NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — For the past month, we've been meeting Nashville students who are young, gifted and Black. In this week's School Patrol, we introduce you to John Overton High School senior Koi Lacey.
Koi, who was awarded a four-year scholarship to Tennessee State University, says she takes learning seriously. She has a high GPA and takes all advanced classes.
But not everything has run smoothly for her.
"I didn't really feel a lot of representation about me," she said. "I feel a lot more now, but I would have been really grateful to have that when I was, maybe in elementary school, middle school, because it's nice to be able to see someone that looks like you and they are doing amazing things in the world."
Now, students like Koi can find representation and support from the organization Educated Black Girls Rock — led by Takara Cecil.
"It's a mentoring program that is designed to promote academic excellence," Cecil said.
Koi is one of those at the forefront. "It's a group of girls that becomes like a sisterhood," Koi said.
Koi may make some history of her own one day. Teachers say she has a bright and shiny future ahead of her. "She pays attention, she's a quiet leader," one of her teachers said.
With graduation fast approaching, Koi still has plans. She hopes to leave her mark at Overton.
"So I think, yes, we all want to get by, that's the whole point — just trying to graduate and get out of here. But I also want to leave something behind. I want to remember something here rather than just getting by," she said. "If you really involve yourself, you're going to look back and realize that you've done some things that are going to count when you look back on the years."
Koi plans to major in health sciences at TSU, with a focus on speech pathology and audiology. Learn more about her story in the video player above.