Tyauna Statum is a senior in the International Baccalaureate program at Westlake High School where she is active on the softball team. Tyauna has attended Odyssey every year starting in 2016 when she was a rising 9th grader and is the eldest of five children, many of whom also attend Odyssey. After graduating, she will be attending Valdosta State where she plans on majoring in Criminal Justice with the hopes of one day becoming an agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Due to the current world pandemic many things about Tyauna’s senior year and graduation is forced to change. She admits that some things have been difficult, “It is hard to accept the reality that I will not celebrate the milestones that every high school senior experiences. Graduation, Prom, and other activities that I was looking forward to enjoying with my friends are now not possible.” Through all of the changes, she is still keeping her education front and center, explaining, “We started school online after Spring Break and it has been much easier. Before, I was getting bombarded with complex assignments from every teacher; remember, I am in the IB program so I am taking AP and college level courses. I was getting stressed out! Now, things are much more coordinated and linked to my calendar. For our IB requirements, we were asked to submit a research paper and I will be taking my AP class tests in a few weeks.”

Odyssey holds an important place in Tyauna’s educational journey. She shared, “Odyssey definitely jump started my college process. I was able to get a good ACT score submitted to colleges before things changed, and I had already narrowed my college search. Many of my school friends who waited are not so fortunate, many are still in limbo.”

These past months in lockdown has taught Tyauna a little more about herself that will ultimately help her succeed in the future. “I learned I like to be organized. I have always liked organization but these past few months that skill has been truly tested. I had to create a work schedule and learn how to balance my classroom assignments and make sure I was keeping up with requests from Valdosta State.”

Tyauna shared that the lockdown has been a blessing in disguise for her family of six. “My family is adjusting well to all being at home. My mom struggled at first as a teacher, trying to make sure her students completed their assignments while working with the five of us to ensure we were completing our work too. My dad has stepped up, helping my four younger siblings in the mornings. In many ways it has brought us closer together as a family. We are usually all running in ten directions. Now we sit down and eat all our meals together and we all clean up after dinner and then take the dog for a walk in the park together. It has been nice!”

Odyssey is proud to have worked with scholars like Tyauna and we are excited for what the future will hold for her. If you would like to support students like Tyauna on their educational journey please consider donating to Odyssey here.