Keeper of the Dream scholarship winner has a passion for teaching

Thashea Miles, 18, is a senior at Eastside High School.

Erica Brough/Staff photographer
Published: Saturday, January 10, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 9, 2009 at 11:22 p.m.

Eighteen-year-old Thashea Miles never stops.

A senior at Eastside High School, Miles jumps from her Advanced Placement classes to a handful of after-school organizations and from tutoring younger children to staying active with her church, all while maintaining an above 4.0 weighted average.

On Sunday, Miles will be rewarded for her accomplishments at the 24th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commission's Hall of Fame banquet that kicks off an 11-day celebration honoring the late civil rights leader.

Miles is the 2009 recipient of the Edna M. Hart Keeper of the Dream Award, a scholarship given to a high school senior who exemplifies the qualities of King.

Miles got the news Thanksgiving that she won the scholarship after a spur-of-the-moment trip to the mailbox that morning.

"It was the best holiday ever," she said.

For Miles, giving back to the community has been a part of her life since elementary school.

She acquired her passion for teaching when she was only 9 years old at a private in-home day care where she was constantly surrounded by younger kids.

When she graduated to sixth grade, she returned to Williams Elementary School to volunteer in the after-school program to mentor and teach younger students and has volunteered with the Extended Day Enrichment Program ever since.

She takes her teaching skills home by helping her 11-year-old brother Timothy with his school work.

But community service aside, Miles excels in school, making straight A's since ninth grade except for her one slip up in calculus.

She's involved in a slew of school clubs, including being president of Future Business Leaders of America, vice president of National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and historian of Future Educators of America.

The scholarship is nailed down, but her college choice is yet to be determined as the University of Florida mails out acceptance letters on Feb. 13. But Miles already has some goals she hopes to accomplish.

As an engineering major, she plans to stay active in NSBE and return to Eastside to coach aspiring engineers, and she'll add an education minor to continue practicing her passion for teaching.

Miles applied for some 15 scholarships to help pay for school, but the Keeper of the Dream award means the most to her.

"Its focus isn't just on school," Miles said. "It's more about who I am personally and what I do for the community."

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Comments are currently unavailable on this article

▲ Return to Top