Jessica Henry

Like most smart kids Jessica had a hard time with school. Finding most places inadequate, she went from one disappointing school to another until she convinced her parents that she would need to leave home in order find a program that fit her needs.

I spoke to her at The Advanced Academy, a high school that provided her access to the college classes at the University of West Georgia where she could explore her interests in media, marketing, and public speaking.

Interview Excerpts
Read the full interview :

"In college I find that I’m running this race with people who are running faster than me, and that encourages me to run faster. And being in a dorm with high schoolers gives me a more whole experience in that I’m not lonely, and I feel that’s OK to be smart, it’s OK to be working on a paper…

"One of the cool things that I’ve kind of discovered in my learning has been becoming more aware of what was going on at the time, like in religion, in literature, I can relate all the different ideas together and things start flowing, and that’s cool to me. I’ll hear something either in British Lit. or American Lit. and I jump off this deep end of, “So that’s why!” Or I jump off with thoughts like, “I wonder if he was writing this when...” and I start going on with that. That really helps me be engaged…"

"I also told you that I procrastinate. So a lot of times my public speaking is very fresh, like when I get there it’s usually the first time I’m doing it. As everybody else was giving their practice speech I was sitting in the back of the room writing my speech and trying to memorize it…"

"When I stood on stage the energy was so alive! I had the responsibility of molding that energy and bringing attention, it was just incredible. People were coming up to me afterwards while they were scoring and kids were swarming me. I felt like this amusement park character because people were saying, 'I got goose bumps!'…"

"From that experience I really learned my bliss. Bliss meaning something that absolutely makes me feel alive, in that energy of being on stage…"

Carroll Community College, home page
Advanced Academy of Georgia, home page
Copyright © 2010, Lincoln Stoller. All rights reserved.