BY DEXTER MCCREE & ALEC’A ASH
ST. PETERSBURG — Alec’a Ash 2018 graduation is a personal testimony of walking by faith and not by sight. Her story is encouraging to both parents and students.
Alec’a is an 18-year-old graduate of the Center of Wellness and Medical Professions Program at The Boca Ciega High School, where she maintained a 3.6 weighted grade point average while staying active at school and church.
As a freshman, Alec’a would walk the halls of Bogie in her big brother’s shadow. He was a senior and pushed her to join different clubs and step out of her comfort zone and make high school the best years of her life.
The year after he graduated, Alec’a knew that she had to get involved to make sure that she would make him and the rest of her family proud.
“I came out of my shell and became involved in numerous extracurricular activities that have helped me to be who I am today.”
She joined the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, the vocal ensemble, drama club, student government association, AKA AKAdemy, College Outreach Program the Rolling Tones, an a cappella group, All-County Women’s Chorus and was a junior medical ambassador.
Within those activities, Alec’a was on the AVID Leadership Board for three years, vice president of the choral program for two consecutive years and senior class secretary. Academically, she was inducted into four honor societies: National Honors Society, Tri-M Music Society, International Thespian Honors Society and Math Honors Society.
“These positions and being in these societies have taught me how to be responsible at school and in my personal life. I wasn’t appointed a leader just for the title; I learned that I have to actually work hard to make sure all of these organizations run.”
This chanteuse was asked to sing at the Pinellas County School Board meeting for two years, had multiple solos in the choral program and appeared in her high school musicals all four years as the lead, supporting character or in the pit choir.
Along with her acting skills, she has received multiple excellent and superior ratings in solo musical performances and large group musical performances in both state and district thespian festivals.
Alec’a grew up attending Pentecostal Temple C.O.G.I.C., and her parents made it their duty to instill a firm Christian foundation in her, which has helped her become the well adjusting young lady she is today.
One scripture that has helped her own the straight and narrow is Jeremiah 29:11:
For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (KJV)
“There were multiple times when things didn’t go the way that I planned, or I started to lose focus in school, but I remembered that scripture and continued to trust in God.”
When Alec’a first started high school, she maintained honor roll throughout her entire freshman year. She was driven and focused on making good grades, but when her sophomore year came around, she started to slack off.
“I allowed distractions and my mind to make me believe that my honors classes were too hard, so there was no point in even trying.”
She started bringing home too many Cs, which caused her grade point average to drop. Towards the end of that school year, Alec’a finally reminded herself that if she wanted to be a pediatrician someday, she’d need to make a change.
From that point on to her junior year, she regained her motivation and brought her grades up. However, another obstacle reared its ugly head. During her junior year when it became time to be inducted into the National Honors Society, Alec’a became discouraged because she started to think her mistakes in the past year would cause her not to get accepted.
“I endured, applied and due to the favor over my life, God granted me induction,” Alec’a explained, adding that she learned she needed to just trust in God’s plan.
Alec’a, plans to attend Saint Leo University in the fall to major in biology and eventually will transfer to the University of South Florida to further her education.
In the next 10 years, she sees growing closer to God and would like to become a missionary. She also sees herself finishing medical school at the University of South Florida and starting a residency, eventually ended back up here in St. Pete.
“I have decided that I want to give back to the community that had a hand in raising me.”