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Hoggard honors scholars at first Academic Signing Day

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Future doctors, lawyers and army generals.

Some bright high school seniors gave up hanging out with friends, playing sports and doing other activities to focus on their studies. Now all that hard work is finally paying off and being recognized.

High school seniors decked out in their future school colors were honored at Hoggard High School's first Academic Signing Day. It is similar to an athlete's signing day, but it's for students who received merit-based academic scholarships.

"It's just great, because normally all the cameras do go to the athletes, and seeing people who are scholarly more than athletic get recognized is just awesome," said Michael Grieb, who earned an appointment to the US Military Academy in West Point, NY, with hopes of reaching the rank of general in the US Army.

Fellow senior Da'Shaun Harrison says all the hard work these four years was worth it, especially now that the school recognized him and 20 other scholarship winners' accomplishments.

"It's definitely time we begin to appreciate the people that do well in academics as well as they do the athletics," Harrison said.

Harrison battled heart problems the last six months of high school, but he still managed to snag three scholarships.

"I got the Morehouse Merit Scholarship, 100 Black Men Scholarship and the Lower Cape Fear Aid Scholarship, and I have decided to further my education for the next four years in Atlanta at Morehouse College," he said.

And his mother could not be prouder.

"I'm honored to be the mom of an Einstein," Nichelle Spicer said.

Organizers say this is the first academic signing of its kind in New Hanover County. They hope to continue the tradition next year with even more students.

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About Time

Isn't it great that finally our young people that have worked hard and gotten recognized for the high GPAs like the ones that have also worked hard and gotten sports scholarships? When our daughter graduated from Hoggard High School in the early 1990s she had a GPA of 112 and was around 6th in her graduation class. But she did not get any special recognition locally because of the efforts she put in to obtaining this. She had, what was referred to back then as a Candy Stripper, put in almost a thousand hours of volunteer work at New Hanover Regional Memorial Hospital. But even with the GPA of 112 she got a very small scholarship and no recognition locally. Despite being overlooked she went on to get her undergraduate degree in three years at UNCG and then a law degree at UNC-School of Law Chapel Hill and passed the bar exam on her first try. She is now a very successful lawyer and mother of four. I am very proud of her. Now I am pleased that the young people in her position at graduation time from Hoggard High are being given their due recognition other than just wearing a special sash, robe or braid at a graduation ceremony where many in attendance do not know what those special colors stand for.

Congrats

Congratulations Mr. Harrison on your achievements. Also, to you Ms. Spicer for raising him right and encouraging him to succeed.