• 37°

NHS seniors complete Mississippi Scholars Program

NATCHEZ — A desire to succeed in college drove many students to participate in the Mississippi Scholars program at Natchez High School.

Wednesday night, the school awarded the 12 seniors who completed the program, which includes community service and completing a more rigorous schedule throughout high school.

“When you look back on all of your accomplishments, you can say that it all began right here in this place,” said keynote speaker the Rev. LeRoy White, pastor of New Beginnings Baptist Church in Natchez. “We will look to you to assist in making the world a better place for humanity.

“It will not be easy — but if you remain focused on your goals, as you have thus far, I feel it is possible.”

Senior Suquetta Sewell, 18, said the extra workload would help her succeed at the University of Southern Mississippi when she starts in the fall.

“It helped a lot, instead of limiting and doubting myself, I feel like I can compete on that level,” she said. “I am going to be able to hit the ground running.”

Fellow senior Kevochie Pollard said with NHS being a smaller school, he felt like it was important to take the extra effort.

“When you can take extra work and get noticed, you should,” Pollard, 18, said. “When colleges see Mississippi Scholar on your transcript — they know you are a step ahead.”

Pollard, who excelled in the classroom as well as on the football field, said being around a group of like-minded people helped push him to complete the program.

“As a group, we always aim to strive,” Pollard said. “If an opportunity for competition arises, you know it will make us all work harder.”

Mississippi Scholars is a partnership between the state department of education and the Mississippi Economic Council.

Superintendent Anthony Morris said this year’s class was smaller than last year’s. Morris said shrinking the number was intentional, since the state raised the requirements because many were taking advantage of the program.

To complete the program, students must now take four English credits, four math credits, four science credits, four social studies credits, one art credit and two years of a foreign language. They must also complete 20 hours of community service during their high school years.

“I would like to say congratulations to the young people for staying the course the entire time,” Morris said.