ATLANTA— Presidential Scholar Zayvion Sheppard was committed to speaking up for his fellow students in his role as student body president at Newton High School.
When one of his classmates expressed concerns about going back to school amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Sheppard reached out to students and teachers to get a sense of how they were feeling about returning to campus and in-person learning. He made a list of their concerns and suggestions for making the school safer, and publicly addressed the county school board.
Board members reached out to him after his statement and worked with him to provide additional resources for his high school. Sheppard described himself as a “zealous advocate” for his fellow students.
“I really wanted to make sure that the student government was more transparent, more connected, more involved with student life,” he said.
Sheppard is planning to take advantage of the combined bacherlor’s/J.D. degree program in the Honors College to complete a law degree within six years and become a prosecutor.
“I really want to see a lot of criminal justice reform happen,” said the political science major. “I’m an African American male, so I want to help my community. I think we need more representation inside the justice system, not just outside of it.”
He’s hoping to participate in The London Experience to learn more about foreign policy and diplomatic relations. “I think that would be a good opportunity for me to get experience in how England’s government works,” he said.
Sheppard also hasn’t ruled out a future in politics.
“If I get to a point where I feel as though I’m qualified enough, and I could do a good job, then I’ll run. I want to feel like I can get something done.”
To learn more about the Presidential Scholarship, visit honors.gsu.edu/the-presidential-scholarship. Students can now apply to both the Stamps and Presidential scholarships, the university’s premiere academic awards, with one application.