The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Cup is back once again. Among this year’s honorees, 17 exemplary graduates have their sights set on prestigious HBCUs for their higher educations.
These are just 17 of the dozens of talented students being honored for their hard work and dedication to excellence for 2022.
Ahmad Javarius Hicks, Woodland High School — North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
Woodland High School counselor Staneecha Benjamin said that graduate Ahmad Javarius Hicks is celebrated both as a scholar and a mentor.
“Amad serves as President of Woodland High School’s (WHS) National Honor Society (HS) along with the Faculty Liaison for the National Spanish HS,” Benjamin said. “He is also a member of the WHS Tennis Team, National English HS, Principal’s Advisory Council, and the Student Government Association. He has volunteered his time with the Youth Council at his church and the Dekalb County Food Distribution Center. Some recognitions include the Outstanding Freshman Award, 1st Place Award in the Henry County Science Fair, 1st Place Award in the Henry County World Languages Fair in Poetry, ‘A’ Honor Roll Award and he is a GHP Candidate.”
Hicks will be majoring in civil engineering at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
Tyler Emmanuel Mathieu, Mundy’s Mill High School — Morehouse College
Senior counselor Dr. Shae Jones-Alexander called Mundy’s Mill High School graduate Tyler Emmanuel Mathieu kind, hard working and determined.
“I remember when I first encountered Tyler as an underclassmen,” Dr. Jones-Alexander said. “He informed me that he will be a Morehouse man and he has done just that. Tyler has volunteered as a senior to work the store during lunch and has shown up everyday enthusiastically and consistently. I could go on and on about the kind spirit of Tyler. Tyler is esteemed among our faculty and administration here at MMHS.”
Mathieu will be attending Morehouse College and majoring in political science with a minor in education.
Ania Hill, Ola High School — North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
Ola High School Principal Nicholas Ellis said honors student Ania Hill has a heart of gold.
“Ania has shown how her heart is the color gold,” Ellis said. “She takes time with special needs students, befriends at-risk students, and choses to accept individuals no matter their social surroundings, academic success, or their background.”
A three sport athlete and active member in a bevy of clubs, Hill plans to attend the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University for a degree in criminal justice.
“Ms. Ania Hill is a true example of what we want students to grow and become.” Ellis said.
Tyler Dorsey, Chapel Hill High School — Spelman College
Chapel Hill High School Counselor Jihad Pratt said Tyler Dorsey is a stranger to no one and always willing to help.
“Tyler Dorsey embodies what it means to be a Chapel Hill High School Panther,” Pratt said. “Even through a very demanding course schedule she has excelled academically and is in the top 2% of her class. She is also extremely involved in athletics and extracurricular clubs. She is a student that is a stranger to no one and is willing to help anyone with any task.”
Dorsey is going to Spelman College on a full ride scholarship.
Zoey Johnson, Georgia Cyber Academy — Spelman College and the Georgia Institute of Technology
Principal Jes O’Kelley called Georgia Cyber Academy’s Zoey Johnson an exemplary person with an impeccable record.
“Zoey is a young woman who exemplifies scholarship, service, and faith,” O’Kelley said. “During her time in high school, she has been an officer and active member in several student organizations, including National Honor Society, National Beta Club, and National Technical Honor Society. She also participates in Dual Enrollment and serves as an Advisory Board member for CTAE programming. Outside of school, Zoey is involved in her church and organizations like The HYPE Project and Girls Who Code. Her impeccable record and devotion to her community and family make her a role model for young women everywhere.”
Johnson will be attending both Spelman College and the Georgia Institute of Technology through a dual enrollment program.
“Zoey is an incredible scholar and student who has had to overcome significant obstacles to be successful,” O’Kelley said. “She credits her faith for her triumphs.
Emmett Hill, Harrison High School — Morehouse College
Harrison High School Counselor Ajaye Schmit called Emmett Hill a true leader.
“Emmett is a true leader. He challenged himself in multiple honors and AP classes while balancing sports and extracurricular activities,” Schmit said. “He is hardworking and always willing to assist others. Emmett is a four-year varsity athlete and captain on our tennis team, which was 7A boys final four his junior year. Sophomore year, Emmett was pivotal on our football team during our state championship run. He is consistently recognized as a scholar athlete. This past football season, he was voted captain by his peers for his natural leadership and dedication. Emmett is also involved with Step Up and Vote, a student run organization designed to provide voter awareness and resources to new voters.”
Hill will be attending Morehouse College.
“I really want to communicate how special of an individual Emmett is to many people,” Schmit said. “He is a quiet, constant, positive presence in our senior class who has provided consistency and stability during a questionable time always with a beaming smile. Emmett is a young man of such high standards and selfless motivation. Emmett possesses inner strength, class, strong morals, and beliefs. His absence will be felt by many students, faculty, and staff.”
Laila Muhammad, W. D. Mohammed High School — Savannah State University
Counselor Zaheerah Shakir-Khan said is a multi-sport athlete with a 4.0 GPA and a future in marketing.
“Laila is a dedicated student who strives to learn and apply knowledge,” Shakir-Khan said. “She has a 4.0 GPA and has earned the spot as our Valedictorian. Laila was a member of the Golf and Girls Varsity Basketball teams. She plans to major in Marketing and Business Administration. She has completed more than 250 community service hours in a variety of locations.”
A business owner and valedictorian, Muhammad will be attending Savannah State University for a degree in marketing and business administration.
Alexis Sims, Eagle’s Landing High School — Spelman College
Eagle’s Landing High School Counselor Elisha M. Parker called Alexis Sims’ tenacity and commitment her key to success.
“Alexis is the prototype of a ‘Golden Eagle,’” Parker said. “Her tenacious personality and commitment to her community is the reason that she was overwhelmingly nominated as this year’s AJC Cup recipient. She is thoughtful, innovative, caring and thorough. While her list of honors and activities are endless. this year as the Senior Class President, Varsity Lacrosse Team Captain and Lead Attorney (and Captain) of the Mock Trial Team, Alexis inspires everyone around her to ‘soar’. The Eagle’s Landing Community is especially proud of her success and believe that she is the perfect candidate for this recognition.”
Sims will be attending Spelman College to obtain a philosophy degree on a pre-law track.
Keaton Sanders, Rockdale County High School — Tennessee State University
Counselor Dr. Francene Breakfield said Rockdale County High School’s Keaton Sanders is committed to excellence.
“Keaton Sanders is a self-motivated young man that takes pride in his work and is committed to excellence in his education,” Dr. Breakfield said. “He’s able to balance academics with extracurricular activities and work. Keaton has been active in Future Business Leaders of America, National Honor Society, Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, Student Ambassadors, and various RCHS sports teams. He also works in the school-based enterprise, Dawg House Graphix. Keaton has maintained a 3.5 GPA. He has been a leader in the Institute of Advanced Technology at Rockdale County High School and in the Healthcare Pathway at Rockdale Career Academy.”
While Sanders has received 22 acceptance letters, he will ultimately be attending Tennessee State University on a full ride scholarship.
“We are uber proud of all that he has accomplished,” Dr. Breakfield said. “He has grown exponentially over the past four years. It has been challenging through the pandemic but he has stayed the course and remained focused and motivated to graduate with honors.”
Kaylee Powell, Chamblee High School — Howard University
Senior Co-Sponsor Calandra Peyton said Chamblee High School’s Kaylee Powell is an inspiration.
“Kaylee Powell is a bright light in this world,” Peyton said. “She is an outstanding role model and a truly inspirational young woman, both in and out of the classroom. She is an exceptional student and leader who garners tremendous respect from faculty and her peers. Something that illustrates her perseverance and dedication to empowering her community members is her active role in the YMCA Leaders Club. She has participated all 4 years of high school and she is now a Senior Leader in the program. She also started a business during the pandemic: The Powell of Gifts. She uses the profits of her business to regularly donate to the NAACP, or to contribute to bail funds for protesters arrested while participating and fighting to equity and equality to all citizens. She is a stellar student on the school’s newspaper staff, and she writes very compelling pieces that evidence her true wherewithal and passion for humanitarian efforts and concerns. Kaylee is an athlete, a scholar and a leader in the community.”
Powell will be attending Howard University for a degree in business management.
Shalamar Armelin, Hapeville Charter Career Academy — Spelman College or Julliard
Hapeville Charter Career Academy Assistant Principal Aranya Knox said Shalamar Armelin leads in academic and community achievement.
“Shalamar is an all around scholar who has shared her artistic talents by designing marketing materials for school events and assisting teachers with creating academic boards throughout the school,” Knox said. “She leads in academic achievement, community service, and extra curricular activities. She serves as president of the Beta Club and is a member of the Student Government Association and the National Honor Society. Shalamar is exceptionally creative, hardworking, intelligent, and loves helping others.”
Knox will be attending either Spelman College or The Julliard School to study graphic design, clothing design or become a ballet instructor.
Allison Hunter, South Atlanta High School — Harvard University or Spellman College
South Atlanta High School Counselor Wanetta King said Allison Hunter is a service organizer.
“Allison is a dynamic community service organizer, she cares about her school and community she resides in, and she is an excellent role model for the students at South Atlanta High School,” King said.
Hunter will be attending Harvard University or Spellman College.
“Her community service skills are commendable,” King said. “She is highly concerned about the inequities in education and works tirelessly to bring this information to the forefront. We are confident in her abilities to accomplish the success she has set her eyes on for the future.”
Alana Moore, Arlington Christian School — Tuskegee University
Arlington Christian School English teacher Enterria Jackson called Alana Moore outstanding.
“Alana Moore is an outstanding scholar,” Jackson said. “She is what we consider to be a ‘Perfect Student’. She represents our school very well. Her GPA is a 4.0. She’s been accepted into numerous colleges. Alana also assists with the K4 scholars in ballet.”
The “perfect student” will be taking her skillset to Tuskegee University to study chemistry.
Annalise Thomas, Dutchtown High School — Howard University
Dutchtown High School counselor Raquel Augustus said Annalise Thomas always goes above and beyond.
“Annalise is a student who has gone above and beyond to prioritize academics and career goals,” Augustus said. “She is a very intelligent, ambitious, and determined young lady who is admired by her peers and teachers. Annalise truly cares for others, as this is evident through her service with the National Honor Society, Beta Club, and Student Government Association. Annalise is a young lady who works hard, and makes sure to be a leader at all times. She leads her class with honor and pride, and Dutchtown HS has truly been impacted by her hard work.”
Thomas will be attending Howard University to study medicine.
Da’Quan Cooney, Luella High School — Howard University
Luella High School Counselor Tamesha Hickey called Da’Quan Cooney a leader that has brought about positive change to the campus and local community.
“DaQuan Cooney was selected to receive the AJC Cup Award by the faculty and administrators at Luella High School because he embodies characteristics of an effective student leader,” Hickey said. “DaQuan is the president of Luella High School’s Student Government Association and Black Student Union. In addition, he has actively participated in a host of community and school organizations while maintaining a 4.33 GPA. DaQuan Cooney has worked closely with students, teachers as well as administrators to create positive change at Luella High School. We are honored to have had the pleasure of educating such an amazing young man.”
An entrepreneur with a successful vending machine business, Cooney will be attending Howard University to study musical theatre.
Armani Oliver, Lovejoy High School — Morehouse College
Lovejoy High School counselor Kasha Heath said Armani Oliver is an asset that every institution could benefit from.
“Armani is a determined, goal-driven, intelligent, focused and an overall delightful student,” Heath said. “He is a leader who takes initiative, has great follow-through and commits to all endeavors that he participates in. He is passionate about community and does his part to uplift, encourage and support his community through a myriad of ways. He is an asset here at Lovejoy and exemplifies the kind of student that all institutions deserve to have.”
Oliver will be attending Morehouse College to study biology.
Caleb Outlar, Mount Zion High School — Fisk University
Mount Zion High School lead counselor Kella Edwards-Cooper said Caleb Outlar is more than just an exceptional leader. He’s a light that can brighten up any room.
“Caleb is an exceptional leader and a contributor to all aspects of life at Mount Zion High School,” Edwards-Cooper said. “Caleb always has a smile on his face and a positive attitude even when things are rough. He is very thoughtful in his words and actions and can brighten up any room. He has consistently proven a work ethic that exhibits an admirable sense of dedication that transcends the norm. Through the balance of academic expectations and extra-curricular activities in the school and community, Caleb has remained focused and dedicated. In his post-secondary endeavors, Caleb is sure to make his family, school and community very proud.”
Outlar will be attending Fisk University to study mechanical engineering.