Posted on June 11, 2024
Categories: News from SDP, Student of the Month

Huge congratulations to Nia Devard on being named Senior of the Month for May 2024! This well-deserved honor is a testament to Nia’s exceptional dedication, remarkable achievements, and the profoundly positive impact she has on her Sayre school community. Her brilliance shines through in all she undertakes, from academics to extracurricular activities, volunteering, and groundbreaking research. Nia’s journey to becoming a doctor is undoubtedly underway, and this recognition fuels her momentum.

Nia’s story is one of inspiration. Her drive to excel, coupled with her kind heart and humility, makes her a true standout. Balancing top grades, leadership roles, and meaningful work experience is a juggling act so to speak, yet Nia manages it all with grace. Her summer researching at The Wistar Institute and contributing to published cancer research is a remarkable accomplishment few can match. Nia embodies the very best qualities of a student leader, and this award is a fitting tribute to her hard work and unwavering commitment to her goals.

As Nia continues her senior year, this honor will undoubtedly propel her forward. Her passion for learning, her dedication to making a difference, and her innate ability to excel position her for even greater success. Nia, enjoy this moment – your Senior of the Month recognition is so well earned. Your school community celebrates you, and the world can’t wait to see the incredible things you’ll achieve. Congratulations again on this outstanding honor!

We asked Nia some of our favorite questions: 

1. What does being named Senior of the Month mean to you?

It feels extremely validating. I’ve had a hard 4 years in high school dealing with a tumultuous home life and changing graduation requirements everywhere I moved. It feels good knowing not only will I be graduating but I have kept my grades high enough that I’m graduating at the top of my class.

2. Why do you think you were nominated for Senior of the Month?

I think I was nominated because my counselor recognized how hard I fought for my academics even though I had a lot of extenuating circumstances. Even though I moved multiple times and had a shaky home life I was always advocating for my own education.

3. You were nominated by Counselor Stephanie Brown. Explain your relationship to him/her. Why do you think s/he nominated you specifically?

Counselor Brown was the first person I connected to when I got to Sayre. I told her I wanted to be a neurosurgeon and she took off from there. She always gives me new opportunities to try and scholarships for which I am a good fit. Even though she pushes me to do great things and keep up academically she still prioritizes my mental health and tells me to relax when I’m getting overwhelmed. She is an essential part of the reason I succeed at Sayre. Counselor Brown also knew my older siblings and was familiar with my home situation. I think she nominated me because despite everything that was going on behind the scenes she knew I still did my best to be an active part of a new community.

4. What is one thing you’d like to share about yourself that most people don’t know about you?

I am a Mckinney Vento student, or in other words, I am homeless or at risk of homelessness. I think a lot of people think I’ve had my awards and life handed to me but I’ve worked for everything I have. Even when I was unsure where I was going to live, I worked to do the best I could with the resources I did have.

5. What do you enjoy most when you are not at school?

I am an avid reader. I can read anything from biography to fantasy. My favorite book right now is Dune by Frank Herbert but I’ve read so many it’s hard to choose. I also love music and listen to it every day.

6. In your opinion, what is the best thing about attending school at Sayre?

The best thing about Sayre is the people you meet there. I’ve met so many kinds of people and it really pushed me out of my comfort zone. I’ve made so many amazing friends and have connected with the staff and faculty there. Sayre is very big on support when you want to succeed and I’ve felt nothing but support from the people I’ve met.

7. In your opinion, what is one thing that the School District could do to improve our service to students?

The schools are not fairly funded. Sayre has some wonderful students but its math stops at Algebra 2. It’s not fair that I can’t take a higher-level math class than that when some high schools offer college-level calculus. The students at every school deserve to be given the same opportunity and they aren’t given the chance to flourish. The level at which students are prepared for life outside of school varies greatly depending on which high school they attend.