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Bolles Students Reflect MLK Jr Spirit
kenny sogbesan speaking at MLK breakfast

As the community reflects on the work of Martin Luther King Jr. and prepares for Black History Month in February, School administrators are proud to recognize African-American students in the Bolles family who are achieving greatness and making history in their own distinct, venerable ways.

“Many people have heard me share my favorite Martin Luther King Jr. quote, which is: ‘Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, what are you doing for others?’” said President and Head of School Dave Farace, who, along with a table full of Bolles administrators and faculty, attended the city’s Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast on January 12. “It is incredible to see so many of our current and recently graduated African-American students living out King’s words today – using their strengths to achieve greatness not only for themselves, but for the benefit of others and our community, just as Dr. King encouraged all of us to do more than 50 years ago.”

Some recent examples include:

·         Kenny Sogbesan ’20 (shown above speaking at the MLK Jr. Breakfast), first place winner of the Tomorrow’s Leaders Essay Contest and an honoree at the city’s MLK Jr. Breakfast. In his essay, Sogbesan wrote: “Martin Luther King Jr. was a strong advocate of love; love of his community, love for his neighbor and simply love for everything. He declares, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” With all that goes on in the world, and the community we live in, it’s best to focus on the good.  In my opinion, Jacksonville is so commendable and praiseworthy because of its ability to grow from it’s past. Jacksonville once part of the racial past of America has grown today; through electing major government positions to citizens of color and by providing equal opportunities for everyone. In addition, the fact of the matter is citizens can speak out freely on confederate monuments and aim to end racism demonstrates the city’s determination, to completely put an end to its racist past. All in all, Jacksonville doesn’t hate, it only strives for love.”

taylor richardson at the MLK Jr Breakfast

·         Taylor Richardson ’22, achievement as an internationally acclaimed proponent of girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) through her community advocacy work as “Astronaut StarBright. In addition to being featured in Teen Vogue’s Class of 2017 21 Under 21 “Girls Who Are Changing the World” and attending the magazine’s first ever Teen Vogue Summit, Richardson has been featured on the cover of “Aviation” magazine and in Scholastic magazine. She spoke at a TEDXFSCJ event in late 2017, as well as GenerationWOW this fall. Richardson’s extracurricular work began following her attendance at four NASA space center programs in Alabama as a nine-year-old. She since attended the White House State of Women Summit in 2016 and traveled to the White House again for a screening of the inspiring movie, “Hidden Figures.” Following her experience, she raised money to send girls across the country to see the movie. Last spring, Richardson spoke to more than 100,000 people about STEM at the March for Science in Washington. Her work and dedication to the community inspired the creation of a doll, the “Lottie Dolls Astro Adventure” figure. Richardson is scheduled to speak at the upcoming InspireFest 2018 in Ireland.

Kris McQueen

·         Kris McQueen ’18, appointment to the 2018 Youth Advisory Board of Washington Journalism and Media Conference. McQueen is one of 70 members of the 2018 Youth Advisory Board of the Washington Journalism and Media Conference at George Mason University. Her bio on the site says she is “a senior at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida. She is currently the Coffeehouse promoter and Literary magazine Editor for the school paper, is a proud member of the Symphonic Band and is the former President of the Black Student Union. She is passionate about writing, especially poetry and loves to read, listen to music and hang out with friends. She aspires to be a journalist one day.” McQueen is well on her way to this goal as a published author. Her book, “A Piece of the Mind,” is a poetic memoir of real thoughts and feelings of a teenage woman navigating the world of change, self-awareness and growth.

Leah Scott in yearbook picture

·         Leah Scott ’17, published in Teen Vogue this summer. The recent Bolles graduate, who is attending Howard University in Washington, D.C., wrote a piece titled, “Why I Look Up to Kamala Harris as a Black Woman.”

homecoming sweethearts

·         Orlando Heggs ’18, named Bolles Homecoming King 2017. The Homecoming Sweetheart nomination process is based on submitted profiles that highlight community service work, interests and servant leadership highlights. A football player, Heggs has committed to continue his athletic pursuits at Wake Forest University.

Julian Crosby in High School Musical

·         Julian Crosby ’20, lead in “High School Musical."