COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The "Be There" campaign is all about schools and parents working together to help with education, but what happens when a student doesn't have a parent to support them while in school? Two graduating seniors at Carver High School in Columbus have made it through virtually on their own.
In the sea of faces preparing to graduate from Carver High School, two seniors stand out. One is Kishara Williams, "As a senior you wait for it all year, you're excited, and especially when you don't have everybody else on your side. You did it by yourself and it's an even bigger accomplishment."
On top of scoring well on her ACT and keeping her grades up, Kishara Williams has accomplished more than most kids her age. She explained, "I've lived by myself this year. I've gone from having my own apartment, to living in my car. It has been pretty hard. I worked 48 hours a week plus school, trying to study for tests and pass tests and I've done it all by myself."
Her fellow classmate, Genario Johnson, also knows what it's like to not have a place to call home, "I've never really had a stable household. I have been bouncing around. I have lived with some of my family, stayed with some of my friends. Just recently, towards the end of my junior year, my dad and I have reconnected and now we live together. He has epilepsy so I have to be by his side all the time."
He says despite not having a strong family presence supporting him, he is still graduating with a 4.0, "It's not about where you live, you come to the same school every day. So I didn't really care where I was staying at, as long as I could still come to school and get my work done. I didn't really focus on home. I tried not to bring those problems to school."
These soon-to-be college students, Kishara is headed Fayetteville State in North Carolina and Genario to Georgia State University, have some words of advice for anyone who may be going through struggles in their lives.
Williams said, "I think it was important to stay in school and work over those obstacles because there are so many people out there that want you to fail. There are so many people that are going to pull you down. There are obstacles put in your way on purpose just to see if you can get over it. God isn't going to put anything in front of you that you can't get out of. I think it was important for me to have obstacles so I know what the real world is like in the end."
Johnson added, "As long as you stay on your work, and continue to do everything you have to do, in the long run those problems will start to fade away."
There are nearly 2,000 students graduating from Muscogee County high schools this weekend at the Columbus Civic Center. Here is the schedule released from the Muscogee County School District: