JACKSON, Tenn. — Each year, students across the U.S. receive thousands of dollars in scholarships, but for one North Side High School graduate, he’s been offered over $1 million.
“I received $1.2 million in scholarships and most of them came from getting full rides to schools, or either just other smaller scholarships from other people,” said Jamarrea Anderson.
Anderson graduated with a 4.0 GPA from North Side High School and says it’s something he maintained each year. He was also president of the City of Jackson Mayor’s Youth Council from 2021-2022 and valedictorian of his class.
Anderson says it has always been important to him to be the best he can be.
“I didn’t like the idea of coming in second place and I didn’t like the idea of being at the bottom or being looked at as a young black person, black male at that, in the statistic that we’re just going to be at the bottom, I didn’t like that so I felt the need to be on top and that was my motivation,” Anderson said.
Throughout his high school career, Anderson was also a member of the North Side High School football team, but his scholarship is fully academic. He says academics have always been a priority and generally came easy to him.
“Academics come to me pretty naturally, so it wasn’t that hard to do a lot of this, but it can be harder when it comes to doing higher level things,” said Anderson.
Anderson has a message for anyone who feels being like him isn’t a possibility.
“Never be afraid to be different. A lot of us look at the world and our communities and even sometimes our parents and are scared to be different than what they’ve set. Sometimes you have to be different, go in a different direction, change, be the person who wants to bring the change, don’t just sit and follow everybody else’s footsteps,” Anderson said. “If you know you’re better than what other people are putting you out to be, prove them wrong.”
Anderson will attend Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia in the fall. He plans to study psychology and also be apart of their football and volleyball teams.
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