Academic Profile: Juliona Ledbetter

Juliona is a currently a high-schooler, doing dual enrollment, who describes her academic self as: Passionate, ever-changing, and productive. She is a person that tries to take what she has learnt in the classroom and apply it to the outside world, and in her own words, thinks that “being educated is such a powerful tool in our society and we should all have the pleasure of doing something that we love” (Ledbetter 2021). I think something that we can learn from her, is the fact that she has developed a resilient character, not only by changing her learning methods according to the structure of her classes, but also making the best use of her time and trying to stay as productive as possible. She is also very observant, saying that “I realized when I’m not productive, I fall behind and feel very overwhelmed. As a result, I try to do a little bit of work each day giving self achievable goals to complete” (Ledbetter 2021).

To try and see the entirety of Juliona’s academic self, we need to also explore her academic credentials and her influences. While in high school, Juliona chose to do dual enrollment to try and get more college credits and advance forward. She chose GSU, as there was a campus close enough to her house to go if she chose to, and knowing that her classes would be online for the foreseeable future, she decided to choose the Dual Enrollment program that it had to offer. She credits her family as being a big influence on her academic self, stating that they only hope for the best for her and want to see her succeed, this gives her enough confidence to go out there and make them proud. She also credits Dr. Andrea Hayes-Jordan, the first black female pediatric surgeon in America, as an influence, primarily because she had pursued a field that no one from her background ever did, and succeeded at it. The lessons that she takes away from her story is that she should pursue what she likes without caring for what other people think.

I certainly think that whatever Juliona decides to do in the future, with regards to her major and career, she will undoubtedly succeed, as she has shown the tenacity and the gumption to put her mind to whatever she does. Like all of us, she also faced struggles, she had said that transition to college for her was frustrating as she had to quickly learn to set aside all of her old high school habits. However, I think the part that we can all appreciate is the fact that she chose to perservere where most would have given up, and in the end, I think we can all learn that falling down doesn’t automatically make you a failure, but giving up does.

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