Inside Columbia Magazine Nov 2010 : Page 120
ALeXIs CoLLINs 16 | JUNIoR | 3.08 GPA always excelled in school, but her good grades and well-rounded resume don’t come easily. “Being a minority, I have to prove to others what I’m capable of,” she says. “At times, I feel underestimated by teachers.” Alexis admits that she works hard to impress her parents and teachers. “I want them to see that I am a young lady who has her head on straight and is a great student.” Alexis knows that excelling academically A has nothing to do with skin color — “it has to deal with me believing that I can achieve at higher levels and do better than I have before … everybody can work hard and get good grades in school and have an outstanding GPA; everybody has their talent to show the world” — yet she still feels she’s breaking stereotypes by performing well. “It’s sad to say that our society expects minorities to come up short when it comes to academics,” she says. Alexis, like Myah and many others, has faced resentment by some black students for her success in school. She says the kids who have degraded her are often the same ones 120 November 2010 INSIDE COLUMBIA lexis Collins likes to dance. She likes to move, shout, stomp, clap and grin into the spotlight. She made the high school dance team as a sophomore and was elected co-captain the following year; no one expected anything less. Academics are another story. Alexis has who get in trouble frequently. Not wanting to be known as a troublemaker or a poor student, Alexis has sought out friends who accept her for who she is. “When I got pushed away, I made other friends; I grew as a person,” she says. “Being judged by them makes you want to find other people who don’t judge you.” Being viewed in a positive light is another matter. Alexis believes she can be a role model for other minorities, especially young women. “I want to set an example for students at my school that being a good student, not getting into trouble and being a leader is what you want to be remembered as,” she says. Alexis will certainly be remembered as a leader by members of Hickman’s dance team. “She’s hard-working, gives 100 percent ev-ery single time, cares about playing fair, and the passion she has for dance shows all the time,” says Coach Kristina Schaefer. Alexis, who had little formal dance training before joining the team, worked hard to become in-dispensible after initially being accepted as an alternate two years ago. “The girl busted her rear,” Schaefer says of the extra hours Alexis practiced to perfect her technique. Alexis continues to stay after school, but now she is the one helping other dancers tack-le tough moves in preparation for the regional competition in December. “She has completely blown me away this year,” Schaefer says. “She just rocks.” Alexis Collins is a self-described “best friend” to many of her peers. A gracious listener and giver of good advice, she plans to attend college and major in psychology, perhaps doing some charity work along the way.