oldest public historically black college or university in Georgia and the oldest institution of higher learning in the city of Savannah. The university’s 4,800 students select degree majors from 26 undergraduate and five graduate programs in the three colleges – Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Sciences and Technology – and the School of Teacher Education.
Arabia Mountain (Magnet Program):
Chamblee Charter (Magnet Program):
Kim An Ta
Columbia (Magnet Program):
Kui Sit Cristian
DeKalb Early College Academy:
DeKalb School of the Arts:
Martin Luther King, Jr:
Ronald E. McNair:
Southwest DeKalb (Magnet Program):
Vikash Pankaj Patel
Kenya Nycole Joyce Jordan
Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology:
Hong-Hanh Thi Nguyen
Central Gwinnett High
Heather Nikole Gee
Gwinnett County Online Campus
Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Hyeon Woo Shim
Aprotim Cory Bhowmik
Gates Millennium scholars
The Gates Millennium Scholars Program was established in 1999 by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In order to reach and support its constituents, the organization has partnered with the American Indian Graduate Center Scholars, the Asian and Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, and the United Negro College Fund.
These high school seniors join a group of 1,000 students from across the nation to receive the honor this year. In addition to the full scholarship for undergraduate work, the Gates Millennium Scholars also qualify for funding to cover graduate and doctoral work in the areas of computer science, education, engineering, library science, mathematics, public health or science. The program, funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, promotes academic excellence for outstanding minority low-income students.
According to school representatives, in order to earn the scholarship, the seniors participated in a lengthy and competitive application process. Honorees were selected based on a review of their academic record, community involvement and extracurricular activities and their families’ need for financial assistance. The program recognizes high-achieving African American, American Indian/Alaska Native (must provide proof of tribal enrollment), Asian/Pacific Islander American, and Hispanic American students.
We salute these exceptional high school students in our community.
This year’s honorees from DeKalb are:
Njeri Bennett of Arabia Mountain
Amera Dixon of Arabia Mountain
David Shoneye of Arabia Mountain
Juwan Thompson of Arabia Mountain
Yusra Ahmedin of Chamblee
Muhozi Aimable of Chamblee
Tluang Cer of Clarkston
Kim An Ta of Clarkston
Chao Lin of Cross Keys
Ashton Jordan of Dunwoody
David Smith of Lithonia
Deona Clayton of McNair
Vy Huynh of Stone Mountain
Ekue Kagni of Stone Mountain
Thi Thong of Stone Mountain
Peri Green of Southwest DeKalb
Gwinnett’s honorees are:
Micheline Amisi of Archer
Oluwatomisin “Tomi” Adelusi of Brookwood
Paula Deroseney of Dacula
Chinye Ijeli of Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and
Jonathan S. Conde-Peraza of Meadowcreek
Nabilah Khanam of Meadowcreek
Caridad Milanes of Meadowcreek
Thaxton Lipscomb of Mountain View
Thien-Phuoc Do of Norcross
Josselyn Garcia of Norcross
Benazir Haseen of Norcross
Annie Yang of North Gwinnett
Hildana Haileyesus of Parkview
Brian Chung of Peachtree Ridge
Brandon Johnson of Shiloh
Rockdale’s honorees are:
Angelina Allen of Rockdale County
Aqib Momin of Rockdale County (Magnet Program)
Chelse Steele of Rockdale County (Magnet Program)