Inducted into excellence

BY DEXTER MCCREE, Feature Writer

ST. PETERSBURG –As a dual enrolled student through the Executive Internship Program at St. Petersburg College, Clearwater, Ajae Edwards had the opportunity to choose a career she was interested in pursuing and able to experience firsthand. The program provided her an unpaid internship at St. Anthony’s Hospital while she continued doing college coursework in class.

Edwards, a 2017 Gibbs High School graduate, has maintained a 3.0 or better grade point average throughout high school and has been awarded two scholarships: Take Stock in Children and The Bailey Foundation.

Ajae is the daughter of John’ta and Karon Edwards and is a well-diversified student inside and outside of the classroom. She was enrolled in the Business Economic Technology Academy (BETA) magnet program at Gibbs where she studied for three years. During that time she earned industry certifications such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and Excel.

Excellence, featured, communityInspired by achievement, Ajae is a leader in the Student Government Association where she served as vice president. In 2016, she was inducted into the National Honor Society, served as a member of her student body for three years and as treasurer with Students Against Destructive Decisions Club (SADD) for two years.

“Being inducted into the National Honor Society was a huge deal for me because I will forever be a member of this elite class of academic achievers,” said Ajae. “Few students excel to that level and I’m thankful to be one of them.

Outside of school, she works part time at Publix Supermarket and is a member of the Kali Kali Dance Company. She’s been dancing with the company for seven years and now teaches the younger students.

She is also an active member of the AKA Akademy, a program the Zeta Upsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. developed to assist youth and adolescents in enhancing their vision and perspective of society while providing positive mentoring in pursuit of school success and a healthy, productive and sustainable community.

“The Akademy has helped me accumulate community service hours and provide a substantial amount of information, preparing me for the next chapter of life as a college student,” she said. “The experiences I’ve had with the Akademy and the people that work with us has made me feel comfortable enough that I’m ready to go forward.”

Ajae plans on forwarding her education starting at Santa Fe College in Gainesville.  Her desire is to ultimately obtain a master’s degree in nursing. After obtaining her degree, she plans to join the United States Air Force and pursue a career as a neonatal nurse practitioner.

“I’m looking forward to attending college and learning all there is about college life,” stated Ajae. “Earning a college degree will enhance my future and make me a stronger candidate in the workforce. It helps to build a solid foundation.”

In 10 years, Ajae sees herself out of the air force and finally starting her career. She would love to be living on her own, but close to her hometown in a beautiful house or condominium. Her desire is to travel the world, be a nurse practitioner and to start a foundation that gives back to the youth in her community.

To reach Dexter McCree, email

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