Age 18.
Graduate of Stanton College Preparatory School. Attending Florida State University.

Sarah learned to love school as a child. Her parents ensured that she went to J. Allen Axon Montessori, a magnet elementary school, where the open-ended learning environment fostered Sarah’s passion for education.

But the transition to middle school was tough for Sarah, as it is for so many students.

Normally an excellent student, Sarah found herself getting C’s at James Weldon Johnson. She knew she would need to do better to achieve her dream of going to Stanton College Preparatory School.

Positive influences in her life, including her father, her faith and the Venturing program through Boy Scouts of America, helped Sarah be successful. Starting in seventh grade, she got straight A’s.

She believes that all students should have the ability to pursue their interests—and that all youth should have someone to trust when times are tough.

“I think that was the biggest influence on me, was having at least one or two people who, when I was down in the dumps, I had them to turn to,” Sarah said.

She asked people in the community to ask themselves whether they could reach out to mentor a student.

“If you're not doing that already, to have that involvement with a student, it definitely changes lives,” she said.

Sarah believes that chance could have made a difference in the lives of two students she knows who dropped out.