North Cobb High School
Samerah was a healthy junior who had been a competition dancer for 10 years. In April 2022, she was diagnosed with acute liver failure and was sent to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta-Egleston Hospital and placed at the top of the pediatric transplant list. Within a week, Samerah had a liver transplant and spent three weeks at Egleston before returning to school for her senior year.
She has some physical limitations but is enjoying her very busy final year of high school. A strong student, Samerah is taking some classes through dual enrollment. She hopes to attend Spelman College next year to study psychology and become a mental health counselor for teenagers.
Harrison High School
Jonathan had a stroke at the age of 11. He was in a coma for two weeks and in the intensive care unit for a month. His left side paralyzed, he began a journey of intensive therapies and rehabilitation. His recovery made him miss almost all of sixth grade and required a third brain surgery, three hand/arm surgeries and a foot surgery.
Since the incident, he has continued his intensive therapy, spending most summers and almost every day after school in rehab. He only recently finished his therapy sessions. As a result of the stroke, he now has seizures and must take medication to try to control them.
Jonathan has not let his medical journey impact his scholarship or community activities. With a 4.5 weighted GPA, he serves as a student mentor in the counseling office, is an officer in the French Honor Society and belongs to Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, National Honor Society and Beta Club.
Jonathan remains inspired by his favorite Bible verse, Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” NKJV
Allatoona High School
Anissa stands out for so many reasons. She is an outstanding musician who won the Georgia Music Educators Award for her original composition. She is an incredible leader who serves as vice president of the school’s Minority Representation Association and co-president of the Student Orchestra Board. She also is a straight-A student and one of the most brilliant students in her class.
She is the daughter of immigrants from Sierra Leone, and her world view is all-encompassing. This has shaped her into an empathetic and eloquent speaker who is ready to listen to all perspectives.
The most remarkable thing about Anissa, though, is she has achieved consistently at the highest level while overcoming the grief associated with her mother’s death in 2021. Her passion, tenacity and talent are definitely worthy of a senior spotlight!
Kennesaw Mountain High School
Throughout her high school career, Ana has maintained a high level of academic achievement and is one of the highest-performing students in the Academy of Mathematics, Science and Technology. She also was named STAR student after earning the highest SAT score in her school this year.
Besides maintaining a high level of academic rigor, Ana is involved in multiple extracurricular activities, including National Honor Society, Mane Link and Spanish Honor Society, and also plays the piano. She is active in the community and has participated in many outreach events, such as the KMHS-hosted Cobb County Special Needs Dance, Shop With a Mustang and Books for Africa.
The first-generation American plans to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall, majoring in biomedical engineering.