Amidst discouraging statistics, one particular student is rising above her situation on the path to success.
Nearly half of all children in foster care perform academically below grade level – but Micka refuses to be a statistic. Despite entering foster care six years ago, the senior at Timber Creek High School recently received the Student of the Year award for a second time. Cinthia Batista, Micka’s Independent Living Coordinator at Intervention Services, Inc., says Micka’s remarkable ability to stay positive and incredibly goal-oriented attitude causes her to stand out among the 989 other students in her class. She recently returned from a Martin Luther King Junior Day trip to Tallahassee with Elevate Youth Achievement, a program of the Community Service Center in partnership with Family Services. “I want to graduate high school,” Micka stated when asked about her future. “Then, I’m going to college to become a pharmacist. After that, [I want to] mentor troubled young teens.” This special young woman has been accepted into both Florida State University and Florida A&M University, but like many high school seniors does not yet know which one she will attend next Fall.
Micka credits Donna Anderson, her foster mother, JoLynn Schall, the Student and Family Assistance (SAFE) coordinator at her school and Ann Cochrum, who helped her with her college applications, as individuals who have inspired her to pursue her dreams. Additionally, Micka has participated in the district-wide COMPACT Mentoring Program through her school. She credits these sources of encouragement in her life as the foundation for her success thus far.