ST. PETERSBURG – Graduation is a two for one deal as it relates to Tanaia LaToya Seay. As a senior at The Boca Ciega High School and a college sophomore at St. Petersburg College (SPC), she obtained both her high school diploma and an associate’s degree at the 2018 graduation ceremony held at Tropicana Field. Her personal fan club of supporters erupted in a thunderous ovation as her name was called.
Tanaia began high school in Tallahassee while she was living with her mother, but she wanted an opportunity to finish school at an accelerated pace. After talking it over with her parents, she decided to move to St. Pete with her father and enrolled at The Boca Ciega High School in their medical magnet program.
While at Bogie, she received three Dr. Mac J. Williams Sr. for Academic Excellence Awards. As a tenth grader, Tanaia carried a 4.4 grade-point average and was ranked first out of more than 250 sophomore students. She was doing great, but she knew she could do better.
She did some research and learned about the Early College Program offered at SPC. This full-time program allows students to spend their high school junior and senior years attending all classes at SPC campuses where they work towards a high school diploma and an Associate of Arts degree, free of charge.
She got accepted into the program and was able to attend the Clearwater campus.
“While in this program, I have accomplished a lot of things that possibly wouldn’t have happened in high school,” revealed Tanaia.
She became a member of the SPC Ethics Bowl Team and competed in two competitions in Orlando and California. She volunteered with many great companies such as R’ Club Child Care, Pet Pals, Safety Harbor Elementary School and the Arc of Tampa Bay Foundation.
This fall, Tanaia will be attending the University of South Florida to pursue a bachelor’s in nursing, where her college roommate will have the benefit of living with a self-professed neat freak.
Her career goal is to obtain a doctorate in nursing with a concentration in family or pediatric health. In the next 10 years, she plans to be working as a nurse practitioner at a hospital in Atlanta, focusing on keeping families and children healthy.