From swarming butterflies to graduation

BY DEXTER MCCREE, Feature Writer

ST. PETERSBURG –Tiara Trueblood is now a 2017 graduate of Gibbs High School, but four years ago she was a shy, 14-year-old freshman. Her first day of high school was nerve- racking.  While walking through the halls, she had butterflies swarming in her stomach as she pondered if the school was too big for her to find her classes.

She wondered if she’d make friends or be alone, but fortunately, that didn’t matter to her as much as keeping up with her studies and making the good grades that she had been accustomed to.

“I was always known as a goody two shoes, even in middle school. After the first semester of my ninth grade year, it was pretty easy for me because most of the information from middle school stayed with me when I got to high school,” said Tiara.

She started off strong and ended the same way. At the start of her sophomore year, the same nervous feelings were back. These feelings provoked her to try out for cheerleading and volleyball.

Although cheerleading didn’t work out, Tiara was confident that she would make the volleyball team since she had played for the Walter Fuller Recreational Center for three years. Not only did she make the team, she became captain.

Tierra Trueblood, featured“That was a big accomplishment for me. Volleyball is my favorite sport. I have now been playing for about seven years, and loved it ever since.”

Tiara loved volleyball so much that her mother had to remind her that homework came before anything else.

“She is my biggest fan.”

Tiara felt that her junior year of high school was most important because these grades would be the first grades that a college or university would receive and that would determine where she would attend, so she worked extra hard.

In her senior year, she decided to blossom out and hung out with friends and joined more school activities.

“I figured that since it would be my last year that I would make the best of it.”

Her senior year went by rapidly.  She felt like just a few years ago she was in elementary school and now she’s a 17-year-old educated young lady who will be successful in life and will surely inspire others to success.

Tiara figured out that high school wasn’t nearly as difficult as she had made it out to be. She was more prepared than she thought.

“I want to be someone who my family is proud to say they raised, a successful young lady.”

Tiara looks back on her 12th-grade year and remembers “all the fun times, struggles, friendships and teachers that help me along the way.”

What seemed like a long road has now come to an end. The swarming butterflies that she had experienced gave way to her desire to meet higher levels of expectations and academic excellence.

To reach Dexter McCree, email

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