MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) — They did the work and made the grades. Now, nearly 100 Whitehaven High School seniors are being rewarded with millions of dollars worth in scholarships.
Today, the staff celebrated that hard work on Academic Signing Day.
Those students will be attending Tennessee, Tennessee State and many college in between.
School leaders said the community buy in and its commitment led to the standout students and sizable scholarships.
“I’m really proud to be a Tiger,” Whitehaven senior Courtney Smith said. “The love here runs deep.”
That pride showed Thursday morning, as did the proof that persistence can pay off.
“It’s been a long, tough journey but it’s very worth it in the end,” Whitehaven senior Tyler Hunter said.
Whitehaven staff honored those seniors, whose success in the classroom generated millions of dollars worth of scholarships combined.
“Whitehaven is unique because we have teachers that really care and push us, they push us personally, they work with us outside of school,” Smith said.
“We are like brothers and sisters, we hold each other accountable,” Hunter added.
“These children are really resilient, very diligent,” Dr. Vincent Hunter, Whitehaven High School principal, said.
Dr. Hunter said it takes the surrounding community to make those academic achievement stories possible.
“The preparation starts with our families in Whitehaven, Whitehaven is a very prideful community that believes totally in family,” Dr. Hunter said.
He also points to the creation of the Whitehaven Empowerment Zone in 2016. It’s set up to improve neighborhood feeder schools to Whitehaven High and bolster community involvement.
“The collaboration between our elementary, middle and high schools in the Whitehaven Empowerment Zone allows our children to be prepared for life,” Dr. Hunter said.
That community support showed in the makeup of the school.
34 Whitehaven High alumni are now staff members and 55 total Whitehaven graduates work in the area’s empowerment zone.