A.B. Wilkins High School
Meet Tavia Francis
“A Chance for More Opportunities”
As a child growing up in Jamaica, Tavia Francis had a heart for helping others. She was always willing to give back and help those less fortunate than herself.
Luckily for Tavia, there have been teachers, family members and friends willing to do the same for her. Without their help, Tavia would not be graduating from Alger B. Wilkins High School this month.
In December of 2018, Tavia moved from Jamaica to Florida. There’s more opportunity here; career choices are limited on the island.
In October of 2020, Tavia moved in with her aunt in Fayetteville to finish high school. She didn’t think it would be possible to graduate this school year. Tavia was behind in her credits and she would need a lot of support to catch up.
However, Tavia couldn’t have attended a better high school to meet her needs. A.B. Wilkins incorporates the Communities In Schools’ caring philosophy and approach that combines strong personal relationships between staff and students with an intense focus on academic achievement.
With support from teachers, Tavia took responsibility for what she needed to do, completing one class after another.
“This student is unique in that she came to Wilkins with her mind set on success,” said Valerie Johnson-Martin, principal. “Her mission was to achieve her goal of graduating and that is what she is about to do. The odds were stacked against her, but she was able to overcome. She did not make any excuses, she worked hard to catch up and is now on the verge of graduating.”
After high school, Tavia plans to continue her drive to help others. She will attend community college with the hopes of one day becoming a public health inspector. She has a passion for protecting others from communicable diseases and viruses, a health concern that has been magnified due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ultimately, Tavia wants to be a good citizen of the country that has offered her more opportunity. Here, she has learned the value of responsibility, time management and consistency. She has also learned to have confidence in herself.
“Hard work and determination conquers all, but the faith in yourself pulls you toward success,” Tavia said. “I thought I would never graduate or accomplish anything. But I got up one day and with support, I told myself, I can do it.”