Miller Lanier Central Scholarship Recipient
“I plan on going to Morehouse College to major in cinema, television, and emerging media studies.
I started watching behind-the-scenes videos on YouTube, like different artists and their music videos. Then, when I saw I liked that, they had a class here that was audio/visual broadcasting class. So I took that for two years. But they took it away. Then, I just wanted to do it anyway, so I just figured I would do it when I got to college.
‘We lead; it can be done.’ That’s Central’s motto.
The yearbook, that’s probably my biggest leadership role. They said, you know, ‘We’re not gonna have a yearbook this year.’ So, me and one of my friends went to go talk to the teacher that was supposed to do it. And, I ended up being kind of the student advisor. So, basically…the whole yearbook, I’m doing. I don’t want to say it like that, but I’m basically doing the yearbook myself. It’s important to me, especially since it’s senior year.
My father, I mean, I know who he is. But, we don’t have a formal relationship…I guess that’s what you call it. So, I know who he is, but we don’t communicate. He has other kids, so he’s with them. I stay with my mom and my grandparents.
Basically, even my father, I don’t think he finished high school. I think he said he dropped out of high school to get a job to help his mom. Then, all the rest of my family members, like my cousins, they were the only male role models I was supposed to have. You know, my granddad, he’s 90 now. So he’s been older my whole life. He can’t really go play football, or anything like that. So my cousins were supposed to be in that spot. But, they weren’t the best examples. Some of them have been in jail and doing stuff they shouldn’t be doing. Basically, the common stereotypes of African American men. So, I just really didn’t want to be like that.
My grandma, they put my grandma under a lot of stress…like worrying about, ‘Oh, is he alright? Is this gonna happen?’ Cause you don’t want your child gettin’ shot.
So I just wanted my grandparents and mom to know that I could be the one to do something. I just have to make it. I don’t want to be sitting around here…like everybody else. And, they’re OK with that. I just can’t be OK with that.
Also, I kinda have expensive taste. So…that’s another thing. Other than that, I just want to make it. I like clothes…a lot. I don’t know. I’m almost like a girl when it comes to shopping. I don’t spend a lot of money, but I want expensive things.
“This scholarship means a lot. Because a lot of people, especially young black men, don’t really noticed when they’re actually doing something. I got the Miller Lanier Central Scholarship. So for people from Macon, you know, alumni from Central, giving back to someone at Central… that’s a big thing. Because, you are sowing back into what you came from. And, that’s something hopefully I can do one day, once I get established in my career. Hopefully, I can one day add to that scholarship.”
Probably my only disappointment is Senioritis. I was like, ‘OK, I’m in school. I’m still going to be able to go to college. It doesn’t really matter.’ I kinda wish I didn’t do that so early.
What gets me out of bed in the morning? It’s probably really my grandparents, because they helped raise my cousins, and to see them…it’s basically like a smack in the face. They went through all this to raise you, and you just go and do nothing. So, it really makes me happy to like see me actually doin’ something. So I just try to keep it all goin’ for them.
My mother said she pushed all of the genius out of the womb. ‘Cause she wasn’t a bad student, but she wasn’t…I guess a ‘me.’ So, she just doesn’t really know where it came from. Because ever since, like elementary, I have been that top student. Now here…I’m not the top student. But, kinda, the top 20. She’s just always been proud of that, especially since I’m her only son.
Giving back? I’ve thought about starting a camp. I didn’t know about a lot of things that I could do to further experience film, mass media, and stuff like that. So, bringing something back like that, I think, would be a good thing.
So, since I went through life with a single parent, I kinda wanted to start…maybe like a mentor program. Like to have somebody be there for people like me, in my same situation. Not even just black kids, but anybody that needs somebody to be there for them.
What would be my last meal? Cheese fries with bacon.”
Story written by Susannah Maddux. Photo by Maryann Bates.