Three Natchez High students earn Horatio Alger scholarships

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 25, 2000

Natchez High seniors Erica Riley, Victoria Profit and Jeremy Fakes are examples of three young people who have not let difficulties hold them back.

Their stories have earned them the honor of being named scholarship recipients from the Horatio Alger Association.

The students wrote essays about something they had overcome in their lives to earn the scholarship

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Riley will receive $10,000 over a four-year period, Profit will receive $1,500 and Fakes will receive $500.

&uot;I’m feeling good, great, excited,&uot; said Riley, whose face broke into a smile when she learned she was to receive $10,000.

The Horatio Alger Association recognizes seniors, who have overcome adversity and received academic success.

Riley, who is the daughter of Evangeline Riley, said she wrote about the difficulties her mother had faced raising five children as a single parent.

&uot;She does good under the circumstances,&uot; Erica Riley said.

Earlier in her life, a radiator scalded her mother placing an extra burden on the family, Riley said. To work through the difficulties, Riley said her family sticks together through prayer and going to church.

As the winner of the $10,000, Riley is one of about 105 students named national scholarship winners. She will attend the National Scholars Conference in Washington D.C. during her senior year. She plans to attend Jackson State in the fall and study either childcare development or elementary education.

Her classmate, Victoria Profit wrote about her father’s death.

Profit is the daughter of Queen Profit and the late James Brady, who died when she was five. For her essay, Profit said she found comfort by talking to God and by feeling her father was still around to talk with her.

&uot;I wrote about that I didn’t have anybody I could confidentially talk to about my problems,&uot; she said.

Profit plans on attending Alcorn State University to study business accounting.

Fakes, the son of Irma Fakes and Henry Robinson, wrote about discipline problems that had plagued him since kindergarten and how he overcame them. He did this by &uot;talking to different folks and getting older and growing out of it and being more mature.&uot;

He also prayed about the problem.

Often, Fakes said he felt people signaled him out as a problem. He urged students in a similar situation &uot;to try to do their best and succeed and be somebody.&uot;

Fakes plans to study engineering at a New Orleans school.