Alumna to grads: Fight through struggles

Alumna to grads: Fight through struggles
June 14
04:00 2018

Attorney Nicole Little awards $500 scholarship to Carver student

Triumph over tragedy. 

That was the parting message from Attorney Nicole Little to the graduating seniors at Carver High School last weekend. 

“Today marks the closing of one chapter of your life and the beginning of a new journey. Get excited,” said Little. “There is a world of endless opportunities out there waiting for you to take it.”

As a 2009 Carver graduate, less than 10 years ago, Little sat in the same seats the Class of 2018 occupied last Saturday morning, June 9, inside the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex.

“I can’t believe it’s been almost 10 years since I sat in those same seats. I walked across the same stage and prepared to join the ranks of other Yellowjacket alumni,” Little said. 

 After high school, Little attended Wake Forest University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Following undergrad, she took her talents to North Carolina Central University Law School. She passed the bar in 2017, raking up countless awards and prestigious honors along the way. 

While spending most of her time in the courtroom, Little still finds time to volunteer with several nonprofit organizations in the area geared towards giving back to youth in the community who need it most.

As she stood before the sea of scholars dressed in blue robes with gold and white accents, Little said, “From my point of view, I can already see several examples of strength, resiliency and fortitude. And they’re all dressed in royal blue.”

She continued, “… My profession allows me to cherish moments like this because I can intervene in the lives of young people and remind them that what you are going through in the world is not solely your story. You are not alone and you can celebrate your triumphs over tragedy.”

While discussing her own personal struggles as a high school senior, Little told the graduates being an accomplished homeless high school senior wasn’t fun, but she triumphed. 

“Trying to brainstorm with my mom on how we were going to get by and how to get my brothers back under the same roof. But we triumphed and we worked,” she said. “I was blessed to have a village that stepped in for me. It took a village for me to figure it out just like it’s going to take a village for you to figure it out as well.”

Before wrapping up her speech, Little sowed a seed into the rich soil that is Carver Nation, when she awarded Charity Wardlow a $500 scholarship.

Little plans to return to her alma mater to award the scholarship to another deserving student each year.

Wardlow, who is a cheerleader and senior class president, has already proven she has what it takes to triumph over tragedy. Last November, Charity lost her mother, Jacqueline Reid, to an unfortunate car accident.

Despite losing her mother in the middle of the school year, Charity pushed forward and made it to graduation day. According to Little, Charity has already been accepted into several colleges and is still awaiting responses from others. 

“I admire her and follow her even when she doesn’t notice it,” continued Little. “As a member of your village, I just want you to know and remember that your mother is always with you. 

“She’s going to be with you when you walk across this stage today and she’s going to be with you as you continue to write this beautiful story.”

After all the speeches and words of encouragement were given, it was time for the Class of 2018 to take center stage. And they did so in style.

Many of the students seemed to have their own theme music playing as they walked across the stage. And for good reason.

So far, the 140 students who transitioned to alumni last weekend have accumulated more than $1.2 million in grants and scholarships.

Before sending the students off into the real world, Principal Carol Montague-Davis used some of the terms she learned throughout the school year to wish the Class of 2018 good luck.

She said, “…Keep it 100 at all times. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not but be the men and the women that you were called to be. You are conquerors. You are survivors and you are world changers. Never allow anyone to define you and tell you who you are in this world.

“Go out and make your statement and do it with excellence. Remember doubters and haters are what should be your motivators.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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