Serving the Black Community through Wellness: Justine Kelley

In this Q&A, Justine Kelley (TMA ‘10) shares her journey to launching her business providing psychoeducation about holistic wellness.                                 

  1. What role has Thurgood Marshall Academy played in your development as a professional? 

My experience at Thurgood Marshall Academy was life-changing. Here, I learned invaluable lessons about my identity as a Black woman, a speaker, a writer, a critical thinker, a creator, and student of life. My involvement with groups such as Debate Team, Anti-Defamation League, Dance, Green Club, and AP courses, all pushed me beyond my limited beliefs about who I was.

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TMA’s First Lawyer: Tamara Johnson

Tamara Johnson graduated from Thurgood Marshall Academy (TMA) 

in 2010 and went on to become the school’s first-ever lawyer.  Tamara remembers her 9th-grade year at Thurgood Marshall Academy (TMA) as the year that sparked her interest in pursuing a law-related career. During her first Portfolio review (an annual self-assessment and goal setting project reviewed by a panel), an attorney asked if she had ever considered becoming an attorney herself. That question planted a seed that would be cultivated by extracurricular activities, the school’s integrated law programs, and a vast peer and adult support network.

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From Student Body President to the Political Arena: Markus Batchelor

In this Q&A, Markus Batchelor (TMA ‘11) shares his experiences that led him to being elected as the youngest-ever member of the DC State Board of Education in 2016 and his continued work in the community.                                           

  1. What was your experience attending Thurgood Marshall Academy? 

I cherish my time at Thurgood Marshall Academy. It was the place I made lifelong friends, found and explored my passions, and got unimaginable opportunities to grow into the person I am today. TMA became and still is home for me. It was a place I constantly felt challenged, supported, and safe. Over my years there, I was Student Government President (twice — in SY07-08 and SY10-11), in drama club, and captain of the debate team. I even helped co-found a poetry club. My favorite memories include egg drop day in Physics, afternoon bus rides to Law Firm Tutoring, the creak of the old wood floors in the hallways and classrooms, and warm spring days in the courtyard. 

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Alumni Blogpost: My Experience Interning for the DC City Council

By Tavian Southall – (TMA ’17 & Goucher College ’21)

This summer I had the amazing opportunity to work for the DC District Council as an intern! The wonderful staff at Mikva Challenge DC made it their mission to place high school students and recent high school graduates in District Government agencies as interns. The purpose of the internship was to ensure that District youth are seen as valuable resources to DC officials and community leaders, and to help DC youth learn about local government. I was placed in my Ward 5 Council Member Kenyan McDuffie’s Office.

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TMA Alumnus Talks Sports and Time Management: Malik’s Story

Malik McMillian (TMA ’15) at Barton CollegeIn 2015, Thurgood Marshall Academy (TMA) graduated its first student with a full athletic scholarship to college. Malik McMillian (TMA ’15) currently plays basketball at Barton College, a division II junior college in Kansas. McMillian, who plans to study engineering when he transfers to a four-year university in 2017, admits that balancing both basketball and academics was challenging his first year.

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My Personal Statement Challenge: Earica’s Story

Earica Parrish (TMA ’13)Earica Parrish (TMA ’13) didn’t know that several failed attempts at writing her personal statement for college would ironically lead her on a journey to major in Magazine Journalism, a writing-intensive field. During her senior year at TMA, she felt confident after submitting her nicely typed, double-spaced, 2-page, 700 word final essay that explained why her college of choice would be lucky to have her as a student.

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A Gift of Song: Angel’s Story

Angel Haythe (TMA ’15)In this Q&A, Angel Haythe (TMA ’15) shares why Black History Month at TMA is an empowering time for students to delve deeper into African-American culture and heritage. Haythe performed Nina Simone’s “Strange Fruit” and “Mississippi Goddam” at TMA’s 5th Annual Celebrating Our Roots. The powerful songs and the explosive lyrics were a heartfelt response to reoccurring violent events during the Civil Rights Movement that claimed the innocent lives of African-Americans. Today, Haythe is studying Business and Music at Trinity Washington University and is inspired by events like Celebrating Our Roots, which allow her to use her gifted voice to “help spread positivity and inspiration.”

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A Pathway to Success: Dominique’s Story

Dominique Griffin

Dominique Griffin (TMA ’09) is awarded with a certificate after completing a year-long program with the Peace Corps.

Dominique Griffin (TMA ’09) is the newest member of Pathways, TMA’s monthly giving program. A notable alumna who has done service work in underdeveloped countries, spent a year in the Peace Corps, and served as a mentor for TMA’s Mentorship Program, Dominique says the activities and programs at TMA gave her an open-mind that empowered her to make a difference. Now, the Pathways Monthly Giving Program is, as Dominique puts it, “a chance to give back.”

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When a Student Becomes a Teacher: Alicia’s Story

Alicia on graduation day from University of Texas at Austin

Alicia on graduation day from University of Texas at Austin

Faculty and staff at Thurgood Marshall Academy continue to rave about Alicia Hargrove (TMA ‘10) and her many accomplishments. She graduated from the University of Texas, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in History. But it was a teaching position in Mexico that prepared her for a role at TMA. Now that the tables have turned—and Hargrove is the teacher and not the student—she embraces the ability to impact young people’s lives. In fact, she’s been on staff at Thurgood Marshall Academy since 2014, serving as a long-term substitute teacher and Programs Associate.

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