That is the advice Victavia Walls, a senior at LEAD Academy, has for future LEAD students. Victavia is closing in on the end of her time as a LEADer, and it’s clear her future is bright.
Following in the footsteps of family members, Victavia first came to LEAD in middle school by opting in to attend LEAD Brick Church, which was not her neighborhood zoned school. Initially, Victavia struggled with the high expectations at Brick Church, so she returned to her neighborhood zoned school. It didn’t take long for her to realize the value in the rules and accountability measures set for her at LEAD, and Victavia returned to LEAD Brick Church in the 8th grade and continued on at LEAD Academy for her high school career.
Not only does Victavia value the high expectations set for her in LEAD classrooms, she also enjoys the small class sizes because it allows her to build strong relationships with her peers and teachers – she even has relationships with teachers who she has never had a class with before.
“When you first go into a teacher’s classroom, you don’t really know their personality, but here they are quick to show you,” said Victavia. “They want that connection with you – for you to see them as more than a teacher and for them to see you as more than just a student.”
When Victavia’s not in class, she keeps herself busy with cheerleading, cross country, and spending time with her large family. As for her favorite classes, Victavia loves AP Lit and AP Language because she enjoys engaging in class discussions. She also appreciates that ELA classes provide the opportunity for growth. “I love feedback on my writing. Even if you feel like it’s the perfect paper, [teachers] will give you room to improve.”
As Victavia looks ahead to college, she feels prepared because of the advanced level of her schoolwork. She says LEAD Academy has taught her how to communicate and her voice has felt heard, so she will feel confident to make friends and speak up in her college classes.
After graduation, Victavia plans to go to college and major in psychology, with the hopes of making a difference one day. “I want to work in a place where I can actually make an impact – like a social worker or an attorney,” said Victavia. “Somewhere where I can have the power to help children.”
At LEAD Academy, all seniors are required to choose a “reach school” and a “safety school” – and Victavia has several schools on her “reach” list: Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, Spelman College, or Emory University. Although these are her reach schools, Victavia is confident she will end up at one of them.
“These are my goals, and I don’t really settle.”
We are proud to have LEADers like Victavia Walls in our schools. If you’d like to nominate a LEAD student for a spotlight, please complete the nomination form here.