“Curious, outspoken, willing to articulate her views thoughtfully” — these were words AP Language and Composition teacher Sarah Kreiner used to describe Ja’liyah Smith.
Ja’liyah hopes to be remembered for “bringing positive energy to the classroom”. During her time at Eastside she was able to grow into that person who lights up the classroom.
Ja’liyah’s advisor Cal Trembath, who teaches World History, Writing for College and Summer Bridge English, said it took a while for Ja’liyah to find her footing and come to terms with the challenges at Eastside.
“But, when she showed up sophomore year in my class, she developed this whole new attitude about what she wanted to get done,” he said. “She was driven, positive, and curious in class.” Ja’liyah was able to find motivation from her closest friends, who pushed her to do her best. She found comfort in her friends as she was always able to be blunt with them about how she was feeling.
Ja’liyah’s work ethic is another one of her many qualities that makes her stand out. Ja’liyah worked hard through the difficulties at Eastside, while contributing to and taking care of her family.
“She’s taking care of her little brothers, cousins, and family friends,” Cal said. “She’s just helping out her family and her extended family in a number of ways,while also staying on top of school and the college application process.”
Ja’liyah will be taking her positive energy, perseverance, and strong work ethic with her to Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia in the fall. She knows she will miss how welcoming and helpful everyone at Eastside is, but is excited to start a new journey and gain more independence in college.