BRIGHT FUTURE: Natchez Early College STAR Student pursuing computer science

Published 4:30 pm Friday, April 19, 2024

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NATCHEZ — STEAM careers are as much for the ladies as they are for the men, says Tavia Morris, who is graduating in May with her associate degree in Computer Science along with her high school diploma from Natchez Early College.

Morris, who is the daughter of Paula and Timothy Morris, has been named STAR Student for the 2023-2024 school year by the Mississippi Economic Council (MEC) Student Teacher Achievement Recognition (STAR) program.

Tavia Morris and Kendra Williams attended the Mississippi Economic Council Student Teacher Achievement Recognition program on April 4 at the Clyde Muse Center in Pearl. (Submitted Photo)

While enrolled in courses at Copiah-Lincoln Community College, one of Morris’s favorite classes was a NASA Aerospace Scholars Program, she said.

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“So far I’ve done Mission One, where I’ve learned about NASA’s current missions and what role students can have and the careers there,” she said.

Morris is the treasurer of the National Beta Club and a member of the National Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She is also is the vice president of the Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Math (STEAM) Careers Club, she said.

After graduation, she plans to work an entry level or internship in technology while doing computer science courses online with the University of Southern Mississippi to earn her bachelor’s degree.

“I’ve always been interested in technology,” she said. “I like problem solving and there are so many ways to apply new skills in technology. You can be creative and build apps, websites and simple games.”

Students are selected for the STAR program based on their ACT and academic achievements. Morris scored a 31 composite score and a super score of 32 on her ACT and maintains and unweighted 4.0 grade point average in her high school classes before counting the college courses she has taken, she said.

She was recognized with other 2024 STAR Students and teachers on April 4 at the Clyde Muse Center in Pearl.

Each STAR Student is asked to designate a STAR Teacher, and Morris chose her junior high school science teacher Kendra Williams.

“She is just so much fun and makes learning fun,” Morris said. “She kept a good atmosphere in her class room and was chosen by the STAR student last year so you can tell that she’s had a good impact on all the students she had. She definitely helped me have a love for science and nature.”

Her life role models are her parents and older brother, Talor, she said.
“I have a very loving family and am very close with all of them. We’re all each other’s biggest cheerleaders,” Morris said. “My big brother Talor is definitely one of my biggest inspirations and my best friends.”

In five years, Morris said she sees herself “enjoying life with friends and family and taking life one step at a time, relying on God to guide me and help me do something beneficial with my knowledge.”