Taniya doesn’t have time for senioritis: she is the Vice President of Praise-in-Sign, has completed 12 credits at City College of San Francisco, is actively involved in her local Rotary Club’s Interact service-learning program, is a member of the United Black Student Union and mentors young girls for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
But her weighty resume doesn’t reveal the weighty struggles Taniya faced in her community. The oldest of 10, raised by a single dad, she had been homeless for a time and long witnessed violence and gunshots in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood.
In 6th grade, she received her first Guardsmen scholarship to SR Martin College Preparatory School, and left her unstructured, un-motivating public school to an outstanding institution focusing intensely on just 35 students. Taniya has come to think of the school as a second family. Her younger sister also receives a Guardsmen Scholarship to attend S.R. Martin, and Taniya hopes that her other younger siblings will have the same opportunity.
In Fall 2008, Taniya begins her freshman year at South Carolina State University, where she has received a full scholarship. She plans to study early childhood psychology with the hope of one day guiding young kids from backgrounds similar to her own.