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  • Writer's pictureLisa Perkins

Scotticia "Sky" Bennett - This Sky Has No Limit

The old adage is that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to. Perhaps that is true. More true, however, are the words of Anne Mahlum: “Life is better shared”. It is in the combination of these two sentiments that the AGP Scholars Program began. This college prep program provides opportunities to high-achieving students preparing for secondary education. Opportunities range from subject tutoring to SAT/ACT prep assistance, locating and applying for camps and internships, and assistance with college visits. At Avant Garde - College Prep Services (AGP), we hope to bridge the gap between aspiration and achievement. We work to use our resources as bridges, making the journey from high school to university more accessible.

Scotticia “Sky” Bennett was accepted as our first AGP Scholar in the spring of 2019. Sky is a dedicated student who isn’t afraid to fully immerse herself in the high school experience. During her sophomore year at James Earl Rudder High School in Bryan, Tx, Sky participated in FCCLA, Skills USA, was a member of the Criminal Justice Club, Student Council, Yearbook Staff (acting as a junior editor), and the Young Women of Excellence (of which she is a founding member). As a junior, she has taken on leadership roles: Head of Community Service for StuCo and President of FCCLA. She is also applying for an officer position for SkillsUSA, and is a member of National Honors Society and the campus Psychology club. Additionally, she has taken on a part-time job this year. This extra-curricular schedule would be a challenge for any student, but that doesn’t keep Sky from taking a hefty load of Advanced Placement classes - AP Language & Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP U.S. History, and AP Seminar.

Since beginning work with Avant Garde, Sky has really shown growth as a student. She has risen 21 spots in class rank (2.5 percentile points) and is currently sitting in the top 10% of her class. When asked what she felt she gained from the AGP Scholars Program, Sky responded that she always had dreams and goals, but that AGP has helped her find direction and more consistent motivation. She is no longer concerned about dreaming too big, because she knows big dreams are achievable with the right connections. Sky has always had an interest in criminal justice, and hopes of becoming a lawyer. In order to flesh out those dreams, Sky has been tasked with extra reading assignments, volunteer expectations, and internship goals. She is currently reading Surviving Justice: America's Wrongfully Convicted and Exonerated (Voice of Witness) and has been volunteering with the City of College Station Teen Court. Over the summer, Sky attended the Sam Houston State University Criminal Justice camp (for which she received a partial scholarship) and toured the campus of University of Texas - Austin. Arrangements for the Criminal Justice camp and UT tour (as well as additional funding for the camp and transportation for the tour) were provided as part of her AGP Scholars status. These experiences coalesced to help Sky realize that her criminal justice focus will one day be wrongful convictions.

In addition to the above, Sky has received tutorials in math, and will be joining our SAT Prep course this spring/summer. We are excited to watch her grow and achieve dreams bigger than she ever thought possible. She has the heart and the fire to accomplish so much, and the Avant Garde team is grateful for the opportunity to help her along her way.

Aside from scholastic assistance, Sky says that AGP Scholars has helped her understand the importance of connections, and how much more people are capable of when working as a team. She also now sees the world outside of her hometown as accessible, attainable, and a real part of her future. She is hoping to attend UT-Austin in the fall of 2021, where she will pursue a degree in Criminal Justice. After completing her Bachelor’s degree, Sky intends to study law at Thurgood Marshall, or another HBCU. Her wish is to engage in a lifetime of educational opportunities in areas full of diversity, building connections along the way, and using her strengths to help others. Her mother had this to share about Sky (which shows that she will very likely be successful in her goals of helping others): “She has been the child that is the most assertive, most caring. She is amazing. She looks after the well-being of others. Beautiful, kind, intelligent.”

During her free time (we aren’t exactly sure when that is…) Sky enjoys reading for escape, and spending time with her sisters and parents. Her mother, specifically, is a source of strength for Sky, who describes her as the “face, voice, and backbone of our family”.

To high school sophomores & early juniors, Sky sends this advice: “Do it before it is ‘on-time’. Stay focused. Procrastination is real and senioritis isn’t just for seniors.”

**AGP is currently seeking 2-3 sophomore or juniors to join our AGP Scholars program for the Spring 2020 semester. The application is now open! Acceptance is based on academic achievement and financial need, with preference given to first-generation students. Counselors, parents, and students can find more information about the program, and how to apply, at The deadline to apply is January 27, 2020.**

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