By Dy'Almond McGhee
Editor’s note: Bryan County High School 2019 valedictorian Dy’Amond McGhee is an impressive young lady, so much so that the News asked her to introduce herself to readers. Here’s what she wrote.
My name in Dy’Amond McGhee and I am 17 years old. Graduating from college is something that many people dream of, and it is a wonderful lifetime achievement that takes hard work and determination. I recently graduated from East Georgia State College as an honor graduate with an Associate of Arts degree in criminal justice on May 10, 2019. A week after graduating from college, I earned my high school diploma from Bryan County High School and was named the 2019 valedictorian.
I was able to accomplish these wonderful achievements by staying focused on my vision of being successful in school and participating in dual enrollment. In school, I was actively involved in Student Council, Beta Club, National Honor Society, and volunteering in the community.
While being involved in these activities and working with others I realized I had a passion to fight for equality.
My freshman year of high school I knew I had the mindset to become an attorney. I had the desire to become an attorney because I wanted to help eliminate injustice and direct society in a positive direction. As an attorney, I will have an advocacy role where I can use my communication and intellectual skills to help others in legal situations. Along with helping others, I enjoy working with diverse individuals and learning about the study of law.
Since I was serious about my career plan, my high school guidance counselor recommended I consider the Dual Enrollment program. After contemplating the challenges of being in high school and college at the same time I finally decided to enroll in the Dual Enrollment program. I knew I was a hardworking and determined student and a good fit for the program.
So, in 9th grade, at the age of 14, I planned to enroll in dual enrollment to enhance my education and to explore career choices. When I reviewed the requirements for admission to colleges I could attend in my area, I noticed there was an age barrier. As a 14-year-old, I was not able to attend most colleges or universities due to the requirement students be at least 16.
However, after doing some research I discovered that East Georgia State College did not have an age requirement for their enrollment. I went to apply at East Georgia State College. At first, East Georgia State College admissions did not want to accept me. The administration did not believe that I could balance high school and college at such a young age. But since I had met the academic requirements and I was a responsible high school student East Georgia State College accepted me as a 14-year-old. East Georgia State College believed my knowledge and determination would be an asset to their college. At the start of my sophomore year, I was able to attend East Georgia, and later I began to take courses at Georgia Southern University.
During my time in the Dual Enrollment program at East Georgia State College and Georgia Southern University, I was able to get an early start on my career, while breaking many barriers. I was the first 14 year old to be accepted at East Georgia State College and I have made the Dean’s List several semesters. Due to all of my success at East Georgia State College over the years, I was given the honor to join the Phi Beta Kappa Society in 2018. I also joined the Criminal Justice Club at Georgia Southern University to further my knowledge in my career path.
Graduating from college and high school makes me strive for more advanced opportunities. My Associate of Arts degree in Criminal Justice will help me contribute to my long range career goal of being an attorney. I plan to attend The University of Georgia in Fall 2019 to continue my career in criminal justice and obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Then, I plan to earn a Master of Science degree and attend law school. After I become an attorney, I want to become a judge, and eventually be on the Supreme Court of the United States.