I Am Waters Foundation

Today is 12.06.2016

Normandy High Senior Overcomes Hardships To Land Slot In Ivy League School | Wellston , Missouri | STLToday.com

To get to Normandy High School, Eboni Boykin passes a blighted landscape she can’t wait to leave — streets filled with abandoned homes, litter-strewn lots and shuttered businesses.
She’s spent much of her childhood in and out of homeless shelters. She’s attended more schools than she can easily keep track of — most of them struggling urban schools where disruptions and low expectations are the norm.
But visions of the Ivy League have motivated this high school senior since she was 13, when she became captivated by a character’s similar quest on the television drama “Gilmore Girls.” This fall, she’ll fulfill her goal by heading to Columbia University on a full scholarship.
Eboni’s story in many ways is like those of many children in urban schools. It’s one filled with obstacles of poverty that many never overcome. But her ascent to the Ivy League illustrates what is possible, even at the most challenged schools, when students have a mind-set different from their circumstances.
“Seeing the absolute worst of life is the ultimate motivation,” she said.
At home, Eboni has a supportive mother who dropped out of high school and hasn’t always related to her ambitions. At Normandy High, the petite 17-year-old is one of about 25 honor students among a student body with a dropout rate in the double digits. Last year, 74 percent of students there failed the state’s English 2 exam, and 83 percent failed the math exam.