Bright Future: Natchez High School senior decides to follow her passion

Published 11:16 pm Tuesday, May 8, 2018


NATCHEZ — Jakeria Davis has changed her direction in life many times but said she now sees a bright future ahead of her with help from a full scholarship to Alcorn State University.

Davis — a Natchez High School graduating senior — said she did not expect much when she submitted an application for an academic scholarship to Alcorn.

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Even though she wanted to attend University of Southern Mississippi at first, Davis said she is surprised and excited to be awarded a $27,800 scholarship over eight semesters.

Throughout high school, Davis has been involved in Jobs for Mississippi Graduates, the National Beta Club and the Mu Alpha Theta math club. She volunteered her time to community service activities at the Natchez Stewpot and canned food drives. Now, Davis said she is majoring in pre-physical therapy with a desire to help others.

“I see my grandmother walk around the house every day and she is not up-to-par,” she said. “That got me thinking — there are other elderly people and injured veterans like her. They can’t move around like everyone else, so I want to help them.”

She said many people choose not to receive the care they need because of the financial strain it puts on themselves or their families. Davis said she wants to make getting help easier for the people of Natchez.

“Hopefully when I go to college I’ll meet some people, get some good connections and get all of the training that I possibly can,” she said. “After I get all of that knowledge, I plan to come back to Natchez and open my own (physical therapy) clinic for a low-cost or no cost at all.”

Davis said physical therapy was not her first choice in a career.

“I wanted to be an architect but saw how much calculus and math it took,” Davis said. “Then I wanted to be a doctor, then a nurse — but I’m not too good with blood. … You can’t always get things right the first time. … But when you find out what you want to do, it just comes naturally.”

Davis said everyone changes their minds about things at some point. She said English used to be her favorite subject, but this year algebra became her forte.

“I don’t like it, but I like the challenge that it gives me,” Davis said. “I can’t know everything, so when I figure something out it excites me.”

Davis said she accepts that she will never excel at everything, but will face every challenge as best she can.

“I wouldn’t say I’m well-rounded, but I can adapt to certain things,” Davis said. “I can’t do everything, but some things I can do, and I try to do it to the best of my ability.”

Davis is the oldest of four siblings. She said her mother, Earnestine, demonstrated how to do the best she can by raising two sons and two daughters alone.

“She is a single parent,” Davis said. “I see her get up every single morning and go to work and she supports four kids. She has enough time to come back home and cook, clean and do whatever she needs to do. That’s inspiring to me to see that she has enough energy throughout the day to do all of that.”

Davis said her mother has given her the most support and encouragement throughout her life.

“She pushes me to be what I want to be and go where I want to go,” Davis said, “even though I worry about things like, ‘How much will this cost?’ or ‘What if it’s too much?’ — ‘It’s fine,’ (she says) ‘do what you want to do, be who you want to be and I’ll support you.’”

Just like her mother encouraged her, Davis tells her peers they can be anything they desire, even if they change their mind.

“Don’t let what you think you’re supposed to be influence what you want to be,” Davis said. “You can be anything. … You don’t have to be the normal doctor or lawyer. Maybe you’re a good singer. You do what you’re talented at or do what you love. Just follow your passion.”