Scholar of the Week
Shakera Vaughan of Open High School
By Janeal Downs
Regardless of any financial hardships she may face, Shakera Vaughan is determined to be something. She wants to prove others wrong and said she believes you definitely can do anything you put your mind to and are willing to work for. As a current senior at Open High School, Shakera currently has a 4.56 GPA. “My unusual hobbies include debating topics at complete random that probably have no relevance to what I was talking about in the first place,” Shakera said. Though she always had an interest in law after taking a government class with a teacher she called amazing and very engaging, she began to grow an interest in government. Shakera has a passion for politics and enjoys keeping up with it by watching the news and CNN.
Recently she had the opportunity to intern in the Governor’s office under Anne Holton, the Secretary of Education. She said this experience made her interested in education as well. “I want to be head of an Education Department and I know you need to be knowledgeable of how the government and executed policies work,” she said.
By combining her two passions of politics and education, Shakera said, “even if I go out of state for college, and I go out of state to get my master’s, I think ultimately I really do want to come back to Richmond and help out with the education system here.” Her college of interest is Cornell University in New York. Shakera hopes to go to college to receive a Bachelor’s degree in Politics. She also wants to go to Graduate school to get a degree in Public Administration. While in college she said she plans on completing a plentiful amount of internships within multiple different government departments.
Shakera said her entire family wants to see her succeed and are pushing her, because she will be a first generation college student. She said the biggest influence in her life is her aunt, who she currently lives with. “She influences me to definitely want to do more,” Shakera said. She said her aunt always teaches her to do something she is passionate about even if it is something which does not make a lot of money.
Currently, Shakera is involved in numerous organizations; participates in community service; and also works as a hostess at Applebee’s. She has been active as a class council member, student representative, a member of the Young Adult Police Commission, Building Leaders of RVA, Future Leaders Council, Upward Bound, Honor and Scholar Club, Leadership Program, Debate team, and Key club. Her community service includes work with Project Rousseau, where she served as a mentor to students. She has also worked with the Parks Edge Community Center. Along with numerous other academic achievements, Shakera was a member of the Softball and Volleyball teams at her former high school.
Shakera is interested in derivatives in calculus. “People look at me like I’ve grown a third eye once I tell them that sometimes I just do derivatives to pass the time.”
Shakera said she does not want to go to college because there will be late night parties and ample amount of freedom from parents and guardians, but she wants to fully develop her intelligence, strength, and character. She has always tried to get the most of any educational opportunity offered to her. “I know that my goals are a stretch but I truly do believe I have the determination and avid work ethic to fulfill them all,” Shakera said. “It’s not a matter of if they’re going to get done; it’s a matter of when they’re going to get accomplished.”