This month, we’re celebrating South Fulton’s Super Seniors!
Meet Francesca Noel-Achele McDaniel, a member of Westlake High School’s Class of 2020. She’s an IB and honor student with over 20 college acceptances and a half-million dollars in scholarship offers.
She is a member of the National Honor Society and HOSA, served as lead photographer on the yearbook staff and held the roles of president of the Beta Club and Miss Beta Club 2019-2020. Earlier this year she was named as a District 6 appointee to the Fulton County Government Youth Leadership Commission. And with an already full plate, she still finds time for shifts at Kupcakerie.
Francesca is admired by both her peers and the Westlake staff.
“Francesca is considered by both students and teachers alike as a student to be emulated,” said TaWanda Harrison, Ed.S., a Westlake guidance counselor. “To know her is to love her, and I can’t wait to see what her bright future will offer.”
(Profile continues below…)
Q1: What are some of the things that you’ve been proud to accomplish during your high school career?
A1: When I started high school, I knew it was time for me to make some changes. I am blessed to be considered a strong student, but, honestly, I know I can be lazy at times! When I was younger, I depended on my mother to help me organize, prioritize and set goals for all things concerning my school life. A few years ago though, I learned to take ownership and accountability in my role as a student. I guess some would call it growing up. It was uncomfortable and challenging at times, but it was important for me to prove to myself that I could carry my own weight and still excel in my grades. Since I have been in high school, with God’s grace, I have accomplished many things, but I am most proud of taking full responsibility of my studies. I have achieved honor roll, top honor roll, and/or principal’s scholar and list each semester since kindergarten. Since I made the decision years ago to be completely accountable for my part in school, I have achieved these honors “on my own” (while maintaining my extracurricular, social, and job schedules). Because of the work we put in, I have been blessed with several college acceptances and scholarships.
Q2: How have you given back to your community?
A2: I was taught at an early age the importance of giving back. For the last four years, I have had the fortunate opportunity to be a member of the Fulton County Government Youth Leadership Commission. As a member, I have spoken to many Fulton County middle school students about the importance of saying no to drugs through our NEO (Not Even Once) tours. I have also been able to package and deliver needed goods and food to hundreds of children in our county’s under-served communities through our H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People Everyday) Box initiative. As a member of Westlake’s Beta Club, I have given back in several ways, but the one most dear to me has been our visits to volunteer at senior assisted-living facilities.
Q3: What are your plans after high school? What are your career aspirations?
A3: I am looking forward to attending a historically black college or university (HBCU). I am leaning towards the sciences because of my love for biology. It is my desire to work in the medical field, however, I have not decided on a specific path.
Q4: Who has helped you the most along the way? How did they make a difference in your life?
A4: My mother helps me the most in many ways. She motivates me to be better. She is always willing to meet whatever needs I may have. She encourages me to be inquisitive, to be kind, and to stand my ground. She allows me to make mistakes and guides me to see the lesson in them. She makes things happen. She gives me the best advice. She shows me how to celebrate life and how to follow Christ. She is my biggest cheerleader, and I know she always has my back. Our relationship has made a big difference in my life. Because of her loving support, I am confidently ready for college.
Q5: Based on your high school experience, what advice would you give to the members of the Class of 2021?
A5: I would advise all high school students that want to go to college, especially members of the Class of 2021, to start preparing as early as you can. Here are a few things that have helped me. Get to know your counselor (he/she has valuable info & resources just waiting for you). Identify three to four teachers that really know you because you will need recommendation letters. Once you begin receiving information, find a system to organize it, and remember to update it regularly. Attend college fairs. Go on tours (lots of colleges have virtual ones). Research scholarships and apply, apply, apply. Discuss what you learn with your parents on a regular basis. Get someone to proofread your application essays. Find a family member or friend that has recently, and successfully, been through this process to help you. Keep your options open because you just never know what may come your way. These are only a few suggestions. This process can get overwhelming if you let it. So have a plan and work it. Good luck!
Do you know a South Fulton Super Senior that deserves to be recognized? Nominate them at firstname.lastname@example.org.