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Meet Tekyah: ODA scholar and senior at Euclid High School

Tekyah is a senior at Euclid High School and preparing to graduate from both high school and college simultaneously, with her associates degree in criminal justice. We spoke with her about how she's doing this, her experience with Open Doors Academy and making the most of out-of-school time, and her future aspirations.

Meet Tekyah: ODA scholar and senior at Euclid High School

Hi Tekyah! How many years have you been involved in the ODA program?

Hi! This is my seventh year. I’ve been in the program since sixth grade and I’m now a senior.

Was there something about the program that drew you back each year?

The staff! I’ve been able to build relationships with each one of my coordinators, especially once I got into high school. Ms. Megan was always around. I was lucky that I met Ms. Jazmine during my summer internship, then she became my coordinator.

We loved having you as an intern during summer camp! What was your experience like?

I have been an ODA intern for 3 years. I really enjoyed it. I love working with younger kids and helping them like others did for me. Unfortunately, I think this past summer was my last year. Ms. Anima said it is time for a new challenge so I may be looking for a law internship this upcoming summer.

That sounds great! Other than summer camp, do you have another favorite aspect about ODA?

Definitely the college tours. Specifically, the overnight ones like D.C and Chicago. I really liked Howard University. That was my favorite school. I'm thinking about finishing school here in Cleveland first. I get my associates by the end of summer, right after I graduate. So, my plan is to go to Cleveland State University and finish my bachelor’s. Then I'm going to go to Howard or New York University for law school.

We love that you have it all planned out. Can you tell us more about completing your associates degree by the end of the summer?

I'm involved in the College Credit Plus Program, so I am able to take classes at Cuyahoga Community College. Since we have AP classes at Euclid, I was given the choice to join. Technically, I had enough credits to graduate high school at the end of my junior year last year, but it didn’t make sense to start paying when my school would help me. So, I’m attending my senior year of high school just to pay for the beginning of my college journey.

That’s fantastic. We are so proud of you! With so much going on, do you have time for any other activities outside of ODA?

I do. I play basketball for Euclid. I’m looking forward to the try-outs coming up. I also just became the Treasurer of the student government at Tri-C. I’m the youngest person to hold an office position on the council.

Impressive, Tekyah! Way to go! Could you share how Open Doors Academy has played a role in preparing you for your next steps?

When I first joined ODA, I was shy. Over time, ODA has taught me how to build relationships, not just with my teachers but also in making new friends. It encouraged me to take every opportunity provided. That’s why I wish that every school could have an ODA program. Kids really need it. The travel experiences alone have been key. They've given me a whole new perspective. And I always found myself continuously challenged, which was a huge part of my growth.

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