A wise person once said that an ideal young lady should be well balanced in her academics and skilled in many talents, as well as having a giving heart.
Yazoo City High School's Keimya Mitchell is one such multi-faceted young lady, putting all of her energies into various school and extracurricular activities, as well as her academics, church programs and community service, which have resulted in her achieving a full scholarship to Belhaven University this fall.
Keimya is the daughter of Ruthie Moorehead and Keith Mitchell of Yazoo City. She is also the granddaughter of Bobbie Washington, also of Yazoo City.
Currently a senior at Yazoo City High School, Keimya has been attending school in the Yazoo City Municipal School District since she started HeadStart at St. Francis in PreKindergarten.
Keimya said that she loves being involved in academic and extracurricular programs because she likes to learn about new things and challenge herself to be better every day.
"I am involved in so many things that I almost can't remember it all," she laughed.
Keimya is this year's president of the school's National Technology Honor Society (NTHS), and also served as the club's secretary last year.
She is a member of the Yazoo City High School BETA Club where she has served as their secretary for the last two years as well.
Keimya is also a member of the Technology Student Association (TSA), and serves as the current secretary of the school's Jobs for Mississippi Graduates (JMG).
Physical fitness is also important to Keimya, as she has been cheerleading for Yazoo City since the 8th grade. This year she served as the high school Cheerleading Captain during football and basketball seasons.
Over the last four years, Keimya has also been honored by her classmates by being named to the Yazoo City High School homecoming court.
"I have been named Freshman Maid, Sophomore Maid, Junior Maid, and this year as a senior I was named Miss JMG," she said.
Despite all of this academic and extracurricular involvement during the school year, Keimya has also been working a part-time job on the weekends at a local restaurant, and has still maintained good grades and a high grade-point average above a 3.5 for the last four years.
"I have been on the Principal's List ever since I started high school in the 9th grade," she said. "My mother doesn't like anything below a B so I have to make her proud."
Keimya knew that completing the ACT test would be a step she had to take in order to make her college dreams come true. Currently she has a score of an 18, but has been studying diligently to meet her next goal of a 21 or more on the test.
"I have been trying my best to get it higher because it will help me get more scholarships," she said. "I just found this website called JumpStart online, and it's a great way to help make that higher score you want on the ACT."
Outside of school, Keimya is a faithful member of New Hope M.B. Church in Benton, where she has been attending worship services and praising God her whole life.
"I sing in the choir and I also participate in all of the programs we have," she said. "I am part of the youth but I am also like a youth counselor because I help with the little kids during children's church too."
Keimya has a big heart for her community, and has been found giving back in a number of ways, ranging from helping with the local Manna House food pantry or giving a luncheon to show appreciation to local law enforcement officers. She and other classmates have also worked to improve the high school by cleaning and mopping floors all over the school building and organizing and cleaning out the school library.
Keimya said that her reason and motivation for being so active and involved are her younger siblings who look up to her.
"I have little brothers and sisters that look up to me, and they want to do everything that I do," she said. "My plan is to show them what it means to be a good person, and that they can do all these things that I do, and hopefully do it even better,"
After high school, Keimya plans to attend Belhaven University and pursue a degree in nursing.
"I have a full-ride scholarship to Belhaven and few other grants because of my grades," she said. "I plan to become a Registered Nurse and start my future working right out of college."
Keimya said that her dream of becoming a nurse started by watching her mother work as a nurse at the local hospital. Taking every opportunity to learn more about the field and taking classes when she can, Keimya has gotten a more hands-on experience with the field than she ever imagined.
"I go visit my mom at the hospital and see what she and her co-workers are doing there," she said. "Just by watching them I have learned about things like taking blood pressure, and how to talk to patients."
Keimya said that her ultimate goal once she becomes a nurse would be to come back to work and serve patients in Yazoo City.
"This is where my people live, my friends and my family," she said. "I would like to come back and help the people down here because I know we don't have a lot of nurses. I wouldn't want to go anywhere else."
While she is excited about her life goals after graduation, Keimya said that Yazoo City High School will always hold a special place in her heart. Even with the recent changes within the school district in the last year, she believes that a bright future is ahead for the younger students she will leave behind.
"This school year has been one of the best I have ever had at school," she said. "With all of the new structure and everything, we seniors were still able to go on all of our trips to the different colleges, and the teachers we have now are also really helping us with getting ready for college by teaching us things we need to know, and also helping us with applying and getting accepted to the colleges we want. I think there are positive things coming to Yazoo City High School for the future, and I think the other students will have more to look forward to than they have in the past."