Congratulations to the Class of 2021!

It goes without saying that this last school year has been challenging for many reasons but our scholars have risen to the challenge and are finishing the school year in a positive place.

We had the honor of talking to one scholar from Patrick Henry High School, one of NAZ’s anchor schools in North Minneapolis. Antanaia Johnson, or Nia, works closely with Percy Wade, our Family Achievement Coach at the school. Read on to see what Nia’s plans are post-graduation.

Where will you be attending college?
I will be attending Augsburg College in Minneapolis in the fall.

Do you have a program in mind to study?
I want to just get to college and see what the options are, but I have my eyes on studying law.

Who did you tell first when you found out you were accepted into your school of choice?
I told my grandma and everyone at Reedemer, the church I attend, where I feel so comfortable and it feels like home. My grandma was excited but she didn’t want me to leave! So Augsburg is perfect because I can still live in the dorms and have a traditional college experience but also not be too far from her.

Nia and her grandmother and Percy, gardening.

How has being a NAZ Scholar prepared you for college?
NAZ has helped me realize that if I’m struggling with someone, I can ask for help. Working with Mr. Percy helped me understand really hard things. They’ve basically helped me ever since I was little, and I really appreciate it.

What are you most proud of from your time as a scholar?
There are two things I’m most proud of. One is doing the 30 Days of Prayer last summer with Sondra [Samuels]. We helped support people that were grieving after George Floyd was killed. We prayed for 8 minutes and 30 seconds, the length of the time the officer knelt on George’s neck and you don’t realize how long that it is until it’s happening. It was really powerful to be in the community doing that work.

The second thing I’m most proud of is my church work at Redeemer. I’m helping with Vacation Bible School and while I’ve always been active at church, I’ve learned that if someone needs help, I can try and help them out. I feel like I can do anything – there’s nothing I can’t do, and I thank NAZ for teaching me that.

What are you most looking forward to this summer and in school?
This summer I’ll be involved at church and working hard at my job – I work at Burger King. I’d love to find better work but for now I like it. In school, I want to make sure all my grades are where I want them to be. I want to always improve and be doing better than I already am, even if I’m already doing a great job.

Nia, we’re so proud of you and we wish you and all the graduating seniors of North Minneapolis the best of luck in their future endeavors!