“My connection with the Student Leadership Council and the Hub at Evans has reminded me that I have people behind me, who support me – we all have a similar goals for what we imagine for our community. It gave me confidence knowing that it is not just me that wants to improve the community, and I will forever have this support.”

Angena Mathurin is a first-generation graduate of Evans High School, c/o 2020. She will be attending Valencia State College in the Fall.

Angena Mathurin, a first-generation graduate originally from Haiti, says her disciplined approach to academic success stems from the support she received through the Community Partnership SchoolsTM model at Evans High School. Above all, her peer’s involvement with the Student Leadership Council (SLC) a group dedicated to inspiring leadership in fellow students and community, inspired her to become invested in her education and the Pine Hills community.

“I was gravitating more to SLC because, as a student, I felt like I was out of the loop on many things – I can’t pinpoint the beginning … it was around the time I started to realize my campus has a lot of resources to offer. I realized I wanted to learn more about the campus and get involved; this is my community and this was the perfect opportunity”

Academically, Angena didn’t feel as disciplined and motivated as others appeared, referring to herself as a “former mediocre student.” She describes a childhood in a busy household, with hard-working parents who worked long hours and didn’t always have the time to help with homework.

“My parents worked very hard to provide for our family, and I am very grateful for them. My older brother would try to help me, but he was busy helping the family out tremendously – there was a lot of hustle, always. I wondered … ‘what am I supposed to be doing?’ – I needed direction and guidance.”  

She found it during her sophomore year, when she joined the Student Leadership Council and was first introduced to Children’s Home Society of Florida.

There, she found the support and direction she craved. Her self-esteem improved. Her academics improved. And she found strength in the relationships she built through the SLC and the Hub at Evans, the “center” of the community partnership school.

Learning she won the Virginia Morey Rell Memorial Scholarship was a moment of pure joy. “It felt great – it felt very great! I felt a smile cross my face as soon as I read the email stating that I won!” Angena’s future plans include attending Valencia State College. Although she is currently undecided on her major, she has an interest in studying information technology and is passionate about remaining actively engaged in her local community.