skip to main content

Archive for May, 2015

Committed to Solve Issues Facing Women: Cer’cia’s Story


TMA Senior Cer’cia Wallace, a first-generation college student, will earn a degree at Simmons College with the class of 2019. Taking on a double-major in International Relations and Gender Studies, Wallace aims to makes a difference in underdeveloped nations that face poverty, undermine the importance of education, and are behind on the Women’s Rights Movement.

“I don’t think I can address every global problem,” says Wallace, 18. “But if I can make a micro-difference in a nation that doesn’t value women or their right to an education or where abstract poverty is a tradition instead of what it really is: a problem that has a solution, I will feel accomplished.”

Wallace, whose current G.P.A is 3.3, learned more than academics at TMA. She credits TMA’s law-like curriculum to her appreciation for advocacy and other skills that go beyond the classroom. “I feel like people my age haven’t been exposed to advocacy or the need to stick up for yourself and others,” she said. “Meanwhile, TMA taught me this at 14, when I was just a freshman.”

Wallace was drawn to Simmons, a women’s college, because of its fitting environment that encourages students to form sisterhoods. Simmons College is miles away from Washington, DC, the place Wallace calls home, but she won’t be taking the seven-plus-hour journey to Boston alone. She is excited about having already formed a “sisterhood” with another TMA Senior who is also attending Simmons this fall.

Wallace and her fellow TMA classmate navigated the college process seamlessly with the support of TMA’s College Counseling Office. TMA’s full-time College and Alumni Programs staff is available for students, many of whom are first-generation college goers, who need help with the array of systematic procedures that go into applying for college, enrolling, and persisting throughout to graduation. If not for TMA, Wallace, like many of her peers who attend neighborhood schools, would not have access to resources that address the college enrollment process.

“At TMA, the philosophy is ‘you’re going to college. It’s not an option.’ I’m a first-generation [college student], so no one in my family could help me when I was applying for school. TMA filled that gap.”

Thurgood Marshall Academy’s faculty and staff are known for their dedication, adherence to academic rigor, and availability to students. Small class sizes ensure that all students get to know several faculty members who can guide and encourage them throughout high school and prepare them to succeed in college.

“I am going to miss my favorite teachers and the faculty that I built close relationships with,” said Wallace. “Everyone looks out for you at this school. I know once I graduate from TMA, the relationships won’t end, and I am thankful for that additional support. But at college, I’m going to have to learn how to make it on my own. TMA prepared me for that,” she ends.

A Journey that Has Come Full Circle: Justin Williams, Class of 05’

Thurgood Marshall Gala 2015 - Justin Williams

Justin Williams (center) joins TMA students at the 2015 Shining Star Gala.

I don’t really know what my life would look like if I didn’t go to Thurgood or graduate from college…” Justin Williams graduated 10 years ago, with TMA’s first graduating class. His journey at TMA has “come full circle.” Today, he works in the Special Education Department at TMA and is honored to serve TMA students. Justin opens up about the TMA he knew as a student, the TMA he is even more proud of as a staff member, and his advice to students.



Students Make History, Earn Scholarships & Set Records at College Acceptance Assembly

P1020492TMA’s graduating class came together on May 12th during the College Acceptance Assembly, an annual event where seniors are gifted with a college T-shirt from the school they plan to attend in the fall. Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors marched into the gym, where the event took place, to cheer on the 70 seniors who have been accepted into an array of colleges and universities – American University, University of Pittsburgh, Delaware State University, and Temple University to name a few! The student body, faculty, staff, and parents joined the crowd of TMA supporters who roared with enthusiasm and applauded high achieving students who received scholarships and other recognition for outstanding excellence.

“All year long you have been working to get to this point,” said Sanjay Mitchell, Director of College & Alumni Programs. “In fact, for the past four years all of you have worked hard and now you are here, ready to graduate and attend college. I am proud of every one of you.”

P1020572Carlos McKnight, who will attend Daemen College, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship from Men of Community, a local organization that supports African-American male students who major in education or entrepreneurship related fields. Carlos’ hard work and dedication to a number of community service projects like the DC Mayor’s Youth Leadership Program and the debate team made him worthy of this scholarship.


Mr. Mitchell, who led the ceremony alongside Emma Levine, Alumni Program Manager, were proud to induct 13 seniors into the “1,000 club,” an honor for students who score 1,000 or higher on the Critical Reading and Math sections of the SAT. Sydni Foshee and Keneon Williams are not only new members ofP1020569 the elite club, but they received special awards for their extraordinary SAT scores – 1330 and 1250 respectively.


P1020565Having graduated more than 400 students since 2005 and staying true to our legacy of 100% college acceptance, TMA set a new record with senior and varsity basketball player Malik McMillan, TMA’s first scholar to receive a full athletics scholarship. With his parents and coaches looking on, he signed to play basketball at Barton College this fall.

“Today we made history,” said Michele Thompson, Athletic Director. “Not only am I proud of TMA’s tradition of 100% college acceptance, but I am thankful for a great coaching staff and a school committed to student athletes and the enhancement of our athletics program.”

To learn more about the colleges and universities that our students are accepted into each year, click here.