“Education is the key to success,” said Jamal Grant in his Chapel Talk, delivered on February 27. In fact, it was this realization that led Jamal to Amelia Academy last year. “When I came to the Academy,” he said, “the classes were smaller, and all the teachers were engaged with us.”
Playing basketball has been a primary goal of Jamal’s life. “All I have ever wanted to do was play basketball,” he said. However, he acknowledged that he needs a “backup plan.”
Throughout his experiences in high school, Jamal has focused on success in sports. However, he has also tried new things. “If you don’t know what you want to do,” he said, “you just have to try something new and see if it fits for you.”
His mother has also been there to offer support and direction. Before Jamal came to the Academy, she encouraged him to take HVAC certification courses that would lead to a career. And, last year, she relented when Jamal wanted to transfer. Since then, he has put even greater emphasis on his academic pursuits. “I realized I had to challenge myself,” he said.
As he has put a greater emphasis on his education, Jamal has enjoyed a sense of accomplishment. “I like to work hard in my classes because I want to be successful,” he said.
For Jamal, a happy life involves pursuing a good education. The knowledge gained through education provides opportunities to find a vocation. “Once you find what you enjoy, everything will go well,” he said. Jamal also said that education helps us learn from the past mistakes of others in history.
For the past two seasons of basketball, Jamal has been a member of the varsity team. This year, he was named Player of the Year in the Virginia Colonial Conference (VCC). He was named VCC All-Conference and made the first team All-tournament.
Jamal looks forward to attending college and continuing his education next fall.