Scholar of the Week
Aisha Grantham of Franklin Military Academy
by Janeal Downs
While she thinks it may seem like a cliché to others, one of Aisha Grantham’s biggest inspirations to pursue a career in the science field and become a forensic scientist was the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation show. “That kind of dragged me in, and from there I knew what I wanted to do,” Aisha said. Initially, she wasn’t sure what steps to take to become a forensic scientist, but once she got older she started to learn more about the field. In the future, Aisha plans to work for the State lab as a forensic scientist. Her ambition led her to calling the lab and asking what steps to take. She was advised to major in a science and will soon further her education by majoring in biology.
Originally, she had close to 10 different college choices. In order to narrow down the list, she went to visit multiple universities, and one stood out to her among the rest, Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. “I went to ODU’s admissions day and everyone who was there, like the people who would presumably be in my class, everybody was nice,” she said. “They were interactive, even when I went to go speak to one of the professors in the science building he really wanted to know what I was interested in.” The genuine interest and friendliness of the people she met made her feel welcome at the college and influenced her decision to make it her top choice. She will not only major in biology, but also minor in either forensic science or criminal justice. In order to help pay for her tuition, Aisha will use a scholarship from the United States Army which will pay for three years of her schooling. After she completes college, she will then commit to eight years in the Army Reserves.
As her semester comes to a close and she prepares for college, Aisha is busy with school and also a part-time job at Farm Fresh Market. In her spare time, her favorite activity is mentoring with the MARRS reading and mentoring program where she mentors a first grader in reading. “I was a mentee before and I felt like this was a great opportunity for me to be able to give back and be on the other side as a mentor,” she said. She is also a member of Building Leaders RVA, the Young Adult Police Commissioners, Royal Knights Military Team and The Future Leaders’ Program. With the Future Leaders’ Program, Aisha started as a member, moved to the secretary, and is now the president of the organization. “It’s one of my favorites because it’s just that we get to not only speak for ourselves, the students that are in the program, but also all of RPS,” Aisha said. With the program, she and the other members discuss topics such as teen pregnancy and teen violence. They then present to the mayor to see what solutions and assistance he can offer for these problems.
One of Aisha’s biggest inspirations is her mother. “Myself and my siblings, we all were raised with that motivation to understand that school was the most important thing,” Aisha said. Although her mother didn’t go to college they were always taught to strive hard with their education. She has continued to work hard in school and with her goal of one day working as a forensic scientist, the main thing Aisha wants the community to know about her is that she is “a dedicated, hardworking student.”